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Lilie Schoenack, Published June 23 2009

Take monument off public land

I ask you to read the Ten Commandments again, but instead of reading them as sacred, unquestionable truths, pretend you’ve never seen them.

The first four are directly related to Judeo-Christianity. I find chilling: “… For I, the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations” – from new King James Exodus 20:5. Why would anyone teach that to their kids? Honoring your parents can be good advice. Wouldn’t it be better to forbid rape and slavery, which are instead condoned in the Bible?

Next come the “shall nots,” which make sense in any culture, even places that have never heard of the Ten Commandments. Except the last one: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife … nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17), which defies human nature. If you are starving and you see someone with food, you are going to want some.

Imagine being Hindu or Buddhist or atheist and seeing these in a public square. Neither our laws nor our morality are based on the Ten Commandments. Why are you moral? Is it because you fear God’s wrath, or because you care about people?

The Constitution doesn’t mention any gods. Our First Amendment contradicts the Ten Commandments. You can take the Lord’s name in vain all you want and worship any gods or no god.

The Ten Commandments were made by an ancient, bronze-aged civilization. I’m not bound to them, and I don’t want anyone else to feel bound to them. That’s why we need to take the Ten Commandments monument off public property.