US's laws based on the 10 commandments

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  • #1
enigma
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This is a statement which is thrown about frequently by members of the religious right. Zeronem posted it in this thread which I didn't want to derail.

zeronem said:
Why do you think the United States, founded by our Four Fathers [sic] based the laws of the United States on the Ten Commandments?

If you think the US's law system is based on the ten commandments, you either:

A) Don't know the ten commandments
B) Don't know the bill of rights

or

C) Haven't thought about it for yourself and instead are repeating someone elses rediculous platitudes.

I hope it's C...

Read both. Two of the commandments correspond to laws of any sort (don't murder, don't steal). If you expand it to deal with when you take an oath in court, you get one more (don't lie). If you further expand it (stretch it more likely) to service in the military, you get a fourth (don't cheat on your spouse).

The other 6 go directly against either the freedoms established in the bill of rights or our market system. I think you'll find (if you actually think about it) that the US's law system was based upon the principles of the enlightenment.

Sorry to go off on a rant, but this is one statement which just makes my blood boil. It is so patently false its practically blaring, and the masses just blankly nod and say: "yup, yes it is. And I'm Christian, so I should know!"

It irritates me worst of all when our elected officials spew it. The nimwits who write the laws don't know the 10 first ones. AAAAAARGH
 
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  • #2
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The US government has absolutely nothing to due with the Bible, period. Things such as don't lie, don't kill, etc. aren't restricted to the Ten Commandments, they occur in lots of other government/cultures.
 
  • #3
Gokul43201
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Entropy said:
Things such as don't lie, don't kill, etc. aren't restricted to the Ten Commandments, they occur in lots of other government/cultures.

True. India (less than 3% of the population is Christian) and China (less than 5%) also (surprise, surprise) consider killing and stealing as illegal !
 
  • #4
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Entropy said:
Things such as don't lie, don't kill, etc. aren't restricted to the Ten Commandments, they occur in lots of other government/cultures.

Practically every single government or culture since before Hammurabi's Code, to be specific.
 
  • #5
enigma
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What the heck.

Since I'm already angry, and I know most people won't go open their bible and copy of the bill of rights (or probably won't even have one or the other)

The US Bill of Rights

The Ten Commandments
*I think I know part of the problem here... a simple google search doesn't even bring up a listing in the first page. I found them on this site, but they're lost in frames.

Exodus 20: I'm not sure which incarnation... I'll look it up from the KJV when I get home if anyone wants.

3 You shall have no other gods besides me.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol
7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
9 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
12 Honor your father and your mother
13 You shall not murder
14 You shall not commit adultery
15 You shall not steal
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
17 You shall not covet

As you can see,

The first four go directly against the first article of the bill of rights which states that you have the freedom to practice any religion you want.

The last one goes directly against our market system, capitalism. Capitalism is driven by people wanting what they haven't got.

"Honor your father and mother" doesn't go against them, but it certainly isn't a law.

I assure you, that you will find the 10 articles of the bill of rights NOWHERE in any version of the bible, past, present, or future.

Well... maybe not future... we do live in an Orwellian world, don't we?
 
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  • #7
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I'm only simply saying that over all, The Ten Commandments were thrown in the Bible to use for people to maintain an order personally. Just like the Government Established the Laws to maintain an order in a Populated region. I think there is a symmetry in such situations. But of course when our Government was Established we also seeked the Philosphical works of men such as John Locke. I think that's his name. I took Government a long time ago, I can't remember the names.

However my statement I made that you quoted is purely based on the idea I have about the Bible. My idea is that the bible is really a huge work in Literature discussing a somewhat absolute Philosophy to live by. I think most of the idea of our laws strictly against criminal actions of killing and stealing and some others our by the influence of the Ten Commandments.
 
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  • #8
loseyourname
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So you think everybody just killed and stole from each other before the Ten Commandments?
 
  • #9
Doc Al
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enigma said:
Sorry to go off on a rant, but this is one statement which just makes my blood boil. It is so patently false its practically blaring, and the masses just blankly nod and say: "yup, yes it is. And I'm Christian, so I should know!"
I'm with you all the way. Hearing this statement drives me up a wall. Thanks for posting this thread, enigma!
 
