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Friday, October 21, 2016

Ten Commandments Typos Highlight Why Monument Doesn’t Belong At State Capitol

Ten Commandments Typos Highlight Why Monument Doesn’t Belong At State Capitol

Give Oklahoma state representative Mike Ritze (R) a little credit. The Ten Commandments monument he pushed to have placed at Oklahoma’s state capitol was entirely funded by private donations. And that’s a good thing, especially considering that the granite depiction of the Decalogue contains prominent spelling errors.

“Sabbath” is spelt “Sabbeth” in the commandment to “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” The granite monument also reads, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidseruent.” The correct spelling is “maidservant.”

The bill that established the monument states, “The Ten Commandments found in the Bible, Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, are an important component of the moral foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma.”

However, the directives to honor the Sabbath and refrain from envy of a neighbor are perfect examples of religious laws that do not fall under the scope of American jurisprudence. Much of government is closed on both the Jewish and Christian Sabbath days, Saturday and Sunday. But is a police officer violating the law if he doesn’t keep the Sabbath? Likewise, envy is specifically a moral failing that’s only applicable to the law if it translates into criminal activity.

If the monument celebrates the historical value of the Ten Commandments for secular purposes, it is likely acceptable on state property, according to the Supreme Court. But if the laws are suggested as the foundation of the state in a religious way, it likely violates the First Amendment.

“When legislatures set up a monument that seems to put one faith above others, it creates an environment where some visitors will feel like second-class citizens,” said Ryan Kiesel, the executive director of the ACLU’s state chapter. “I think under the very best of circumstances, it is of questionable constitutionality.”

If the ACLU does challenge the monument as it has in other instances when the Ten Commandments have been displayed on public grounds, Rep. Ritze says this will not cost the taxpayers. The Liberty Legal Foundation, a group with a birther past, has promised to defend the monument at no cost to the state.

Oklahoma voters passed a state Constitutional amendment banning judges from considering Muslim Sharia or international law in the decisions in 2010. A Federal Appeals court prevented the law from going into effect.

Meanwhile, Ritze plans to have the monument’s typos fixed. “Scribner’s errors or misspellings are not uncommon with monument manufacturing,” he said.

For now, the errors are just reminders that no one’s perfect.

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  • Hopefully nobody is surprised by this. What is amazing is the fact that the disciples of the Sun God (Sabbath is for shopping and partying) only made two typos.

  • Annemb

    “…If the monument celebrates the historical value of the Ten Commandments for secular purposes, it is likely acceptable on state property, according to the Supreme Court. But if the laws are suggested as the foundation of the state in a religious way, it likely violates the First Amendment…”

    This is a great article and the author commended. However, I truly wonder if this interpretation would work. There are too many people who believe that our country was founded as a “Christian” nation, and to have the Ten Commandments on display, even if funded by private donations, could snowball into something bigger.

    • In order to celebrate the historical value some sort of disclaimer should be on the monument stating that fact. What is on there clearly breaks the argument by stating that it is part of the moral foundation of society or law. American law comes from England’s common law and not from the Bible. Our society was not set up upon any Biblical precedence. God is not mention in the Constitution by name nor in any of the written diaries of those who made the Constitution and this was done for specific purposes based on how organized religion treated them in England. especially noteworthy is the changing from Roman Catholicism to the Church of England and forcing everyone under penalty of death to convert. We are in trouble here or having the Government whether local, state or Federal of doing the same to us (US) and having the SCOTUS confirm it. Get religion out of the Government period.

  • SocracticOath

    Commandments 1,2,3 & 4 have nothing to do with our laws. Five, thou shalt not kill, has many exceptions (self defence, protecting property, death sentence, war) so it is a commandment we loosely follow. Theft is a commandment we follow. False witness comes into play if you lie before a government body (Jury, Congress, police, judge) but we are free to lie to each other and we can lie on TV & Radio. Adultery is not a crime, though it is grounds for divorce. And the final two commandments involve thoughts, so they are not regulated. So out of the ten commandments there is one – theft – that we completely follow and two others – killing and lying – that we follow with many exceptions and the other seven have nothing to do with our system of laws. So if you want to put a monument up to the Three Commandments, be my guest.

