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


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.