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Author Topic: 10 Commandments to go on State Capitol  (Read 41069 times)
perspicuity85
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« on: May 08, 2009, 12:44:14 am »

From Tulsa World:
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=18&articleid=20090507_298_0_OKLAHO357706

Didn't like 5 other states in the deep south try to do this?

I am a Christian, okay, but this is a clear violation of church and state separation.
You want theocracy? Move to Afghanistan.

And, oh, I just can't wait for the national news media to get a hold of this.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2009, 09:29:09 am »

I'm going to fund a monument that has some other bible versus on it, since the bible inspired our laws:

"I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by...." Ezek. 20:25.


Or maybe some other divine laws?

"Then tell them, 'This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword I will send among you" (Jer. 25:27).  (we have laws on alcohol use)

"As I listened, god said to the others,'Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children...." (Ezek. 9:5-6).  (we have laws about not slaughtering non-combatants in combat)

"A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to the 10th generation shall he not enter...." (Deut. 23:2).  (we have laws against referring to children as bastards in Oklahoma, also we have laws against punishing children for the crimes of the parents)

"Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence of the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (Col. 3:22-24).  (we have laws against slavery)

Ex. 21:20-21 says, "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his    property."  (we have laws against beating people, and people can not be property)

'For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to
offer the food of his God. No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or
lame, disfigured or deformed; no man with a crippled foot or hand, or who is hunchbacked or
dwarfed, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged
testicles. No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present
the offerings made to the Lord by fire. He has a defect.... because of this defect, he must not
go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary...." (Lev. 21:16:23).   (The Americans with Disability Act says churches can't deny people because they "have a defect.")



Or are some divinely inspired laws better than others?  If so, how do we know we "based our laws" off of the good ones?  Did God come back down to the Oklahoma Legislature and let them in on the secret.  I'm concerned God is "testing" us.



I won't bother going into the ones that say we can't wear mixed fabrics, that different breeds of cattle can't pasture together, that women on their period have to stay home and men that sleep with their wives when they are "unpure" should be expelled from the community, the dietary laws, and on and on and on.  But oh, these ten.  Hell yeah.  God would never give bad laws, contrary to what he says . . .

Maybe a Hindu, Muslim, Wikkan, or Satanic monument?  



Here is a brief recap of the basis for American law, assuming we all adopt the protestant version and we agree on the meaning of each:

   1. You shall have no other gods but me.  (Restriction on the practice of religion)
   2. You shall not make unto you any graven images (free speech, practice of religion.)
   3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (free speech)
   4. You shall remember the Sabbath and keep it holy (mandating religious activity)
   5. Honor your mother and father (usually good advice, not a law)
   6. You shall not murder (a law in every society on earth, even non Judeo)
   7. You shall not commit adultery (not really a law)
   8. You shall not steal (a law in nearly every society)
   9. You shall not bear false witness (generally held concept in every society, not a law unless under oath)
  10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor (not a law, destroys the basis of our economy, thought control)

The first four "laws" are prohibited by our constitution.  One is a law in every day life and it is held by groups that have never even heard of the bible.  The notion that the ten commandments are a guideline for American law is a total fallacy and an attempt but Fundamentalist Christians to aggrandize their beliefs, the placement of this monument a testament to that desire.  

And WWJD?  Personally, I think if the Ten Commandments existed in Jesus' time he would have erected a monument of them outside the Roman governmental offices.


I look forward to the challenge and the over turning of this law.  Everyone knows, or should know, that numerous cases have held such things unconstitutional in this context.  It will be challenged and we the people will pay to defend it and then pay to have it removed.  Can you honestly imagine these ingrates allowing a monument to be erected they disagree with?  If the guidelines is 10% of the passage has something to do with a real law - that leaves the door wide open to just about anything.

 It is pure political grandstanding and the notion that this monument is somehow similar to the one in Texas is absurd.  If the idiot really doesn't understand that, then may God help the State of Oklahoma.

But really, this has nothing to do with religion.  We are "erecting the Ten Commandments monument to recognize the historical basis for "our rule of law" and nothing else. "


Tulsaworld.com
(originally probably would have been in Egyptian, then Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic or Latin in the time of Jesus.  But nonetheless.)










