The state of Alabama recently had to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments that stood in the rotunda of the state judicial building. A U.S. district judge decided that the display violated the “doctrine of separation of church and state”, which was never in the U.S. Constitution, but which courts have been trying to tell us the Founding Fathers really intended by the First Amendment.
This is just plain foolishness. If we had the Ten Commandments in every courthouse and classroom in the country, we’d all be a lot better off. Besides the three commandments directing us to worship God, avoid false gods and keep the Sabbath day holy, which make good sense to those of those who are believers, even non-believers can benefit from the other seven commandments. In fact, we need them now more than ever.
Just about everyone would agree that the morals and popular culture of this nation are in a sad state. We seem to have no guidelines to tell us what is right and what is wrong, and those who attempt to remind people of their moral obligations are laughed at and called extremists. The Ten Commandments provide a foundation for a moral code that served mankind well for thousands of years, and they have not become outdated. In fact, they are as basic to the health of our society as food and water are to our physical health. If you think we don’t need the Ten Commandments any more, here’s a brief review of some of them:
Thou Shalt Not Steal
This would have been a useful commandment for any number of corporate executives (think Enron) and inside traders who lined their own pockets at the expense of shareholders of their companies. What about politicians who accept bribes to favor one group or company over another, taking revenue away from those honest people who didn’t give the bribe? In our everyday lives, people think nothing of stealing office supplies from their employers, cheating on their taxes or overcharging people for worthless merchandise.
Thou Shalt Not Kill
Violence, especially among young people, is a growing problem. The recent incident in Las Vegas with the 311 Boyz gang illustrates that even well-to-do kids from stable families are affected by our culture, which glorifies violence in rap music, films and television.
Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness
While lying is certainly nothing new, it reached its peak with Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” speech. And then there was his double-talk at the impeachment hearings, when he said the answer depended on the definition of “what ‘is’ is.” It seems like lying is okay, as long as nobody finds out.
Honor Thy Father and Mother
Now that Baby Boomers’ parents are getting to the stage of life in which they need more care and medical attention, it becomes even more important to realize that it is the family’s responsibility to care for the elderly. There has been more and more pressure from seniors’ lobbies to have taxpayers pick up the tab for medical care for the elderly, even for those whose families could afford to help them. Rather than taxing everyone to pay for medical care for all seniors, let people keep the money they would be paying out in taxes – then they might have enough to pay for Grandpa’s prescriptions.
Thou Shalt Not Covet
Today’s materialistic culture places too much emphasis on accumulating empty symbols of wealth. People aren’t satisfied with what they can afford – they want (covet) all the things they see advertised. Everyone is expected to have a fancy car, a cell phone, designer clothes, a new house, etc. How are all these things purchased? With credit cards, which pile up a burden of debt that can follow the foolish consumer for the rest of his or her life. Or, after the debt becomes too much to handle, bankruptcy seems the only option, and everyone else’s credit card fees go up to compensate for the bad debts.
Thou Shalt Not Take God’s Name in Vain
What’s acceptable now for language, whether on the street or in the media, would have been considered obscene just a few years ago. It’s bad enough we have to carefully screen which movies we let our kids (even teenagers) watch because of the foul language, but now filthy words can be heard even on network television. It seems like once we get accustomed to hearing a curse word, its shock value wears off, so an even worse word or phrase takes its place. Enough, already!
Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery
“If it feels good, do it” seems to have replaced this commandment in the popular culture. We are bombarded with stories about celebrities having affairs, both heterosexual and homosexual, outside marriage, and no one expects spouses to make a lifelong commitment to each other anymore. Here’s another commandment that brings Bill Clinton to mind. What did his apologists say when the truth of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky finally came out? “Everybody cheats these days.” No, everybody doesn’t cheat. It just seems like it.
If we all paid closer attention to the Ten Commandments and applied them to our personal, business and political lives, think how much better off we’d be. It’s a sad day when the federal government decides it’s illegal to display a monument to God’s laws. However, the laws still apply. By ignoring them, we are gradually destroying our country’s future.