|| previous || next || 10 C's Then || 10 C's Now || End the Wall! || e-mail || V&FT ||

The Ten Commandments in American History
The Fifth Commandment

This page is taken from America OnLine's "Separation of Church and State" Bulletin Board. (Jump works only for AOL subscribers.) I was told by one of the Secular Humanist contributors that Christianity had nothing to do with the legal system created by the Founding Fathers. My response:

Subject: Re: The Decalog & U.S. law -- Fifth Commandment
From: kevin4vft@aol.com (KEVIN4VFT)
Date: 09 Jan 1999 18:19:14 EST

In article <19990102133927.05500.00005977@ng-fa2.aol.com>, xaosjester@aol.com (XaosJester) writes:

>Kevin says: "All you asserted was that [all] other cultures prohibit the same
>things prohibited in the Bible. You did not prove that the Common Law
>was based on Chinese or Arabic law or the code of Hammurabi."
>I did not try to prove what common law was based on. What I did prove was
>that it was not based on the decalog.

Let's review his original post and see if there really is any "proof."

In article <19981229154902.11217.00003483@ng37.aol.com>, xaosjester@aol.com (XaosJester) writes:

>The claim by many christian accomadationists that the decalog is the basis of
>U.S. law is patently false and easily disproved.
>5 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land
>which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
>No U.S. law forces us to honor our parents.

And no member of the Christian Right would argue that the State should, at least as "honor" is understood today.

It should be noted, however, that the most radical forms of dishonor are still punishable at law. And there are a few laws still remaining which require parental consent from a minor who would join the military, get married, drive a car, incur debts, spend an inheritance, or get a job. (But not kill her illegitimate child; that's now a "fundamental right.")

Inheritance laws followed Biblical Laws on family authority:

Long before Lord Hale declared that Christianity was a part of the laws of England, the Court of Kings Bench, 34 Eliz. in Ratcliff's case, 3 Coke Rep. 40, b. had gone so far as to declare that "in almost all cases, the common law was grounded on the law of God, which it was said was causa causans," and the court cited the 27th chapter of Numbers, to show that their judgment on a common law principle in regard to the law of inheritance, was founded on God's revelation of that law to Moses.
State v. Chandler, 2 Harr. 553 at 561 (1837)

It is suicidal for a nation not to demand that the children respect their elders. Our nation is committing social suicide. In the same way children don't respect their elders, their elders don't respect history ("dead white guys"). And this is the impudent attitude which claims that America's laws were never based on the Ten Commandments.

What is more important is the general concept of honoring the elder which has been embodied in our government (and which is being euthanized in our day).

I have already posted references to the New England Primer, one of the most influential school texts in American history. It taught the Ten Commandments through the Catechism. Here is the Larger Catechism on the Fifth Commandment. Notice that it applies to every area of life, not just the home: Employers, magistrates, and all others who are in positions of authority over us.

Q. 123. Which is the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment is, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Q. 124. Who are meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment?
A. By father and mother, in the fifth commandment, are meant, not only natural parents, but all superiors in age and gifts; and especially such as, by God's ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family, church, or commonwealth.

Q. 125. Why are superiors styled father and mother?
A. Superiors are styled father and mother, both to teach them in all duties toward their inferiors, like natural parents, to express love and tenderness to them, according to their several relations; and to work inferiors to a greater willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors, as to their parents.

Q. 126. What is the general scope of the fifth commandment?
A. The general scope of the fifth commandment is, the performance of those duties which we mutually owe in our several relations, as inferiors, superiors, or equals.

Q. 127. What is the honour that inferiors owe to their superiors?
A. The honour which inferiors owe to their superiors is, all due reverence in heart, word, and behaviour; prayer and thanksgiving for them; imitation of their virtues and graces; willing obedience to their lawful commands and counsels; due submission to their corrections; fidelity to, defence, and maintenance of their persons and authority, according to their several ranks, and the nature of their places; bearing with their infirmities, and covering them in love, that so they may be an honour to them and to their government.

Q. 128. What are the sins of inferiors against their superiors?
A. The sins of inferiors against their superiors are, all neglect of the duties required toward them; envying at, contempt of, and rebellion against, their persons and places, in their lawful counsels, commands, and corrections; cursing, mocking and all such refractory and scandalous carriage, as proves a shame and dishonour to them and their government.

Q. 129. What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?
A. It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love, pray for, and bless their inferiors; to instruct, counsel, and admonish them; countenancing, commending, and rewarding such as do well; and discountenancing, reproving, and chastising such as do ill; protecting, and providing for them all things necessary for soul and body: and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God, honour to themselves, and so to preserve that authority which God hath put upon them.

Q. 130. What are the sins of superiors?
A. The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them, and inordinate seeking of themselves, their own glory, ease, profit, or pleasure; commanding things unlawful, or not in the power of inferiors to perform; counseling, encouraging, or favouring them in that which is evil; dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good; correcting them unduly; careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger; provoking them to wrath; or any way dishonouring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behaviour.

Q. 131. What are the duties of equals?
A. The duties of equals are, to regard the dignity and worth of each other, in giving honour to go one before another; and to rejoice in each others' gifts and advancement, as their own.

Q. 132. What are the sins of equals?
A. The sins of equals are, besides the neglect of the duties required, the undervaluing of the worth, envying the gifts, grieving at the advancement of prosperity one of another; and usurping pre-eminence one over another.

Q. 133. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, in these words, That thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, is an express promise of long life and prosperity, as far as it shall serve for God's glory and their own good, to all such as keep this commandment.

The Fifth Commandment is an excellent illustration of the importance of religion and morality to a social order.

I have posted the remarks of the Founding Fathers on the importance of religion and morality as the real engine of social order, and how our constitution was not intended to create social order by legislation, but rests on social order created by religion.

America was once a nation of respect for our elders, loving mentoring of the weak, and the principles of equality under the law. Under a Secular Humanist regime, we kill off the elderly, the weak and infirm, and the unborn, and rich rule over the rest of us in a government of corporately-shielded men, not laws.

"Liberty and justice for all" cannot be found except in a nation which is "under God."

|| previous || next || 10 C's Then || 10 C's Now || End the Wall! || e-mail || V&FT ||

It is Now Illegal to Teach the Ten Commandments!

The Ten Commandments in American Legal History

1st || 2nd || 3rd || 4th || 5th || 6th || 7th || 8th || 9th || 10th

The Christmas Conspiracy


Vine & Fig Tree

Paradigm Shift


End The Wall of Separation
Mailing List

Enter your e-mail address:
Browse the Theocracy Archive
An e-group hosted by eGroups.com

Vine & Fig Tree
12314 Palm Dr. #107
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
[e-mail to V&FT]
[V&FT Home Page]