Recent attempts locally to remove monuments of the Ten Commandments seem to reflect a nationwide trend to move away from “Religious” monuments. While the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, one group by name wants freedom from religion. Opponents want to remove the monument claiming it violates the separation of church and state.
If we remove the religious element from the Ten Commandments, what is left? Let us abolish and repeal the Ten Commandments and see what happens. This should not be shocking since we already ignore most of them anyway. People frequently take God’s name in vain. The Sabbath is routinely broken. Thievery abounds. Adultery is rampant. Covetousness is now a motivation. Children often dishonor their parents. Our idols today come in the forms of worshiping cars and sports teams rather than bowing before metallic statues. Neglect of regular worship demonstrates that most people put other things before God. Lying is common on every level.
The sixth commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13 KJV). Apart from abortion, let’s deal with the sin of murder. If we were to do away with the law (we can’t have this law because it is religious, so, the government must not enforce it), how would that affect society? Without God, what would be the moral basis for not murdering?
Objection: “Everyone knows murder is wrong!” Says who? If we cannot take God’s word for it, who can say that murder is morally evil? Without an objective standard stating that murder is evil, why should we not practice it?
Objection: “You’re being absurd. No one would accept murder as moral and acceptable.” Ask the millions who perished under the Nazi Third Reich. Not only did the Nazis accept it morally, they also thought of it as necessary in their evolutionary ideology of the pure Aryan race. Since we are being forced to accept atheistic evolutionary religious dogma, what if it is better to enhance my survival by murdering someone else so I can survive? I am not talking about self-defense. I am talking about what if I want your property or your spouse, and I decide I want to take them from you? Since murder cannot be outlawed because of its religious nature, what would morally prevent me from committing murder to get what I want?
Such philosophy lay behind the expansion of the Axis nations before WWII. The Japanese saw China’s resources, so, they invaded their land and killed their people. The Nazis viewed Poles as inferior, so they invaded Poland. Later they confiscated the property of the Jews and systematically began to kill them, along with other undesirable people, such as Gypsies and Slavs. So, without an objective moral standard, murder can no longer be considered a sin.
If we remove the religious nature of laws and morality, the only basis would be based on majority vote. If everyone decided that it was legal to kill a certain group of people, and we voted to make it legal, no one could say it was morally wrong. It is not just the matter of the monuments; it is also a matter of the principles.
If we remove religion, what makes the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution morally right? Nothing. In a pure Democracy, the people could vote to overturn them, and then we would have tyranny, which these documents were designed to prevent. “Morality is not determined by a majority vote.” (Frank Turek “Stealing from God” p.98)
This is called the moral argument for God. Turek goes on to say, “If there is no God above Hitler and every other human, who says murder is wrong?” (p. 96). If society is allowed to determine right and wrong for itself, would you rather live in a society designed by Mother Teresa or Adolph Hitler? (p. 97).
During the Eighteenth Century a man named Thomas Paine also wanted to do away with religion. He wanted to usher in the Age of Reason. Paine believed that people could be good without religion (See my blog “Good Without God”), and that we should do away with religion altogether. Franklin responded by refuting Paine’s beliefs claiming many people could not overcome vices without the restraints that religion provides. Franklin wrote: “If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?” You can read Franklin’s entire response here: https://wallbuilders.com/benjamin-franklins-letter-thomas-paine.
This railing against God is not new, and it will not stop. It began in Eden’s garden and continues today.