Ban the Ten Commandments

Judge Roy Moore has been in the news recently, agitatin’ and rabble-rousin’ and insisting that judges in Alabama resist any federal policy on gay marriage, and uphold only the Alabama state constitution. And you know, that’s not entirely a bad idea, now that the state has amended its constitution to explicitly forbid relying on any foreign law to decide court cases. As astute political observers may have noticed, the ancient theocracy of Israel, which produced the Commandments known as the Law of Moses, is not part of the United States. Alabama, technically, has banned the Ten Commandments.

As I’ve pointed out before, the original Decalogue was more than just those initial 17 commandments listed in Exodus 20. We should be calling them Ten Discourses and we should include all Ten, from Exodus 20 to Exodus 31. But regardless of whether we follow the traditional (mis)interpretation or the actual Biblical text, the fact remains that the Law of Moses, including its prohibitions against homosexuality, is a foreign law. According to its newly-amended constitution, Alabama’s only legal option, in deciding gay marriage issues, is to refuse to use foreign, Biblical laws in reaching a decision.

I know that’s not what voters originally intended, but hey, if you’re going to pass a law—and not just a law, but a full-blown constitutional amendment—then you’d better be prepared to live with the consequences. In this case, the law might actually work better than the voters meant for it to (assuming they actually enforce it), but regardless.

Is there even a chance in hell of Alabama actually applying its own constitutional law as actually written? Hah, don’t hold your breath. Still, it’s worth mentioning. And given Moore’s latest antics, we ought to be mentioning it every chance we get.


  1. Phiknight says

    I had the misfortune of attending Boys’ State before my senior year in Alabama. All I remember is that the state’s constitution is more bloated than you can imagine, and that states that don’t trust the federal government tend to not trust their counties or cities to make decisions.

    • Deacon Duncan says

      Personally, I prefer the Mel Brookes version. “I bring you these Fifteen — *crash* — TEN! Ten Commandments!”

  2. weatherwax says

    The Ten Commandments are written into the US Constitution, so there. I don’t know where, ’cause I haven’t actually read it. But I know it’s in there somewhere.

  3. Sines says

    Hah, I remember Anderson Cooper talking to some politician who passed a law to make extra-sure to ban gay marriage.

    The journalist pointed out that the law not only doesn’t actually do anything to stop gay marriage that isn’t already in the law (and the politician failed to come up with any reason why it even MIGHT do such a thing) but that the law could actually be used against him, in fairly obvious ways. Its pretty damn funny, as the politician refused to see the obvious downsides to his law, while admitting it had no actual upsides.

    I’m guessing passing laws that shoot themselves in the foot is just something homophobes do. I eagerly look forward to the day when Christians were always in favor of gay marriage. Or perhaps the internet will prevent that notion from ever catching hold, as their bigotry is easily available on video for anyone at any time. Maybe that means they’ll have to double down? *shrug* Either way, this is clearly a battle their losing, and I love seeing them implode.

    • Deacon Duncan says

      I eagerly look forward to the day when Christians were always in favor of gay marriage.

      Heh, yeah, and were the ones responsible for overthrowing all the homophobic restrictions against them. It’ll happen.

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