Eric D. Arreto of the Luther Seminary in St. Paul posted an article today exploring why local governments and their political constituents fight to keep Ten Commandment monuments 0n public property.
One curious part of the struggle to save them is almost none of the 10C fans could recite all the 10C if asked. Furthermore, they ignore some of the laws clearly stated, no working on Sunday and no swearing.
The 10C are important, Barreto writes, to a segement of the public because of the Moses story. They came in a deal made with God to whom they were indebted at the time. This deal has come to be looked at, one might say, as a third beginning of time, Adam and Eve and Noah being the other two.
So, the 10C are cultural identity symbols. They represent something like, “This is part of the deal we Jew/Christians made with God to be free. It’s who we are and why we’re here.”
While this explanation is interesting, it does not help justify displaying the 10C on public property. In fact, it weakens the case by emphasizing the religious, instead of the civic, reason for their existance.
Barreto does not write about the political meaning of the 10C monuments. The political question is, “Who is running this town, anyway? Is it we upstanding Christians, or, those lowlife atheists?”
The fight is a complicated one. It’s about culture, religion and politics.
Our friend and fellow blogger, Fr. Herbel, asked me to mention his upcoming conference here which I am happy to do: What is Orthodox Christianity? Sat. Dec. 3, firstname.lastname@example.org 218-289-4693