Farah to Bring Ten Commandments to America


Worldnutdaily founder and owner Joseph Farah has launched a new crusade to “bring God’s law back to America” by putting up billboards all over the country with the Ten Commandments on them. He’s already put up the first 11 of them, in Las Vegas.

In their simplest and purest form, of course, those “great pillars” and “indispensable supports” of America’s religion and morality are none other than the very core of God’s law – the Ten Commandments.

But where are those commandments now?

They’ve largely been removed from public ceremony, schools, government and even some churches.

And look at the results.

Maybe it’s time to change that.

“The problem is America is not limited to atheists, agnostics, cults and non-believers,” says Farah. “In fact, the biggest problem America has is with those who call themselves believers but who act no differently than the worldliest individuals on the planet. You can call these people backslidden. You can call them false converts. Or you can call them undiscipled, nominal believers. What they all have in common is they are not in obedience to God. They are not even trying to follow the most basic moral law, as Jesus and the prophets all instructed.”

He said the plan is for dozens, if not hundreds, of billboards.

“The goal is two-fold,” Farah says. “I want to prick the consciences of believers and non-believers alike, and I want Americans to see the basis of all our laws as handed down by God at Mount Sinai in hopes they will repent of their sins and turn back to their Creator.”

I love this claim that the Ten Commandments are the “basis of all our laws.” Where is the law that requires people to worship no other gods but Jehovah? Not only is there no such law, the constitution forbids it completely. Where is the law against making graven images? Or taking the lord’s name in vain? Or coveting? Or committing adultery? Or requiring one to honor their father and mother? There are laws against theft and murder, of course, and against bearing false witness in some specific circumstances (fraud, perjury, libel). But that’s because no society can possibly exist for long without such laws, not because a bronze age god says so.

And you’re gonna love the dishonest, out of context quotation in the article. In a long list of quotes introduced with “Listen to what others have said and written about the Ten Commandments,” they include this one:

“One of the great questions of philosophy is, do we innately have morality, or do we get it from celestial dictation? A study of the Ten Commandments is a very good way of getting into and resolving that issue.” – Christopher Hitchens (noted atheist)

Seriously.

Comments

  1. F [nucular nyandrothol] says

    I’d like any reference to a time when things were factually better from such a perspective. I mean, aside from not having to acknowledge the existence of gay people, which is one of those things that seems to fade in and out of cultures.

  2. says

    God’s law? So he intends to shut down the pork industry and ban games involving pigskins? Prohibit the manufacturing and sale of linen/cotton or cotton/wool blends? Require that everything shut down completely between sunset Friday and sunset Saturday? Reintroduce slavery and polygamy? Make it illegal to fish for, sell, cook and eat shrimp, clams, oysters, lobster, crab and catfish?

    No?

    Then he is not talking about God’s Law.

  3. eric says

    More power to him. First, money spent on billboards is money not spent on campaign finance. Second, I’m very much looking forward to seeing how popular his movement will be when they start putting up signs that say “Thou shalt not kill” outside of military bases, or “honor the sabbath” outside of business districts, etc.

  4. says

    I do find find his choice of the Sodom of the Southwest interesting. Does he think they need a prohibition on graven images, or coveting one’s neighbor’s ass, etc., more than we reprobates elsewhere in the country? I’m almost insulted.

  5. says

    The First Amendment contravenes the “first commandment”:

    First C: No other god before Yahweh.
    First A: Any god you wish, or none at all.

    Seriously, is he some kind of anti-American traitor? Why does he hate the Constitution? Maybe he should go back where he came from if he doesn’t like our system of government.

  6. Larry says

    Man, I’m dumping my casino stocks right now. Once these signs go up, Vegas is gonna a be a ghost town.

  7. anubisprime says

    @ OP

    “In fact, the biggest problem America has is with those who call themselves believers but who act no differently than the worldliest individuals on the planet. You can call these people backslidden…”

    I find it somewhat predictable and rather plays to the xtian modus operandi that when the uber-infected get discombobulated, desperate and verge on the frantic they inevitably turn on their own troops.

    How very…errr! xtian!

  8. DaveL says

    those “great pillars” and “indispensable supports” of America’s religion and morality are none other than the very core of God’s law – the Ten Commandments.

    the most basic moral law, as Jesus and the prophets all instructed.

    I always find this kind of language odd coming from nominal Christians, because Jesus famously condensed the Ten Commandments into the Great Commandment – which one would think Christians ought to regard are the core of God’s law and more basic than the Ten Commandments.

  9. says

    “One of the great questions of philosophy is, do we innately have morality, or do we get it from celestial dictation? A study of the Ten Commandments is a very good way of getting into and resolving that issue.” – Christopher Hitchens (noted atheist)

    Hmm. What’s the context that could rescue that first sentence? It’s not a “great question of philosophy”; it’s a false choice. We might innately have morality, but if we don’t then it’s certainly not required that we get it from celestial dictation. We could simply derive it from the fact of having to live socially.

    Perhaps that’s what is meant by “innate,” but to me “innate” means “evolved, hard-wired” or at least what philosophers have referred to as a “moral sense.”

