The last six of the Ten Commandments are said to be summarized by the statement
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. And that’s well enough, but I want to take another look at them from the community standpoint. Now we come to commandment number eight. And as I was preparing for this program, for some reason, it really struck me how important these laws are to society.
The Fifth Commandment is the one that establishes and maintains family ties. It is a fundamental need of any society that families take care of their own. It’s the fragmentation of the family that leaves people sleeping on grates in the wintertime in the cities. The Sixth Commandment establishes a right to life.
Thou shalt not kill, says God, and that includes manslaughter and any other unlawful or immoral destruction of human life. Any society that diminishes the right to life has set itself on the road to the trash heap of history. The Seventh Commandment establishes the sanctity of marriage and who has the rights to somebody else’s love, time and attention. It is to tie the family together for the sake of the children and, of course, the children in turn are to tie themselves to the parents—taking care of them if they have to be taken care of.
Then there is the Eighth Commandment,
Thou shalt not steal. This fundamental building block acknowledges the right to private property. We need to know the difference between what is ours and what is not ours. And it’s in this fundamental principle that one of the building blocks of a stable society is established. One of the biggest problems that exists in many nations around this world is that they do not properly acknowledge the right to private property and they do not protect the right to private property. They don’t protect the rights to your intellectual property: the things that you have created out of your mind and your creativity. They don’t protect your rights to the land that you live on and care for—and so on it goes. This is a fundamental building block of society. For some important groundwork on this, let’s begin in the 50th Psalm.