ABOUT 10 AMENDMENTS DAY
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” - Thomas Paine
Why do we need a Ten Amendments Day?
Recently, a call went out to Christian and Jewish communities across the United States to come together to celebrate the Ten Commandments with a day “to provide a global symbol that expresses our submission and commitment to the values found in the Ten Commandments.”
Of course, everyone has the right to assemble to honor the tenets of their faith, but the Ten Commandments Day is not about celebrating religion - it is about rewriting history and, ultimately, it’s about rewriting the Constitution.
The organization is made up of groups that have sought to replace civic law with their religious code. These are the groups that attempt to rewrite American history to support their desire for a Christian Nation Under God. These are the groups that work to tear down the wall between church and state; ironically, the very wall that protects their right to assemble in the first place.
For example, in a letter sent to 1300 elected officials, the Commission claims “the Ten Commandments represent the divine authority to which successful societies have submitted throughout history. They symbolize the Judeo-Christian foundations upon which America was founded.”
Throughout the Ten Commandments Day web site, there is language calling the Decalogue “the very fabric and foundation of our culture and faith,” “the anchor of our great country,” “the bedrock principles that made our country great,” and “the divine standard upon which it was founded.”
This comes as a surprise to those of us who thought freedom was the foundation of our culture, that unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were the bedrock principles that made our country great, and that we the people decided the standards of our government.
We understand that this movement to remake America as a Judeo-Christian nation betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the Founders’ intent and threatens to undermine the very system they created.
We understand that the foundation of America is not a religious creed. If we have a national religion, it is the belief that people should be free to live, work, and pray as they choose. Everyone has unalienable rights and the government's power comes from the people, not from divine decree or the divine right of kings from We the People.
These revolutionary ideas were not a Judeo/Christian creation, revealed on a mountain and etched in stone. They are a uniquely American Revelation, derived from enlightened reason and preserved in our secular Constitution and the Bill of Rights - the first Ten Amendments. This is the source of our freedom and liberty, the foundation of America’s success and prosperity.
The heart of America is the first principle that basic rights are essential, but religion is voluntary. By advancing the myth that America is a nation founded on Judeo/Christian laws, the Ten Commandments Day organizers threaten to replace our civil rights with their particular religious preferences.
We are not anti-religion. We are pro-religious freedom. Instead of celebrating Ten Commandments Day and dividing the country into Jewish/Christian-Americans vs. everyone else, we say, “Happy Ten Amendments Day Everyone!”
In order to form a more perfect union, we come together to recognize and celebrate our shared beliefs: an understanding that all are created equal with unalienable rights; a dedication to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a promise to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and posterity.
We hope you will join us, too.