  • #10
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loseyourname said:
So you think everybody just killed and stole from each other before the Ten Commandments?

Maybe. We were still able to establish an order before the ten commandments. However, the Human Civilization made it a reason not to kill and steal by creating statues and labeling those statues Gods. Then by doing what they think those Statues wanted them to do, such as Human Sacrifice, building a giant Empire, or what ever could come into there heads at the time. Example would be Ancient Egypt. You know, I heard also that before Abrahams time, the Hebrews practice Genocide. When Abraham came, he brought this concept of a one only God to the people. Everyone listened to Abraham, and Abraham would say what God wanted upon them. Eventually the Genocide stopped.
 
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  • #11
Gokul43201
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Well, aren't there statues/paintings of Jesus in churches ?

This is just another example of misplaced ideology. Why still fight an ancient Christian crusade against pagan rituals - it's not relevant anymore. Moreover, it's stupid and ignorant !

No one is saying that the statue is God ! And who are you to tell people of other religions that they just "made up those statues, and decided to call them God". They could say the same about Christianity. Stop bashing other religions, for Heaven's sake ! Do you see other religions make it a prime objective to denounce the Bible.

Do unto others...brothers !

Bah, what a waste...anyways, just letting off some steam.

Please remove this if it is inappropriate.
 
  • #12
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Gokul43201 said:
Well, aren't there statues/paintings of Jesus in churches ?

This is just another example of misplaced ideology. Why still fight an ancient Christian crusade against pagan rituals - it's not relevant anymore. Moreover, it's stupid and ignorant !

No one is saying that the statue is God ! And who are you to tell people of other religions that they just "made up those statues, and decided to call them God". They could say the same about Christianity. Stop bashing other religions, for Heaven's sake ! Do you see other religions make it a prime objective to denounce the Bible.

Do unto others...brothers !

Bah, what a waste...anyways, just letting off some steam.

Please remove this if it is inappropriate.

If you ever heard of Ancient Egypt, they Idolized Statues and made them Gods. In there tombs, they would draw descriptions of there Gods. I'm just giving an example of an Ancient Civlization in the past. Im not bashing Catholics or any other religion. I don't think people worship statues today anymore. I'm not saying Catholics worship the Virgin Mary Statue.

I was only giving an example of the Civilization seeking a purpose and way to live, by establishing a God or Gods.

I think religion is an important concept in the World, yet dangerous but understanding. If we didn't have religion, people would be chaotic. There are so many people out there that have gotten help through religion. Because of that, there not out on a killing spree. However, some people take religion a little too far, and thats where it gets dangerous. That's when you have people enforcing religious ideas on you out of anger against what you think. An Example would be Islamic Extremist, particularly Al Qaeda Terrorist who claim this war is a Holy War.
 
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  • #13
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So you think everybody just killed and stole from each other before the Ten Commandments?

His saying that the US and the people who founded it where deeply effected by the Bible. Which is true.
 
  • #14
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zeronem said:
If you ever heard of Ancient Egypt, they Idolized Statues and made them Gods.

They did not make Gods of their statues. They made statues of their Gods. Just as Christianity does.
 
  • #15
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Just as Christianity does.

Not all Christians! Some Christians (like myself) actually follow the second commandment (don't make idols).
 
  • #16
loseyourname
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Entropy said:
His saying that the US and the people who founded it where deeply effected by the Bible. Which is true.

Maybe I took it the wrong way, but he seemed to be moving in the direction of saying that all sentiment against murder and theft stems from the Ten Commandments. I think it's pretty clear that it's the other way around. The Commandments included these stipulations because of pre-existing moral sentiments.
 
  • #17
loseyourname
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Of course, what I'm getting at ultimately is that I don't see much importance in the influence the Commandments had on US law. The only two that were codified were the laws against murder and theft, and these are found in pretty much every tradition out there, not just in Christian ethics. In fact, the Commandments that are uniquely Christian (such as those against idolatry and thought crimes) were not codified as US law.
 

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