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10 Commandments in court?

Should the 10 commandments be allowed in court?

  • Absolutely! It reflects our history and way of life.

    Votes: 11 42.3%
  • Absolutely NOT! There is a seperation of Church and State.

    Votes: 14 53.8%
  • It's ok as long as it is not paid for by the peoples taxes, and donated.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I really do not care.

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • Opinion not available [Please post]

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    26

Schweddy

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Source: CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Whether the Ten Commandments can be displayed on government property goes before the Supreme Court Wednesday, in a pair of potentially landmark cases that test religion's cultural and legal status in American society.
The justices will consider whether displaying the ancient text represents state endorsement of religion, or simply recognizes and reflects the role that code has played in U.S. moral and legal traditions.

The Decalogue, as it is also known, forms a pillar of belief in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

"These are cases courts like the least; they stir raw emotions," said Charles Haynes, a religious liberty expert at the First Amendment Center. "Whatever they decide will be misunderstood; I don't think any side will be happy with the result. Even the winning side loses because of the deep divisions that will result."

Two cases will be heard, one from Texas, the other from Kentucky. Federal and state courts have been at odds for years over the issue, which gives the high court an opportunity to issue a definitive ruling.

In the Kentucky case, two county executives separately posted copies of the King James version of the Ten Commandments on the walls of their courthouses.

They were displayed among 11 frames of privately donated historical documents and symbols that helped form the basis of American law and government, including the Declaration of Independence. All but the Ten Commandments were secular in nature.

The American Civil Liberties Union objected and won at the federal appeals level. The counties then asked the Supreme Court to intervene.
 

ShamMol

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Well, since I am posting first, I know whatever I say will get attacked, so here it goes.

The forefathers, no matter their religion, did realize that there should be a seperation between Church and State. While some believe that the Constitution was based partly on the Commandments, it is a falsehood to say that the constitution is derived from it. The Constitution was derived fromt the liberal political teachings that were coming out of Europe at the time and also the philosophy of Locke in particular. The basis for many of the laws can be found in the Commandments, but it is logical that the lawmakers also just think that most of those things are wrong anyways.

So, basically, no, they should not be placed in the court of law, where law is law, derived from the matinence of stability, the matinence of the status quo, and the enforcement of the laws. It is not a place to preach to those who don't want to hear it, and it is further unfair to those religions who do not believe in the Commandments (Hindu, Budhist, etc.). It would be the equivilant of state-sponsored religion because it would acknowledge that we hold that above all else.

Now, there was one example where one court wanted to have display of all the sources of our laws...everything from the Commandments to Hammaratis Code to Old English Law to you name it, and frankly to me, that is the more acceptable option if one really needs to display the Commandements, because at the very least, this shows all of the influences on our law today...but just because it is the lesser of two evils does not make it acceptable to me.

Bash away.
 

pwo

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OK Shamol, Here I go,
First off, the bill of rights says nothing about separation of church and state. it says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof​

In these cases there is no law stating that these courthouses must have up the ten comandments, they do so because they chose to. They souldn't use tax money to post it up, but it's not like it is a statue that we are talking about. How much does it cost to have someone xerox the ten comandments them buy a nice frame to put it up? I'm sure that they could get plenty of private donations.

The supreme court decided that it was okay for state legislatures to pray before they go in session. They decided this because the legislators were old enough not to be influenced by others religion. It is the same for the court, except for juvenile everyone that goes into court is old enough to make the decision for themselves. Just because it is there doesn't mean that you have to bow to it and worship.

And what about the status quo. The status quo is also known as common law which is law based on past traditions that have been pased down throught the centuries. For ex.: we all know that killing a person is not legal.
Much of what is common law is derived from the ten commandmets and other past legal documents.

The ten commandments are almost as much a part of american tradition as they are a part of christianity, judaism, or islam. And those religions have to make up for about 85% of the US population. The ten commandment don't hurt anyone or establish any religion. Keep 'em on the wall.
 

shuamort

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pwo said:
In these cases there is no law stating that these courthouses must have up the ten comandments, they do so because they chose to. They souldn't use tax money to post it up, but it's not like it is a statue that we are talking about. How much does it cost to have someone xerox the ten comandments them buy a nice frame to put it up? I'm sure that they could get plenty of private donations.
Sidenote:
In the recent fracas in Alabama, the state's Chief Justice Roy "The Ten Commandments Judge" Moore erected a statue of the Commandments in the rotunda. This, in and of itself wasn't determined to be illegal. However, Moore's insistance that no other objects/signs/statues from other religions/beliefs be allowed in the rotunda is what got him in hot water. It was the insistance on exclusivity and not demonstration that was illegal.

