Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The 10 Suggestions

A day after the Supreme Court gave us a split decision on 10 Commandment displays it is important to answer this question: If you posted 5 Commandments would that be constitutional?

Actually the question is how can it be argued that the 10 Commandments are historical or the basis for our laws and not purely religious in nature?

1. I am the Lord God -- Terse and pithy, direct and straight to the point but not a law.

2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain -- Again, simple and direct but not a law.

3. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image -- Again hard to find any law about this in the U.S . although the Taliban had something on their books.

4. Keep the Sabbath holy -- Nice thought, again not a law as evidenced by all the 24 hour mini-marts out there.

5. Honor thy father and thy mother -- More like a suggestion than a law.

6. Thou shalt not kill -- O.K. Here we have the basis for a law and a good catch phrase "culture of life" with notable exceptions like the death penalty, covert assassinations, environmental policies, access to health care and/or prescription drugs, wars, etc.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery -- If people didn't violate this commandment think of how many divorce lawyers, judges, florists, realtors, lingerie shop owners, hotels, motels and Sybaris franchises would be out of business. And there is some really interesting archeology out of Israel that suggests the "not" was added in error to this commandment.

8. Thou shalt not steal -- O.k. this is a law. With of course the exceptions of Halliburton, Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham oh the list is too long.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor -- If you knew my neighbor and his pack of barking dogs, loud parties and dandelion lawn you too would swear on a stack of bibles he killed Kennedy. A law though.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's -- Excuse me? Isn't this the reason anything got done in the history of civilization? If I didn't want all that stuff I'd stay at home and play X-box all day. Again, not a law.

And don't forget Reagan's 11th Commandmant, "Thou shalt not criticize other Republicans."

Unfortunately, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform didn't get the memo:

"I assume he wants to provoke us, but it’s hard to work up much interest for someone who in his continued warm embrace of Jack Abramoff is doing a more than adequate job of marginalizing himself. Most Reagan revolutionaries came to Washington to do something more patriotic than rip off Indian tribes."

-- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to Grover Norquist after being called a "nut job." Quoted by Roll Call.

Three out of ten might get you into Cooperstown but it's not a good percentage for arguing this is the basis for all of our laws rather than a religious display promoting one or two religions over all others or no religion at all.


Blogger d.K. said...

This post is laugh-out-loud-funny. Thanks for much needed release.

5:37 PM  

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