Conflict Between the Ten Commandments and the Constitution and the People who Think the Two Can Be Appealed to for Public Policy
I’m supposed to be working on a paper but what I heard got me so worked up, I had to write something about it. NPR was broadcasting a debate between contestants in the Texas senatorial election. Every idiot ended their speech with the same idiotic claim, that they promise to uphold the Constitution and the 10 Commandments as the guiding documents for their policies. If these morons want to follow the 10 Commandments in their personal life, fine. But don’t get up on the pulpit and say you’re going to use it as guidance for your public policy decisions.
Reason #1 why they are idiots: If they actually read the gotdam Constitution they’d see right there in the 1st Amendment there is a prohibition against government enacting any law regarding the establishment of religion. By the rules of the Constitution they are prohibited from enacting many parts of the 10 Commandments.
Reason #2 why they are idiots: Just like 90% of “Christians” I’ve met, I’ll bet they can’t even name the 10 Commandments or even know that there were TWO lists of 10 Commandments given to Moses. So, lets look at some of the things they will appeal to for their policies:
1st Commandment: Thou shalt have no gods before me. You’re going to make this public policy? How the fuck does this fit with the establishment clause? What about freedom to worship as people please? Idiots.
2nd Commandment: Thou shalt not make thee any graven images…blah blah blah. What the fuck. So are they going to make policies that ban art? What about freedom of expression? And if someone wants to worship a statue, that’s protected by freedom of religious expression. Idiots.
3rd Commandment: Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain. Hello? Freedom of speech? Idiots.
4th Commandment: Keep the Sabbath–even your manservant and maid. Oh, so now all businesses have to shut down on Sunday? I’d like to see a Republican put forward an anti-commerce law. Idiots.
5th Commandment: Honor they father and mother. What the fuck are you going to do to people who don’t? Send them to jail? What about people whose parents are cretins? Are people obligated to honor those who don’t deserve it? Idiots.
6th Commandment: Thou shalt not kill. Oh! This one’s good. Such wisdom does the bible have! No other society could ever have or ever has figured out this is a good rule. Idiots. Oh, and by the by, in the bible this statement is left unqualified. So, I guess that means you Texas Republicans will be repealing capital punishment. I look forward to seeing that legislation. Idiots.
7th Commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery. Or what? What happened to your ideas of curtailing the powers of government. So, now government’s going to get involved when people cheat on their partners? Is that what you’re saying? Idiots. Oh, and what’s the punishment going to be? Public stoning? Idiots.
8th Commandment: Thou shalt not steal. Once again, the wisdom of the bible overwhelms me. How deep and profound is this rule! Surely, no other tradition or society could have come up with a rule so sublime! There’s already a rule against stealing, we don’t need the bible for that. Idiots.
9th Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness. (See 6 and 8). Idiots.
10th Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, wife, ox, etc… I see, so you’re going to be introducing thought crime. How? Make it a law that when I have thoughts about wanting my neighbor’s ox, I go to jail? I’d like to see you enforce it. Idiots.
So, would someone please tell me how it is possible to simultaneously uphold both documents when creating public policy? Answer: you can’t. So all you idiot politicians stop pandering to the Christian right. If you think the 10 Commandments are the more important, that’s fine, go run for a committee at a church, but keep that crap out government if you value the Constitution (as you say you do).
What the conclusion? When these idiots say that their policies will be guided by the ten Commandments, they mean “I will violate the establishment clause and legislate my particular version of Christianity as the State religion”. When they say their policies will be guided by the Constitution, they mean, “I will interpret the 2nd Amendment out of its context to allow easy access to guns”. It’s clear that’s the only part they’re ever read. Idiots.
Ok, I feel a bit better now.
