Words from the founding fathers – 4.29.10
Posted: Friday, April 30, 2010 3:30 pm
By: Nathan Castleman, Guest Columnist
I listen to all that’s going on in our neighborhoods, schools, communities, cities, states and country; and I wonder how did we get here. The next question is, how do we get out of this mess?
I believe that James Madison held the answer when in 1778 he said to the General Assembly of the state of Virginia the following: “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity … to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
Sounds like a simplistic and a Christian right winged approach, but I believe many of the founders would have been characterized in that manner.
In their writings, the founders quoted the Bible 15,000 times. Of all the things and people that they quoted, 34 percent of them were from the Bible with most of them being from Deuteronomy. Incidentally that’s one Biblical reference where you will find the Ten Commandments.
Why don’t we take a look at these ten “out dated” and offensive commandments:
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.
How many times have we as individuals, groups, and a country put numerous things before God and even worshiped them. We put our jobs first, other people first, and ideas first.
Political parties, celebrities, sports figures, and materialism become our idols. Did it show that some companies were worshiped when deemed “too big to fail”? Even test scores have become idols.
3. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God. We do not hold God’s name in reverence. Many times people evoke His name only to make themselves look credible. Too many times His name has been left out of the conversation.
4. Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Choose any Sunday (or Saturday for those who worship God then) and look around to see how many people are observing it in a way that is pleasing to Him. How many people will choose to do anything except to worship God?
I know that politicians are busy people, but can’t they find time to attend a church of their choice?
The founders didn’t expect everyone to attend any certain church. President Jefferson started a non-denominational church in the Capitol, which saw 2000 people a week, had the Marine Corps band play during worship, plus had the first woman and the first black preacher to preach in the Capitol.
He also started churches in the War Dept., Treasury Dept., and the Navy Yard.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
How many times have we witnessed kids in Wal-Mart or other places dishonor their parents? How often do we laugh at a movie or television program where the kids talk back their parents? There are videos of children saying that they should take their parents aside and educate them on matters.
“After 2004, I was furious and my parents didn’t want to do anything. It was a little bit awkward. You’re telling your parents who raised you, who have given you these talks, they need to do something different.”
These are same parents who are having to make the tough decisions. Then let’s not forget how honoring is it going to be in the near future when our parents and grandparents are not able to receive all the medical attention that they need or deserve?
6. You shall not murder.
The obvious, abortion. You may not want to call them “death panels”. “Health Care Rationing Board” does sound much more appealing. Then there’s the murder of others’ reputations and good names. What about the murder of someone’s childhood by someone who selfishly desires to satisfy their own desires?
7. You shall not commit adultery.
Once again there’s the obvious that tears at the fabric of our families. But it’s about the misuse of a trust. How many companies took that trust and sold it out for their own greed? More companies than just Goldman Sachs. What about our own government that has taken our trust time and time again, only to prove that they don’t deserve our trust.
They cause a problem, not claim responsibility, blame someone else, and then say they will fix it. Scariest words, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.
8. You shall not steal.
Where should I start? How many people steal everyday, even if just a paperclip? Companies steal from the working public by employing illegals. Illegals steal not only jobs, but also through governmental subsidies. There’s all the fraud in Social Security and Medicare. Pork barrel spending. Stealing from our children’s futures by spending money we don’t have.
9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
We see this in everyday life. People will say anything that will give them the advantage. In the political world this is rampant. Neither party is immune or innocent. Just tell the truth and give the facts.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
This is one of the big reasons we are in the mess we’re in today. No one wants to start at the bottom and work their way up. Children want and expect only the best. Young couples expect to have the well furnished $150,000 house with 2 new cars. The attitude of if you want it go take it has produced a greedy way of thinking. Why did the housing bubble burst? Sure companies should not have made the loans and the government should have not pushed for it, but people have to take responsibility for thinking they could afford something that they knew they couldn’t afford.
It’s time to get back to ideals that make sense. Time to make tough choices. Time to get back to the basics, to get back to the fundamentals that made this country, communities, schools, families and individuals great. A good place to start is with the Ten Commandments. Government is not the answer.
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