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Fast Facts: Ten Commandments

— The court is hearing two cases, involving displays in Texas and Kentucky.

— At issue: do they violate the First Amendment ban on government establishment of religion?

— A decision is expected by late June.

— This is the first Supreme Court hearing about the Ten Commandments in 24 years.

— The last ruling was in 1980, when the Supreme Court struck down a Kentucky law requiring that the Ten Commandments be displayed in public classrooms.

— Since then, lower courts have made about two dozen conflicting rulings on the subject.

— The Bush administration is siding with Kentucky and Texas in support of the displays.

Poll

— 76% of Americans surveyed are ok with displaying Ten Commandments on government ground.

— 23% opposed displaying the commandments on government property.

— That poll was conducted by Ipsos for the AP. It has a margin of error of +/- 3 points.

Texas Display

— Was put in place in 1961.

— The monument is six feet tall.

— It sits 75 feet from the state Capitol.

— The Fraternal Order of Eagles donated the sculpture. The group gave thousands of similar monuments to other towns in the 1950s and 60s. Many also are part of lawsuits.

— A lower court found the display to be mostly nonreligious.

— The court said that's because the sculpture is one of 17 monuments in a large park.

Kentucky Displays

— Two Kentucky counties hung framed copies of the Ten Commandments in courthouses.

— The ACLU challenged the displays.

— In response, the courthouses added copies of the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence.

— A Court of Appeals ruled against the display, saying the additions were a "sham" and the intent was religious.

Ten Commandment History

— The Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 of the Bible.

— The code is described as written by the finger of God and given to Moses on two tablets.

— Moses is said to have written the Book of Exodus, which lists the commandments.

— Scholars say tradition and biblical writings place Exodus (and the birth of the Ten Commandments) as happening sometime between 1590 and 1490 BC.

— The earliest old testament documents date to 1000 BC and are based on older oral tradition.

— The Catholic version of the commandments was written by St. Augustine in the fifth century.

Other Ancient Laws

— Egyptians had a legal code as early as 3,000 years BC.

— Mesopotamian law dates back to 2250 BC.

— The Babylonian Code of Hammurubi goes back to almost 1800 BC.

— The Greek republics started forming 800-700 BC.

— The 12 tables of Roman law were written around 450 BC.

There are Three Versions

— Jews, Catholics and Protestants have different versions of the Ten Commandments.

— Jews stress the flight from Egypt in the first commandment.

— Catholics believe the first commandment is "I am the Lord, your God, you shall have no other gods before Me." Protestants and Jews believe that is two separate commandments.

— Likewise Protestants and Jews see "You shall not covet your neighbor's belongings" as one commandment. Catholics separate it into two rules — "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife" and "You shall not covet your neighbor's goods."

The Ten Commandments — Jewish Version

— 1. I am the Lord, your God who has taken you out of the land of Egypt.

— 2. You shall have no other gods besides Me.

— 3. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.

— 4. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

— 5. Honor your father and your mother.

— 6. You shall not kill.

— 7. You shall not commit adultery.

— 8. You shall not steal.

— 9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

— 10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

The Ten Commandments — Catholic Version

— 1. I am the Lord, your God. You shall have no other gods besides Me.

— 2. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.

— 3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

— 4. Honor your father and your mother.

— 5. You shall not kill.

— 6. You shall not commit adultery.

— 7. You shall not steal.

— 8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

— 9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.

— 10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.

The Ten Commandments — Protestant Version

— 1. You shall have no other gods besides Me.

— 2. You shall not make unto you any graven images.

— 3. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.

— 4. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

— 5. Honor your father and your mother.

— 6. You shall not kill.

— 7. You shall not commit adultery.

— 8. You shall not steal.

— 9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

— 10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.