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The 10 Commandments – A Guide

I had what you would call a religious up bringing. We were taught the 10 commandments at a very early age. In fact the 10 commandments have played such a large role in my life I cannot remember when I learned them. I remember having to memorize them for Sunday school, but that was more trying to remember what order the 10 commandments came in rather than learning what they were.

Because the 10 commandments have been a part of my life since I was a little child, I have not spent much time reflecting on them. As with so many aspects of my faith I have just accepted the 10 commandments as a fact of life. I have spent more time pondering them recently due to the media attention of having the 10 commandments displayed in public buildings. I had to stop and review exactly what the 10 commandments are and why someone may be offended seeing them in print. I had to stop and reflect if I had just accepted something that may be offensive just because it has always been part of my life.

I have to admit that trying to recall the 10 commandments in order was a true memory exercise. I could remember all of them but trying to get the middle ones in the right order was a challenge. I mentioned this to my husband and he could not understand why being in a particular order made any difference. I thought he had a good point, that it did not really matter what order I placed them in or what exact wording I used to remember them, it was the idea behind each of the 10 commandments that was the message we are to take to heart.

After thinking about each of the 10 commandments I have decided that for me they are not offensive. I would not feel discriminated against or violated in any way seeing them in print. The message with each of them is clear to me and in general I feel they out line a decent and courteous way to conduct my life. I respect others beliefs and accept that not everyone has the same set of beliefs that I have. In fact I think life would be boring if we did all think the same and had the same beliefs.

Although I comprehend that we are not all from the same belief system, I still cannot understand why someone would be offended by seeing the 10 commandments in print. There are many billboards and bus advertisements out there that I find disagreeable or offensive, but I know there are others who have opposing opinions. If I find something offensive I try to look at something that is more appealing to me. We do not all need to believe the same things and in order to co-exist , we do not even need to understand each others beliefs, we just need to learn tolerance. Hey, maybe I just came up with the 11th commandment! In fact, it can be any number. I’ve already told you order doesn’t matter.

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