pwo said:
The supreme court decided that it was okay for state legislatures to pray before they go in session. They decided this because the legislators were old enough not to be influenced by others religion. It is the same for the court, except for juvenile everyone that goes into court is old enough to make the decision for themselves. Just because it is there doesn't mean that you have to bow to it and worship.
Are you talking about Marsh V Chambers? That was interesting SCOTUS decision that stated that it was constitutional for the Nebraska State legislature to pay a chaplain to perform a prayer at the beginning of each session. It wasn't decided based on church v. state, but more to the fact that this was an entrenched tradition since near the beginnings of the country.
pwo said:
And what about the status quo. The status quo is also known as common law which is law based on past traditions that have been pased down throught the centuries. For ex.: we all know that killing a person is not legal.
Much of what is common law is derived from the ten commandmets and other past legal documents.
The problem inherent with the Ten Commandments is that they don't necessarily reflect laws that the United States holds true. Murdering a person is illegal, but what about if they're entering your house about to cause you harm, killing that person has been determined to be legal. Even if it does go against one of the Commandments. As far as I know, there aren't any laws on worshipping a false idol either.
pwo said:
The ten commandments are almost as much a part of american tradition as they are a part of christianity, judaism, or islam. And those religions have to make up for about 85% of the US population. The ten commandment don't hurt anyone or establish any religion. Keep 'em on the wall.
On the frieze of the Supreme Court is etched the history of lawmakers. Included in this frieze is Moses with the Ten Commandments. Also on the frieze are Confucius, Solon, and of course, The Tortoise and the Hare.
 
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Here's something for all you Jesus-loving bible thumpers! The "ten commandments" (from Exodus 20) with which you want to defile our courtrooms are not the ones that your god wrote on the stone tablets.

The following are the real Ten Commandments from Exodus 34:14-26 (RSV). This is what the god of the Hebrews wrote on the stone tablets (see also Exodus 34:1):


1: For you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they play the harlot after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and one invites you, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters play the harlot after their gods and make your sons play the harlot after their gods.
2: "You shall make for yourself no molten gods.
3: "The feast of unleavened bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib; for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt. All that opens the womb is mine, all your male cattle, the firstlings of cow and sheep. The firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the first-born of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.
4: "Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.
5: And you shall observe the feast of weeks, the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
6: Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel. For I will cast out nations before you, and enlarge your borders; neither shall any man desire your land, when you go up to appear before the LORD your God three times in the year.
7: "You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven;
8: neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left until the morning.
9: The first of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the LORD your God.
10: You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk."


Boiling a calf in its mother's milk... hmmm... really relevant. And this is what you people say our country's laws is based on?

Okay, Sebastian, fire away!
 

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God of Jews, God of Christians, what's the difference?
My ten commandments are in Exodus 20.

You really didn't give any reason saying why they shouldn't be allowed.

Shuamort,
We aren't talking about a statue of the ten commandments because I'm not sure if that should be allowed. As for Marsh v. Chambers this is what my book The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide, says:

"The Court noted the historical roots of prayers in legislative bodies and distinguished between schoolchildren and legislators, who are not "susceptible to religious indoctrination or peer pressure""

So, I guess we are both right about the case.

Our laws do have a religious back ground, like it or not. As for self defense killing, people don't even get let off easy for that anymore, you have to prove that it was the only thing to do to save yourself. What about thou shall not steal?
 

shuamort

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Here's what Oyez said about Marsh v Chambers:

Question Presented
Does the chaplaincy practice of the Nebraska legislature violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?


Conclusion
In a 6-to-3 decision, the Court upheld the chaplaincy practice. In his opinion for the Court, Chief Justice Warren Burger abandoned the three-part test of Lemon v. Kurtzman, which had been the touchstone for cases involving the Establishment Clause. In its place, Burger rested the Court's opinion on historical custom. Prayers by tax-supported legislative chaplains could be traced to the First Continental Congress and to the First Congress that framed the Bill of Rights. As a consequence, the chaplaincy practice had become "part of the fabric of our society." In such circumstances, an invocation for Divine guidance is not an establishment of religion. "It is," wrote Burger, "simply a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country."
And here's the full opinion, the part that I find really germane is this:
No more is Nebraska's practice of over a century, consistent with two centuries of national practice, to be cast aside. It can hardly be thought that in the same week Members of the First Congress voted to appoint and to pay a chaplain for each House and also voted to approve the draft of the First Amendment for submission to the states, they intended the Establishment Clause of the Amendment to forbid what they had just declared acceptable. In applying the First Amendment to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940), it would be incongruous to interpret that Clause as imposing more stringent [463 U.S. 783, 791] First Amendment limits on the states than the draftsmen imposed on the Federal Government.

