In our opinion: The Ten Commandments in today's society


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  • Judy C Sandy, UT
    April 26, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    I have found the series insightful but hard to access online. Even when I put in the title, I can't always get the article to come up. This is such an outstanding series it should be much easier to find a complete list on your site of these ten articles so people could click and read.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2014 7:17 p.m.

    There was a very interesting piece on the History Channel about the 10 commandments. The one commandment that I found revealing was: "Thou shalt not commit adultery". Turns out in ancient times it was not considered adultery if a married man with/without concubines had relations with a non married woman. He was not committing adultery.

    However, if a married woman and a married man had relations in the city, it was assumed that both were committing adultery. If however the act took place outside the city walls, it was assumed that the man had forced the woman He was charged with committing adultery, but she wasn't. It was assumed that she had been forced.

    Just interesting how it was set up then and now.

    Rather different view than I had on this commandment.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    April 17, 2014 5:40 p.m.

    Maudine, Are you trying to tell me that the Greek and Roman cultures pre-dated the Hebrew culture that produced the ten commandments?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    April 17, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    I think that the commandment that says "Thou shalt not covet" is important. If a man covets women then he views (hey I almost said 'read') pornography and mentally undresses women with his eyes. That is sexist.

    But we covet stuff, new cars, fancy gadgets, big houses. Our economic system is built on debt so we can buy more 'stuff'. We consume resources, we emit greenhouse gases, (even if you do not believe in man caused global warming, still, is it not a sin to waste?)

    One of my friends has a friend. The friend spent $11,000 for three purses. One is a Hermes purse. You could put someone who is permanently unemployed through a trade school with that money.

    The commandments aren't some toucy feely thing that is about getting good stuff in the next life. It should be the basis of our civilization and if it isn't bad things are going to happen, not because God intentionally punishing us, but because we've brought it upon ourselves by our own foolishness.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    April 17, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    I guess my comment hit way too close to the truth. In the Bible it says that by their fruits shall you know them. When you lie, it negates everything else you try to espouse. It just adds to the talking points against the LDS church when they condone lying. When you jerk people around saying you will get back to them, fully knowing you have no intention to, that is a lie and I have had that happen three times. I would rather have you just say...we don't like what you have to say, we are not going to publish it...rather than lie.

  • wa1den Sandy, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:26 a.m.


    The fact that you find the ten commandments (& no doubt other religious norms)
    to be worthless, says a lot more about the person that you are than it does about
    the religious values you take the liberty to assess as being without value in our
    modern times. No wonder the world is in the condition it is in - attributing that
    reality to people who think like you, but not attributing the whole problem you
    personally - I rather doubt that your personal impact is sufficiently great for
    that. In fact, to be fair, I must also include in the same category those who pro-
    fess to believe in God, but who say one thing and do the opposite of what they have
    been taught to believe - they are probably responsible for the feelings of a large
    portion of the people who think like you.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 16, 2014 4:25 p.m.

    Tyler D –

    “What’s your point?”

    My point is that Christian principles imbue western law, especially in Great Britain and its former colonies, including America.

    Look at Gildas’ comment. He explained that English Common law is derived mostly from Anglo Saxon law NOT Roman law.

    And the United States has based its law on English Common Law.

    Given the fact that England has been part of Christendom at least since roughly 600 AD, it’s naïve to believe that the Ten Commandments did not influence English Common in the intervening FOURTEEN centuries.

    Think about it Tyler D. You seem to acknowledge that the Christian Church was a powerful social force, and yet you somehow believe it could not have insinuated its values into the law. That makes no sense. I think you’re trying hard to support your prejudices, but the facts keep getting in the way.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 16, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    @GaryO – “Well yeah. No kidding. The Roman Republic had vanished in spirit and substance by the time of the First Triumvirate, and it certainly was not in existence at all from Octavian onward.”

    What’s your point?

    Mine was simply that the Roman civil law that informed English common law and our founding was a product of the Roman Republic (the early days long before Caesar), not the Roman Empire (i.e., Christianity influenced the empire, not the republic).

    And I never said Christianity did not influence European civilization (even greatly). My point was that its influence was largely negative as evidenced by the 1000 years of stagnation & superstition that followed the fall of Rome.

    Were it not for the rediscovery of Greek philosophy, Roman law and the first forays into science (which almost always placed a budding scientist in grave danger from the Church), we would still be in the dark ages.

