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Ten Commandments & Law: Social, Political, and Legal Issues

The Ten Commandants are first and foremost a religious document, describing the covenental relationship between the Jews and their god. It is, however, a religious document with many social and religious implications. Such implications are obvious in the case of the Jews themselves since the commandments serve to constrain what sorts of social and political options might be available to them. There are also implications for societies in which non-Jews take the Ten Commandments very seriously and think that others should as well.
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Ten Commandments: Basis for American Law?
Many argue that the Ten Commandments are the basis for American law and this justifies the creation of of Ten Commandments plaques, monuments, or displays on government property. Having the Ten Commandments displayed is thus supposed to be a way of acknowledging the roots of our laws and our government. But is this argument valid?

What Do People Believe About the Ten Commandments?
Many people today believe that the Ten Commandments are in and of themselves a proper moral code, but this position is very dubious. Although it does contain some basic moral prescriptions that one can find in other religions, it doesn’t even begin to address some of the most important moral problems that face people today.

Do People Follow the Ten Commandments?
There are lots of debates over the cultural and political status of the Ten Commandments, but in all of those debates there is a common assumption that devout religious people are already following them and everyone else should start. Is it true, however, that religious people currently follow the Ten Commandments with any degree of consistency?

Should People Follow the Ten Commandments?
In all of the political and cultural debates over the Ten Commandments, one question that receives far too little attention is whether anyone should be expected to adhere to the Ten Commandments in the first place. They are, after all, Jewish laws, so why should any non-Jews bother with them?

Ten Commandments & Context: Does It Matter?
An interesting aspect of the legal questions surrounding government monuments to the Ten Commandments concerns the context of those monuments. Courts have made it clear that in certain contexts a display or monument can be acceptable; in other contexts, it isn’t. Neither supporters nor opponents are entirely happy with such conclusions - but are those decisions justified?

Costs of the Ten Commandments: Paying to Defend the Indefensible
Whenever a monument, plaque, or some other posting of the Ten Commandments is challenged as a violation of the separation of church and state, the government involved (local, state, or federal) usually defends them in court. These court battles can drag out for years and go through several levels of the judicial system - and, just as often, the government loses.

Arrogance and the Ten Commandments
Scattered across the nation are numerous monuments displaying the Ten Commandments. Most were donated to various local governments by private organizations like the Fraternal Order of Eagles during the 1960s and 70s. Recently many have been challenged as a violation of the separation of church and state, but such challenges are met with...

Ten Commandments & Congress
Federal and State governments keep trying to get involved with the debate over the Ten Commandments, usually for the purpose of trying to have them posted rather than for the purpose of remaining neutral in matters of religion.

The First Commandment and American Law
If the Ten Commandments are the basis for American law or government, where is the First Commandment to be found in American law? Where is the First Commandment to be found in the Constitution which is the foundation for American law and government? How can Christians justify saying that American law owes anything to the First Commandment?

The Second Commandment and American Law
If the Ten Commandments are the basis for American law or government, where is the Second Commandment to be found in American law? Where is the Second Commandment to be found in the Constitution which is the foundation for American law and government? How can Christians justify saying that American law owes anything to the Second Commandment?

The Fourth Commandment and American Law
Many Christians insist that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of American law and government, but where in the Constitution can the Fourth Commandment be found?

The Third Commandment and American Law
So many Christians claim that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of American law and government, but where in the Constitution will we find the Third Commandment?

The Fifth Commandment and American Law
If the Ten Commandments are the foundation of American law or government, where in the Constitution is the Fifth Commandment to be found? Where does the Constitution or any part of U.S. law require Americans to 'honor' mothers or fathers?

The Sixth Commandment and American Law
If the Ten Commandments are the basis for American law and government and many Christian Nationalists claim, where in the Constitution is the Sixth Commandment to be found?

The Seventh Commandment and American Law
If the Ten Commandments are the foundation of American law or government, where are we supposed to find bans on committing adultery in the Constitution?

Should Atheists Challenge Ten Commandments Displays & Monuments?
Ten Commandments monuments exist in a lot of American communities and conservative politicians want to create a lot more. Atheists have mounted frequent legal challenges to these monuments, but should they?

Eighth Commandment American Law
If the Ten Commandments are the foundation of American law or government, where in the Constitution is the Eighth Commandment to be found?

The Ninth Commandment and American Law
If the Ten Commandments are the foundation of American law or government, where in the Constitution is the Ninth Commandment to be found?

Tenth Commandment American Law
If the Ten Commandments are the foundation of American law or government, where in the Constitution is the Tenth Commandment to be found?

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