Sunday, May 6, 2018

Oklahoma lawmakers pass bill providing for public display of Ten Commandments

And God spake all these words, saying,
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Exodus 20:1-17

As reported by Matt Trotter of Public Radio Tulsa, May 4, 2018:

At least 99 Oklahoma lawmakers are determined to have the 10 Commandments displayed on state property.

That's how many senators and representatives voted for House Bill 2177, which allows for the display of documents historically significant to the United States or Oklahoma, including the 10 Commandments.

"Do you think any of these other historically relevant religions should be able to display artifacts as well?" Rep. Jacob Rosecrants asked HB2177's author, Rep. John Bennett.

"None of them can be tied back to the founding of our nation so, in that case, no," Bennett said.

Rep. Justin Humphrey said the U.S. Supreme Court has the 10 Commandments on display.

"They’re able to display these because of historical value and they’re not getting sued, so we would just be following suit what the precedent they’ve already set," Humphrey said.

The court’s 10 Commandments are part of a wide-ranging work on the history of law.

Rep. Cory Williams said he remembers a similar conversation from 2012, when a 1-ton, granite 10 Commandments monument went up at the capitol.

"As long as we say it’s historical in nature and not religious and we hold our breath and we cross our toes and we count to three, it’s going to be fine and we won’t get sued and we won’t lose that. Except that we did. How is this different?" Williams said.

The bill includes the Magna Carta and Mayflower Compact as examples of documents significant to Oklahoma or U.S. history.
I applaud the politicians' effort to get the Ten Commandments on public display, but it's unfortunate that the only way they seem to be able to do this is by promoting the Ten Commandments as being historically relevant, rather than currently relevant.

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