    Reached comment limit…

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 16, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    Tyler D –

    “By the time Christianity came on the scene, the Republic had long since vanished . . .”
    Well yeah. No kidding. The Roman Republic had vanished in spirit and substance by the time of the First Triumvirate, and it certainly was not in existence at all from Octavian onward.

    Caesar Augustus was politically astute enough to PRETEND a Republic existed, and he commanded that everyone refer to him as “First Citizen,” even though he was actually the first Emperor in a long line of de facto emperors and nominal First Citizens. Sure there was a Senate, but it had little real power. The point is, your much vaunted Roman Republic was a sham during Rome’s greatest days of conquest and growth.

    On the other hand, the power of Christianity was very real from Constantine onward. To suggest that Christianity had little influence in the politics and principles passed down throughout the Western World is to deny reality.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2014 5:04 p.m.

    @A Quaker
    "The fastest growing period in our economy, and the biggest burgeoning of the middle class and new housing came in the 1950s and early '60s. Look up the tax rates and financial regulations back then."

    In fairness, nobody was really paying those uber-high tax rates in the 1950s, what with all the deductions and all. Personally, I prefer a different line of argument focused on wealth distribution/inequality that was remarkably steady from the 50s-70s, a period where we also weren't nearly as vulnerable to a boom-bust economy as we were before and recently. I think it's no coincidence that 1928 and 2007 were our worst years of income inequality the past century, both followed by massive economic collapse. Sadly we're right back where we were in 2007 again.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 14, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    Regarding the sub-discussion about the basis of American legal traditions I offer a few points:

    1. The Romans never conquered the whole island of Great Britain.

    2. After Roman rule the Anglo-Saxons came and dominated most of the lowlands of today's England and lowland Scotland.

    3. Anglo-Saxon law is different from Roman law and seems to be a complete break with the
    Roman invaders and their legal traditions. Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions based on "tithings", "hundreds" , and larger sub-divisions were seen by the American founding fathers as connected to Bible jurisdictions based on numbers of families and their elders. Common law is set at odds with Roman law the former being more locally based and less authoritarian. There are other fundamental differences.

    4. Christianity (spoken of by one poster here) was said by the "Roman" Church to begin with St Augustine's mission commissioned by papal authority. That was true, I believe, for Anglo-Saxon Britain, but the Gaelic part of England speaks of much earlier Christianisation in which St Paul (the Apostle) and Joseph of Arimethea were personally involved. These are ancient traditions which have persisted through many centuries.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 14, 2014 9:28 p.m.

    @GaryO – “Christianity was the official state religion of the Roman Empire from 380 onward.
    And the importance of Christianity in Europe during the Middle Ages cannot be overstated.”

    Not really…

    The Roman Republic was founded almost 900 years before this. By the time Christianity came on the scene, the Republic had long since vanished and the Rome that took its place was an empire of ruling elites, professional soldiers, massive inequality, and a hallow shell of the great republic that codified civil law, was inspired by Greece, and inspired far more than Christianity our own founding.

    As for Europe, Christianity plunged it into a 1000 year Dark Age steeped in ecclesiastical rule. It was only a rediscovery of Greek thought (which admittedly the Church disseminated, mainly because priests/monks were the only educated class) combined with a slow rejection of superstition in favor of reason and science that we began to climb out.

    If that’s what you mean, then yes, Christianity’s influence cannot be overstated.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    April 14, 2014 9:15 p.m.

    @ GaryO

    Roman Civil Law was developed between 750 and 450 BCE -- long before Christianity. In fact, before most of what would became the Old Testament was written.

    Roman rule in Britannia lasted from 43 to 409 CE and was waining before Rome adapted Christianity. In any case, Roman Law was well established in Britain before the Christian era.

    We all like to think our personal religion is the center of the universe. That just isn't the case. But rewriting history seems to be a favorite pastime of many. To me, that seems less than honest -- thou shalt not bear false witness, anyone?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 14, 2014 6:35 p.m.

    Hey koseighty -

    “The laws of the United States are based on English Common Law which was based on Roman Civil Law which evolved quite independently from the Middle East.”

    Not really. Christianity was the official state religion of the Roman Empire from 380 onward.
    And the importance of Christianity in Europe during the Middle Ages cannot be overstated.

