Those Ten Commandments

They're hard to find in the U.S. Constitution

The First Commandment is fairly straightforward. "I am the Lord thy God and thou shall have no other gods before me." Well, you see we've got a problem right off the bat. The Constitution says the government can't establish a religion. The First Amendment says I can worship a piece of toast that looks like

Cas

Nor his ass?

Political campaigns?

Really?

In our nation's history we have had laws against adultery, and we have had Sunday blue laws, and we have had ordinances against cussing. But these are state and local matters. They are not unconstitutional; they aren't mentioned in the Constitution and have nothing to do with federal law.

Well, should we display the Ten Commandments in public buildings? County Commissioners all over, including Knox County, are waiting for the Supreme Court to deliver the message (on clay tablets, we assume) as to whether it is constitutional or not.

It's not like the Ten Commandments are religious in nature, of course, they are merely historical and the basis for the American Constitution and our whole system of government. At least that's what they tell me, and that's the argument used in one of the Supreme Court cases. People arguing for the display of the Ten Commandments should have just pointed at the bas relief sculpture in the Supreme Court building of Moses carrying the tablets.

But what about this idea that our Constitution and government are built on the foundation of the Ten Commandments? If that's true then the FBI is falling down on the job. There is a whole lot of commandment-breaking going on, and no one is doing anything about it.

The First Commandment is fairly straightforward. "I am the Lord thy God and thou shall have no other gods before me." Well, you see we've got a problem right off the bat. The Constitution says the government can't establish a religion. The First Amendment says I can worship a piece of toast that looks like Cas Walker if I want.

Then the next one says we cannot bow down to a graven image. Since we have money with images on it, and we have thousands of people bowing down to it on Wall Street every day, it doesn't appear to be against the law.

Then there's the one about not taking God's name in vain. Have you ever been to a rock concert? Have you ever watched Deadwood on HBO? Evidently there are a lot of people violating the Constitution every day and getting away with it. But there doesn't seem to be any federal action being taken against people that blaspheme.

Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy? That would be Saturday, that day that Orthodox Jews and Seventh Day Adventists keep holy and when the rest of us worship the Vols by assembling in an open air temple and praying for victory. If you think the Sabbath Day has been amended (how did that happen?) to make it Sunday, then you better tell Wal-Mart and every grocery store, bar, convenience store, golf course and mall in America that what they do on Sunday is against the law. We also need to get some police patrols out making sure that everybody gets to church.

Honor thy father and thy mother? Well, we only do that one day a year. Since when is it a federal offense, regrettable as it is, that we forget our mother's birthday?

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house? Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife? Nor his ass? (No gender discrimination here.) The FBI needs to be swooping down on most of the subdivisions in America rounding people up and putting them in soccer stadiums. (The prisons won't hold them.)

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor? Does that include work? Political campaigns? If you aren't in court with your hand on the Bible, I don't think that's against the law either.

Thou shalt not commit adultery? Really? Half the marriages in America have produced felons, if that's the case.

In our nation's history we have had laws against adultery, and we have had Sunday blue laws, and we have had ordinances against cussing. But these are state and local matters. They are not unconstitutional; they aren't mentioned in the Constitution and have nothing to do with federal law.

But then you get to the crux of the matter. The law certainly says thou shalt not kill and thou shalt not steal. Except in special circumstances, like war, these are also primarily state issues, not federal. Of course, killing and stealing are also against the law in Godless communist China and were in the former Soviet Union. Not to mention cultures that worship cows and pay no attention to the Bible. I hardly think the Judeo-Christian religion has a lock on these two.

People who get bent out of shape about religious displays ought to get over it. Can anybody tell you what plaque is now on the wall down at the City County building? Putting up the Ten Commandments is no more establishing a religion than having "In God We Trust" on the money. People who object need to get a life. What really sets them off is that they hate the people who want to put the commandments on the wall.

By the same token, if you argue that the Ten Commandments are not religious in nature and have only a historical interest you are violating one of two commandments.

Thou shalt not bear false witness.

Or, you are a blasphemer.

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