Yes. Really. Look at the commmandments themselves:
Originally Posted by Generation Why?
The first two commandments are injunctions against worship of other deities and idolatry. The 3rd Commandment, regarding taking the Lord's name in vain, has a more complex meaning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thou_sh...hy_God_in_vain).
- I am the LORD thy God
Thou shalt have no other gods
- No graven images or likenesses
- Not take the LORD's name in vain
- Remember the sabbath day
- Honour thy father and thy mother
- Thou shalt not kill
- Thou shalt not commit adultery
- Thou shalt not steal
- Thou shalt not bear false witness
- Thou shalt not covet
In other words, it was meant to keep those who were not authorized to invoke God from doing so. Picture all of those pro athletes who claim that they won because of God (the inverse being that those who lost were not in favor, or that Jesus wanted to cover the spread). It was an injunction against perjury and manipulation through false appeals to God.
"The Hebrew לא תשא לשוא is translated as "thou shalt not take in vain". The word here translated as "in vain" is שוא shav'
"emptiness, vanity; emptiness of speech, lying", while "take" is נשא nasa'
"to lift, carry, bear, take, take away" (appearing in the second person as תשא ). The expression "to take in vain" is also translated less literally as "to misuse" or variants.
Some have interpreted the commandment to be against perjury,
since invoking God’s name in an oath
was considered a guarantee of the truth of a statement or promise. Other scholars believe the original intent was to prohibit using the name in the magical practice of conjuration
The remaining commandments deal with interactions with others. The 4th Commandment regarding the Sabbath was, for lack of a better term, a labor law. It wasn't simply a religious obligation, but a mandated rest day. It required a day off per week, something that people who had toiled as slaves in Egypt might not have otherwise understood. The 5th Commandment, to honor one's father and mother, imposed a requirement to care for your family as they aged, an individual mandate that was far more effective than Social Security. The prohibitions against theft and murder are obvious, but the prohibition against bearing false witness (perjury) is also a basic legal principle. The prohibitions against coveting may not seem like legal principles to us, but in a tribal culture, they forestalled a great deal of mischief regarding distribution of goods, something that Democrats like to play with. Think of them as an invocation of property rights.
The other codes that I mentioned, Hammurabi's, for example, also cite religious authorities. Magna Carta invokes God repeatedly, and the first three paragraphs specifically cite God as the source of the power of the English monarchy:
"Edward by the grace of God King of England, lord of Ireland and duke of Aquitaine sends greetings to all to whom the present letters come. We have inspected the great charter of the lord Henry, late King of England, our father, concerning the liberties of England in these words: In the first place we grant to God and confirm by this our present charter for ourselves and our heirs in perpetuity that the English Church is to be free and to have all its rights fully and its liberties entirely. We furthermore grant and give to all the freemen of our realm for ourselves and our heirs in perpetuity the liberties written below to have and to hold to them and their heirs from us and our heirs in perpetuity."
Henry by the grace of God King of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and count of Anjou sends greetings to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, sheriffs, reeves, ministers and all his bailiffs and faithful men inspecting the present charter. Know that we, at the prompting of God and for the health of our soul and the souls of our ancestors and successors, for the glory of holy Church and the improvement of our realm, freely and out of our good will have given and granted to the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons and all of our realm these liberties written below to hold in our realm of England in perpetuity.
Is Magna Carta to be banned from public schools and buildings? The laws of Rome and Greece cited divine antecedants as often as not, and the Constitution of the United States specifies freedom of worship, while the Declaration of Independence cites the rights that are endowed by our creator. By the logic of the militant atheists, the Declaration of Independence could not be posted in a courthouse, nor could most of the speeches of the first twenty or so presidents. Would you ban all of those from the public sphere?