    “To say our law is based on the Ten Commandments, or any part of the Bible” . . . is pretty accurate.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 14, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    So, from what I read Christians are telling us about the 10 commandments,
    Whatever Jesus taught was moot?

    Matt 5:
    21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

    22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

  • pmccombs Orem, UT
    April 14, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    As it turns out, it is not entirely accurate to state that the 10 commandments changed the world, as if they were some sort of novelty or innovation at the time. It seems that Maat already covered most of these rules in his 42 apophatic confessions, thousands of years before the Hebrews wrote down their own version.

    Here is a sample:

    I have never cursed God
    I have not robbed God
    I have done no murder nor bid anyone to slay on my behalf
    I have not stolen
    I have not lusted nor defiled the wife of any man
    I have not spoken lies

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    April 14, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    @Mountanman, @Schnee: Our economic system only works fairly when there is a fair balance of inputs. It takes capital to build production capacity, return on investment to attract investors, people willing to sell their labor in return for doing the work of the enterprise, and customers willing to pay the price for the products and services.

    Things get seriously out of kilter when employees don't get paid a living wage, when employers "raise productivity" by effectively lowering the cost of employment (such as through forced, unpaid overtime), when production capacity exceeds demand.

    One role of government is to play economic traffic cop, to ensure everyone gets a reasonable cut of the pie, to bolster and enlarge the middle class, and stimulate the overall economy. Ayn Randian policies do the exact opposite, shrinking the economy and siphoning available capital into a handful of fat and contented pockets.

    The fastest growing period in our economy, and the biggest burgeoning of the middle class and new housing came in the 1950s and early '60s. Look up the tax rates and financial regulations back then. It was the opposite of today.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 14, 2014 1:05 p.m.


    Since you're interested in the Hebrew meanings, perhaps you would like to check out the 15 Hebrew word that variously were all translated into the one English word "Abomination". More often than not, they translate to a mere "taboo" instead of how we view the word.

    The first commandments are useless. The others tell us how to treat others.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    April 14, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    RE: Quaker, “As translated correctly”; "You shall not murder”(Ex 20:13 NIV) The verb (ratsakh) refers to the premeditated or accidental taking of the life of another human being; it includes any unauthorized killing (it is used for the punishment of a murderer, but that would not be included in the prohibition). This commandment teaches the sanctity of all human life(abortion).

    Love Fulfills God’s Requirements: If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. (Romans 13:8-10).

    @Gildas The Ten Commandments: how are we doing??

    Eph 6:2,3. Honor your Father and Mother”[not mothers/polygamy],which is the first commandment with a promise. God distinguishes father and mother from all other persons on earth, chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the highest place in our lives next to God..

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    April 14, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    The laws of the United States are based on English Common Law which was based on Roman Civil Law which evolved quite independently from the Middle East.

    To say our law is based on the Ten Commandments, or any part of the Bible, is to rewrite history to your liking. And like most religion, has no basis in fact.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 14, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    A richer person offers a job only because there's demand for it. If there's not enough wealth in the lower/middle classes to sustain demand, there won't be new jobs. So in the end it's consumers that create jobs, not the rich.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    April 14, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    The so-called author of the Ten Commandments totally disqualified himself and destroyed his credibility and moral authority with the first few "commandments" - specifically, verse 5 of Exodus 20:

    "for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me."

    No moral creature would be so violently unjust, immoral, and contradictory.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 14, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    The Ten Commandments: how are we doing?

    The first four are about a relationship with a living celestial Father: Worship him and not lifeless material objects. He declares he is "jealous" or in other words zealously protective of His own, and also merciful to "them that love me and keep my commandments", He expects us to observe one day a week of rest in honor of Him and not take His name in vain. How are we doing?

    The remaining six, dealing with a relationship with our fellow men are, like the first four, headed by honor for a father, only add mother too. We are not to kill innocent people, or either covet or take that which belongs to others (including wives and husbands, or slanderously traduce the reputation of another. In other words hold sacred the rights of life, reputation, and property. How are we doing?

