due to the united states constitution separation of church and state, the us supreme court has addressed disputes concerning displays of the ten commandments on public properties. in having to address this dispute, several of the justices have commented upon what the ten commandments means with respect to american society.
the following are two notable comments:
justice scalia in his dissent on mccreary vs. aclu, expressed the view of the ten commandments, in reference to judaism, christianity, and islam. he noted that “all of them, moreover (Islam included), believe that the ten commandments were given by god to moses, and are divine prescriptions for a virtuous life. see 13 encyclopedia of religion 9074 (2d ed. 2005); The qur’an 104 (m. haleem transl. 2004). 545 U.S. 844 (2005)”
thus, there are justices who recognize that the ten commandments is believed by many to be a vehicle for individuals to have the pathway to leading an exceptional moral life.
chief justice rehnquist in the opinion in van orden vs. perry, stated “in this case we are faced with a display of the ten commandments on government property outside the texas state capitol. such acknowledgments of the role played by the ten commandments in our nation’s heritage are common throughout america. we need only look within our own courtroom. since 1935, moses has stood, holding two tablets that reveal portions of the ten commandments written in hebrew, among other lawgivers in the south frieze. representations of the ten commandments adorn the metal gates lining the north and south sides of the courtroom as well as the doors leading into the courtroom. moses also sits on the exterior east facade of the building holding the ten commandments tablets.”
thus, there are justices who also recognize the role of moses [moses ben amram, thus MBA.] even the supreme court building provides recognition as to his historical role with respect to justice and its adminstration.
there is a story within the torah which explains why the justices of on the supreme court and the supreme court itself pay homage to moses. moses serves as perhaps the ultimate example of what a judge should be in a society.
as the torah states that “[i]t came about on the next day that moses sat down to judge the people, and the people stood before moses from the morning until the evening. when moses’ father in law saw what he was doing to the people, he said, “what is this thing that you are doing to the people? why do you sit by yourself, while all the people stand before you from morning till evening?” moses said to his father in law, “for the people come to me to seek god. if any of them has a case, he comes to me, and i judge between a man and his neighbor, and i make known the statutes of god and his teachings.”
in sum, moses dedicated himself to address disputes and make judgments for an entire nation from morning till evening. he set the work ethic for justices.
further, he rendered justice to to the law which for him included statutes and teaching. he set the example
thus, he represents the notion that a justice should be rendered in a manner in accordance with the laws. moses further represents the notion that judges should be scholarly.
these two quotations are reminders as to how important the ten commandments and moses is to the united states. throughout the united states, we have educational systems which do not teach basic morals. are there classes about how it is wrong to steal? are there classes about how one should respect their parents? as one who attended public schools from elementary to undergraduate, i have no recollection of any such lessons. they teach about drug use and abuse and the teach about sexuality, how about teaching some morality?
while the supreme court fights over monuments, we must fight to bring ten commandment values to the public consciousness.
in sum, our country is better served by children learning about the virtues ten commandments and the work-ethic and dedication of moses than what is currently offered. both good morals and hard work represent american values that are to be admired and respected by all.