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CharlieSheen
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2009, 09:41:33 am »

Cannon...

You should just copy paste that into an e-mail or text file to repost in another 5 years when it comes up again.  (Tulsanow Forum might delete their archive or something)
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Conan71
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2009, 09:52:33 am »

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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2009, 09:55:59 am »

Damned right Cannon. I am going to burn all the money in my wallet because it has "In God We Trust" on it and demand that the Declaration of Independence be ruled unconstitutional (that whole "endowed by our Creator nonsense).
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2009, 09:57:43 am »

Where are the monuments to Code of Hammurabi or John Locke? They have more to do with the Constitution and our laws than the Ten Commandments. Other than a few remaining blue laws the only commandments that have any relationship to modern American law are don’t lie, steal or murder. And those weren’t exactly groundbreaking social boundaries who were first thought of in the bible.
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buckeye
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2009, 10:13:51 am »

I've come to believe that at least three quarters of everything any politician does is "pure political grandstanding" and just about as relevant as Michael Moore.  Maybe less.

By the by, the first two examples (Jeremiah and Ezekiel) are a metaphor and part of a prophetic vision, respectively.  They're not consistent with the rest of your post.

Amazing this passed by such an overwhelming majority.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2009, 11:07:20 am »

By the by, the first two examples (Jeremiah and Ezekiel) are a metaphor and part of a prophetic vision, respectively.  They're not consistent with the rest of your post.

In the text they are the words and revelations of God that was passed to Jeremiah that was then told to the people of Jerusalem (the first one).  Why are those less reliable than visions Mosses had on a mountain?  Are you suggesting some portions of the bible are literal and should be followed and that others are merely visions that prophets had and perhaps they really didn't hear Gods voice and thus don't need be followed?  How can the Oklahoma legislature tell them apart?

Oh dear.  (I understand the spirit of your post, so this really isn't directed at you)


Guido:

We put "IN GOD WE TRUST" on our money after the civil war so future generations wouldn't think we were a Godless nation.  We added "Under God" to the pledge to distinguish ourselves from those Godless communists.  Both are an insertion of religion into governmental affairs for no reason other than to insert religion into governmental affairs.  Hence, both would today be properly banned.

However, as you well know, long standing traditions are exempted.  The vast majority of people do not understand the meaning behind those things or where they came from.  They are just sentiments and have no real meaning.  Easily distinguished under Supreme Court cases from the proposed monument.

Per the Declaration of Independence, that was before the constitutional separation of church and state and wasn't even an action of our government.  So it really isn't relavant.  But pretending it is . . . the statement "endowed by our creator" is far less biased than a monument depicting sayings of one portion of a particular faith.   Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Wikkans, Satanists, Native American, Egyptian, Ancient Greek, Roman . . . nearly every religion has a Creator or a comparable creation myth.  Even an atheist can often be convinced to acquiesce the notion that there could be a creator of some kind.  There is a difference between a creator and a god and yet another step towards religion.

I note you did not attempt to refute any of the substance of my argument. Such as arguing that is isn't religious or that the 10 Commandments are a foundation of American Law.  Or argue against the relatively recent Supreme Court cases on point.
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2009, 11:16:59 am »

My ten aren't completely Commandments...I just think they are really cool things to live you life by...

1.  Thou shalt recycle.

2.  Thou shalt remember the years OU won championships and thou wife's birthday.

3.  Thou shalt not drink whiskey after beer.

4.  Thou shalt not watch porn at work nor leave the DVD in the player at home.

5.  Thou shalt not steal nor borrow for very long things thy neighbor needs back.

6.  Thou shalt not witness bears wearing falsies.

7.  Thou shalt only murder things that either taste good or creep you out.

8.  Honor thy wife whilst she knows when you sleep and can hurt you.

9.  Thou shalt not wear clothing with corporate logos unless thus paid to.

10. Thou shalt not feed thy dog chili unless he is an outside dog
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2009, 11:20:12 am »

I think if these nitwits realized all these "God" quotes on money and the commandments, etc weren't Jesus Christ they'd rethink their position.

