Monday, April 13, 2009

The other ten commandments

David, the lesser, Limbaugh makes a ridiculous claim today in his World Nut Daily column.
Much of our Bill of Rights is biblically based, as well, and the Ten Commandments and further laws set out in the book of Exodus form the basis of our Western law.

This is a standing claim of the religious right in their Christian nation narrative and is easily disproved by making even a passing glance at the Ten Commandments. Only two of the commandments have permanently made it into American law (no murder and no stealing) and those two are taboo in all human cultures, not just the Abrahamic ones. As to the rest of the Mosaic law, most of it is in Leviticus, not Exodus, and most of it is not part of American law (eating shrimp and wearing blended fabrics are not against the law in the US). This brings up the question of whether Limbaugh has ever read the Bible and what he thinks the Ten Commandments say.
  1. Thou shalt not make laws respecting an establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
  2. Thou shalt not not make laws abridging the freedom of speech nor the freedom of the press.
  3. Thou shalt respect the right of the people peaceably to assemble and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  4. Thou shalt not infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
  5. Thou shalt not quarter troops during peacetime in any house without the consent of the owner.
  6. Thou shalt not perform unreasonable searches. Neither shall thou seize without warrant.
  7. Thou shalt not hold a person to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, without first indicting by a Grand Jury. Neither shall thou twice put a person put in jeopardy of life or limb for the same offense. Neither shall thou compel self incrimination.
  8. Thou shalt give speedy and public trial and preserve the right to trial by a jury of peers.
  9. Thou shalt not impose excessive bail or fines. Neither shall thou inflict cruel and unusual punishments.
  10. Thou shalt preserve for the States and the people those rights not delegated to the United States by the Constitution.

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