Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ten Commandmants

Another controversy has arisen over the display of the Ten Commandments in a courtroom. This time it is from Ohio, and one unusual twist is that the judge who occupies that courtroom designed a display that uses the Ten Commandments. He makes a comparison between absolute laws, such as the Commandments, and relative laws. That could be interesting, but I haven't seen it personally and it is not the point of this post.

In the first place, it does indeed sound like this particular is not a statement that would be endorsed by or displayed in most churches. So it may be hard to call it a religious display, as in establishing a church or even endorsing a particular religion. But even that is not my main point.

Many people claim that the founders based our laws and Constitution on the Ten Commandments. And there are statements by the founders that support such a view. Some are covered in this blog. There are also many who way that such is not the case, and they have quotes to support their view.

One of those views is bound to be right. Either the founders did or did not base our laws on the Ten Commandments. If they somewhat based the law on the Commandments, that would support the "yes" side and validate displays of the Commandments almost anywhere.

Let's pretend for a minute that the founders really did base the law on the Ten Commandments. That could be compatible with the fact that they are displayed on and in the Supreme Court building. IF this is true, and given the words of our First Amendment and decisions of our Supreme Court, would a Ten Commandments display in a courtroom still be unconstitutional? Logic would say "no." So should not their constitutionality be based on the words of the Constitution? That is our controlling document and it was written in a way that was intended to be understood by any reasonably educated citizen.

Read more about this particular controversy here:

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