A compromise for the Ten Commandments controversy

Many folks who still believe in the separation of church and state in America got pretty upset recently when Louisiana’s governor signed legislation requiring the Ten Commandments to be posted in every public school classroom.

That was followed by Oklahoma’s top education official requiring schools to incorporate the Bible into lessons. I hear Job was quite the calculus wiz, while Jonah has particular insight into marine biology, so that definitely makes some sense. And the Bible says that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, so I assume he’ll be fairly prominent in sex education classes in Oklahoma. 

But just for today, let’s discuss this Ten Commandments controversy. Certainly, I can see where you could use the Ten Commandments to teach about modern political science, especially when discussing the 42nd and 45th presidents of the United States and their relationships to the Seventh Commandment.

Of course, opponents of posting the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms already have started their fights in the courts. And I have no doubt that it will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where, ultimately, its 12 justices will decide whether such mandatory postings are constitutional.

(Yes, I know some naive people think there are just nine Supreme Court justices, but I count Mrs. Alito, Mrs. Thomas and Harlan Crow, who have equal, if not more, input.)

But a little religion in the classroom can’t really hurt, right? Can’t we find some sort of compromise and just move on?

I say yes! And I’m here to help.

The folks who want the Ten Commandments posted often claim that America was founded as “a Christian nation.” But the Ten Commandments pre-date Christianity by about 1,600 years or so, according to Biblical scholars. Moses came waaaay before Jesus. So, the Ten Commandments are a little old school. I know some “Christians” like to cherry pick some things they like from the Old Testament like hating on gay people while ignoring others like being forbidden from wearing clothes made of two different threads, but if we’re gonna make this a Christian thing, we probably should go a little more New Testament.

And this is where we can find a compromise. Most of the atheists or agnostics I know who don’t believe Jesus was/is divine actually agree with him on an awful lot of stuff like helping the poor and the sick, welcoming immigrants, shunning violence and condemning the rich. Meanwhile, many American Christians have become more Trump-y than Jesus-y and believe the savior is just a little too woke for today’s world with all his peace and love and anti-capitalism-run-amok stuff. Let’s face it, it’s kinda hard to reconcile all that stuff about how it’s easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into Heaven with their worship of Donald Trump.

So, these folks should meet in the middle and post the Beatitudes — you know, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount stuff. Post those in classrooms. Teach kids that it is the peacemakers who are to be honored. Teach kids to be merciful. Be meek.

You know, Jesus-y stuff.

Or, perhaps better yet, we can leave the churchin’ to the churches and the schoolin’ to the schools.

"Live of Brian" Sermon on the Mount scene (a little NSFW language):

What do you think about this?