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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2009, 11:42:11 am »

We have debated the issue already CF and neither of us will convince the other what's right (I also did not want to offend Townsend by writing long posts). I am curious what Supreme Court opinion you are referring to? Because in Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677, 678, 125 S.Ct. 2854, 2856-2857 (2005), the U.S. Supreme Court explained in its syllabus:

[T]he analysis [for determining whether a church and state question is at issue] should be driven by both the monument's nature and the Nation's history. From at least 1789, there has been an unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of religion's role in American life. Texas' display of the Commandments on government property is typical of such acknowledgments. Representations of the Commandments appear throughout this Court and its grounds, as well as the Nation's Capital. Moreover, the Court's opinions, like its building, have recognized the role the Decalogue plays in America's heritage. SeeWhile the Commandments are religious, they have an undeniable historical meaning. Simply having religious content or promoting a message consistent with a religious doctrine does not run afoul of the Establishment Clause. There are, of course, limits to the government's display of religious messages or symbols. For example, this Court held unconstitutional a Kentucky statute requiring the posting of the Ten Commandments in every public schoolroom.  However, neither Stone itself nor subsequent opinions have indicated that Stone's holding would extend beyond the context of public schools to a legislative chamber or to capitol grounds. Texas' placement of the Commandments monument on its capitol grounds is a far more passive use of those texts than was the case in Stone, where the text confronted elementary school students every day. Indeed, petitioner here apparently walked by the monument for years before bringing this suit. Texas has treated its capitol grounds monuments as representing several strands in the State's political and legal history. The inclusion of the Commandments monument in this group has a dual significance, partaking of both religion and government, that cannot be said to violate the Establishment Clause.

[Internal citations omitted]. Accord, Pelphrey v. Cobb County, Ga., 547 F.3d 1263, 1277 (11th Cir. (Ga.) 2008); O'Connor v. Washburn University, 416 F.3d 1216, 1228-1229 (10th Cir. (Kan.) 2005).

Oh, and here is  a published federal district court opinion in a case regarding a 10 Commandments monument just down the street in Haskell, Green v. Board of County Com'rs of County of Haskell, 450 F.Supp.2d 1273, 1297 (E.D.Okla. 2006). In Green, the Court concluded:

[H]askell County did not overstep the constitutional line demarcating government neutrality towards religion. Plaintiffs' request for injunctive and other relief is DENIED. The Monument does not violate the Establishment Clause and may remain on the courthouse lawn, peacefully and passively resting among the other monuments under the stars.

While I appreciate and respect your point of view on this matter, from a legal perspective, you've brought a knife to a gunfight. Now I have not seen what this monument looks like and it could be such as to offend the 1st amendment and Van Orden. But if it's purpose is secular, it stays.





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FOTD
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2009, 11:48:05 am »

The devil's loving this action.

Wow. With seven million jobs needed to return to pre-recession employment levels, Oklahoma will not be a priority for new hiring under these new living conditions.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2009, 12:25:55 pm »

But if it's purpose is secular, it stays.

I believe this statement is disingenuous.   You are walking up to someones house and see a copy of the 10 Commandments etched into their walkway, do you think "Wow, this man is a real buff for legal history."  My guess is you assume it is a good Christian household and no legal thoughts pop up.

As I illustrated above, the Ten Commandments have very little if any foundational value for American Law.  Of the thousands of "laws" in the bible few equate to laws in our secular nation.  Of the 10 we want to memorialize there is no indication that any have served as inspiration for our laws above what any other cultures laws would suggest. 

Per the case law, it is all about CONTEXT.  They make it clear that the monument must be in a context of secular laws.  The religious icons on the SCOTUS building and around DC are offset by images of scales of justice, Confucius, Solon, Lady Liberty, Octavian, Napoleon, Hammurabi, Greek gods, and the much hyped "10 Commandments" tablets are NOT the 10 commandments but an illustration of the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments) according to the person who created the sculptures (and in any event the text of the commandments is not shown).  Hell, even Mohamed appears on the walls in Washington DC (not a new addition mind you).  It is a THEME of the origin of laws And I agree that ancient religious codes fit into that theme.   It was always easier to get people to follow the rules if you told them a sky man would kill them if they didn't.


