Federal institutions shouldn’t promote religion

Published by adviser, Author: Joseph Szalinski - Contributor, Date: October 22, 2015
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The removal of a large replica of the Ten Commandments outside of an Oklahoma courthouse sparked controversy a couple of weeks ago. Critics of the removal made the over-used, asinine argument that our society is hurtling toward utter damnation. However, my opinion is a little different.
I believe that no state or federally recognized institution should cater to a specific ideology. That’s essentially like saying that one particular system of beliefs should take precedence over all others. Not only that, but by placing religiously affiliated paraphernalia on government property, we are advocating for the aligning of belief and public office; which is highly unconstitutional.
Unless we plan to include monuments (and the like) that advocate the tenets of other faiths, and non-faiths, then we shouldn’t allow for the Ten Commandments to be on government property! What difference is there between Christianity and Satanism when it comes to government sponsorship? The very same critics, who became enraged over the removal of the Ten Commandments in Oklahoma, were the same kind of people who got angry over the inclusion of a monument to the Church of Satan. If someone supports one ideology, then he or she has to support both. It’s religious freedom, one of the primary freedoms this country was founded on.
If I were asked what other “moral texts” we should include on government property, in addition to the Ten Commandments I would suggest ancient texts like The Code of Hammurabi; among others. Surely, if we can glean moral lessons from old documents, let us consider all of them.
Even when one examines the Ten Commandments, and its various iterations depending on sect, four to five commandments are concerned with appeasing God’s jealousy. Only five deal with earthly crimes, and only two of those (murder and stealing) are actually punishable by law. The commandments make no mention of rape, child labor laws, arson or other serious crimes. If we choose to endorse a “moral” and religious document on government property, especially a courthouse, surely we could choose a better one.

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