Displaying the Ten Commandments on government properties ignites bitter controversies and legal costs. Why is displaying the Ten Commandments in public so important when the written law in one’s heart is more effective in society?
Historically, the physical tablets of the Ten Commandments were displayed inside the golden chest of the earthly sanctuary in Israel, then moved to the beautiful Solomon’s temple, later housed in Herod’s temple where Christ visited at times.
The Ten Commandments were not displayed in the administrative palaces of Hebrew rulers.
What makes the display of the Ten Commandments in public facilities a violation of the separation of church and state is that the preamble and the first four commands as recorded in Exodus 20:1-11 are of religious nature. The last six commands fit into the realm of state enforcement with dignified constraints on citizens.
Do legislators display the Ten Commandments in their homes where religious education primarily begins? I am not talking about a closed Bible with the reference text, but a poster of them on their walls continually.
My bias says that displaying historical documents with the Ten Commandments, which stand alone, are mixing common with sacred. Even the Book of Moses, which contains ceremonial rituals, annual festivities, community statues and civil laws governing Israel, was not placed on equal level with the Ten Commandments, but in a side pocket.
Isaiah J. Ashe