Thursday, August 2, 2007
The Twelve Commandments
While Christian tradition gives the world the Ten Commandments to live by, the God-fearing people of Monongahela, Pa., have an even dozen of them. A monument in the city’s Chess Park mistakenly lists number one, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me,” twice for good measure. And, the last one that instructs followers to not covet thy neighbor’s wife and house appears in two versions.
One of the oldest settlements in the Mon Valley that dates to the 1760s, Monongahela might be in need of extra spiritual guidance.
A lightening strike many years ago blasted the steeple off a red brick Roman Catholic church two doors down from the park.
About 10 years ago, the spire atop an African Methodist Episcopal church needed to be replaced next door following another lightening strike. Two other old churches along Main Street have suffered similar fates.
In all fairness to the Eagles Club that gave the city its commandments in 1957 on a granite tablet, there have been several official versions of this list over the centuries, one of which included 21. Maybe the artist who the Eagles hired to design the tablet was confused, as well.