By a vote of 91-0, the Louisiana state House approved the erection of a giant Ten Commandments monument on the State Capitol grounds. Sponsored by Democratic Representative Patrick Williams, the monument is ostensibly intended to be a tribute to American history, not religion.
“The significance is historical,” he told Reuters. “Our laws are based on the Ten Commandments. In fact, without them, a lot of our laws would not exist.” (LINK)
With all due respect, any student of law — or for that matter, anyone who passed High School Civics Class — ought to be calling bullshit. Loud, resounding, smelly, stinky, putrid BULLSHIT! This statement is a pile of bullshit taller than the monument it’s supposed to justify. It has maggots crawling around in it. It’s BULLSHIT. BULLSHIT. BULLSHIT. Nothing more, nothing less. IT IS BULLSHIT.
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me. This is as blatantly unconstitutional as it can get. Regardless of whether the founding fathers were deists, Christians, or atheists, they were in clear agreement that the U.S. would be a place where one could worship any or no gods without fear of government retribution.
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. What… you mean like this?
- Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain. Um… we will if we feel like it, goddammit! There’s no law, and no constitutional justification for any law making libel or slander against a deity illegal.
- Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Nice thought. So, I expect we’ll be seeing concurrent legislation making it illegal for Walmart to open on Sundays (or is it Saturday?). Right? Didn’t think so.
- Honour thy father and thy mother. Again, it’s a nice thought. But it’s not part of our constitution. In fact, we have a government sponsored agency whose job is to determine when children need to be taken from their parents and placed in foster care.
- Thou shalt not kill. We needed a dictate from God to figure this one out? It’s part of every legal code in the world. (And let’s not forget that God himself is not very good at keeping this one.)
- Thou shalt not commit adultery. Nobody’s recommending it, but the police aren’t going to knock down your door over it. This is a matter for civil courts. It’s not illegal.
- Thou shalt not steal. God’s on a roll. He’s found two things so far that are in lawbooks everywhere in the world. What a genius!
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. These days we call it perjury, and guess what… It’s in every lawbook in the world.
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. This is probably the most ridiculous of the ten. To “covet” basically means to want it really bad. And there’s obviously no law against wanting stuff your neighbor owns. Are we going to get the thought police out to enforce this one?
No. Representative Williams, you are full of shit. Either that, or you are completely incapable of serving as a State Representative due to your lack of basic knowledge of American Law. There are exactly THREE laws in America based on the Ten Commandments. Stealing, Killing, and Perjury. That’s it. Every other commandment in the Ten is specifically and emphatically CONTRADICTED by the U.S. Constitution.
It is time to stop letting lawmakers get away with justifying the Ten Commandments as history or the foundation of American Law. If we’re going to erect a statue of the Ten Commandments, let’s also fly the Confederate Flag. Let’s commemorate David Duke. Let’s have a statue of a cloaked KKK member burning a cross. These are all historical. And if we’re going to talk about the foundations of American Law, where’s our French Flag?
OK, maybe not a French Flag. But the Enlightenment ideals which informed the American Revolution were the same as those that fueled the destruction of the estates in France. And the Enlightenment was a specific response to the ABUSES OF RELIGION. Such as… for instance… the church legislating itself into power all across Europe.
So enough with the bullshit history, please. And enough with the claim that Ten Commandments statues are not about religion.