Yes. Ten Commandments monuments are legitimate additions to displays depicting the foundations of the American legal system. Denying that Christianity has fundamentally shaped our principles of justice is ludicrous. We should encourage exhibits that inform the public about our nation's religious diversity and promote an appreciation of American history.
-- Luci Hague, Silver Spring
I am a Christian and proud of it. However, I think that making plans to include the Ten Commandments in future public displays throughout the U.S. proves that we're missing the point. Jumping on the bandwagon, and trying to continue political arguments (with those who oppose the displays), is not what God asks of us. Deluging the courts with cases regarding this is such a waste of time and energy.
We should be "living" the Ten Commandments, so that others may see the love of Christ in us! It's that simple.
-- Sabrina Y. Tolson, Germantown
The only way I would support more Ten Commandments monuments is if they are erected on church grounds. To erect the monuments in public places without adding monuments showing the guidelines for other religions, such as the Five Pillars of Islam or the Wiccan Rede, is to imply that Christianity is to be given preferential treatment.
America is not merely a Christian nation; there are also Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, atheists, agnostics, Shintos and other religious groups in this country. If all of them aren't represented in public places, then no religious monuments should be allowed there.
-- Amanda K. Maynard, Boonsboro, Md.
Being a Muslim, I know that in Islamic communities and countries across the world, it is common practice to see Koranic language, symbols and scriptures in many public places. I am not against the Ten Commandments monuments; I know that this country does not officially choose Christianity as its state religion.
The thing I wonder is: Do these monuments really influence people's behavior? I do not mean to disrespect the symbolism that might be meant, but you do not see everyone saluting or pledging allegiance to the U.S. flag just because they see the flag flying overhead at any given street corner.
-- Patrick Lawrence, Fort Washington
I remember fourth grade and having to sing "Onward Christian Soldiers" and pledging allegiance to the flag at the beginning of every school day. By that age, I had already observed that public face and private actions were, generally, two different realities.
My point is, I grew up hating the aforementioned song, and although I believe in God, organized religion means nothing to me. As a wartime vet, I mouthed the pledge but never spoke the words so as not to involve myself in the hypocrisy of its intent. Let the Christians do what they want; they can never make the U.S. moral because it never has been.
-- Phoenix Kelley, Germantown
Next month's question: Would you like to see your congregation participate in more interfaith events? E-mail your answer (100 words or less) to email@example.com. Include a daytime phone number.