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Spell Checking the Ten Commandments

If you’re going to create a six-foot tall granite “tablet” of the Ten Commandments (Christian version, of course), making certain the large-and-easy-to-read text is accurate would surely be a priority. The recently installed Ten Commandment monument at the Oklahoma state capitol, however, apparently missed that step.

From NewsOK: (emphasis added)

A Ten Commandments monument is up on the grounds of the state Capitol, but it didn’t pass spell check.

‘Remember the Sabbeth day, to keep it holy,’ reads one. …

‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidseruent,’ reads the last one.

Rep. Mike Ritze, whose family paid for the monument that was put up Thursday, said the monument company has been contacted and will correct the errors to the words Sabbath and maidservant.

‘It’s a simple fix,’ said Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, who hasn’t seen the installed monument. ‘Scribner’s errors or misspellings are not uncommon with monument manufacturing.’

I’ll bet the “scribners” are just thrilled with that statement.

There are broad, serious “church and state” questions involved, of course. But at this moment, and while the un-spell checked “Sabbeth” is notable, I’m mostly wondering if anyone ever asked “maidseruent?”

(Stone Tablets via Discovery Education)

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47 Responses to Spell Checking the Ten Commandments

  1. mjsmith November 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    “the film that launched a thousand court cases”

    http://www.jdate.com/jmag/2011/04/the-film-that-launched-a-thousand-court-cases/

    “…

    To promote the film, DeMille–who harbored strong anti-Communist feelings–teamed up with a Minnesota judge named E.J. Ruegemer, a member of a Christian service organization called the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE). Starting in 1951, Ruegemer had spearheaded a movement to distribute copies of the Ten Commandments for public placement in courtrooms and schools, believing that “if mankind would heed those Ten, it would be a better world in which to live.” At least 10,000 prints had already been distributed when DeMille joined the cause, helping dozens of local FOE groups raise money to erect statues of the Ten Commandments. Ruegemer, DeMille, Heston and Brynner attended dedications for many of the 150 granite Ten Commandment monoliths that were constructed in 34 states and Canada. It was great publicity for the film, which remains the fifth-highest grossing film of all time in inflation-adjusted terms.
    …”

  2. Cujo359 November 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    I’m convinced that the real reason these folks want the Ten Commandments plastered everywhere is that they’ll finally have an opportunity to learn them.

  3. mjsmith November 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    You can not divorce religious belief and public service. I’ve never detected any conflict between God’s will and my political duty. If you violate one, you violate the other.

    • Cujo359 November 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

      “I’ve never detected any conflict between God’s will and my political duty.”

      That’s because your god’s will is whatever you want it to be. Christianity is a verbal Rorschach test. Pick the passages you like, disregard the rest. If you want to justify war, slavery, charity, or kindness, you can find a bit of philosophy that fits your purposes. What people get out of their religious beliefs tells me a lot more about them than it does about their religions.

      • ladywalker68 November 18, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

        Amen, Cujo359…

        • newdealdem1 November 19, 2012 at 12:18 am #

          second ladywalker68′s comment to Cujo’s spot on post.

      • mjsmith November 19, 2012 at 9:13 am #

        Cujo359 – I was quoting President Carter. I am sorry that I did not mention that in the post. I do not know how to edit my post or even if it is possible to have it posted properly – “You can not divorce religious belief and public service. I’ve never detected any conflict between God’s will and my political duty. If you violate one, you violate the other.” – Jimmy Carter

        • Cujo359 November 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

          The way to do that here is to reply to your own comment, saying that it’s a quote by Jimmy Carter.

          And frankly, I’d say the same thing to him that I’m saying to you. Carter had lots of different philosophies to choose from that go under the heading of Christianity. He chose particular ones for his own reasons. For both good and ill, he made judgments about what he should do based on the reality he faced, and his beliefs were part of what guided his decisions. Yet, his beliefs are a product of his inherent personal traits and his experiences, most of which had nothing to do with his religion. He went to college, then joined the Navy. He ran a farm, and he was governor of a state. All those experiences affected his judgment.

          In answer to another of your comments, I don’t think religious people should be excluded from office, either. The people who should be excluded are those who think their beliefs trump reality, or who think that the conversations that go on in their own heads are somehow the only necessary basis for a decision, because they’re based on the word of some imaginary being. In short, I don’t have a problem with Carter’s version of Christianity, but I have a problem with George W. Bush’s. When “belief” is another word for lazy mindedness or obstinacy, then it’s a character flaw, and not a virtue.

    • Jane Austen November 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      mjsmith – I tried it your way for years until I realized that first , you must have a clear and precise understanding of your faith and your religion (they are not necessarily the same).

      Second, politics is a majority/minority proposition with results obtained through consensus and compromise (note the order).

      Faith can never be a majority proposition. The basis of faith is the scripture and scripture cannot be driven by the majority (that’s the problem with the Prosperity Gospel – it is what the people want to hear, not what they need to hear).

      • mjsmith November 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

        That was a quote from President Carter

      • newdealdem1 November 19, 2012 at 12:36 am #

        JA, thank you for your truly thoughtful response/commentary in this post especially given your faith. I have enormous respect for the work you do.

    • spincitysd November 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      So, let me get this straight; you’re for the stoning of adulterers, disobedient teens and people who produce poly-cotton blends? You’re against divorce in any case, the accumulation of wealth and public prayer? Good to know.

      • mjsmith November 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

        Your issue is not with me. I just quoted Jimmy Carter. Take your issue of that statement up with him.

        • jjamele November 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

          Sooooo….let me see if I have this straight. You quoted Jimmy Carter, but didn’t use quotation marks in your post, figuring people would think it represented your own views and pounce. Then you’d say “haha that’s Jimmy Carter, got you sucker.” I guess you figure you’ve accomplished something.

          Except…if you don’t believe in that statement, why did you post it? What was the point, beyond some childish attempt at snark? “Take your issue of (sic) that statement up with him”– umm, why? He didn’t post it, you did. Do you believe that the Ten Commandments ought to be posted everywhere, and that politicians should swear to uphold them, or what?

          Seriously- what WAS your point?

          • mjsmith November 19, 2012 at 9:34 am #

            jjamele – What do you think I am doing? Watching you guys react to a very famous quote by President Carter and then thinking to myself “hook, line, and sinker!” whenver I read these obnoxious and insulting replies?

            The origional intent was just to show where many people in public service are coming from.

            Jane Austen posted the following Carter quote – “I think the government ought to stay out of the religious business” – Jimmy Carter

            I agree with that. The government should stay out of religion. That is not the case in most of the world. It looks like, to me at least, that the US Government is getting more and more involved in religion.

            I do not feel that people who are religious should stay out of the government. People of faith have as much right to participate in our Government as anyone else.

  4. Jane Austen November 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    “I think the government ought to stay out of the religious business” Jimmy Carter

    • mjsmith November 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

      I do agree with that. It looks like the Government, especially under Obama and company is getting more and more involved with religion.

  5. Jane Austen November 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    huh?

  6. mjsmith November 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Look, all these public 10 Commandment displays started off as a promotion for the film. The link I posted earlier on this story makes this clear and is also a good read.

    • jjamele November 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

      Are you drunk?

      • mjsmith November 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

        jjamele – I really do not mind a good beer every now and then. I am not drunk though. This whole “10 Commandments” being displayed like this started off as a publicity stunt for the movie by the same name.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter November 19, 2012 at 5:27 am #

        Now, now jjamele…next thing you know you’ll get castigated for calling him/her/it a dimbul…OOOPS…drunk. This is just another typically incomprehensible, intellectually dishonest spewing from a shining example of “right think”. I guess now that Mitt da Twit is out of buisness he/she/it is desperately looking for other employment and this is kinda like polishing up her/his/it’s cred with the crazies.

