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Thursday, June 30, 2005 ISSUE #369

Ten Commandments equals 5 plus 5

# 369, June 30, 2005

COLUMBUS: This week the Supreme Court let everyone know where they stand on the Ten Commandments: If you have a government building with the Ten Commandments inside it, you have to carry them outside and set 'em on the lawn.

I think those old Justices got it backwards. You all know what the Commandments say... don't murder, don't steal, don't cheat on your wife... It's the ones inside the government that sometimes need reminding.

Inside a Courthouse is exactly where they need to be displayed. In fact I bet that when God was dictating the commandments to Moses, when he came up with "Thou shalt not lie" he was thinking primarily of lawyers.

Now the Supreme Court missed a good opportunity to settle this argument for all time, just by dividing those Commandments in two. You take 5 of them that tell us how to act in a legal way and put them in schools and courtrooms and legislative chambers. The other 5 that mainly tell us how to act toward God would go to the churches and temples.

Naturally these religions that follow the Bible would prefer to display all 10 in their buildings, and they have every right to do so. And they might agree that putting a stone tablet with Five Commandments in our public buildings is better than none at all.

Now I don't expect unanimous support for my idea. But don't be surprised if President Bush gets behind it. After all it's a lot easier to explain than Social Security and the Iraq War.

Did you see Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes last Sabbath evening? He did a little commentary about attractive store fronts and mannequins. After he researched how mannequins are managed, rented, and sold he had a better understanding of the business. In fact I feel he developed some affection for his subject because he closed with some familiar words: "I never met a mannequin I didn't like."

Enjoy July 4. No matter where you are, America's Independence Day is worthy of celebration. Even in England.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"(The Lord) didn't leave any room for doubt when he told you how you should act. His example, and the Commandments are plain enough." WA # 136, July 19, 1925

"Whoever wrote the Ten Commandments made 'em short. They may not always be kept, but they can be understood. They are the same for all men." WA # 638, March 17, 1935

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