15 August 2007

Ten Useful Commandments

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.

These are Solon's ten commandments. I haven't had a chance to confirm this, but at least one site claims that our Founding Fathers based a lot of their ideas on Solon's ideals. So these are likely the real "founding commandments" of the country. Since five of the biblical ten violate freedom of speech (EDIT: more accurately, the first amendment in general), there's no reasonable claim that they had a significant impact on the founding of the U.S. Remember that the next time someone wants to put up a Ten Commandments monument. As for extant monuments, there's no reason at all to tear them down. Just put up a tasteful plaque underneath with these words from the Treaty of Tripoli: "The government of the United States of America is not founded in any sense on the Christian religion." Or, more entertaining, put up a Constitutional analysis of the validity of each commandment. At least five are written right out of the legal system.

For the record, I don't really care one way or the other about Ten Commandment displays. They're a historical example of a set of laws. I object to the lies, ignorance and idiocy.

And for full disclosure, I just got a forward from my mom with a lot of screeching about the Alabama judge who got ousted as Chief Justice for his insistence on displaying the ten commandments. So I sent her a large number of these sentiments. ^!^ I wasn't quite irritated enough to send them to everyone else who got the forward.

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