This unique history leads us to accept the interpretation of the First Amendment draftsmen who saw no real threat to the Establishment Clause arising from a practice of prayer similar to that now challenged. We conclude that legislative prayer presents no more potential for establishment than the provision of school transportation, Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947), beneficial grants for higher education, Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672 (1971), or tax exemptions for religious organizations, Walz, supra.
As for self defense killing, people don't even get let off easy for that anymore, you have to prove that it was the only thing to do to save yourself. What about thou shall not steal?
OK, then we can just say the death penalty could be construed to go against the Ten Commandments directly (and out of context too). Stealing is definitely against the law (and I can't think of any exceptions that are really germane). But then some of these Commandments don't really fit:

3. Remember thou keep the Sabbath Day or . You shall not make for yourself a graven image. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.2. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.1. Thou shalt worship no other god (For the Lord is a jealous god).3. The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep in the month when the ear is on the corn.4. All the first-born are mine 1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.7. You shall not commit adultery.

It's not to say that the Ten Commandments have their validity in some circumstances, it's just saying that for them to be relevant, we have to cherry pick some of them out of the bin.
 

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Are banks and post offices open on Sundays? No, so I guess that gov't follows that one too. And adultry might not be illigal but the courts allow divorce over it.

Come on, we can't just have like six commandments posted up in a court room. That would just look stupid. Also, it's not just the actual commandments, it is also about the meaning behind them: We have rules that we must follow.
 

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pwo said:
Come on, we can't just have like six commandments posted up in a court room. That would just look stupid. Also, it's not just the actual commandments, it is also about the meaning behind them: We have rules that we must follow.
One could then argue that that would be better accomplished with the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
 

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Most courts probably do have the bill of rights and the constitution put up. I know most schools do.
 

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Absolutely not! The First Commandment says:

"You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."

It's pretty clear that God didn't want the Ten Commandments up on the courthouse wall, or anywhere else. Ditto any religious iconography, like nativity scenes and crucifixes. They're all in violation of God's will!!!
 

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Are the commandments a graven image of something in heaven? No, they are from something God made on Earth. Come on, you think god doesn't want any crucifixes or nativity scences. What about bible's are those okay?
 

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pwo said:
Are the commandments a graven image of something in heaven? No, they are from something God made on Earth. Come on, you think god doesn't want any crucifixes or nativity scences. What about bible's are those okay?
You forgot the rest of the Commandment: "...or that is on the Earth beneath."

There should be no bibles or religious iconography of any kind, anywhere, because we should be worshiping God, not bric-a-brac.
 

ShamMol

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argexpat said:
You forgot the rest of the Commandment: "...or that is on the Earth beneath."

There should be no bibles or religious iconography of any kind, anywhere, because we should be worshiping God, not bric-a-brac.
that and something called the constitution...but meh, whatever.
 

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Do you believe the ten commandments are good things to base morals off of? What else will we use instead?
 

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satinloveslibs said:
Do you believe the ten commandments are good things to base morals off of? What else will we use instead?
The ten commandments do have some moral credence that could be afforded to them. They also have a limited religious scope in their contents as well. Morality has been debated before and after them. As such, our morals and mores are an amalgam of religion, philosophy, and culture. Acknowledging this as well as other things is fine, but the 10 Commandments are not the end all be all of morality. If they were, would you have needed Jesus' teachings or the New Testament at all?
 

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Keep the sabbath holy. The Sabbath was saturday in the old testament. Today, that's when people go out and party.

Thou shalt not covet - Coveting is good for the economy.

Thou shalt not kill - And yet war is okay. And yet the very court these things are out in front of still sentence people to death.

Personally, I'm not a christian, but I don't mind one way or the other about the commandments being out there, but as long as we can all concede that we don't care about all of the commandments, I think it concedes that none of them matter.
 

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argexpat said:
You forgot the rest of the Commandment: "...or that is on the Earth beneath."

There should be no bibles or religious iconography of any kind, anywhere, because we should be worshiping God, not bric-a-brac.
You, of course, are entitled to hold any opinion you wish. However, if you are interested in knowing the Catholic teaching with respect to the First Commandment, look here: http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s2c1a1.htm
 
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