Ok, Keep Your 10 Commandments. Just Put This One Up, Too
An erection is going up on trial … erection of a monument, that is. Since 1971, there has been a Ten Commandments monument in a public park in Utah. Now a small religious sect, calling itself Summum, wants to erect a monument commemorating their religion next to the existing Decalogue.
They are, of course, meeting with some opposition and are fighting it in the courts. And they are not approaching the issue as a church/state separation issue, but rather a free speech issue.
The original Ten Commandments monument, a clear homage to the Hebrew religious belief system, was allowed to be constructed on public land because the sponsors, The Fraternal Order of Eagles, claimed that it had historic value (even though the people erecting it were most likely of Anglo-Saxon, not Jewish, decent. Therefore their only connection to the 10 Commandments would bea religious one, not a historic one).
Interesting thing about the Ten Commandments. They are mentioned a couple of times in the Bible, and they are different each time. They are first mentioned in Exodus 20 when Chuck Heston brings them down the hill then smashes then before anyone can see them (you would think that tablets that were carved by Yahweh himself would deserve more respect). Then they are mentioned again in Exodus 36, and this in the first time they are actually referred to as the Ten Commandments. The commandments are ordered to re-made exactly the same as the originals, but they seem to make a few changes in them. See if you can spot them.
First Set, Exodus 20 (destroyed by Moses in a fit of rage)
1) I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.
2) You shall not make for yourself a graven image. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.
3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5) Honor your father and your mother.
6) You shall not kill.
7) You shall not commit adultery.
8 ) You shall not steal.
9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10) You shall not covet.
Second Set, Exodus 34
1) Thou shalt worship no other god (For the Lord is a jealous god).
2) Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
3) The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep in the month when the ear is on the corn.
4) All the first-born are mine.
5) Six days shalt thou work, but on the seventh thou shalt rest.
6) Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, even of the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
7) Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread.
8 ) The fat of my feast shall not remain all night until the morning.
9) The first of the first fruits of thy ground thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
10) Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk.
I’ve always thought that #4 implies child sacrifice and that the Abraham and Isaac story was a means of telling folks not to do that anymore.