  10. doublereed says

    I could actually see Vegas using them as ironic selling points. Like they place the Thou Shall Not Worship other Gods outside of a Strip Club. Maybe the No Adultery commandment outside of a fancy hotel with an escort service. Thou Shall Not Steal outside of a Casino.

    The more I think about it, the more I like this idea.

  11. voidhawk says

    I’m now waiting for the “Even Christopher Hitchens liked the 10 commandments” Line in debates.

    Sigh,

  12. eric says

    @12: how about a new slot machine called “Your neighbor’s ass.” The wheel have pictures of houses, wives, oxen, donkeys, maidservants and manservants, and you have to get three in a row. :) It would have to have a progressive pot linked to multiple machines, of course, to make sure you aren’t just symbolically taking your neighbor’s money, you’re actually taking it.

  13. Randomfactor says

    I’d love to see him post the Roman Catholic version of the Ten, just for the internecine warfare.

  14. says

    I want to prick the consciences of believers and non-believers alike …

    And you’re just the prick to do it.

    (Severe backslidden pain last night … Apply Buckingham Oxycontin defense. please.)

  15. cottonnero says

    My grandmother uses the word backslidden… When my grandfather was alive, she took him to dialysis over the last eight (!) years of his life, and it was typically MWF. But if there was a holiday on Monday, they would open the dialysis center on Sunday instead. One year Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on Monday, and so Gramma and Grandpa missed church two Sundays in a row, and she said, “They’re gonna think I’ve backslidden.”

    Now, I don’t know anyone else who uses that word, but my gramma is one of the only religious people I know, as well as one of the only really country people I know.

  16. says

    My grandmother uses the word backslidden…

    And I certainly wouldn’t denegrate her. But Farah is supposedly (I feel dirty just saying it) a journalist who is supposedly writing for (dirty again) a serious news outlet.

  17. says

    eric “how about a new slot machine called ‘Your neighbor’s ass.’ The wheel have pictures of houses, wives, oxen, donkeys, maidservants and manservants, and you have to get three in a row. :) It would have to have a progressive pot linked to multiple machines, of course, to make sure you aren’t just symbolically taking your neighbor’s money, you’re actually taking it.”
    “Progressive”? “Linked to multiple machines”? Taking money from your neighbors? That’s socialism!*
    And don’t get me started on your drug reference, hippie!
     

    * SOCIALISM!!!

  18. iknklast says

    As far as adultery, it has been criminalized in some states over the course of US history, so we might have to give up on that one not being in our laws. And under the Comstock laws, it was almost certainly against the law to take the lord’s name in vain. But those laws came about not because of the Constitution, but in spite of it. And many of them have since been repealed; where they still exist, they are not enforced (unless they want to get at someone who is doing legal things they don’t like).

  19. grumpyoldfart says

    I’ll bet he’s talking about the rules listed in Exodus 20 — They were given to Moses, but they were not written on stone and they were not called the Ten Commandments.

    The first mention of laws on stone tablets occurs in Exodus 24:12

    And we have to wait until Exodus 31:18 before God gives Moses the two stone tablets.

    But in Exodus 32:19 Moses saw the Golden Calf and got so annoyed that he broke the stone tablets before anyone had seen them.

    Only when we get to Exodus 34:1 does God say, “Cut two stone tablets like the first ones and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.

    Those commandments appear at verses 14-26

    And in verse 28 we learn that these were indeed, “the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.”

    That is the only place in the bible where we have laws written on stone, given to Moses, and called the Ten Commandments.

    A lot of Christians don’t know that.

  20. The Lorax says

    Great marketing strategy, though. Ten Commandments. THE Ten Commandments. Biblical. Historical. Powerful.

    … and really the only option, because if he plastered anything from Leviticus on a billboard, he’d be screwing himself. Imagine a giant advertisement, in Las Vegas no less, about not eating pork. That’ll go over well.

  21. jnorris says

    If I remember correctly, that god’s law stuff requires animal sacrifices. When is Farah starting the killings?

  22. freemage says

    The “Leviticus Consistency” argument, while fun and amusing, is really too easily dismissed by the Bible-bashing set to be effective–they just play the Paul card. You pretty much have to hit the points that Paul sought to keep in the Law, and accept that the Revised Edition didn’t include circumcision or dietary prohibitions.

  23. iangould says

    Let me guess, he’s asking for donations?

    Remember a couple of years back when he pulled the same scam with “Where’s the Birth Ceriticate” billboards?

  24. says

    The antebellum proslavery Evangelicals pointed to the 4th and 10th Commandments as proof that God, at the very least, condoned slavery. Not to mention treating wives like prize livestock.

  25. birgerjohansson says

    Which set of ten rules is he talking about? The “commandment” thingy was the stuff that included not boiling a kid in its mother’s milk.
    BTW Jews had no written language in the supposed time of Moses. If Joseph Farah wants to be authentic he should use hieroglyphs on his billboards, a move of which I would approve. Hieroglyphs are cool!

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