    They may have once been the basis for our laws but now, sadly, it would be hard to prove we are successfully enforcing them. The rights of property are often protected but man "legally" gains the property of others by digging a pit for his neighbor and taking advantage of his words.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    April 14, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    There are populations of people through out the world who have never heard of the Ten Commandmants who live a more ethical and moral social life than Christian communities do. It is all just words if not converted to deeds and practiced.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    April 14, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    @higv, @sharrona, @gildas: Even assuming one believes in a death penalty, to apply it justly it must be applied perfectly. Any case of executing an innocent person is murder. To apply the death penalty perfectly depends on having a perfect legal system run by perfect people with the necessity of holding perfect trials with perfect testimony by perfect witnesses with perfect prosecutors and perfect defense attorneys.

    Yet, perfection is not ours on Earth.

    Our legal system screws up on a regular basis. We find people wrongfully convicted, cleared by new evidence ten, twenty or thirty years later. We've seen juries swayed by false testimony by expert witnesses, or mistaken identity by a persuasive eyewitness, evidence falsified by a bad actor in a state laboratory, and incompetent defense attorneys.

    When society puts people innocent of capitol crimes to death, its citizens are committing murder.

    The legal system cannot be absolutely perfect. Sloth, subterfuge and error are inevitable. The death penalty will never be perfect and there's no fixing it when we murder an innocent person. Knowing that we're not perfect, how can we risk our mortal souls?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 14, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    @JSB – “Of course, it's easier to escape into cynicism than to actually strive to live a moral life.”

    Your comments betray a false dichotomy and logical fallacy common among believers in mythic religion. You falsely conclude that in order to be moral one must believe in myths and stories.

    History, anthropology and many modern societies today demonstrate quite convincingly that this is not so.

    However, if believing the stories makes you (or anyone) a better person, more power to you.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 14, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    brother Johnson; "That was how God introduced mankind to written laws approved my him."

    And the 50,000 years of mankind previous to the ten commandments were what left to themselves or is this just another Christian myth to justify your beliefs today?

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    April 14, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    The Ten Commandments are a set of laws regarded by Christians.
    An Jews.
    And Muslims.
    Most other religions and philosophies have many similar laws and concepts.
    And even most secular people think at least half of them are a good idea.

    They have been the foundation of the laws of most nations of the Earth through history since their conception, including all of western Europe and the Americas. To dismiss the ten commandments as some "antiquated religious imposition" is to display an ignorance of history and a wild intolerance of religion.

    It's also worth noting that respect of life, freedom, and property are the core of the God-fearing people who established the United States, while the communist manifesto denounces all religion, simultaneously lacking all regard for life, freedom, and property.

  • Cole Thomas Salt Lake City, UT
    April 14, 2014 4:48 a.m.

    Keep trying to re-write history, Deseret News. No seriouesly, it's working really well for you. "The Ten Commandments are the basis of society!1!" Yeah... sure. No seriously, we totally believe you.

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    April 14, 2014 12:39 a.m.

    Actually the ten commandments were a mix of moral law and governmental law. That was how God introduced mankind to written laws approved my him.
    Thou shall not is unclear about whether a moral choice or a lawful punishable choice. So Moses made them all governmental laws.
    If thou shall not covet was a punishable crime, we would all be in jail.
    I look to the Book of Mormon for our governmental rule of law.
    It is simple and exactly what a constitutional democracy is built upon.
    Equality under all laws for all citizens.
    Alma 30:7 7 Now there was no law against a man’s belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds.
    ----that is more clear than most LDS care to think about.
    Drug laws and corporate bribery violate that principle so clearly. But only if one can use all of the available facts on hand. Which we can't because of instinct's power over our minds.
    It's clear that Satan (with power over all flesh) is instinct program, but that knowledge is hidden.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 14, 2014 12:16 a.m.

    Brian Barnard made them irrelevant, at least in Utah. Sad. We need them more than ever.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 13, 2014 11:07 p.m.

    The Hebrew word translated 'kill' actually signifies "murder" or the shedding of innocent blood. Other commandments and penalties in the Mosaic code show that guilty people can be judicially killed, and that innocent animals can be slain for food. There is a prohibition on being a "liar" in scripture but the commandment (in the Ten) is a prohibition on bearing false witness AGAINST your neighbor not lying in general; it is very specific. In Utah as elsewhere there is no longer any legal prohibition enforced against adultery. In Utah as elsewhere there is no enforcement of any law against false witness in divorce courts etc.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    April 13, 2014 8:20 p.m.

