Comments about ‘In our opinion: The Ten Commandments in today's society’

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Published: Saturday, April 12 2014 10:05 p.m. MDT

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salt lake city, utah

" 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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

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?

American Fork, UT

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.

Ogden, UT

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.

Orem, UT

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.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia


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.)

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

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?

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Hayden, ID

@ 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.

Cleveland , OH

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."

S. Jordan, UT

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.

Dietrich, ID

@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.


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?

Wally West

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

Hank Pym

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.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

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.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

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.

Los Angeles, CA

Its year 2014 they are today completely worthless.

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