Saturday, June 5, 2010
Now there's an idea....
I've had discussion with people who believe that the US was established as a "Christian nation" even though, if that were true, a reasonable person might expect to find some mention of Jesus Christ in the Declaration of Independence or Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.
But more disturbing are the people who claim that we would be better off if we established the Ten Commandments as the basis for laws in the United States.
Somewhat hypocritically, these are usually the same people who also worship the "original intent" of the framers and become apoplectic at things like federal civil rights legislation.
But, if you find yourself in a discussion with someone who tells you the Ten Commandments ought be posted in every courthouse in the land, ask them this:
How is it possible to incorporate the 1st Commandment - “I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me" - into actual state and federal law and not establish the United States as a theocracy?
The problem doesn't stop there. From Exodus 20:1-17, read 'em and weep:
You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
What I am asking about here is not whether these represent good advice on the whole. I mean, yes, you're better off if you don't covet, if you don't commit adultery, if you do honor your mother and father and so on. But what these people are talking about is to establish these commandments as LAWS, as offenses you can be arrested for, charged with, tried on, and sentenced to prison for.
How would the first commandment work? Wouldn't every Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Scientologist, Breatharian, et.al. immediately be subject to arrest?
A friend's 11 year old daughter is really into dolphins and has a really beautiful carving of one. Doesn't the second commandment send her off to juvenile hall?
Do Tiger Woods, Jesse James, Bill Clinton, etc., all actually get arrested and tried in a courtroom on the charge of adultery?
Who wins the clash between the 9th commandment and the 1st amendment?
I mean, Jesu.... oops.