I was listening to an idiot bloviating that the USA owes its laws to the Ten Commandments and I just want to go through the speaker and yell at the person. I have even tried calling into a local talk station that was saying this crap and was put on perma-hold, the host never taking my call.
It is very frustrating because I hear others mindlessly echoing this lie and when I note that the ten commandments have very little in common with the law they are either surprised or get very defensive.
Even if you leave out "The Law" and go to basic values in society only half (at most 6) are part of our overall societal values.
Obviously 1-4 are not part of US law or part of US societal mores.
Commandments 6, 8, and 9 are enshrined in law and quite thoroughly part of societies values. They don't actually need to be based on religious morals as societies don't function without these particular values. These values existed well before the Ten Commandments came into being.
Commandment number 7 is not really supported in law other than tangentially (it can be grounds for divorce and can be an ameliorating factor in court on why something happened). It is though very much part of society's values as something you should not do and the people involved are shunned when it becomes public.
Number 5 is not part of law but is part of our societies values with the caveat that the parents must also value, protect, and treat with care, their children. If the parents do not then it is fully acceptable to not honor your parents. In other words, honor is earned not just given.
Number 10 is not supported in law, you can want what someone else has got all you want. And while society
somewhat frowns on being envious of what others around you have, "Keeping up with the Jones" is a very normal if not really good part of our society.
I understand the idea that they were one of the foundational law structures that formed the basis of some early societies but the 10 Commandments themselves, as they are written, are not the foundation of modern western law.
So why do people parrot this crap that the 10 Commandments are the foundation of western and/or US law when it is so obviously not for significant portions of it to anyone who has reads them and knows what they are?