First, I have to give props to my dear friend Fiery over at Phoenix Rising and this post by the guest blogger "Richard" for even turning me on to this info.
Dr. Binswanger, a longtime associate of Ayn Rand, is a professor of philosophy at the Objectivist Academic Center of the Ayn Rand Institute.
He wrote an essay for Capitalism Magazine in October of 2004 that undermined one of the basic tenets of the religious right...the idea that the 10 Commandments are the basic, underlying foundation of morality in general and America in particular.
You can read the entire essay here.
But I'll excerpt some tidbits for you:
"The first commandment is: “I am the Lord thy God.”
As first, it is the fundamental. Its point is the assertion that the individual is not an independent being with a right to live his own life but the vassal of an invisible Lord. It says, in effect, “I own you; you must obey me.”
Could America be based on this? Is such a servile idea even consistent with what America represents: the land of the free, independent, sovereign individual who exists for his own sake?"
"The basic philosophy of the Ten Commandments is the polar opposite of the philosophy underlying the American ideal of a free society. Freedom requires:
-- a metaphysics of the natural, not the supernatural; of free will, not determinism; of the primary reality of the individual, not the tribe or the family;
-- an epistemology of individual thought, applying strict logic, based on individual perception of reality, not obedience and dogma;
-- an ethics of rational self-interest, to achieve chosen values, for the purpose of individual happiness on this earth, not fearful, dutiful appeasement of “a jealous God” who issues “commandments.”