    • Five actually translates “Thou shalt not commit murder” and is in direct alliance with theft, envy, adultery and bearing false witness, all used as a means to gain something to which you are not entitled to. In essence how we treat each other.

      • SocracticOath

        So, are you saying that envy and adultery are illegal within our system of law?

        • Capt. Fogg

          Adultery can be actionable but envy is sort of the basis for Capitalism, isn’t it?

      • Court cases have given the police and prosecutors the legal right to lie to crime suspects, the suspects families, people they believe are witnesses to a crime, and defense attorneys. So the courts have themselves invalidated one of the commandments.

      • Capt. Fogg

        I’d say it’s more like “don’t kill unjustly” but then what is justice? Pretty subjective, isn’t it, but I agree — a means to gain something you’re not entitled to, such as the elimination of a person.

    • Shut up dog of satan.

  • We only need one commandment, and that is the Golden Rule.

  • “Scribner’s” or professional copyists, errors are unacceptable, period! School children may make these errors, but not if one is a businessman or woman, providing services to the public for money! This would not have happened, say 20 years ago. To put it succinctly, these are NOT reminders the no one is perfect, but indeed reminders that America’s tolerance for mediocrity has far exceeded the limit on self-pride and former values of delivering a job or product well done!

    • And shouldn’t it be “scrivener?” “Scribner’s” is a publisher. No wonder he can’t even get the ten commandments right.

  • tobyspeeks

    The old guy out East blamed his “don’t re-nig” sign on the printer. *cough* I’m sure this will be blamed on the engraver. But from a person who’s been in the printing business for a very long time, the blame squarely lands in the lap of the person or persons who proof read the copy. And 99% of the time that person or persons are the customer. As a printer we work with the customer with the price for a do-over, but that does not negate the fact that most of the GOTeabillies are extremely undereducated.

    • I too spend my life in the printing industry and you are correct most errors come from the customer and most do not want to take the time to either proofread copy prior to production or press proof during production. They sure howl when you do not catch their errors and want you to re-do for nothing. Garbage in Garbage out whatever the media.

  • 113121

    In a way I think they actually do need to read them out loud everyday. Especially the one about lying.

    • tobyspeeks

      That pesky 9th commandment? That’s so far down the list it doesn’t count.

  • I am a Christian. I believe in the 10 Commandments because the essence of each one is a wonderful goal for ALL people to guide themselves through life….. even an athiest in most of the Commandments. Putting this monument on state property, especially in front of any building occupied by political officials is totally hypocritical since most politicians couldn’t even recite all 10, much less live by most of them. In practice, money for personal wealth, power and personal egos have become THEIR God, and too many are currently attempting to make all of us succumb to the power of corporations desires, even when it defies the WILL OF and SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE. Our country was founded on the FREEDOM of religion…NOT just Christians.

    As for the spelling errors, there is NO excuse. Proofreading would have taken care of
    excusable errors.

    As for the monument being erected at all, and then being it permitted to place it on State property, I think is a ruse. Another attempt of SOME so-called Christians to impose THEIR personal “political” interests on the rest of us. Doing it in the name of GOD is abominable.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    The US Supreme Court can not allow this to exist.

    Regardless how one looks at it, this is still a religious document being displayed on PUBLIC PROPERTY!

    The US Constitution does not spell out in exacting detail what the separation between church and state is. It’s vague at most. This is why we see so many cases involving religion and state in our court systems.

    To rectify this horrible situation, the US should hold a Constitutional Convention proposing a new Amendment specifically stating what the separation between church and state should be.

    The Proposal should also include a total removal of all non-profit statuses for any religious organization or church.

    I think it would pass with flying colors…………………..

  • What’s truly sad is that many supposed Christian zealots are setting their hopes on a set of commandments that were made obsolete by the coming of Jesus. These zealots appear to totally ignore the words recorded in the bible: chapter 8 of a letter to the Hebrews which describes clearly that Jesus came to give us a better more expansive covenant (commandments), those outlined for us in chapters 5 through 7 of Mathew’s gospel. In many of his letters to the churches, Paul equates the 10 commandments given to Moses as ‘The Law’,and he makes it quite clear that despite the fact that we might follow these commandments to the letter, they will not necessarily make us acceptable by God. It’s the much clearer commandments that Jesus gave us that God is now looking for us to follow. As the writer of Hebrews 8 states at the end of that chapter: By calling this covenant ‘new’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. What is unfortunate about all of this, is that these Christian zealots keep giving people unfounded hope that by following a set of obsolete commandments they will attain heaven, which is not necessarily the case, even if they follow them to the letter. Because God is asking of us something far better, which is not recorded in the 10 commandments, which is: Love they neighbor as thyself” and ‘Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you’ and even much more than is recorded in the commandments given to Moses.

    • northroader1775

      It’s been my experience that zealots rarely read the bible…they just wave it around when they condemn people. But you are right about the NEW TESTAMENT taking precedance over the OLD. I think Paul even wrote, speaking of the time after the NEW BIRTH…” All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” I cor 10:23. KJV. There is a great place to keep this knowledge…IN YOUR MIND as you make decisions that effect your fellow man.

      Just like the words of Lao Tzu, “Remain low, as the ocean. It is beneath all but all flows effortlessly to it. Thus it can be the source of all. So should your humility be, and thus will your greatness be assured. Serve all regardless of merit, seek only to fill need.”

      I do think that lauding one religion’s list above another’s kind of misses the point of “Freedom of religion…”

    • lathebiosas

      Most of them don’t read or think…….they just repeat..

  • They quote the Bible, but have no understanding of the scripture

  • donbronkema1

    Mike: trouble is, a 2nd Const Convention might be seized by reactonaries…can we risk it At This Point or should we wait for a Populist super-majority?

  • howa4x

    They forgot to add greed one of the 7 deadly sins, or follow other religious laws like the one that states all debts are forgiven after 7 yrs. If they followed the 1st commandment thou shall not kill, they would outlaw private ownership of all guns, to eliminate the possibility. This is the problem with religion in America, it’s all show and no substance. This is why thinking people don’t follow along.
    Jesus railed against the wealthy, and wanted to protect the poor, yet the religious right praises the mass accumulation of weatlh and disparages the poor. I get the feeling that if you took everything Jesus said and turned it completely around you would have the American brand of Christianity and the philosophy of the Republican party. Am I wrong?

    • tobyspeeks

      Greed may be a sin, but I believe it’s more a mental illness, an illness without a cure.

      • howa4x

        True, Greed makes people heartless and cruel, that was why it was called a sin. I think because religion was a few centuries before the study of mental illness’s began

    • Certainly looks like they make “Greed is good” a creed. Republican Christian is an oxymoron.

      • howa4x

        agreed! I don’t know where these un values came from but to pass themsleves off as the party of god is laughable

  • Nor being Christian or Jewish nor Muslim, I find your 10 Commandments insulting.

  • FredAppell

    Oh this is just too precious. “For now, the errors are reminders that no one’s perfect” or very intelligent. See folks, this is what happens when you are too concerned about getting the best bargain, sometimes mediocrity is the end result. If I am putting something out there for everyone to see you better believe that I am going to make sure my spelling is correct. Besides, Christianity isn’t the only religion based on the Ten Commandments. So is the worlds other two major religions. This was nothing more than an attempt to take a huge swipe at secularism and it completely backfired. In a word, PERFECT!

  • Nomoresmoke

    “We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
    – Richard Dawkins (1941-)

  • Mark Samuels

    Quote: “Oklahoma voters passed a state Constitutional amendment banning judges from considering Muslim Sharia or international law in the decisions in 2010. A Federal Appeals court prevented the law from going into effect.”

    Seems to me you need to do some proofreading on your own. I am sure that you meant to write, “in THEIR decisions,” not, “in THE decisions.”

    How’s that for a bite in the ass?

    • Sand_Cat

      Pretty irrelevant, actually.

      A missed typo in a publication is a lot different from one (several, actually) on a brief “sacred” text being put up for public display. And the National Memo is not supported by public funds and rammed down the throats of dissenters such as you who choose to troll here.

  • Ethical Culture (Ethical Humanism) has but one “commandment:” Act so as to bring out the best in others and, therefore, in yourself. Try it; it’s a hummmdinnnger!

  • Habodabi

    Perhaps this is why the bible is so full of errors…

  • SocracticOath

    Adultery can be grounds for a divorce, but it isn’t illegal within our justice system. In fact if the police found out that I was having sex with someone’s wife they aren’t even legally bound to tell that person. As for envy, you have a point that it is the basis for capitalism, but it has nothing to do with the law, it’s merely an incentive. And if we wanted to pretend that this country was founded on the principles of the ten commandments then we would have to prosecute people for being capitalists, on the basis that envy is the catalyst and therefore against the law. LOL.

  • kokuakaumanua1

    This shows a need for education. Whoever set the type for the stone to be carved should have caught the typos even if the copy was not proofread. What I wonder is if they did indeed see the error and carved it that way because they would be able to charge for a do-over if that typo was in the copy from the customer. That would show a need for education on the part of the person who submitted the copy, and better ethics regarding the stone cutters.
    We can’t go back to the days of Ozzie and Harriet, so how do we get others to embrace a love for this Country that makes us want to leave it a better place for generations to come, both here and abroad? What will it take to turn around people who can only criticize without giving any better alternative to consider?
    The Spirit of Aloha is like ripples in water, it spreads like the Golden Rule.
    I am all for installing a Court Jester to interpret reality for the masses with humor. All the hate and fear mongering in the News needs something to balance it, like laughter. One can educate better using humor, than with any weapon, a sharp wit combined with charm and humor seems a novel way to move forward.

    • Sand_Cat

      We already have at least 4 or 5 [Supreme] Court Jesters, or this travesty would never have been permitted.

  • lathebiosas

    Ahh, the South. Rightly are the simple so called……

  • Sand_Cat

    Posting religious texts of any kind on public property is certainly not for “a secular purpose,” despite the various rationlizations by Reagan-Bush courts and their predecessors. Posting of a religious document on government property is a violation of religious freedom, including that of those who support it, even if they are too dense to realize it.

    Take this monument down and put up a text from the Koran, and there would be a miraculous change of heart among the supporters of this travesty, and every one of them knows it.

  • mstlgx1957

    Haven’t they heard of proofreading? When you are spending the type of money that was allocated for this project, making sure there were no errors should have been at the top of the priority list. Maybe the money spent on this monument should have gone back into the public school system, where it is obviously needed more? So sad…

  • johnygo

    Now is the time to change the date of our election. Please tell congress, to move the date from November first Tuesday, to Columbus Day . This was a holiday and the weather was good. unlike November the weather are cold and rainy. Please start a movement,so that every body are able to vote

  • alumahead

    Meybe they should have spent some of that money on education.

  • Leave it, Jake. It’s….Oklahoma.

  • onedonewong

    And yet these libs have no problem with quotas and set asides what hippocrates

    • Sand_Cat

      Wow, thanks. I think. Did you just call us doctors?

      I guess one of those things you “done wrong” was your education: “Hippocrates” was an ancient Greek physician. “Hypocrites” is the name for people like you.

    • jstsyn

      Bad grammar, spelling, and sense is what we have come to expect from the reich wing and their minions.

      • onedonewong

        Gulags, servitude, limited choices and failed economies are the basis for socialism that both barak and Hitler longer for

  • Stupid jerks! LOL! That’s what they get for trying to shove their religion down everybody’s throats. I’m howling!