3 thoughts on “Rant: Conflict Between the Ten Commandments and the Constitution”
I want to start by stating that I am a practicing Christian and have strong beliefs about what is contained within Biblical scripture and a strong faith in God. I do agree with several of your points and disagree with others. There are inherent contradictions in the two documents and both are great in my opinion. However in theory the 10 commandments are technically not a part of the Christian faith quite simply, the Bible shows that Mosaic Law ended with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Followers of Christ are not under the Law of Moses: \”He did away with the law of the commandments in regulations\” (Eph.2:15), and to this can also be added the fact that Gentiles do not have to follow the Law of Moses: \”I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?\” (Gal.2:14). It is manifestly bizarre that people calling themselves Biblical Christians make a point of preaching the absolute opposite of strong and clear Biblical statements. (http://christianspiritualism.org/articles/lawrepeal.htm) (I took this from the website for it stated what I wanted to say when I was looking for the scripture reference.) So a big problem is the inaccuracy or lack of actual Biblical knowledge of many politicians who are simply pandering for votes. So please don’t associate true biblical belief with the republicans for the majority of African Americans in this country are Baptist, and many Latin Americans are Roman Catholic and are large percentages of both are democrats. I will however give you the fact that many white people who think that they are Christian tend to be republican. Another point, the Roman Catholic faith tends to follow Canon Law not biblical scripture which actually tells man not to follow man made laws (which Canon law is) but that of the scripture (Read Acts 5).Ami now go read Read Romans 13:1-7 you will find in this scripture many other contradictions that supposed Evangelical Christian republicans fail to observe in their political beliefs. Especially the taxes thing. I honestly can say that I am not Republican nor Democrat as neither party represents my beliefs well. I vote for good policy that helps this country (I became a citizen in August of 2011) and agree that government should not be run by religion for this leads to lack of free will. (Free will is a major factor in true discipleship of the Lord) To say only republicans spew forth idiotic statements is an obvious overstatement but it you are such a strong believer in the constitution and anti Christian (an assumption from the writings and something that I can honestly say saddens my heart if it is true) I am surprised that you even acknowledge the constitution for what it is. For you are correct about the division of church and state (I agree with this, as imposing religion on people is also contradictory to the Bible as one of God’s major wants for us is for us to love Him of free will. Now go to the very end of the document that starts with separation of church and state and then read the date. It states “In the year of our Lord” does this not create a major contradiction in the constitution and thus invalidate it, especially to those who are opposed to God? HMMMI too am aware that these thoughts are rambling. Just some food for thought.Rob HEselton
Rob,Thank you for taking the time to make your thoughtful comments. I'm supposed to be working on my term papers right now but I will make a few brief replies. The first is that, at least in US and A, the more fundamentalist a church is, the more weight they give to the old testament. as someone with no horse in the race, i find amusing the accusations from all strands of christianity that THEY (ie. christians with an interpretation different from our own) are not TRUE christians. The fundis are saying the same of you. To me this point to the inherent logical incoherence of the bible. you can find passages to support any view you please, which is what people do. in logic we say, from a contradiction you can derive anything. the normal course of human reasoning, in most human endeavors, is contrary to what we think we do. We begin with the conclusion and look for supporting evidence while rejecting contradictory evidence. this is exactly what most christian sects do when they appeal to the bible. they already have their opinion, then they mine the bible for supporting evidence. but as i have said, in a text full of contradictions, any opinion can be supported: and that's what we observe.For example, consider your claim that the bible annuls old testament law (which is odd because if god's perfect, why didn't he do it right the first time?). There are just as many, if not more and more credible (from Jesus himself) passages suggesting this is NOT the case. Consider the following passages: “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV). And \”Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.\” (Matthew 5:17 NAB). Finally, the fact that a conventional dating technique of the time was used on the constitution tells us nothing except that was the dating convention at the time.Finally, i will say that most religious scholars are in unanimous agreement with you on the necessary separation of church and state because matter of conscience cannot be legislated. In this we agree!
I should also point out that all of the candidates i heard on the show were republican. my ire is directed at them specifically but i'm happy to extend it more generally at anyone who thinks the 10 commandments should be part of national or state legislation.