In conservative areas, it’s all the rage to build a monument to the Ten Commandments on government property. This doesn’t violate the separation of church and state, they lie, because it’s funded with private donations, and any other religion would toooootally be welcome to set up their own monument.
And anyway, America is a Christian nation! The Ten Commandments are the foundation of our democracy!
Or are they? Let’s take a look and see just how well the Commandments underly our American legal system.
1: I am the Lord thy God; Thou shalt have no other gods before me
Well, we’re already off to a bad start. The First Amendment explicitly prohibits this from being codified into American law. Not only is this not a foundational idea of our nation, it’s expressly illegal.
2: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
3: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
The First Amendment also prohibits this from becoming law. You can say “God,” “YHWH,” “Jehova,” “Allah,” or “Xenu” all you want.
4: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
We actually used to have Blue Laws, which first prohibited all work, and later the sale of alcohol, on Sunday (which is not the Sabbath, by the way; that’s Saturday), but these have fallen out of favor as of late.
5: Honour thy father and thy mother
A nice sentiment, but still not codified into law.
6: Thou shalt not kill
We finally have a winner! We had to go more than halfway through the Ten Commandments before we found one that actually applies to modern-day America, but Thou Shalt Not Kill is a pretty reasonable rule. Of course, this isn’t unique to Judeo-Christian law, but yes, this one counts.
7: Thou shalt not commit adultery
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), and a bevy of other moral crusaders, who just happen to be serial adulterers, are living proof that this commandment had no place in American government.
8: Thou shalt not steal
Another winner! So far, we are two for ten.
9: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
And the hits just keep on coming! Perjury is expressly prohibited by law. Three for ten.
10: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s
This is so laughable it almost hurts. Coveting thy neighbor’s stuff is what capitalism is built on. If we followed this commandment, the US economy would collapse.
So there you have it, folks! Proof positive that the
Ten Three Commandments are the cornerstone of American law! All hail Baphomet!