Ten Commandments Vs The First Amendment

So the Ten Commandments went up in a school in Giles County, VA because the staff there are morons. Don’t worry, I intend to substantiate this proposition with some clever reasoning. Let us consider how the Ten Commandments would fare if they were offered up as laws given that we already have the First Amendment.

The first commandment from Deuteronomy Chapter 5 or Exodus Chapter 20 is

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

Now here’s the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The first commandment is illegal for an American. Moving on.

The second commandment is

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Again. The commandment is limiting the freedom of expression. It would fail to be legal.

Commandment 3 is

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Same problem. Still illegal. Don’t worry, we only have ten.

The fourth commandment goes

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

That’s four commandments that are all illegal as laws for one simple reason. But here we also get the added of the myth that somebody made the heavens and earth in six days. For those that don’t know, we still don’t have evidence of that.

Commandment 5

Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

This is the first reasonable idea. It would pass the first amendment and it is enshrined in various laws. Parents have general sovereignty over children until eighteen barring exceptions.

Three of the next four, commandments 6, 8, and 9 are similarly reasonable and we have laws to that effect.

VI: You shall not murder.
VIII: You shall not steal.
IX: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

But adultery and coveting your neighbors’ stuff which is the short hand for commandments 7, and 10 are thought crimes i.e. limitations of expression that are in fact legal

VII: You shall not commit adultery.
X: You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

So if Giles County wants to post up the biblical printing of commandments 5, 6, 8, and 9, then I’m all for it. But the first four of the ten commandments are illegal. And commandments 7 and 10 are actually not American values. You can actually commit adultery. You can actually legally covet something. Matter of fact, the same people who would argue for the ten commandments would argue that greed is what makes capitalism and limited government both rosy propositions.

Go back to your simple world if you can’t handle the real nuances.

Moving on.

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