by Fr. Lawrence Farley –
Recently I read an interesting critique of American Christianity. It pointed out that in an earlier day the schoolrooms for our children used to feature the Ten Commandments written on the wall, rather than (for example) the Beatitudes. The author thought this rather odd for a Christian nation, and evidence that something was wrong. I grant you that the preference for the Ten Commandments over the Beatitudes does invite comment.
One begins by asking how the Ten Commandments became so prominent in the eyes of Christians to begin with. One of course understands how a Jew would opt for the Ten Commandments which Moses brought down from the height of Sinai, rather than the Beatitudes of Jesus found in the New Testament. But how did the Ten Commandments become so culturally popular among American Christians? [Read more…]