By Kerry Tomasi
If the recent flap over the granite monument in Alabama reveals
anything, it's that a vast majority of US citizens - anywhere
from 70-80% in recent polls - support having the Ten Commandments
prominently displayed in government buildings. The message
'we the people' appear to be sending is this: the "Ten Commandments"
is the rock on which our constitutional form of government
was founded, and must be acknowledged and honored as such.
In light of this outpouring of support, and the level of
fervor expressed, we have to presume that the next step for
our elected officials is to incorporate all of these commandments
into our civil laws, and enforce them properly.
Let's take a look at the "Ten" (Exod.20:1-17) and see how
this might be accomplished.
We can also consult the Bible to determine what punishments
would be warranted for violations. After all, who better than
God Himself to guide us in these matters.
1. "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me"
Since this specifically refers to Yahweh, the Hebrew deity,
we'll need to do a little tinkering with the First Amendment
to enforce this, like getting rid of that entire "freedom
of religion" concept. Punishment for offenders? We can ascertain
what God would want in Deut.13:6-10 and 17:2-6. Punishment
would have to be death.
2. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven..., in earth...,
or in water: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor
serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting
the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third
and fourth generation of them that hate me"
This one's a little more complicated. It appears that all
art, sculpture, even photography may have to cease. A lot
of details to be worked out here. I'm not even sure if replicas
of the Commandments would be legal. Might have to use audio.
As for the latter part - punish the children up to the fourth
generation - records will need to be kept. (This principle
worked quite well in the Middle Ages and during the Inquisitions,
whereby suspected "heretics" were tried and convicted
long after their death, enabling the Church/government to
seize land and property from their descendants.)
3. "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy
God in vain"
A council - something like a modern "ecclesiastic tribunal"-
could be established to determine what actions would be deemed
blasphemous under this law. Fraudulent faith healing, political
religious pandering, and all the self-serving repetitive "Thank
the Lord" blather going on in sports these days could be precisely
the type of things God had in mind. Any perceived blasphemy
or cursing the name of the Lord would be punished by death.
4. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. ...in
it thou shalt not do any work"
Self-explanatory. Do not mow your lawn, mend the fence,
vacuum the house, or do the dishes on the Sabbath. We will
need to clarify which day it actually is. The Bible says it's
Saturday, but Christians observe Sunday. We could utilize
the "Ecclesiastic Tribunal" to settle this issue before we
begin enforcement. Violations - death. See Exod.31:14-15.
5. "Honour thy father and thy mother"
Clear enough. Punishment for violations - death. See Deut.21:18-21
6. "Thou shalt not kill."
This appears to be pretty straightforward, but if we look
at the context in which this command was issued, we may want
to clarify it somewhat before we write the statute. While
under this law Moses, Joshua and the rest of the "chosen"
killed millions of men, women, children and infants - nearly
everyone they came in contact with (Num.31:7-18; Deut.2:34,
3:3-6, 20:13-17; Josh.6:21, 8:25-26, 10:28-41, 11:8-22; 1
Sam.15:3-8). So we must assume that a civil statute might
more accurately read - "Thou shalt not kill, unless directed
to by a religious leader who has spoken with God." The
penalty for killing (except in the name of God) is... well...
7. "Thou shalt not commit adultery"
It's important to understand what God is referring to here.
According to Mark 10:11-12, Jesus clearly states that anyone
who divorces and remarries, or marries a divorced person "committeth
Since the penalty for this crime in Lev.20:10-12 is death,
enforcement of this law will obviously be rather detrimental
to millions of families. But what choice have we? We can't
just arbitrarily ignore such explicit biblical teachings.
8. "Thou shalt not steal"
Here's one for the liberals. According to Exod.22:4 restitution
double the value of the theft is all that's required. No imprisonment,
banishment, or stoning. At least we'll be able to free up
a lot of jail space for those awaiting execution for other
9. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy
Simply put - no lying or engaging in deception. Interestingly
enough, I can find no clear punishment for lying or bearing
false witness in the Bible. In fact, a whole bunch of it goes
on in there by some of the leading characters. Maybe that's
why so much of it is going on among today's leading characters.
10. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house,
...wife, ...manservant, ...maidservant, ...ox, ...ass, ...nor
anything that is thy neighbours"
Again, the "Ecclesiastic Tribunal" could determine which
thoughts or actions would be declared covetous under this
law. Certainly all advertising trying to entice one to buy
something or be like someone else will need to be banned.
Improved lie detector technology would be extremely valuable
in ferreting out lawbreakers.
The Bible's a little ambiguous about the punishment for
covetousness, although in Josh.7:21-25, Achan - along with
his sons, daughters, oxen, asses, sheep, and tent - were stoned
and burned because he had "coveted" a garment, some gold and
silver, and hid them. Also Mk.7:22 lists covetousness with
adultery, murder, and blasphemy, so we should be able to come
up with an appropriate punishment that would be in line here
In summary, once we get the Ten Commandment replicas (or
audio version) posted throughout the land, integrate them
into our civil laws with the corresponding penalties for violations,
and rid ourselves - once and for all - of all this 'lawlessness',
we should finally be able to get what's left of this country
back on a strong biblical footing with objective moral values.
Just as the Founding Fathers envisioned!
After all, isn't that what freedom and liberty are all about?