Roy Moore and the Ten Commandments

With attention back on the frenzied Christian Roy Moore, we are again flooded with images of his Ten Commandments; his personally-carved version of the commandments was even displayed on stage with him as he accepted the GOP’s nomination to run for Alabama’s Senate seat.

What’s interesting about Moore’s commandments—what’s most telling and solidifies why religion does not belong in government—is his abridged version of the “covet” commandment, usually the Tenth Commandment. The original versions of the “covet” commandment, both found in Exodus and Deuteronomy, is a charge to MEN not to desire THINGS.

The unabridged versions provide a list of things (material possessions) men should refrain from desiring: a neighbor’s house, land, servants, animals, and anything else that belongs to a man’s neighbor. Also on the list is a man’s neighbor’s wife (given the time and culture, this can include multiple wives). In the “covet” commandment, we see that women are defined as material possessions: things. And laws throughout the Bible maintain this definition of women as things owned and beholden to men.

The Bible MUST be read in its historical context. If you read it thinking the text applies to a modern audience with modern obstacles, you are severely mistaken.

I believe that women are not things to be owned but are independent agents possessing rights and standing equal to that of men. Attempting to superimpose on our present era and place within our laws a text written in a more primitive time by a tribal community desperately attempting to secure an identity in a foreign land is horrifying.

If you feel that biblical law has a place in contemporary society, you might want to read the Bible for once to see the context in which these laws were instituted.

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