Per the Texas Case:

The monument in Texas was donated in 1961 and is part of a 22 acre site devoted to sources of inspiration for our nation's laws (it was a Fraternal Order of Eagles monument).  The display in its entirety has a purpose other than an expression of religion and does not favor one religion over another.  It was not paid for by the state and any group that meets a set of criteria can donate a monument.

This is a monument to the Protestant Christian religion (different version of the 10 Commandments for Protestant, Christian, Jew and Muslim) displayed by itself by the State on public ground that will stand alone.  It has no context that gives it anything other than a religious meaning.   Try as the legislature might to make it look non-religious, a monument of religious verse on the lawn is inherently religious.



Quote
The 22 acres surrounding the Texas State Capitol contain 17 monuments and 21 historical markers commemorating the "people, ideals, and events that compose Texan identity." Tex. H. Con. Res. 38, 77th Leg. (2001).1 The monolith challenged here stands 6-feet high and 3-feet wide. It is located to the north of the Capitol building, between the Capitol and the Supreme Court building. Its primary content is the text of the Ten Commandments. An eagle grasping the American flag, an eye inside of a pyramid, and two small tablets with what appears to be an ancient script are carved above the text of the Ten Commandments. Below the text are two Stars of David and the superimposed Greek letters Chi and Rho, which represent Christ. The bottom of the monument bears the inscription "PRESENTED TO THE PEOPLE AND YOUTH OF TEXAS BY THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF EAGLES OF TEXAS 1961."

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=03-1500


Similarly, in the Haskell decision the monument was a long standing part of a themed display. 

He just tried to copy everything the Texas case had.  However, he can not change the fact that the Texas monument was donated in 1961 unsolicited by a non-religious organization and placed in a greater context.  Attempting to copy the "text that was on the monument in the Texas case" that was legal simply won't work (it says "presented to the People and Youth of Texas by... 1961").  You also can't just say "oh yeah, we will make a display."   



Listen, we can cut to the chase here.  Ignoring all the legal arguments because with the current court it could cut either way.  Here is the basis of my complaint:

The monument is being erected to espouse Christianity. 

Plain and simple.  That's the reason to put that monument up.  They didn't choose the manga carta, a monument to the declaration of independence, the bill of rights, the code of Hammorabi, or a host of other things that have far more relevance in a secular societies laws.  They chose a quote from the protestant bible.

I think it is what I see as the disingenuous nature of the argument from the legislature that irritates me so much.   


I'm coming at this openly admitting I don't think religion should be a driving force in government.  You openly admit that a theocracy would be preferred.  I can discuss the issue with you because you are at least open about your position.  It's pretending this isn't a religious issue that is really annoying.
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2009, 01:01:21 pm »

    
Public money to defend private donations?
http://www.tulsanow.org/forum/index.php?topic=12563.0

Broken Arrow Representative Mike Ritze wants a Ten Commandments monument at the capitol, and tax dollars used to fight the court battles when it's legality is challenged.

The AP story says Ritze wants there to be a reminder of where the state gets its laws and of the philosophy the nation's founders had.

Wouldnt white bedsheets have been cheaper?
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2009, 01:02:42 pm »

Theocracy, where did you get that from? I am a Catholic conservative that has no problem with our government officials expressing the notion that this country was founded upon a Judeo-Christian ethic.

As for your attempt to distinguish Oklahoma from the holdings in the overwhelming number of cases where 10 Commandments monuments were held secular because it is being funded with public money is unavailing. First, implicit in your last post was your concession that the supreme court has found that having these monuments does not offend the 1st amendment per se.  In reading these opinions, the fact that these monuments may have been donated by private parties was not a dispositive factor underlying these decisions. Indeed, the fact that they may have been donated does not dispense with the fact that they are on public property and public money is being used to maintain that property.

The true test is whether there is a secular purpose for the monument. In this case, I just don't know. I mean, is there a secular purpose for putting crosses or stars of David on the graves of fallen soldiers in national cemetaries? What about cities named Las Cruces, St. Louis, Cathedral City CA, Bethlehem GA and so on? Should we change their names because those are plainly references to Christianity.
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