Monday, March 19, 2012

The Ten Commandments and the Constitution

     I have often heard it said that the Constitution of the United States is based upon the Ten Commandments, so I finally decided to check it for myself. I suggest that individuals who think this is the case should do the same. They may be in for a surprise.
     But for those who do not have the time or inclination to make such a comparison, I present the following:

      Commandment I - Thou shalt have no other gods before me. The only time God is mentioned in the Constitution is at the end of Article VII: Done in convention . . . in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven . . . In fact, Amendment I expressly forbids any mention of religion.

     Commandment II - Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. The Constitution is silent on this Commandment.

      Commandment III - Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain. The Constitution is silent on this Commandment.

      Commandment IV - Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. The Constitution is silent on this Commandment.

      Commandment V - Honour thy father and thy mother. The Constitution is silent on this Commandment, which is fortunate for every teen-ager in the Country.

      * Commandment VI - Thou shalt not kill. The Constitution is silent on this Commandment.

      * Commandment VII - Thou shalt not commit adultery. The Constitution is silent on this Commandment. I suppose the Founding Fathers thought that it might be difficult to find Congressmen who met this requirement.

      * Commandment VIII - Thou shalt not steal. The Constitution is silent on this Commandment.

      * Commandment IX - Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. The Constitution is silent on this Commandment.

     * Commandment X - Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house . . . nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. The Constitution is silent on this Commandment. Coveting thy neighbor's goods appears to be the basis of modern capitalism.

      * These Commandments were not unique to the Israelites – they were common in one form or another in many ancient tribes.

      The next time someone mentions that our Constitution is based on the Ten Commandments, ask him to prove it.
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     My books, “There Are Only Seven Jokes” and “The Spirit Runs Through It” are available in paperback, or at the Kindle Store.

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