Originally posted by AF1
Those that claim the 10 commandments are our basis for law apparently do not know the law very well. The only thing funnier is those that want it
posted illegally in schools "to teach children respect for the law"
You have it exactly backwards: those who know the law well are the ones who know that the 10 commandments are the basis of our law.
I've said this before on another thread: only those who know nothing about the history and founding of our country would think that US law were not
rooted in the ten commandments.
Here's are some essential points you must realize:
1. The ten commandments were given to a homogenous group, both racially and religiously. The government of the ancient Israelites was a theocracy.
They had no problem mixing religious and civil laws.
2. Law enforcement under the 10 commandments was done by individuals bringing other individuals in front of the elders for a public trial. There was
no police force. The testimony of witnesses was necessary for "conviction." Recompense was the rule, not punishment. If you stole a neighbor's ox,
you returned it along with other stuff. For the most part, only crimes against the people as a whole brought "punishment". And there were no
prisons. If you were found guilty of something, you recompensed the victims, you were banished, or you were killed.
3. The founders were very well educated in the governments of Rome, Greece, Ancient Israel, the Anglo-Saxons, and of course the Common Law of England.
Ideas about democracy were taken heavily from the Greeks, property rights from the Romans, but the ideas of recompense and limited government cam
from the Israelites and the Anglo-Saxons. The laws of the Anglo-Saxons had much in common with the Israelites, in terms of trial by jury,
representation of the people (tithing-man, vil-man, hundred man, earl, shire reef, etc.), all laws had to be accepted by the people to take effect,
and reparations to victims of crime. Compare this to how the Israelites were organized in the wilderness, how accusations of wrongdoing amoung the
people were handled, and how reparations were spelled out for crimes. No room here to discuss the similarities, but the Founders were well aware of
4. The Founders made the government (force) separate from the beliefs of the people. The set up a government that allowed to basically do whatever you
wanted, as long as it did not infringed on the rights of others, or put the country in jeopardy. They made the country as close to anarchy as they
could without becoming an anarchy. This meant that you could not force someone to believe anything religious. Even if everyone else believed a
certains way, you could not force the one person to believe the same way. They did this both because they felt it was wrong to control another's
conscience (because it was their God-given right to think how they wanted), and because they said seen from England what happens when the church gets
the power of force.
5. The laws of Ancient Israel predate the laws of Roman by many, many years. All legal systems will have common laws, but we are talking about where
the Founders got many of their ideas from.
6. The founders thought they took the best from all legal systems and created the best system yet FOR A FEDERAL SYSTEM, NOT INDIVIDUAL AND NOT STATE
OR LOCAL. They feared tyrrany so much that they basically guaranteed the Federal government could not oppress the people. Laws of other lower-level
government organizations could make other laws, as long as it did not violate the constitution.
Answer these questions:
Where did the idea of reparation to victims come from?
Where did the idea of pyramid-shaped representation (10, 50, etc.) come from?
Where did the idea of leaders being chosen by the people come from?
Where did the idea of laws taking effect by common consent come from?
Where did the idea of "innocent until prove guilty" come from?
Where did the idea of facing your accuser come from?
Where did the idea of calling witnesses come from?
It goes on and on. Notice that employer could not force their laborers to work on the sabbath (first labor laws)
The 10 commandments are the essense of all the laws of Ancient Israel, akin to a constitution. The 10 commandments is also a moral code. The Founders
rejected the idea that the Federal government could force morals. The fact that they left out of the Constitution enforcement of moral codes and the
fact that they included protection against infringements of personal beliefs, shows that they understood the importance of personal interpretation of
morality. It does not show that they reject the ideas; it shows they rejected government being involved in them.
One word about the 10 commandments and the laws of Ancient Israel: the 10 commandments are not the same thing as the Mosaic Law which is not the same
thing as the Carnal Law which is not the same thing as the Talmud. But they all together fall under Ancient Israel Law.
Biblibal Law by Clark is a good law book on the laws of Ancient Israel. Very dry though.