:: 12.15.2004 ::
Once again, the Ten Commandments have become an issue in an American courtroom: an Alabama judge has recently started wearing a robe that is embroidered with said Commandments, in gold, on the front. I don't know how specific the ABA's rules are when it comes to courtroom attire, but they probably don't cover this kind of thing. Is he exercising his right to free speech? We've had an interesting discussion about this at work today. It seems to me that the judge is admitting bias, which is kind of a a bad idea since it opens the door to mistrials and appeals. But I don't think I can argue that he's not (or shouldn't be) allowed to do it. What do you think?
This topic did remind me of a George Carlin bit on the Ten Commandments (thanks to Kevin B. for the link), in which he whittles them down the 2 essential commandments, then adds one on at the end for good measure ("Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself." Please do!). I thought it was pretty funny.
A more serious version of this discussion can be found here; the author compares the outdated and seldom-followed Commandments of Moses with those of an Athenian philosopher named Solon:
1. Trust good character more than promises.
2. Do not speak falsely.
3. Do good things.
4. Do not be hasty in making friends, but do not abandon them once made.
5. Learn to obey before you command.
6. When giving advice, do not recommend what is most pleasing, but what is most useful.
7. Make reason your supreme commander.
8. Do not associate with people who do bad things.
9. Honor the gods.
10. Have regard for your parents.
The author does point out that while #9 "...might better be rendered now, 'Respect the religions of others,' there is something fitting in admitting that there are many gods, the many that people invent and hope for." Overall, though, these ten commandments seem much better suited to our modern values than those of Moses - don't you agree?
:: Deb 1:09 PM :: permalink ::
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