A number of years ago when Ten Commandment fights were de rigeur, a group in my parish wanted to fund a display similar to this one. I didn’t feel like I had a stake in the discussion, but I did wonder which translation and which numbering would be acquired. It’s a partially accurate meme that Christian promoters of the X aren’t able to quote them. I feel sure some Catholic parish somewhere has a Protestant numbered set on display, and nobody there knows it, probably not even the staff.

See the source imageI’ve always wondered why more Christians don’t display the Beatitudes. In at least two gospels, it’s the first defining teaching moment of Jesus. Saint Matthew presents it in such a way to frame Jesus as the new lawgiver teaching from God’s holy mountain.

When I searched the google for Beatitude displays, the search engine also gave me Ten Commandments. Even secular cyberspace has got a few electronic pathways cross-wired.

Yet another angle in the Judge Kavanaugh situation:

(Alabama) voters will consider a constitutional amendment in November that would allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in schools and other public property across Alabama.

The amendment’s supporters hope it passes not just on principle but because of the almost-guaranteed response: a legal challenge that ends up in federal courts. Those campaigning for it now say their goal is to get a case before Supreme Court, where they hope — if a Justice Kavanaugh is on the bench — a conservative majority will rule in favor of such displays.

I think that the Ten Commandments are more symbolic than prescriptive for some Christians. The danger would be that in localities where non-Christians are in the majority or as significant activist portion of a population that other religious symbols might end up in public places. That might be less palatable, but it would be American.

Personally, I’d prefer keeping religious symbols on church properties where they can be properly displayed and looked after. Except maybe Saint Luke’s “woes” to follow up his commandments:

‘Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
‘But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
‘Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
‘Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. (Luke 6:22-26, NRSV)

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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