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How the Ten Commandments Became a Political Issue

I've been trying to persuade many national radio ministries to urge their listeners to display the Ten Commandments.

Lee Duigon
  • Lee Duigon,
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I've been trying to persuade many national radio ministries to urge their listeners to display the Ten Commandments. Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America were already onboard before I contacted them. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries has urged independent display of the Commandments on the air and during live, personal appearances. But with most of the rest, the response has been, "Oh, we don't do anything political!"

Since when has displaying the Ten Commandments been political?

Since the Irreligious Left has made it so.

Our choice is simple: either fight the battle, or surrender.

What we are fighting is a pseudo-religion, secularism, which seeks to oust Christianity (and Judaism) first from public life and ultimately from private life. It is an aggressive movement that shifted its campaign into high gear in the 1960s and has been gaining ground on Christianity ever since.

You don't believe secularism is a religious movement? Rent Ric Burns' documentary on the September 11 destruction of the World Trade Center. You'll see and hear former New York Governor Mario Cuomo speak of atheism and "ethical humanism" (collectively, secularism) as two of the "great religions" of the world.

This caricature of a religion seeks to elevate man to God's place and supplant the church with man's creation, the state. It sounds good when secularists explain it, but if there's one thing the history of the twentieth century teaches us, it's that the deification of man and the state buys us only one thing — a one-way ticket to the Gulag.

Secularism's deification of man is a false front. True, they put him on a high pedestal with their fine words, but with their actions they debase him. Secularism's gifts to humanity today include pornography and assisted suicide, partial birth abortion, political re-education camps, an international epidemic of out-of-wedlock birth — you can name many more. It's nice up there on the pedestal, but there's no safe way down.

In such a worldview as secularism's, there's no room for the Ten Commandments, no room for God. This is why secularists work so feverishly to hide God's law from public view.

Public expression of the Christian faith is a challenge to the supremacy of man and the state: it reveals a belief in a higher authority. This is what makes it a political issue for secularists — and why it has become one for us, whether we like it or not.

Experience shows that secularists never content themselves with one victory. As soon as they win one concession from us, they seek another. They didn't stop with the abolition of school prayer. They went on to establish a "right" of abortion, to ban municipal Christmas displays, to establish mandatory "safe sex" education, and to strike the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Now they seek to abolish public display of the Ten Commandments, and they won't stop there. They aim to delete from our coinage the motto "In God We Trust"; to abolish military chaplains and remove crosses and Stars of David from military ceremonies; to establish "gay marriage" and revoke the tax-exempt status of churches that refuse to perform it; and to use the misnamed "Fairness Doctrine" to stifle Christian radio — the same Christian radio whose leaders are afraid to "do anything political" to defend their own First Amendment rights.

These are the publicly stated goals of the Irreligious Left. They mean to attain them. And they will, unless Christians stop them.

We're uncomfortable mixing politics and religion. The history of Europe teaches us that we should be. But in this case, we have no choice. Secularists have declared war on our beliefs. They claim for themselves the authority to veto all public expression of those beliefs.

There is no middle ground. Secularists have left us none. Either the free exercise of religion, including its public expression, is to be allowed — as is clearly specified in the First Amendment — or it isn't.

By suppressing our expression of faith, the secularists express theirs. By siding with them, our courts aid and abet the establishment of secularism as the state religion — something which the Constitution expressly forbids. That they have so far gotten away with thwarting the Constitution should be cause for alarm.

Other than surrender, our only option is to defeat the Left. This we can only do by proving to our elected officials that there are many more of us than there are of the secularists, and that political futures depend on not alienating us. A display of the Ten Commandments by millions of private citizens would go far toward that end.

Finally, this is a test of America's faith. Do we honor God first, or give first place to our own ease and comfort? We don't want to fight; we don't want to hassle. We're afraid to do anything political. We're afraid to ruffle anyone's feathers. Someone might get angry.

Is this a true statement of our priorities? If it is, we have already lost our battle. We have put other gods before the only Living God.

Is America to be a Judeo-Christian nation, as it was for most of its history, or a secular state? The secularists have shown they won't take half a load. They've made their choice. They have chosen a course which they believe will lead them to cultural and political domination. Nothing less will satisfy them.

Our choice is the same one first voiced by Moses in Exodus 32:26: "Who is on the Lord's side? Let him come to me!"

Choose, America.

Lee Duigon
  • Lee Duigon

Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.

Lee has his own blog at

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