        • mjsmith November 19, 2012 at 7:14 am #

          Why seculartrolloneverythingIsaybecauseyoumindofyourownenizer – I am sure by reading this nobody will suspect you of being drunk.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

            Exhibit Y in the Binder full of examples!

  7. newdealdem1 November 19, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Joyce, thanks for informing us of this. I wasn’t aware of the Oklahoma ten commandment monument thingy until you posted about it.

    I would love to see the face of Jefferson and Franklin if they were alive now to witness what has been going on regarding the melding of church and state in contemporary America. I don’t think they would be amused in the least.

    I can’t recall which other state did something similar recently, but I know this is not the first time this obstruction of the separation of religion from state has occurred and with the 10 commandments in monument form front and center as the catalyst causing the problem.

    I don’t understand the mindset that conflates religious belief with public service inasmuch as you cannot have one without the other. That is just not true. And, not only from an atheist viewpoint.

    If a person is good in the sense that he/she is unselfish and gives of him/herself to help others without any motive other than the will to help those in need, I don’t see how it’s only through their superstitious belief in a “higher power” that made them do good deeds. Frankly, to me, anyone who needs an excuse to do good except what is within their own selves is not doing good unselfishly. They are “doing good” as a result of some bargain they have with their “god” for a reason: to attain some reward either in this life but most likely in what they believe is an afterlife in “heaven”. They do good not for good sake but for some other worldly reward. This is the essence of the Rapture which is the epitome of selfishness.

  8. secularhumanizinevoluter November 19, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    And incidentally…..speaking as someone with actual experience carving monuments for a living a number of years ago EVERY monument has a drawing…a blue print if you will that the client checks for SPELLING and signs off on…EVERY ONE! So this monument was made EXACTLY the way the buffoons who paid for it wanted it made. The historical detail that many of these UNConstitution attempts to ram a certain brand of religion/superstition down the throat of the citizenry were simply crass attempts to sell a movie is just a great example of the dishonesty and stupidity/gullibility of the UBERChristians.

    • mjsmith November 19, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      secularhumanizinevoluter – here is what I am talking about – http://tinyurl.com/85q5aws

      The Publicity Stunt That Started It:

      “In 1955, a movie was due for release. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

      While Cecil B. DeMille was working on the movie, he learned that a judge from Minnesota had been working with a Christian fraternal organization to send framed copies of the Ten Commandments to schools and public buildings for display. Not in anticipation of a big epic movie coming out, but because he thought America needed reminding of God’s laws before those filthy beatniks could corrupt the nation.

      Eager for publicity, DeMille contacted the judge and suggested that they replace the framed certificates with bronze tablets, but the judge said no way. Moses’ tablets were in granite, so bronze wouldn’t do (apparently no one bothered pointing out that framed paper certificates were just fine for the judge before DeMille and Paramount got involved).

      So, with DeMille’s backing, around 150 granite tablets were made and distributed across the country, with Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner dedicating a few of them in person.

      Having Heston and Brynner on a faux religious tour was great publicity for the film, which grossed around $80 million. When the movie was out of theaters, the monuments stayed, and the group that helped the judge at the beginning of the story kept right on sending them out into the mid-’80s.

      Of course, it was inevitable that sooner or later someone would say, “Hang on a second, what about the separation of church and state?” and the lawsuits ignited like a burning bush. In fact, the Ten Commandments monument that was the focus of the 2005 Supreme Court case Van Orden v. Perry was one of Cecil B. DeMille’s very first attempts at viral marketing.

      In other words, the Supreme Court handed down a decision as a result of a movie publicity stunt.”

      • secularhumanizinevoluter November 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

        Well Citizens United giving person hood and rights to corporations was because of a movie…so your point is? OH YEAH….it’s you so any coherent point is totally absent.

        • mjsmith November 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

          secular… – Please read my earlier post mjsmith – “…This whole “10 Commandments” being displayed like this started off as a publicity stunt for the movie by the same name.”

