Anna Gregoline | October 12, 2004
I don't see why people even want them in there. What's the point? What matters in a courthouse is the LAW, not religious law as SOME people see it.

If they allow it, they'd better allow other religious laws right next to it. It makes me want to own a courthouse with one of these, so I could post things from the Koran, etc. right next to it.

Lori Lancaster | October 12, 2004
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Anthony Lewis | October 12, 2004
But the only thing is...if you are called to court to testify, you are to place your left hand on The Bible and raise your right hand and swear that you are going to tell the truth.

There is no TRUE seperation of church and state. Especially if "In God We Trust" is on every single coin and paper currency in this country. Personally, I don't have a problem with the Commandments being on display.

Scott Horowitz | October 12, 2004
Actually, technically you are not required to be sworn in to testify. You can affirm yourself to the truth without the bible. You only swear on the bible if you choose to.

Anna Gregoline | October 12, 2004
You don't have to place your hand on the Bible. It's not a forced thing. You can just raise your hand, or choose another religious text if you want, etc.

There is true serperation of church and state in the fact that Christian rules of conduct are not actual law. For example, there is no law against cheating on your husband or wife.

Kris Weberg | October 12, 2004
I would also point to the treay of Tripoli, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Madison, and includes an explicit claim that the United States' laws, Constitution, and government are not, in fact, based in any specific religion.

America owes infinitely more to Lockean political philosophy, Montesquieu's formulation of the kinds of government, and the systematic economic changes of the 18th century than to anything like religion, Especvially after reading the letters of Jefferson, Madison, and others who wrote the founding documents of this country, that becomes crystal clear.

Jackie Mason | October 12, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 12, 2004
I think we couldn't possibly display all the religious doctrines of the world in a courthouse either - so we should display none.

Erik Bates | October 12, 2004
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Scott Horowitz | October 12, 2004
The sad part Erik is that your rationalization makes sense.

Kris Weberg | October 12, 2004
Erik, it's not as though Christianity (or even Judeo-Christian religions) are the source of the ideas, "killing folks is bad. Lying is bad. Jealousy is bad." and so on.

The problem is that the Ten Commandments make the claim that these are moral laws because a Judeo-Christian God gace them to us, not for any of a host of other reasons -- surely, for example, rationalism gives us good reasons for prohibiting murder and deception in a society, because it's hard to imagine a society that permitted wholesale murder and deception functioning at all.

The problem isn't just the Commandments that're explicit with reference to God; the problem is that ALL of them make an implicit and easily-observed claim that said God exists and is the source of morality.

Erik Bates | October 12, 2004
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Lori Lancaster | October 12, 2004
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Jackie Mason | October 12, 2004
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Kris Weberg | October 12, 2004
I guess I'd just rather have actual laws and rules posted in a courtroom than religiously-recoded laws and rules.

Scott Horowitz | October 13, 2004
I just realized I spelled fifteen wrong... can you fix it Hardie???

Todd Brotsch | October 13, 2004
Thou shalt always be honest and faithful
to the provider of thy nookie.


Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course
they pray to a different invisible man than you.

Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin' pocket. I wouldn't mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment:

Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.

George Carlin

Anna Gregoline | October 13, 2004
Right on Kris - I just don't get why a court of LAW would even want things up not pertaining to the law. Doesn't make a lick of sense to me.

Scott Hardie | October 14, 2004
Not to drag this into another controversial issue that we have also discussed endlessly, but... Does anybody besides me find it highly ironic that Texas is one of the two states in this case? Texas, the state that executes far more criminals than any other (more than three times the next highest, Virginia), is displaying in one of its courtrooms a list of the Ten Commandments, of which everyone can agree the one most relevant to U.S. law is "thou shalt not kill." God wasn't just commanding citizens not to kill and excusing the state; God was commanding everyone. If I were God, I would mighty ticked off that someone who held my commandments so dearly would openly defy them regularly in a room displaying them.

Kris Weberg | October 15, 2004
One could also quote the verse in Isaiah, wherein God reserves the right of venegance entirely to himself, saying, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay;" or point out the example of Jesus, who healed the wound of one of the centurions at Gesthemane who was hauling him away to die; or note that the same set of laws in Leviticus that demand the death penalty also demand oxen sacrificed monthly and prhobit wearing blended fabrics -- goodbye, cotton/poly; or the fact that the very first murderer of all, Cain, was not killed but sent into exile with the mark of God's protection on his head; or....

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