Which Is the Greatest Commandment in the Law
. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Master, which commandment of the law is greatest?” He [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. Love God above all else. And the second is like this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments rest the whole law and the prophets. Romans 13:8 owes no one else anything but to love one another; for he who loves the other has fulfilled the law. 9 Wherefore, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet; and if there is another commandment, it is briefly understood in this saying: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 10 Love does no harm to one`s neighbor; That is why love is the fulfillment of the law. By the early twenty-first century, however, the monuments and plaques of the Decalogue in government halls had become a legal battleground between religious and political liberals and conservatives. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have filed lawsuits against the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings. The ACLU has been supported by a number of religious groups (such as the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the American Jewish Congress) both because they do not want the government to issue religious doctrines and because they firmly believe that the commandments are inherently religious. Many commentators see this issue as part of a broader culture war between liberal and conservative elements of American society. In response to perceived attacks on traditional society, other legal organizations such as Liberty Counsel have stood up to defend the conservative interpretation.
Many Christian conservatives viewed the U.S. Supreme Court`s ban on officially sanctioned prayer in public schools as a threat to religious expression in public life. In response, they managed to persuade many state and local governments to post the Ten Commandments in public buildings. Most traditions of Christianity claim that the Ten Commandments have divine authority and continue to be valid, although they have different interpretations and uses from them.  The Apostolic Constitutions, which invite the faithful to “always remember the Ten Commandments of God,” reveal the importance of the Decalogue in the early Church.  For most of Christian history, the Decalogue has been regarded as a summary of God`s law and standard of conduct, which were central to Christian life, piety, and worship.  In the non-canonical Gospel of Barnabas, it is asserted that Jesus said that idolatry is the greatest sin, because it completely deprives a person of faith and therefore of God.  The words attributed to Jesus not only forbid the worship of wooden or stone statues; but also flesh statues. “. All that a man loves, for which he leaves everything else except this, is his God, so that the wolverine and the drunkard have their own flesh for his idol, the lustful has silver and gold for his idol, and so on all other sinners.
 Idolatry was therefore the fundamental sin that manifested itself in various actions or thoughts that replaced the primacy of God. However, the Gospel of Barnabas is not part of the Christian Bible. It is known only from manuscripts of the 16th and 17th centuries and often reflects Islamic rather than Christian understanding, so it cannot be considered authoritative for Christian views. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Fraternal Order of Eagles may have placed thousands of Ten Commandments in courthouses and classrooms, including many stone monuments on the courthouse.  Since the display of the commandments may reflect a sectarian position when numbered (see above), the Eagles developed an ecumenical version that omitted the numbers, as on the Texas Capitol monument (shown here). Hundreds of monuments were also placed by director Cecil B. DeMille as a publicity stunt to promote his 1956 film The Ten Commandments.  The installation of Ten Commandment plaques and monuments in and around government buildings was another expression of the United States in the mid-twentieth century.
Civil religion, as well as the addition “under God” to the oath of allegiance.  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church – the official exposition of the Christian faith of the Catholic Church – the commandments are considered essential for good spiritual health and growth, and serve as a basis for social justice.  The Church`s teaching on the commandments is largely based on the Old and New Testaments and the writings of the early Church Fathers.  In the New Testament, Jesus recognized its validity and asked His disciples to go further and demand justice beyond that of the scribes and Pharisees.  Summarized by Jesus in two “great commandments” that teach love of God and love of neighbor, they instruct individuals about their relationships with both. One result of these legal cases was that proponents of the Ten Commandments exhibit sometimes surrounded them with other historical texts to present them as historical rather than religious.