          That was my point.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

            And this latest example of UBERChristian hubris is connected to the film how………

        • mjsmith November 20, 2012 at 7:06 am #

          “And this latest example of UBERChristian hubris is connected to the film how………”

          secular… – Do you feel it is a little silly to be making such a big deal over something that started off as a publicity stunt for a film?

          What is your hating on Christians all about? Why are you such a hater?

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

            1.“And this latest example of UBERChristian hubris is connected to the film how………”
            secular… — Do you feel it is a little silly to be making such a big deal over something that started off as a publicity stunt for a film?

            And I see as usual you did not answer the question. Which is pretty typical. THIS hunk of rock had NOTHING to do with the film. And frankly the film had ALOT to do with the RED MENACE scare so in actuality the monuments WERE in fact an expression of a political push by the GAWDLY to show they weren’t no communists!! So once again you not only do NOT hit the Bull’s Eye…you miss the fracking target completely.

            2.”What is your hating on Christians all about?”

            Why do you and the other anti-American Constitution haters always spew out the “hating on Christians” red herring every time you are called on trying to ingect your particular brand of superstition based mumbojumbo into the laws of this secular nation?

            3.” Why are you such a hater?”

            I don’t hate them…OK some of the stupider ones are pretty low on my list…but in general so long as they actually do what the Jew who is the supposed LEADER of their Christian cult told them to and go and pray in secret I have no problem with them what so ever. It’s the UBERChristianfascists that hold our Constitution and form of SECULAR representative Republic in contempt and try to usurp power and deny rights to other CITIZENS…THOSE are the ones I truly have nothing but contempt for.
            Now could you answer the question I posed?

          • mjsmith November 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

            secular… I will pray for you. I am sorry about your anger.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

            So, once again conceding the point by NOT answering the question and confirming a certain lack of…oh I don’t know….if I said what I really thought Ms. marsh would tell me to lighten up on the D—–b stuff…so let’s just say intellectual horsepower,integrity and honesty you make another asinine comment completely unrelated to reality or anything anyone…other then you anyway…has commented about. It actually makes me happy you are here…just confirms for me the repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristian party is on the road to another tuchus paddling come mid terms.

          • mjsmith November 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

            secularhumanizinevoluter – Are you secretly a Republican doing your best to make liberals look like buffoons? Come on, you can tell me.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 21, 2012 at 5:28 am #

            “secularhumanizinevoluter — Are you secretly a Republican doing your best to make liberals look like buffoons? Come on, you can tell me.”

            And difficult as it is to believe even for a repugnantklan/teabaggin/UBERChristian you actually manage to dive to new depths in the sewer of pathetic swill.
            And once again by not addressing the cold factual reality of this hunk of rock having nothing to do with the red herring you tried to float you hold yourself up as a beacon the glaring dishonesty and utter lack of integrity that is the hallmark of the muttering’s of the right.
            Thank you…you provide a valuable service to the sane, reality based universe.

          • mjsmith November 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

            What do you do with the mad that you feel
            When you feel so mad you could bite?
            When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong…
            And nothing you do seems very right?

            What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
            Do you pound some clay or some dough?
            Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
            Or see how fast you go?

            It’s great to be able to stop
            When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,
            And be able to do something else instead
            And think this song:

            I can stop when I want to
            Can stop when I wish.
            I can stop, stop, stop any time.
            And what a good feeling to feel like this
            And know that the feeling is really mine.
            Know that there’s something deep inside
            That helps us become what we can.
            For a girl can be someday a woman
            And a boy can be someday a man.

            What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel?
            By Fred M. Rogers
            © 1968

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

            Jeebus crispies onna popcicle stick with hat pins through hands and feet. All indications would appear to point to a complete psychotic break with reality…a REAL one, not the self chosen nonreality of the superstition addled mind exhibited and acted out up till now but a genuine pathology of inability to distinguish reality from delusion. OR just more of the same drivel…can’t really tell which.