    The threefold use of the law:

    One is to be a mirror reflecting to us both the perfect righteousness of God and our own sinfulness. The law is meant to give knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20; 4:15; 5:13), and by showing us our need of pardon and our danger of damnation to lead us in faith to Christ (Gal. 3:19-24)

    Two the “civil use,” is to restrain evil. It can to some extent inhibit lawlessness by its threats of judgement, when backed by a civil code that administers punishment for proven offenses (Deut. 13:6-11; 19:16-21; Rom. 13:3,4).

    Three is to guide the regenerate into the good works that God has planned for them (Eph. 2:10). Christ was speaking of this third use of the law when He said that those to His disciples must be taught to do all that He had commanded (Matt. 28:20).. The Christian is free from the law as a system of salvation (Rom. 6:14; Gal. 2:15-19, ), but is “under the law of Christ” as a rule of life (1 Cor. 9:21; Gal. 6:2).”

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    April 13, 2014 6:22 p.m.

    The 10 Commandments is the basis for most of modern laws and concepts for a lifestyle that can bring joy to us. Don't confuse the selfishness of man as it pertains to Wall Street, Bail outs or universal healthcare. Charity is something that is given without being told you have to as universal healthcare is a government entity, not a charitable means.

    To love someone completely unconditionally sometimes requires not giving into principles but doing what is right. Our Heavenly Father has destroyed many of the wicked by means that some would find quite unfair yet his judgment is true. Upon the return of the Savior again the wicked will be destroy unless they repent and are as righteous as they can be. Murder is the killing of innocent blood. The Book of Mormon spells this out quite well. It is sometimes better that one should die to allow the survival of a nation or a people. As Christ stated, "If you love me keep my commandments". Living by the Lord's principles against the world's shall always bring eternal joy and happiness. Wickedness never was happiness.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 13, 2014 5:30 p.m.

    Tekakaromatagi "up to then the point had been honoring Gods by pointless things like praying to an idol or sacrificing and burning incense without any morality being connected to it.". Maybe for the Israelites but other societies including civilizations that our founding fathers relied on for organizing principles, had moral laws without any association with the God of the old testament.

    Mike Richards; "In a society that is being taught to covet the wealth of others, those who believe in that concept cannot reconcile themselves with a God-given commandment to not covet.

    believing in a society of fair a just principles including caring for the less fortunate and demanding a just distribution of created wealth is not coveting. It's compassion and empathy.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    April 13, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    I'm not surprised at the cynical responses in these comments, but disappointed, never-the-less. I can't understand why some people would actually criticize the Deseret News for trying to help people find ways to be better people.The fact is if more people tried to live according to the Ten Commandments, we would have a much better society. If people would really worship God, they would try to bless the lives of others. If people followed the spirit of the Ten Commandments there would be more harmony in our families; respect for human life; no sexual promiscuity or stealing or lying or coveting. Sounds like a great society to me. Of course, it's easier to escape into cynicism than to actually strive to live a moral life. But, in spite of the efforts of some people to belittle these articles before they have even read them, I'm looking forward to these articles. I hope I will find in them new ways I can live a better life and ways to bless others' lives.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    @ LDS Liberal and @ JoeCapitalist
    I do not know what the first 4 have to do with being a humane. They are all about adulation of Yahweh. Only three (bearing false witness, stealing and murder) are codified into our laws. Adultery has either been removed from state statues or unenforced. I object to the characterization that with atheists and secular humanists laws are changed to suit their own purposes without consequences. I am agnostic and consequence is how I judge all behaviors. So do most of my atheist or secular friends. Absolute dictates like zero tolerance policies and mandatory sentences are idiotic and do not account for special situations and circumstances. Humanist morality determines what is good or evil entirely on whether the consequences are positive or harmful.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2014 2:34 p.m.

    "Should we role over and play dead when attacked."

    Well, uh, yes. That is if you are a Christian and believe in Christ.

    "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    April 13, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    Its year 2014 they are today completely worthless.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 13, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    I read the 10 commandments.

    Some see it as immorality and sexuality -- 10%.

    However, 90% is about how we deal with our fellow men --
    They warns of worshipping False Gods, Idols, lying, cheating, stealing...

    Because of that --
    Most it applies to our economic problems today.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 13, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    Commandments 5-10 simply codify for one middle-east tribe moral intuitions that have been adhered to by successful ancient societies all over the world, and these intuitions are no more arbitrary than the impulses to eat, drink and care for your children.

