The Expository Files

Posting the Ten Commandments in Public Places


Congress voted this past week to allow the Ten Commandments to be posted in public schools. I have some different feelings about it, some good and some not.

It will do absolutely no good by itself. I can well imagine some of these being vandalized in mockery by some of the students. I cannot imagine that posting the commandments would stop the violence. They're not magic words. Some suggest it is only a first step back to moral sanity. It might be a good first step, but it is not much more than that.

There was one news woman on the CBS Evening News that could not resist a little editorializing along with her report on this story. She ended her report with a statement suggesting that none of the representatives ever explained how they could pass a law that violated the constitution on the separation of church and state. Its too bad she never took the time to read the constitution. If she had, she would realize that neither the phrase "separation of church and state" nor the idea is in the constitution. There is nothing even similar to it. The thing the constitution does is protect religion from governmental intrusion, it does not isolate the government from the influence of religion. It was not intended to.

Another fellow interviewed was saying it was a bad idea. He said, "Whose Ten Commandments do we post? The Catholic version? The Protestant Version? The Jewish Version? They're all different, you know." No, we don't know. There are ten commandments, and they are the same. These people are just ignorantly spouting things they have heard without bothering to check if they were so.

Certainly our nation needs a return to moral and spiritual principles. People need to know that there is right and wrong. Someone may object, "Well, then whose right and wrong do we teach?" What they fail to realize is that no one has a monopoly on right and wrong. Its not mine nor yours, but it is real and our society will be better off when everyone recognizes it. If we reject it, we will continue to pay the price. It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps (Jeremiah 3:23).


By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 6.7; July 1999