  9. secularhumanizinevoluter November 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Ya know the GOOD thing is now, thanks to Obamacare your pre-existing condition(delusional thinking) won’t keep you from getting the obvious mental health care you need…and I say that with atheistic/secularhumanistic love and caring.

    • mjsmith November 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

      secularhumanizinevoluter – I had no idea you were a doctor. I just thought you were some weirdo.

      In the future, please ask questions pertaining to what I am talking about or what the particular discussion is about. In addition, please present questions in a coherent and respectful manner. I know this will be difficult for you. I understand and will work with you the best I can, as long as I see that you are sincerely trying.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter November 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

        I know it is increasingly difficult for you but here is a refresher on the question you have worked so hard to NOT answer ”
        “And this latest example of UBERChristian hubris is connected to the film how………”

        You have not answered how this NEWLY erected and poorly crafted assault on the constitutional seperation of Church and our SECULAR state is related to your erronious claim regarding all the other monuments which were along with the film an attempt to institutionalize a particular brand of Christianity as the official one.

        As for your no relevance to the discussion of Constitutional Separation of Church and State…

        1″Dr. secularhumanizinevoluter , what is it that upsets you so much about the 10 Commandments?”

        Nothing…nothing what so ever. The simple fact that the vast majority of the howling mob that claims to think we are all doomed without them are utter and total hypocrites breaking any and all of them willynilly is besides the point. The 10 Commandments as they stand…in fact ALL versions of them…and there are several…along with any “religious” commandments or instructions have no influence on my life what so ever. neither anger nor make me happy.

        2.”Do you dislike all of them or is there a particular few that you do not agree with? If so which ones?”

        See answer to #1.

        Now what I object to about this stupid attempt to impose religious nonsense on our SECULAR nation…this utterly UN CONSTITUTIONAL effort by religious fanatics to usurp the Constitution…now I DO have a BIG problem with that. If you want to erect a HUGE monument to these 10 or any other commandments from your invisible friend in the sky on your OWN property with your or any idiots dumb enough to donate it’s money….so long as it conforms to local zoning laws knock your socks off.

        Now….. I answered your questions, irrelevant though they be.
        Please address MY question to you regarding the relevance of your Red herring about the film the Ten Commandments and this particular attempt to unconstitutionally erect on Taxpayer financed property a sectarian monument attempting to usurp the Constitution.
        Question…and VERY simple to understand is

        And this latest example of UBERChristian hubris is connected to the film how………and I might add UNCONSTITUTIONAL UBERChristian Huberis.

        • mjsmith November 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

          Once again, let me tell you – The 10 Commandment displays were used to promote the film of the same name.

          I know that the display in the article does not have anything to do with the film.

          I was just making a point as to how this whole thing started. That is all.

          I am very sorry (not really) that this may not interest you. I happened to find it interesting.

          Judaism and Christianity have contributed to American law.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

            Well other then your facts being half fast as usual it might be. SOME were paid for by the company but the movement to get the ten commandments posted in Court Houses and capital buildings was alive and well and churning along LONG before the movie. And the simple fact(I know…you hate those fact thingys) is the monument being spoken of in this thread had, has and never will have anything to do with anything other then a particular sect of Christianity trying to ram their superstition down everyone else’s throat’s. my question to you…although you STILL haven’t answered my first one even though I have answered yours is…Why do you hate the Constitution?

  10. mjsmith November 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Here is an example of a question about the subject being asked of you in a coherent and respectful manner –

    Dr. secularhumanizinevoluter , what is it that upsets you so much about the 10 Commandments?

    Do you dislike all of them or is there a particular few that you do not agree with? If so which ones?

    • secularhumanizinevoluter November 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

      See above.

      • mjsmith November 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

        see above

      • mjsmith November 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

        I do not hate anything. I do not even hate you. I love the US Constitution and am thankful we have it.

        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong