The Ten Commandments: A “Monumental” Controversy
Thursday, August 14, 2003 8:30 pm Daniel J. Summers
As a resident of Montgomery, AL, I'm privy to the much to-do being made over the granite Ten Commandments monument that duly-elected Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court had placed in the capitol. A Federal judge has ordered it be removed, and Justice Moore is refusing. The stage is set for a pretty large showdown very soon. As you can probably tell from my links and my previous entries, I'm a pretty religious person. However, I'm going to approach this from a purely humanistic viewpoint.
The Ten Commandments were the foundation for Jewish law. These commandments are recorded today in our Holy Bible, and the first four reference God or holiness (no other gods, no graven images, God's name in vain, and keeping the Sabbath holy). The remaining six are good precepts even for those who do not subscribe to any form of religion. These are no different from other historical laws, such as the Code of Hammurabi, and other collections of laws.
Several of our founding documents reference concepts found in the religious commandments. The Constitution, Article I, Section 7, recognizes Sundays as a day apart (much like commandment 4). The Declaration of Independence, in the first paragraph, recognizes Nature's God, and in the second, recognize the Creator - both are capitalized and singular, in line with the 1st commandment. Furthermore, The Magna Carta, a body of English law upon which our Constitution was based (and, coincidentally, predates the 1611 KJV by nearly 400 years), contain references to the one and only God in the Preamble and section 1.
We have also been told as of late that we should accept all religions, including the ever-peaceful Muslims. The prevailing world view of many people is that there is good in everything - and, judging from recent rulings by various courts and the politically correct culture that has pervaded our country, this is the way the government should look at things.
Given that references to most of the overtly religious commandments are in our country's founding documents, and the fact that we are supposed to find the good in everything, I see no reason for this marker to be removed. Justice Moore's personal beliefs should not be brought into this argument. With the 1st Amendment to our Constitution (in the Bill of Rights) prohibiting government from preventing free exercise of religion, the Federal judge's ruling that it must be removed is un-Constitutional, and will be found as such if it is appealed.