I confess that I’m borrowing the title of a new book by my nephew, John Cabascango, for this article. John was born in Ecuador and has taught English and Spanish for over a quarter of a century. His book examines how we regard the Ten Commandments in our world today.

I think it was Dr. W.A.Criswell, longtime pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, who said, “God did not give us 10 suggestions; He gave us Ten Commandments!”

What has happened to our sense of moral law today? We might begin by talking about tolerance. There was a time — not so long ago — when one of the tenets of our society was that each of us had a right to an opinion. But that did not mean that every opinion was equally true. Relativists emerged to say that your truth is right for you, but not for me. If we are not careful we wind up living in a society with no direction.

In the ancient world of the Book of Judges, a sad commentary was written at its conclusion. The conclusion was, “In those days Israel had no king: everyone did as he saw fit.” Even after being rescued from slavery in Egypt, the Jews failed to do what God had commanded. That was to live a righteous life!

Does that sound like America, too? Or to bring it closer to home, Georgia? Freedom to worship does not imply freedom from faith. Instead, those freedoms which are at the core of our values as a nation are the foundation of our greatness. If we are willing to “throw Moses under the bus,” the laws we forget will no longer be the safeguards of our morality. We will be left with a society of people who do only what each of us chooses. We may have been conceived as a nation in protest to monarchy, but that does not mean we must live in anarchy.

Those unalienable rights and the freedoms of our Constitution are guaranteed as long as we hold to the moral foundation on which they are built. We need moral leaders in our day who will not leave us alone to do what we please, but who will call us to the purposeful living ordained in the Ten Commandments which guide us to better lives.

May our memories of those who fought to make this country great empower us to renew our vows to the truths they taught!

Dr. James E. Kilgore retired as the president of the International Family Foundation Inc. and is a Canton resident.

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