Should the 10 Commandments be banned from public life?(Part 3, David Barton’s Affidavit in support on 10 Commandments)

I read back on Dec 8, 2011 that Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, a social conservative advocacy organization, said in 2011 that President Obama has been “hostile” and “disdainful” toward Christianity. Rick Perry actually said President Obama had a war on religion. One of the most basic things that our founding fathers did is base our laws on the ten commandments. At the Supreme Court there is one depiction showing Moses sitting, holding two blank stone tablets. There is one depiction showing Moses standing holding one stone tablet. There are two stone tablets depicted with Roman Numbers I-X carved in the oak doors.

David Barton has studied the history of the founding of our country for many years and I wanted to share a portion of adocument he wrote concerning the 10 Commandments:


David Barton – 01/03/2001
(View the footnoted version on Liberty Council’s website)




SARAH DOE and THOMAS DOE, on behalf

of themselves and their minor child, JAN DOE


v Civil Action No. 99-508


DON MUSSELMAN, in his official capacity

as Superintendent of the Harlan Country

School District,








18. In order to avoid the alleged misunderstanding that critics claim accompanies the reading of the Decalogue, for the purposes of this affidavit, these Commandments as listed in the Bible in Exodus 20:3-17 and Deuteronomy 5:7-21 (and in a shortened version in Exodus 34:14-28) will be summarized as

1. Have no other gods.

2. Have no idols.

3. Honor God’s name.

4. Honor the Sabbath day.

5. Honor your parents.

6. Do not murder.

7. Do not commit adultery.

8. Do not steal.

9. Do not perjure yourself.

10. Do not covet.


19. The following sections will fully demonstrate that each of these commandments was individually encoded in the civil laws, and consequently became a part of the common law of the various colonies.

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  • bob johnson  On June 4, 2012 at 3:54 am

    if the founding fathers based our laws on the ten commandments, why did they plainly allow US citizens to have other gods? why is coveting legal? why are we not legally required to honor our parents, honor the sabbath day and refrain from worshipping idols? why did they think only the 6th, 8th and 9th commandments were worth enshrining in law?

    • Everette Hatcher III  On June 4, 2012 at 6:47 am

      You bring up some good points Mr Johnson. Maybe this quote will give you some insight into what the founding fathers thought of the ten commandments.

      Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries has noted:
      When we look at the Founding Fathers, we see they wereanything but neutral when it came to addressing the influence of the Ten Commandments on our republic. For example, twelve of the original thirteen colonies incorporated the entire Ten Commandments into their civil and criminal codes. {3}

      John Quincy Adams stated, The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code. These are laws essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws. He added that: Vain indeed would be the search among the writings of [secular history] . . . to find so broad, so complete and so solid a basis of morality as this Decalogue lays down.{4}

      John Witherspoon was the president of what later came to be known as Princeton University and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He said that the Ten Commandments are the sum of the moral law.{5}

      John Jay was one of the authors of The Federalist Papers. He later became the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He said, The moral or natural law, was given by the sovereign of the universe to all mankind.{6}

      On September 19, 1796, in his Farewell Address, President George Washington said, Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.{7}

      William Holmes McGuffey, considered the Schoolmaster of the Nation, once said, The Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus are not only basic but plenary.{8}

      The founders of this country also wanted to honor Moses as the deliverer of the Ten Commandments. After separating from England, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were responsible for designing a symbol of this newly formed nation. Franklin proposed Moses lifting his wand and dividing the Red Sea.{9}

      In the U.S. Capitol, there are displays of the great lawgivers (Hammurabi, Justinian, John Locke, William Blackstone, etc). All are profiles of the lawgivers except for one. The relief of Moses is full faced rather than in profile and looks directly down onto the House Speakers rostrum.

      Anyone who enters the National Archives to view the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution must first pass by the Ten Commandments embedded in the entry way of the Archives. Likewise, there are a number of depictions of the Ten Commandments. One is on the entry to the Supreme Court Chamber, where it is engraved on the lower half of the two large oak doors.
      1. Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (1980).
      2. John Paul Stevens, dissenting, Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. __ (2005).
      3. Matthew Staver, “The Ten Commandments Battle Continues To Gain Steam,” National Liberty Journal, December 2001.
      4. John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), 61.
      5. John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), 95.
      6. John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay (NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1893), 403.
      7. George Washington, Farewell Address (Philadelphia), September 17, 1796.
      8. William Holmes McGuffey, Eclectic Reader in D. James Kennedy, “What’s Happening to American Education” in Robert Flood, The Rebirth of America (Philadelphia: Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation, 1986), 122.
      9. John Adams, Letters of John Adams Addressed to His Wife (Boston: Little and Brown, 1841), 152.

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