    Of course that doesn’t square with the Noah, Moses, modern Christian narrative that this small enclave of tribal wisdom enlightened the rest of the wicked world, because without that narrative the entire OT informed fundamentalist worldview appears to unravel.

    Commandments 1-4 sound like little more than the vain utterances of an incredibly insecure (for a supreme being) tribal god… one among many in the ancient world.

    If the anthropomorphic god of Abraham (displaying many of the negative character traits we would expect of a god created in the image of a bronze age, warlike desert people) does exist and the rest of the ancient gods do not, these commandments are entirely superfluous.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    April 13, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    to Mike R

    "Many will tell us why God is wrong or why religion is wrong, but what have they to offer?"

    Why religion is wrong. Its 1 persons interpretation of what he thinks God wants & people that blindly follow.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    April 13, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right. -- Anonymous

    ... "the role of religious moral imperatives are a *Johnny-come-lately* that emerged only as an addition to our natural instincts for cooperation and empathy." The Bonobo and the Atheist - Frans De Waal

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    April 13, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    Anyone who has studied history and anyone who has studied the world's religions knows that the only thing in the 10 Commandments that was new was the 1st Commandment - no other Gods before me and no worshipping idols. And that wasn't even that new - Greek and Roman mythology has very jealous gods.

    The rest of the 10 Commandments pre-existed Moses (Moses fled to the desert because he had violated the law and killed someone).

    How do you justify starting a series on the 10 Commandments with an inaccuracy that comes very close to violating one of those Commandments?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    April 13, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    @AQuaker the command not to kill is not to murder that is the intentional and unjustifiable taking of a human life. There are places throughout the scriptures were Capital Punishment is the prescribed punishment for murder. That is justice for victim since mercy cannot rob justice. There were times when Jehovah told Moses and the armies to go to war against ruthless enemies.

    Moses himself slayed an Egyptian in defense of a Hebrew slave. Firearms are here to protect us. Should we role over and play dead when attacked. Abortion is murder it is the unjustifiable taking of a human life. A prisoner found guilty of taking a life himself forfeited his own right to live and that is not murder.

  • 04/13/2014 S. Jordan, UT
    April 13, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    I hope you exam the idea of mans laws in general, i.e., laws are rules of action, designed by the creator to not only govern the behavior of physical elements, such as gravity, but also the behavior of humans.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 13, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    The Ten Commandments as a concept of written code and rule of law are great. But, as Robert Heinlein famously observed, "The first five are solely for the benefit of the priests and the powers that be; the second five are half truths, neither complete nor adequate."

    The first five give power to those who claim they speak for the local god so they are not easily questioned or challenged. Galileo being charged with blasphemy for saying the earth orbits the sun, Christians in an uproar about the blasphemy of "Cosmos," and Muslims claiming any free thought is blasphemy can all be traced back to the first five commandments and the priesthood protecting itself.

    The quest for power backed by religion is universal. Again, Heinlein: "It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics."

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 13, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    @ Marxist. "The struggle of labor against capital will find no place in your series". What you are missing is that in any society, it takes capital to produce jobs where people can work, not the other way around! No wonder every Marxist society in history has always lived in poverty, they have it backwards. When was the last time a poor person offered you a job? Your beloved Cuba the former E. Germany compared to W. Germany, N. Korea compared to S. Korea, the former USSR and Hong Kong, China are excellent examples.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    I wonder if you can deal with the concentrations of economic power today. In your general discourse you don't seem to be able. So to cut to the chase, being concerned about the top heavy distribution of wealth does not constitute coveting. Speaking for myself I have never wanted a lot of anyone else's stuff. I am afraid however of concentrated power. For example the drive of many super wealthy to end social security and medicare is a direct threat to myself and my wife. That's the point - concentrations of wealth creating the locus of power. Can you deal with this in your discussions? I shall reserve judgement.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 13, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    1“I am the Lord your God, …no other gods before Me.
    2“No carved image, nor any likeness..
    3“Thous shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,
    4“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    5“Honor your father and your mother,
    6“Thou shalt not murder.
    7“Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    8“Thou shalt not steal.
    9“Thou shalt not bear false witness.
    10“Thou shalt not covet...”


    Apply this to Wall Street, Corporate Bailouts, Middle Eastern Wars and Capitalism, "Free Speech" [legalized bribery] to Corporations,


    Affordable Healthcare, paying down the debt [including raising taxes on the wealthiest], tending to the poor, sick, needy...

