Should We Seriously Consider These What-Ifs?

In today's political climate we are hearing and reading about ideas such as using the 10 commandments as a basis for our laws, reviving the original constitution and reverting to what the founding fathers had as an intent.

Some political figures are making news by seriously proposing changes in our governance and government by saying they subscribe to these ideas for when and if they are in office.

This article looks at some of the what-ifs that could come about if these same politicians were actually able to change our current laws.

What if?

    * The 10 commandments were the basis for our laws?
    * We eliminated all Constitutional changes based on Supreme Court cases?
    * What if we used the founders' intentions?

If the 10 commandments were the basis for our laws, we would have to start by asking which sets of commandments are to be used? [There are at least two sets.] And which translations from which languages in which religion's texts would be the basis for these "new" laws?

It's easy to say "Lets use the 10 commandments" - it's not as easy to even start planning how to do so!

Assuming we decided on what those 10 were - let's take two "generally acceptable" commandments and see what might happen if they actually became laws.

Honor thy father and thy mother is one that most people would say is a good thing to do.

Legally how would we define and measure "honor"? Does it mean taking care of or just saying nice words about them? Or does honoring mean supporting them financially throughout their lives?

And how do we punish those who do not follow this law? If we use biblical punishments for biblical laws - do we revert to capital punishment?

Next let's look at adultery! A five word law: Thou shalt not commit adultery. No doubt about the meaning; no wiggle room; no mitigating circumstances. And the biblical punishment? Death!

And if we revert to the original constitution? Only white male landowners could vote. Blacks, women and non-landowners? Too bad! You are now disenfranchised and you cannot call the new law unconstitutional.

If we start using the intentions of the founding fathers? Do we do séances to sit in the rooms with them to know exactly what they meant? Or do we rely on the interpretations of those who wish to use "intentions" to make decisions? And, if the latter, do we need to ask what are the intentions of these people?

Political rhetoric may sound good to many voters. But unless one thinks through the ramifications and what ifs of all the rhetoric actually coming to pass, we might wake up one day to a political world we do not like. There is an old saying about being careful what you wish for....


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger