Why are they so important to our nation?
Concerning the Ten Commandments in courthouses and legislatures, you cannot post ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal,’ ‘Thou shalt no bear false witness against thy neighbor,’ and ‘Thou Shall Not Lie’ in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians. It seems to create dissention. Yet there are laws in our courts to prosecute offenders of these commandments.
Have our laws been changed so much that there is no room left for a Christian Nation to exist? There are more court battles in the last few years concerning the 10 commandments in the US than has ever been in our history. Let’s look at the 10 commandments and see why they are so hated and yet so loved by Americans.
About the Ten Commandments:
This article deals with the Ten Commandments (Decalogue) which appears in three separate locations in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). These have historically been accepted byJudaism, and Judeo Christianity as a summary of the most important rules of behavior that God expects of humanity.
There is considerable debate in the U.S. whether the Decalogue should be posted in public schools, public parks, government offices, etc, and under which circumstances posting is constitutional.
What are the 10 Commandments?
The Ten Commandments (Decalog) are a listing of some of the most important behavioral rules in the Hebrew Scriptures ( Old Testament). Within Judaism, they have historically been accepted as a summary of the most important ten rules of behavior which God expects his people to live by.
The Torah records that God gave the Decalogue to Moses on Mount Sinai, inscribed on stone tablets, and intended for the guidance of God’s chosen people. They form a small but vital part of the total of 613 laws in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Within Christianity, the Decalogue has traditionally been regarded as the foundational laws that all Christians conform to. Most Christians continue to hold them in high regard.
The term “Decalogue” or “Decalog” is derived from the Middle English “decaloge” which comes from the Latin “decalogus,” which in turn originates from the Greek “dekalogus.” “Deka” in Greek means “ten”. The Ten Commandments are a brief summary of certain basic rules of behavior.
They do not specifically address some of the most active of today’s moral controversies, such as abortion,corporal punishment of children, the death penalty, equal rights for homosexuals, same-sex marriage,physician assisted suicide, pre-marital sex, etc. They are the basic commandments that were decided on in the Council of Jerusalem for Gentile believers to live by.
Although the old testament in the book of Dueteronomy lists other commandments that address moral behavior of issues listed above. There are three versions of the Decalogue mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). All are different. They are at Exodus 20:2-17, Exodus 34:12-26, and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. The version in Exodus 20 is by far the most commonly cited.
Depending upon how the Ten Commandments are interpreted, the Exodus 20 version contains a total of 19 to 25 separate instructions. These have been traditionally sorted into ten groups. Unfortunately, various faith groups sort them differently. This makes one believe that many denominations have selectively chosen the commandments of their preference, however these 10 commandments were chosen for us by the first church under the leadership of the Apostles of Jesus Christ for basic commands for righteousness. For further information on the Noahide laws set forth for Gentiles research the council of Jerusalem.
Perceptions about the 10 Commandments:
There is a gap between what the Ten Commandments actually state, and what the public perceives that they say. Most people incorrectly believe that all of the Commandments govern moral behavior in society: to not lie, steal, commit adultery, etc. In reality, the first four commandments are divine in nature and deals with your relationship with God. This is the part that is offensive to the followers of many other religions. Only the last six relate to moral behavior in society. So the real discomfort to people who want to see them gone have a rebellious nature toward God in general. Why should be change our nations foundational beliefs just so we can be tolerant of other’s hatred of God?
History of 10 Commandments on monuments in America:
After the 1948 world war and Israel becoming a sovereign nation the Fraternal Order of Eagles erected as many as 4,000 markers, statues, and monuments featuring the Ten Commandments in public parks, government buildings, etc. Some were involved in the promotion of the film, The Ten Commandments, in the early 50’s and were dedicated with Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner present. They played Moses and the Egyptian Pharaoh in the movie.
More importantly our Capital building is rich in the history of our faith as it still displays religious paintings of the signers of the declaration of independence praying before calling sessions to order. Of course there is the famous painting of Pocahontas being baptized.
Most all federal buildings had the 10 commandments on them, or a Moses statute or the symbol ‘In God We Trust’.
Legal Actions to remove these symbols:
There were occasional lawsuits filed prior to our present decade to force the removal of these monuments but nothing like we have seen in the last decade. In 2001. the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court order that a Ten Commandments monument in Elkhart, IN. be removed. It has since refused to hear similar cases.
Conflict escalated in 2002-NOV, when U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the presence of Chief Justice Moore’s Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama state courts building “constitutes government endorsement of religion.” He ordered that it be removed. This controversy cost this judge his seat in the court. He has since become a public speaker on the rights of Americans to reinstate our original constitution.
Since then, dozens of lawsuits have been launched across the U.S. Many have been launched by branches of the American Civil Liberties Union in different states, and by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. In 2005 a group of legislators wrote a bill calling for reinstatement of America’s religious values but it never went anywhere.
USA Today reported:
According to the Civil Liberties Union, “Monument opponents say that America’s increased [religious] tolerance by our government accounts for many of the lawsuits.”
“The religious motivation (of the monuments) was not as obvious when there weren’t as many religious minorities or people with no religion,” says the Rev. Barry Lynn, director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He added, “The lawsuits are occurring because [opponents] now feel they have a shot at winning. But the cases are a declaration that the monuments represent our history and way of life which is important, too.”
“The case Wednesday [2004-SEP-15] by a federal appeals court in St. Louis reflects the issues in many of the disputes. On one side, John Doe, an unidentified atheist and ACLU member in rural Nebraska, said the Ten Commandments monument in a park in the town of Plattsmouth ‘alienates’ him and makes him feel like a ‘second-class citizen,’ according to court papers. The monument — a 5-foot granite slab presented by the Eagles in 1965 — amounts to ‘Judeo-Christian’ religious instruction, Doe argues. Doe, who filed suit anonymously to try to avoid a backlash in the town of 6,800, has won in a lower court.”
The bottom line for the 10 commandments is they are a part of this nation’s foundational beliefs and Christians desire to return to the Godly foundations for our families that develop character and morals in the family and society. God blessed this nation due to the implementing of his truths, liberties and justice laid forth in the original constitution that has since been amended so many times that it is unrecognizable.
Our Supreme Court Justices have changed and amended those original laws instead of performing their duty to only interpret them. The 10 Commandments are this Nation’s foundational principles to govern the people. But it seems presidents use this power to appoint Justices for the purpose of bringing about their own agendas.
The 10 Commandments are part of the covenant that was established by the early church in Jerusalem and was taught by Jesus himself and they are covenant commands by which the nation of Israel live by as well and all that fall under the Abrahamic Covenant which we are partakers of through the blood of Christ.
Freedom to practice Christianity and the truths of God’s word without it being called a hate crime is critical to this nation and is our foundational belief system and rights which was based on the freedom that the shed blood of Jesus Christ gave to us on the cross, and our forefathers endorsed. No government can rule a free nation without Christ’s precepts. A nation that is not ruled by God will be ruled by tyrants, Thomas Jefferson.
Sources for content: USA Today, US Government public Records.com, Birmingham News, AP, Legislative Bills, House of Representatives, Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for separation of church and state
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