Show Me a Sign: Ten Commandments’ School Posting Controversy and Discussion

I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes I saw the sign

ace of base

recently, the state of north dakota enacted a law providing for the ten commandments to be posted in classrooms.

a letter to the editor responded to the law’s enactment at ms. deborah seaberg, in her letter, indicated that “having it hanging for all to see is not going to influence any one’s behavior. good or bad. ” ms. seaberg also noted ” maybe next year they’ll allow other religions to display the tenants of their faith.”

as ten commandments’ proponent, let us address her concerns.

god provided ten commandments to moses. he then delivered them to the hebrew people. the torah, which includes the ten commandments, is the foundation of judaism. therefore, the ten commandments placed on a classroom wall would not offend a practicing jew.

moses is also considered as a prophet within the islam. while the ten commandments may not be as central to islam, they would not necessarily be offensive. islam may have other religious provisions that they would consider of import for which they would consider placing on a classroom wall.

thus, ms. seaberg’s concerns of religious favoritism is not completely accurate. three major religions have beliefs relating to the commandments. thus, the posting is in fact mult-religious in nature.

ms. seaberg’s other contention that “having it hanging for all to see is not going to influence any one’s behavior. good or bad ” is something worthy of discussion.

ms. seaberg makes a hypothesis concerning signs and behavior. signs are considered important within religions. the torah documents a variety of signs.

one of the most famous signs in the torah is the “rainbow.” with respect to the noah’s ark story, genesis 9:11-16, reports “my rainbow i have placed in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between myself and the earth. ”

signs that can be seen in everyday jewish life are that of the mezuzah and the tefillin.

deuteronomy 6: 9, has the commandment “… you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for ornaments between your eyes. and you shall inscribe them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.” deuteronomy 6:1, which precedes this commandment, refers to the “the commandment, the statutes, and the ordinances that the lord, your god, commanded to teach you, to perform in the land into which you are about to pass, to possess it.”

in jewish communities, you will often see mezuzahs on doorposts. the mezuzah contains various portions of the torah. likewise, during certain weekly prayer services, you can see individuals praying and wearing tefillin. they also contain various portions of the torah.

in essence, jewish communities, from the onset of the religion, have signs incorporated into their laws and statutes. these signs are in part a reminder of the ten commandments.

a study was done concerning mezuzahs. in the journal of economic behavior & organization, september 2015, pages 40-46, concerning ” kissing the mezuzah and cognitive performance: Is there an observable benefit? ” it studied individuals who kissed the mezuzah when they pass one on the doorposts. “the experiment revealed that participants who did not kiss the mezuzah performed worse than those who kissed it, and that the stronger is one’s belief in the mezuzah’s luck-enhancing properties, the better he performs when he kisses it but the worse he performs when he does not. ”

while this study may seem wildly unrelated to have the ten commandments posted in a classroom and the effects resulting from it, it does show that there are researchers who are willing to take on and report on these types of questions or hypotheses.

thus, it would be great if someone would take on a study as to whether posting the ten commandments in a classroom has a postitive, neutral or negative effect on the students.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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