By Jeremy Fejfar, October 29, 2007
Recently the Tribune has run a couple of opinion letters that claim that the laws of United States of America were based on the Ten Commandments of the Bible. Let’s examine this claim.
“Worship no other Gods” – we are one of the only countries ever to protect our right to worship any or no Gods.
“Make no graven images” – we’re free to sculpt whatever we wish.
“Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain” – we have the right to free speech guaranteed by the first amendment.
“Keep the Sabbath day holy” – there are no laws prohibiting people from working any day of the week.
“Honor your parents” – there are no laws mandating the “honoring” of any person or deity.
“Don’t commit adultery” – there are no federal laws prohibiting infidelity.
“Don’t covet” – there are no laws against this behavior, which actually helps drive our economy.
Not only aren’t there any laws reflecting these commandments, some commandments are patently un-American.
This leaves: don’t kill, steal or perjure. Of course we have laws prohibiting these crimes. However, considering that these have been laws of every society, including those well before Moses, I’m skeptical of the claim of their biblical origin. By the way, there is no mention of God in the Constitution, and God wasn’t added to the pledge or to our money until 1954 and 1955, respectively.
The founders considered invoking God in the Constitution. The fact that they chose not to should speak volumes. Clearly the myth of a “Christian nation” lives on.