Scott Hardie | August 22, 2003
Any comments on the continuing controversy over the Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama state courthouse?

Matthew Preston | August 22, 2003
He has been given a court order to remove the monument. As a chief justice, he needs to comply with the law that he works for. I find it disturbing that a chief justice will not adhere to the laws of his own state.
 
From a moral standpoint, it's not the end of the world. The ten commandments have a good purpose and Roy Moore has built his career around living by them. However, this is a court of the people and this statue represents only one religion of which not everyone follows or believes in. Church and state are meant to remain separate and he needs to understand that not everyone should be forced to admire his beliefs.

Scott Hardie | August 22, 2003
Here's a good column by Eleanor Clift on the effect this has had on the woman who brought the case against Moore in the first place. It leans towards Tom's third option, that Moore is doing this for his own gain, not to honor God.

To me, the interesting issue is not the monument itself, which inevitably will be removed. It's that a majority of Americans agree with Moore. I've read polls that anywhere from 55% to 70% of Americans want the monument to stay where it is, not to mention 77% of Alabamans. I'm not inclined to brush this off as ignorance; most of these people know why the government must strive to keep free of religious influence. I think they just don't care. And I'm disappointed.

Scott Hardie | August 29, 2003
I think we're all a little tired of hearing about Roy Moore (not to mention from Roy Moore) by now. But since the controversy started, I've been waiting to hear the anti-monument columnists point something out, and I'm still waiting: Moore's insistence that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of U.S. law is just plain silly. How many of those commandments are enforced by law? Two, maybe three? If Moore is right and those commandments are the foundation of our legal system, we're doing a lousy job of legislating them.

Scott Hardie | September 10, 2003
Yay.

Jackie Mason | September 10, 2003
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Scott Hardie | October 29, 2003
More wonderful consequences of having a monument to the Ten Commandments.

Kris Weberg | October 29, 2003
I myself will always be amazed at the ability of most people to willingly not understand a fact, to in fact remain or grow ignorant of it, when it contradicts something they truly want to believe.

Jackie Mason | October 29, 2003
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Kris Weberg | October 29, 2003
This is the sort of thing I meant -- for some reason, certain factions of Christianity preselect homosexuality as a "special" sin (in fact, sexual sins in general), ignoring the facts that the same language is used in prohibitions against women speaking in church, lying (for any reason), envying others, and seeking to accrue wealth. They want to believe that they're morally superior to someone else, they have issues with sexuality, and hence, they engage their "willful ignorance" skills full blast because it aids them in a certain kind of self-construction. I believe that a similar mechanism underlies Moore's stance regarding public placement of his engraved pet rock.

Scott Hardie | October 30, 2003
We talked about this recently in a similar discussion. If I had the money, I'd love to erect a monument right next to the one commemorating Shepard's death: The Ten Commandments, with #6 prominently crossed out.

Kris Weberg | October 31, 2003
There's another good question I read somewhere else recently -- why the focus on the so-called "Ten Commandments?" The Bible is filled with commandments from God, far outnumbering ten and including the prohibition of homosexuality between men (but not women, you'll note), yet those ten particular laws seem to be the main focus. Curious.

Erik Bates | October 31, 2003
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Jackie Mason | October 31, 2003
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Matthew Preston | October 31, 2003
I thought it was Moses... er... Charlton Heston...? (I get the two confused).

Scott Hardie | October 31, 2003
Duh, Mel Brooks. Get it right.

Erik Bates | October 31, 2003
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Kris Weberg | November 2, 2003
I was always under the impression that the Ten Commandments were handed down to Moses at Sinai, but I could be wrong...at any rate, I simply wonder why so many Christians seem to invoke Mosaic -- particularly Levitic law -- in various public morality campaigns, while failing to spearhead other Biblical imperatives. It's rare, for example, to see anyone demanding that we all stop trying to earn lots of money despite the fact that there's quite a lot of language in the New Testament, much of it from Jesus Himself, suggesting strongly that material acquisitiveness is a barrier to salvation and communion with God. Instead, the Pauline command to tithe ten percent of one's income is stressed in most denominations. I've heard elements of Scripture like Jesus' commanding the rich man to give up all his wealtha s specific advice for specific individuals' spiritual problems, but there's nothing in the language of the Gospels to suggest this. Why, then, can't we assume that the body of Old Testament law opposing homosexuality and the like were specifically tailored to the particular situation and lifestyle of the Israelites? Certainly most modern Christians view Biblical strictures regarding slavery, treatment of women, diet, inheritance, and marriage as specifically relevant to the historical era in which the laws were passed down. Why some laws, and not others?


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