Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Ten Commandments for States

Yesterday I finished reading The Quaker Reader (edited by Jessamyn West).  I found these commandments to be a refreshing new way of applying the original biblical ten commandments since our nation legally recognizes corporations (and government entities) as having the same legal rights as individuals. 

"The morality of the nations must be as the morality of the individual writ large, therefore,

I. The State shall not exalt the false gods of national glory, national pride, national greed, for the Lord God is a jealous God, visiting the disobedience of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of those that neglect Him, and showing mercy unto thousands of those that love Him and keep His commandments.

II. Every State shall acknowledge that all men are equally the children of God, and recognize the brotherhood of all men and the rights of primitive peoples.

III. The State shall not bear false witness against its neighbours, for Christ has said, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you."

IV. The State shall do no murder, nor order its subjects to kill.

V. The State shall not steal, nor keep what it gains by force, for Christ has said "It is more blessed to give that to receive." "Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over."

VI. The State shall not covet its neighbours' wealth, nor its neighbours' territory, nor anything that is theirs.

VII. The State shall not judge in its own case, for too often we fail to see the beam in our own eye, looking only for the mote in our brother's eye.

VIII. The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, and no State shall fear the prosperity of another, but rather rejoice in it.

IX. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind, and thy neighbour State as thine own country.

X. The State shall not seek its own life, for whosoever would save his life, shall lose it.

(by A. Ruth Fry)