I agree that Mike puts a good face on it. Perhaps if Christians started calling it "The Ten Pieces of Good Advice" (as Mike seems to view it) rather than "The Ten Commandments," defending the list of "shall nots" would seem less like sanctioning coercion.
Although this is obviously a controversial mix of subjects, i.e. religion and politics, I must say that I feel that Mike's explanation was concise.
The Ten Commandments outline two types of activities. One type relates
to proactive good behavior like "honor your father and mother". The
other type is behavior to avoid, "thou shalt not steal" as an example.
Sin is when a person does something that injures themselves and their
relationship to G_d. Libertarians understand that when you injure
someone else or their property, it is a crime. The Ten Commandments go
further, they express that if one doesn't follow these rules, the
offender will personally suffer the pain of sin.
So to not follow these rules is just like handling a knife carelessly.
Telling someone that if they handle it carelessly they will hurt
themselves is not a threat, it is a warning and potentially a fact. That
some may not believe that they will seriously injure themselves by
ignoring the Ten Commandments or handling a knife carelessly doesn't
make them right or wrong. And in fact someone may handle a knife
carelessly and still not get hurt for a while. But in the case of the
Ten Commandments, we are being told without question, that engaging in
certain behavior or not engaging in certain behavior will certainly harm
ourselves. Of course it's only there for those who want it. There is no
force when someone tells people the consequences of their actions. It's
just good advice and a warning. We are all free to ignore it at our own
I hope this helps.
From: Starchild [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2003 3:04 PM
Subject: [lpsf-discuss] Re: First the Ten Commandments, now this....
I'm curious how you believe the Ten Commandments helped with the
creation of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution certainly relies on
the notion that rights are inherent or "god-given," but the Ten
Commandments weren't about giving rights.
If anything, those tablets associated with Moses seem to be
taking rights away -- revoking the free will that the Biblical God
allegedly granted to human beings. After all, are you really feel free
to exercise your right to free will if an entity capable of sending you
to eternal torture or eternal bliss lays out in no uncertain terms what
he (it?) thinks you *ought* to be doing? Isn't there an implied threat
BTW, I just noticed your cover story on being an Oakland
school teacher in last month's California Liberty (the state LP
newsletter). Great job!
Yours in liberty,
> Hey Chris,
> What the heck are you talking about? I never even
> mentioned this dude's name.
> It's you and Rob that are sending and responding to
> messages regarding this guy's agenda, which does give
> him credit.
> Actually, in my opinion, comparing this guy's agenda
> to the Ten Commandments is actually giving him a lot
> of credit. I don't even see the similarity between the
> two, but you stated that you do. I never even
> mentioned his name.
> The Ten commandments, in my opinion, as far as I can
> see, is a document that wasn't written by any human
> being, but was used by human beings to help them
> create this great man-made document called the
> Constitution and the Bill of Rights, intended to
> promote freedom and liberty, which is probably why it
> is still displayed in governmnet offices. I don't see
> any hateful references to homosexuality in the Ten
> Commandments, and I certainly don't see any similarity
> to comparing it to an individual trying to erect a
> staue with his own personal opinion about another
> human being inscribed on it. What else can I say on
> this except that I think the Ten Commandments being
> displayed in government offices is to remind us of
> it's value to achieving liberty and freedom, not to
> promote a homophobic agenda. This is my opinion, and I
> hope we'll all be living happily ever after in New
> Dave Barker.
> --- "Christopher R. Maden" <crism@...> wrote:
>> BTW, don't give Fred Phelps any more credit than he
>> deserves. His
>> "congregation" is a group of a little over a dozen
>> folks, mostly related to
>> him, and it's only the media attention he gets that
>> keeps him going.
> "One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."
> Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
> "A little rebellion is a good thing now and then."
> Thomas Jefferson
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