On Monday May 7, 2012, U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski, who is overseeing the lawsuit over the display of the Ten Commandments in his high school in Virginia, sent the case to mediation.
The Republic states that the lawsuit stems from a student who says the posting of the Ten Commandments “makes [him] feel like an outsider because the school is promoting religious beliefs that [he] does not share.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia sued on behalf of the student stating that the display violates the first amendment’s protection against government endorsement of any religion.
On the other hand, the Liberty Counsel, the firm representing the Giles County School Board, attests that the Ten Commandments is part of a larger presentation that includes other historical documents.
Both sides hoped that Judge Urbanski would make a ruling on the case without going to trial. But, rather, he urged both sides to consider whether the display could leave out the first four commandments that reference God in the wording.
Judge Urbanski stated, “I just wonder if there isn’t a reasonable compromise.”
Josh Fults stated In reference to Judge Urbanski’s compromise that “…suggestion made it clear that if we remove the references to God in the commandments, then there should be no room for people that do not hold to the tenets of Christianity to take offense.”
Can eliminating the first four commandments work?
I must acknowledge that the Ten Commandments were written, specifically, to Israel. However, such references and others can be found throughout biblical teachings, government documents, and government buildings.
Here are the Ten Commandments before we move on. (Judge Urbanski’s suggestion is to remove the first four commandments).
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in Vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, keep it holy.
- Honor your father and honor your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not hear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbors.
The real cause for concern is not that Judge Urbanski’s recommendation to remove the four commandments that refer to God, but the removal of the first commandment itself. This is because the first commandment is the linchpin to the following nine commandments. It establishes the one true God at the center point of everything and lays the foundation on how humankind should treat each other.
Judge Urbanski’s suggestion is a clear illustration of our nation’s view and relation to God as it continues its struggle to disconnect God from morality.
But when this is done, morality begins to be defined by humankind, which will never come to a conclusion about morality because every person views it differently. As a result, nothing becomes off-limits.
The Russian novelist Dostoyevsky stated “if God does not exist, everything is permitted.” The removal of God eliminates the linchpin to moral behavior. As a result, the foundation for moral behavior becomes held in the eyes of the beholder.
But, then, who or what sets the foundation of morality? The answer is rather simple. The answer is that everyone believes in God.
I know that answer seems contrary to what has been said thus far, but allow me to expand further before you simply disregard this article.
Everyone believes in a god because there are four different views of how God or gods exist that people can place their faith in. (1) The belief that they are a god or at worst a godly essence, which is the belief that one is part of all that is good in an impersonal cosmos that is pulsating with divine energy. (2) Other people believe in the pantheon of higher beings. (3) Although, there are those that place their faith in the vagaries that cannot be explained. (4) The last view is that a collective group is a god or could become a god if the group is given enough power and authority.
In the later view, the person must decrease as the group increases. It is unfortunate to consider that it’s likely that there are U.S. government officials at the upper echelon of our government who believe that the government apparatus is god. If the state is indeed a god, then we must reconsider Job 1:21.
the State gave, and the State has taken away, blessed be the name of the State.
However, the argument against the Christian God and confusion of government as God may be exiting stage left.
The Canadian philosopher Kyle Nielson, who is an atheist, stated that:
We have not been able to show that reason requires the moral point of view or that the real rational persons un-wood-winked by myth or ideology need be individual egos or classical immoralist’s. Reason does not decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on this even with good understanding of the facts will get you there.
The following videos are of a speech Ravi Zacharias gave titled The Existence of God.
I implore you to consider and reflect who or what you consider to be God.