Problems with The Ten Commandments?

Copyright © 2002
by Tim Roach

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Recently there has been a lot of protests to having these ten little historical statements displayed in public.

Honestly I do not understand what it is in the statements that bothers people so much.

With the argument there seem to be three basic groups:

1. People that agree with the statements
2. People that believe in a Creator, but not necessarily the Creator talked about in Christian Bibles.
3. People that believe there is no creator of any type & there is nothing beyond what we see here in our physical universe.

Perhaps if we analyze each statement looking at each from other groups point of view something will become obvious, as to what is causing all the objection.

The following table columns contain:
The commandment/statement.
How I might look at the statement if I believed in a creator but not the one talked about in the bible.
How I might look at the statement if I believed there was no creator.

The Statement Faith in a creator
but not the one in the bible
There is no creator.

Thou shalt have no
other gods before me.
Regardless of faith, if you believe there is a Creator of the universe, it seems to me, it is probably a good idea NOT to be saying another god is superior. If you don't believe in anything beyond our existence; Then there is no god of any type, thus this would be just a silly statement to which there is obviously no meaning or value. So would it not be more laughable than offensive?

Thou shalt not worship graven images.
A lot of faiths have images, statues, or other items that they pray in front of. However, I am going to make a very careful distinction. Is the image/object being worshiped or is the object simply being used to honor the Creator of your faith? Most faiths that I am familiar with use the items as, for lack of a better way to describe it, focal points to honor the Creator, but are not worshiping the object itself. Thus, this statement should not be a problem. If there is no god of any kind to worship. Why would anyone even consider the idea to worship some silly image? Thus, the statement is irrelevant. And much like above, perhaps silly ... but is it offensive?

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
If you believe there is a Creator, regardless of faith, your faith most likely has a similar rule. And even if it does not, i would think is probably a good idea NOT to be saying bad things about your creator or using the name of the creator you believe in inappropriately. There is no creator, remember, this is just another one of those silly out of date statements. But if other people don't want to say some things or use some words, then what does it matter? And if someone finds a word objectionable isn't it simply a matter of being polite not to use it in front of them?

Keep the
Sabbath day holy.
Most every faith I know has at least one day that they believe is holy, sacred, or special in some way. Granted very few groups agree on what physical day it should be.

However, with all the calendar fixes and changes that have been done through out time I wonder if anyone really knows what day the real Sabbath is?

But back to the issue, is there really a problem with saying to keep your faith's sacred day, special?
Hum ...

Since there is no creator there nothing special we need to do.

Thus, this is simply suggesting that we should take a day off.

Does anyone have objections to that?

Honour thy father
and thy mother.

Regardless of what faith one may or may not follow anyone that has/had decent parents usually have no problems with this, for they do it already.

However, those of us whose parents were ... not quiet so good ... have a little more trouble with this one. Still, however, we have to give our parents a little bit of credit. For no matter what type of parents they were or even if we never knew them; the simple truth is we would not be here if it were not for them. In that respect they deserve at least that much credit and honor.

However, I have often wondered, if by father and mother it means biological or the people from our past and present that taught us not everyone in the world is bad? . . . Or perhaps it means all of them, each at their own level of deserving.

But regardless, is it really so bad to suggest that we should be kind to the people that helped make us who we are?


Thou shalt not kill.

I have trouble thinking there is anyone that would find objection to this statement.

Is there anyone that really believes it is ok to kill or to be killed by someone else?


Neither shalt thou commit adultery.

Faith in a Creator or not, does anyone really like the idea of his or her spouse or significant other running around with someone else?

Not to mention these days with all the 'fun' diseases, many of which have no cure, which one is gambling on catching by either partner running around.

It just seems like a good idea.


Neither shalt thou steal.

Hum, it is illegal to steal in most locations around the planet; regardless of what faith you are or are not.

Or put another way ... you are walking down the street someone takes all your money, then you get back to your home, only to discover everything is gone.

Can anyone really find objection to this statement?


Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Faith in a Creator or not, do you like people saying things about you that are not true?
Do you think anyone else would like you saying things that are not true about them?

While, often, not a crime like stealing, killing or adultery, do you really like being around people that lie?

How can anyone object to saying something most of us already try to do?


Neither shalt thou covet.

Pick any psychologist you like and they will tell you that having a desire to possess something, that does not belong to you, to the point of obsession is not a good thing.

So I really do not see how anyone could have a problem with this statement either.

These are simply ten very old rules that I really do not see why people find so objectionable, since most of them (the last 6 especially) are rules that we all, consciously or unconsciously, most likely try to follow already. Yet when these statements are posted in public, their mere presence seem to bring such 'pain' to so many people. Amazingly, sometimes, even to groups that have similar statements in their own religious documents.

However, what amazes me even more is that the same groups seem to think it is ok leave documents or symbols of groups posted in public that promote hate, violence, and/or racism; but these ten simple sentences, must be pulled down almost as fast as they are placed in public.

It is truly a strange world we live in.

Just something to think about.

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Copyright © 2002 by Timothy Allen Roach All Rights Reserved.
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