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Ten Commandments


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It's confusing. They ruled on two dispays, one is constitutional ( Cecil B. Damil's monument to the movie, "The 10 Commandments", which is outside the courthouse), the other is not, (a framed copy of the 10 inside, surrounded by other documents).

I still haven't figured out the why's & wherefores of their logic. And I'm not the only one who's confused. wink.gif

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Here' email that I received today:

Dear Friends of Freedom:

A commentator recently mocked the Ten Commandments stating that they are so simple that a child could have written them. But it is precisely their simplicity that indicates the unique genius of their Author. Even after thousands of years, those ten simple rules to live by have never been improved upon and have never been in need of amendment. They remain the most precious guidance for how to live our lives under the grace of God.

Supreme Court Decisions

Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided two cases about the state's display of the Ten Commandments. The first case involved a Ten Commandments monument errected by a private organization, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, as one of the 17 monuments on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol.

The second case involved a monument erected in a courthouse by a Kentucky county. The Kentucky monumet began as a monument soley to the Ten Commandments. It was then altered to be part of a display of documents emphasizing the Biblical foundations of the nation in which the Ten Commandments took pre-eminance. After litigation, it was once again altered, this time to a display that included the Ten Commandments in equal prominance to patriotic documents without direct religious meaning (e.g. the text of the Star Spangled Banner).

The Supreme Court decided that the Eagles' display does not violate the Constitution, but the courthouse display does.

The Court did not speak in unison either in its decisions (both decisions were split five justices to four), or in the appropriate analysis in coming to its conclusion. Some relied on what they perceived to be the primary purpose of the monument - was it primarilly erected to advance religion, or was there a secular purpose? Some relied on history - what kinds of recognition of God by the state have been accepted in the past and how do these relate to the monuments in question. Some relied on whether a person viewing the monument would get the impression that the state endorsed the religious views expressed in them.

So, after all the litigation and the media focus on the Ten Commandments controversy, where does that leave us? It appears that the Ten Commandments can be displayed on public property, but only if certain criteria are met. And who will decide when these rather imprecise criteria are met? The courts. So it is likely we'll have more Ten Commandments cases at the trial court level.

The Ten Today

Let's take a step away from the courts and consider God's Law today. It is not merely that society as a whole disregards God's Law, it is that even Christians disregard it, and in such a casual manner it hardly seems remarkable anymore. We break the Sabbath, we covet the same possesions that unbelievers covet, divorce is rife even within the church, we do nothing as the poor are exploited, and we remain silent as innocent human life is taken.

Polls indicate that Americans, by a wide margin, support the state's display of the Ten Commandments. For some of us, we take comfort in this. But something has gone sadly wrong. Not just in the "world" but also in the church. The Law of God is not a hammer to knock unbelievers. Rather, it is designed to bring us humbly to God's throne of grace for forgiveness and the new heart He promises to us. That is what each of us desperately needs. Thankfully, He is more than willing to give it to us.

May God bless you,

James Standish

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The Court ruled that one display had historic significance and the other didn't. One judge made the call. Eight of the judges voted the same way in both cases. One judge voted one way in one case and the other way in the other case. It is scary the power these courts have.

To me, the historic arguement is goofy. Either the Ten Commandments on governement property violates the establishment clause or it doesn't. By allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed on government property is the government establishing religion or simply respecting religion? That is my question. What difference does it make if there is historic value? If something violates the Constitution why should we care about its historic value?

I believe the Court wants to avoid completely ruling against the Commandments since the Court's own chambers has a carving of Moses holding them. I believe this is where they get their "hisotric" idea from. I just see it as respect for religion. If a local Budist temple wanted to donate a little budha statute for a park I wouldn't have a problem with that either. It would just show respect and not establish any religion.

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