It would be hard to over-emphasize the importance of the Ten Commandments. But recent news headlines suggest that we are failing to live up to the Ten Commandments in a particularly virulent way.
Pope Francis points out that they are necessary both for individuals and for a whole culture: “The Ten Commandments point out a path for us to follow, and they are a kind of ‘ethical code’ in order to build just societies attuned to man.”
So what happens to a culture when Ten Commandment fails dominate the news?
This one has always been jeopardized by our idolizing money or something else; but now Detroit’s Satan statue is in the news, a far more literal offense.
This is another one we got wrong long ago, when the only profanity mentioned in the Bible was the only one we allowed on television and movies. But now atheist attempts to get “God” lower-cased are starting (if only starting) to take hold.
Keeping holy the Lord’s day has also been facing a losing battle, with major businesses that close that day (like Chick-Fil-A) becoming the exception, not the rule. But last year Sunday package delivery took away one more holdout.
It may have started with the disrespect shown parents on television. It may have started with the reluctance to enforce authority across the board, but now “Bullied Parents” are apparently a thing.
This is at its most horrific excesses in history in America right now: The killing of children by their parents, and the selling of their body parts by a government-sponsored institution.
Adultery has never been widely accepted, but now, with marriage being redefined, adultery is being redefined: 50% of San Francisco gay marriages became open marriages within a year — and apparently gay monogamy isn’t always an expectation. But old-fashioned adultery has been in the news, too, with a new technological twist.
Did you realize that wasting time online at work is stealing?
Statistics of lying are hard to come by but financial experts are worried that false statements are increasingly hurting the financial markets.
The pornography epidemic is coveting on a massive scale.
Keeping up with the Joneses is the polite way to refer to breaking the tenth commandment … and homeowner debt shows just how bad it is getting.
What to do about this? Pope Francis says we need to rediscover the Ten Commandments as “signposts of Freedom”:
“They teach us to avoid the slavery to which we are condemned by so many idols that we ourselves build — we have experimented with them so often in history, and we are still experimenting with them today. … Let us rediscover and live out the Ten Words of God!”