Katherine Harris And The Ten Commandments

Last week, Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) raised a few eyebrows by insisting that voters had to elect Christians to avoid "legislating sin," calling the constitutional separation of church and state a "lie," and arguing that God did not intend for the United States to be "a nation of secular laws."

Since then she backed away from the first two points, but struggled a bit to explain the third.

Asked whether the U.S. should be a secular country, Harris said: "I think that our laws, I mean, I look at how the law originated, even from Moses, the 10 Commandments. And I don't believe, that uh . . . That's how all of our laws originated in the United States, period. I think that's the basis of our rule of law."

Now, I don't mean to pick on Harris — my annoyance with her candidacy is quickly turning to pity — but this argument comes up from time to time. Usually it's phrased a little more articulately, but particularly among far-right conservatives, the notion that our laws "originated" from the Ten Commandments is very popular. And very wrong.

-- Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report


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