Should the 10 Commandments be banned from public life?(Part 8, 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)

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY

LONDON DIVISION

SARAH DOE and THOMAS DOE, on behalf

of themselves and their minor child, JAN DOE

Plaintiffs,

v Civil Action No. 99-508

HARLAN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT;

DON MUSSELMAN, in his official capacity

as Superintendent of the Harlan Country

School District,

Defendents.

______________________________________________

AFFIDAVIT OF DAVID BARTON IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS’ OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR CONTEMPT, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

STATE OF TEXAS

COUNTY OF PARKER

HOW THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE EXPRESSED

IN CIVIL LAW IN AMERICAN HISTORY

Honor the Sabbath day.

42. Examples of the early implementation of this fourth commandment into civil law are seen in the Virginia laws of 1610, the New Haven laws of 1653, the New Hampshire laws of 1680, the Pennsylvania laws of 1682 and 1705, the South Carolina laws of 1712, the North Carolina laws of 1741, the Connecticut laws of 1751, etc.

43. In 1775, and throughout the American Revolution, Commander-in-Chief George Washington issued military orders directing that the Sabbath be observed. His order of May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge was typical:

The Commander in Chief directs that divine service be performed every Sunday at 11 o’clock in those brigades to which there are chaplains; those which have none to attend the places of worship nearest to them. It is expected that officers of all ranks will by their attendance set an example to their men.

Washington issued numerous similar orders throughout the Revolution.

44. In the Federal Era and well beyond, states continued to enact and reenact Sabbath laws. In fact, the States went to impressive lengths to uphold the Sabbath. For example, in 1787, Vermont enacted a ten-part law to preserve the Sabbath; in 1791, Massachusetts enacted an eleven-part law; in 1786, Virginia enacted a law written by Thomas Jefferson and sponsored by James Madison; in 1798, New Jersey enacted a twenty-one-part law; in 1799, New Hampshire enacted a fourteen-part law; in 1821, Maine enacted a thirteen-part law; etc.

45. These Sabbath laws-and scores of others like them-were nothing less than the enactment of the fourth commandment in the Decalogue. In fact, in 1967, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania provided a thorough historical exegesis of those laws and concluded:

“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt not do any work.” This divine pronouncement became part of the Common Law inherited by the thirteen American colonies and by the sovereign States of the American union.

46. In 1950, the Supreme Court of Mississippi had similarly declared:

The Sunday laws have a divine origin. Blackstone (Cooley’s) Par. 42, page 36. After the six days of creation, the Creator Himself rested on the Seventh. Genesis, Chapter 2, verses 2 and 3. Thus, the Sabbath was instituted, as a day of rest. The original example was later confirmed as a commandment when the law was handed down from Mt. Sinai: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

47. Similar declarations may be found in the courts of numerous other States, including New York, Alabama, Florida, Oregon, and Kentucky, Georgia, Minnesota, etc.

48. However, before any of these contemporary courts had acknowledged that the Sabbath laws were derived from the Decalogue, John Jay, the original Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, had confirmed that the source of civil Sabbath laws were the divine commands. As he explained:

There were several divine, positive ordinances . . . of universal obligation, as the Sabbath.

49. There are numerous other examples demonstrating that the fourth commandment of the Decalogue played an important historical role in American civil law.

50. While contemporary critics argue that the first four commands of the Decalogue were inconsequential in our history or that they should not be publicly displayed today, the facts prove that they exerted a substantial influence on American law and jurisprudence. In fact, the 1922 Iowa Supreme Court rejected the assertion that only one side of the Decalogue was important to American law, declaring:

The observance of Sunday is one of our established customs. It has come down to us from the same Decalogue that prohibited murder, adultery, perjury, and theft. It is more ancient than our common law or our form of government. It is recognized by Constitutions and legislative enactments, both State and federal. On this day Legislatures adjourn, courts cease to function, business is suspended, and nation-wide our citizens cease from labor.

51. Whether individuals today agree with those early laws based on the first four commandments in the Decalogue in no manner lessens their historical impact.

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