    And get back to me about how we are doing,
    and where we are going wrong?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    April 13, 2014 8:50 a.m.


    I just finished reading the Old Testament. I see a lot of things in it to support your view. Go read Isaiah 1 for starters. I think that the Ten Commandments is misleading. Maybe we got this from Cecil B. DeMille? The Old Testament says a lot about social justice. Job's friends said that he was afflicted because he had sinned. The sins they talk about are not caring for the widow, the orphan and not being kind to strangers. (Job argues otherwise).
    Jer. 22:3-4 does a pretty good job of describing what God wants them to do. Isaiah 1 is good too.

    @Pragmatist for Life: The issue in the Old Testament was morality, things like honoring God by being kind to strangers, taking care of the poor. Up to then the issue had been honoring Gods by pointless things like praying to an idol or sacrificing and burning incense without any morality being connected to it.

    So, these bronze age shepherds were really a bunch of bronze age radicals.

    (Funny, our technology is way better than the bronze age, but our civic society is still getting stuck in the same issues.)

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 13, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    The editorial and the story associated with it give great hope that not everyone is in the process of rejecting God and the doctrine that he gave us, first to Adam and Eve and then to each dispensation. Even today, revelation on those former commandments are often given in order to make our passage through life less perilous.

    Many will tell us why God is wrong or why religion is wrong, but what have they to offer? In a society that is being taught to covet the wealth of others, those who believe in that concept cannot reconcile themselves with a God-given commandment to not covet. Those who reject God's definition of marriage cannot reconcile themselves to the commandment to not commit adultery (or anything like it).

    The coming series will enlighten those who read it with open hearts and open minds, just like the first instalment on "Soul Searchers" today.

    Congratulations to the Deseret News for focusing on the things in life that matter.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    April 13, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    Surely, laws existed long before the days of Moses, but what the Ten Commandments enshrine is the idea that "right and wrong" exists independent of the whims a few powerful leaders or of popular opinion. They were carved in stone and represent a firm foundation for the belief that this world was created by God and that He expects certain things from us.

    The atheists and secularist of the day want everyone to believe that God does not exist and we can change anything and everything to suit our own purposes without consequences. Life is just a "social experiment" to them instead of a crucial step in a well laid-out plan. Believers look to the Ten Commandments as a sign that God cares about them and that He is in charge.

    That is why they are so controversial and at the center of the religious-secularist debate.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 13, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    This says it all:

    Matthew 22:36-40 (King James Version)

    36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    38 This is the first and great commandment.

    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    If people can live up to that standard, nothing more needs to be said.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 13, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    As creatures capable of killing one another I have to figure we had figured out and evolved the basis of our morality long before the top ten. Otherwise, we'd have never made it that far.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    April 13, 2014 4:56 a.m.

    When you review the "Shall not kill" Commandment, I hope you'll have a thorough discussion of the death penalty, as well as the Second Amendment, along with the "stand your ground" laws.

    As a society, we kill collectively. Our laws provide for the death penalty. Our government, which represents all of us, kills in our name, not only out of necessity when defending ourselves in war, but voluntarily, when we execute prisoners.

    As a society, we facilitate killing by individuals. Our extremely liberal gun laws, and the mad proliferation of handguns, means that nary a day goes by that some child doesn't kill themselves or another with an unsecured weapon (accidentally or otherwise). With tens of thousands of shooting deaths of adults and children every year, many on purpose, why do we find the Second Amendment so much more important than the Sixth Commandment?

    "Stand your ground" laws are the very opposite of Christian principle. There is nothing wrong with being meek, backing down, defusing a violent situation. Stand your ground laws justify vengeful, reflexive violence.

    Or, are we just going to talk about abortion?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 12, 2014 11:21 p.m.

    The struggle of labor against capital will find no place in your series I'm sure. It will have very limited value.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 12, 2014 10:46 p.m.

    " The Ten Commandments launched into human history the hypothesis that a society could be peacefully ordered under a rule of generally applicable laws rather than the forceful whim of autocrats."

    Seriously your position is that the ten commandments are the very first set of laws to govern any society in a peaceful way. The ten commandments are what 3000 years old, and humans have existed in a modern fashion for 50,000 years and began to farm and live in communities at least 12,000 years ago.

    Well I guess the bubble is bigger than I ever imagined.