Thou Shalt Not Steal Your Neighbor’s Lawn Ornaments

by hookedonhouses on March 23, 2010


Acouple of houses in my neighborhood have Ten Commandments tablets in their front yard. Is this a new trend, or do I just have more religious neighbors than most? I have to say I’m baffled by the whole thing–it’s not like this is the kind of neighborhood where we should have to remind each other not to kill or steal, and I have yet to see a golden calf in anyone’s backyard.

The only thing that puzzled me more were the giant wood plaques I saw at an Amish furniture store in Indiana that had the Ten Commandments carved into them. They were prominently displayed above the beds in their showroom. How bad does it have to be if you resort to hanging rules like “Thou shalt not commit adultery” over your headboard? Just sayin’.

Have the Ten Commandments popped up in your neighborhood? Spotted any other unusual “lawn decor” recently?

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Kristi @ Creative Kristi March 23, 2010 at 7:01 am

I have never in my life seen anything like that….let alone above a headboard….interesting. Not for me- but interesting nonetheless.
.-= Kristi @ Creative Kristi´s last blog ..Happy Friday!! =-.

Christine March 23, 2010 at 7:04 am

I live in a fairly rural location, but I haven’t seen anything like this in lawns. And I live next door to a church! :)
.-= Christine´s last blog ..Spinach Lasagna Rolls =-.

Janet March 23, 2010 at 7:06 am

Hmmm? Kind of odd, better than weeds in the yard, but I would still prefer the common ceramic squirrel or deer, as far a lawn ornaments are concerned. ;)
.-= Janet´s last blog ..Spring Weekend =-.

Donna March 23, 2010 at 8:04 am

I live in the “Buckle of the Bible Belt” and I haven’t seen these! lol
.-= Donna´s last blog ..My 2010 Weekly Planner =-.

Kat in Texas March 23, 2010 at 8:08 am

I have a neighbor who tends to overdecorate with lawn ornaments. Haven’t seen this one yet, but you never know. In addition to the ornaments, he has added a professionally-printed sign which reads, “Please keep your dog and it’s mess out of our yard.” If you’re going to place a sign in your yard, be sure to use correct spelling!

Karen May 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I own and live in a condo. My neighbors love their lawn ornaments. My neighbor next to me has her front porch decorated like the fourth of july.. We are just getting to Memorial day. I really hate the wind chime hanging from the shepards hook, a 5 inch clay pot in the corner with a little flag pick, and 3 little metal flags hanging from wire on her front door.Good thing you can’t see it from the street. I won’t even get into my other neighbors. They think its beautiful.

lifeshighway March 23, 2010 at 8:09 am

I have never seen these and I love ‘em! Can I use this photo and link back to your entry on my blog. I just know this would be a big hit.
.-= lifeshighway´s last blog ..Where You Fall Short Of Art =-.

hookedonhouses March 23, 2010 at 8:15 am
cheryl March 23, 2010 at 8:21 am

I love seeing God’s word displayed. In this world it seems sometimes people want to write their own set of rules.

becky March 23, 2010 at 8:25 am

Nope, not even in the Bible Belt. We have pink flamingos, which are at least classic kitsch.

Cyndia March 23, 2010 at 8:31 am

I believe these plaques have come about in response to Alabama Judge Roy Moore’s fight to put the Commandments in every public institution in this country. He had them hanging in his courtroom for years. I think the people who put them out as lawn ornaments are showing support for his ideas. I’ll just end with many Alabamians do NOT agree with him.

Tara Dillard March 23, 2010 at 8:37 am

Haven’t seen the Ten Commandments yet!

Most hated lawn decor?


From starter home to million plus, plastic wheeling hose reels in front of the house.

Do you think we don’t see those ugly, cheap, horrendous, most foul, contrivances?

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Mrs. Not the Jet Set March 23, 2010 at 8:45 am

I’ve seen them before. We actually have them in our neighborhood and others in the area have them as well. They were up before we moved here three years ago, but from what I understand, it was in response to people trying to remove them from the courthouse lawn. So what a lot of people did in protest was to put them in their lawns. Years later they are still out there. I guess it really back fired on the locals who didn’t want to have it in public view.

Also, when I lived and worked in Texas I did low income housing inspections. There were several developers/property owners who would display the ten commandments in their leasing offices. Some even had them hanging above the computers in the complexes computer rooms.
.-= Mrs. Not the Jet Set´s last blog ..Shampooless Adventure =-.

Paula March 23, 2010 at 8:45 am

I would like to think these are being displayed to remind us of the values our country was founded upon. It seems society is becoming more and more immoral. Maybe we should all read these and abide by them. By the way, I for one live in Alabama and think Judge Moore is a wise man!

Liz March 23, 2010 at 8:50 am

In my town, the papery version of the 10 Commandments are regularly dragged out and posted in yards (often next to stone gooses in bonnets) whenever there is an election or issue that the owner believes has a side that is more Godly than another. Instead of “Vote for X” signs, they post these with the implied message of the same. It’s become such a regular occurrence here, that I’m thinking these stone versions would be seen as both aesthetic improvement to the soggy, tattered paper signs AND a permanent commitment to a particular ideology that my fellow townsfolk would buy these things in a heartbeat if they knew about them.

Lila Ferraro March 23, 2010 at 8:57 am

ummm….I’m a pretty religious person myself, but that is creepy, weird. It’s definitely extreme so I hope it’s not a new lawn trend. What happened to flamingos and windmills?

please sir March 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

I would say that is not lawn art…or bedroom art! I agree with you fully on this…and understand the temptation to take em’ down!

Rose March 23, 2010 at 9:25 am

Riigghhht….these Commandments are way more offensive than the 60 inch TV screens beaming from windows of foreclosed houses…..

hookedonhouses March 23, 2010 at 9:43 am

For the record, I don’t think they’re offensive. I was raised to believe in the Ten Commandments. I just never saw an actual stone tablet like that in a yard before! Apparently they’re a lot more common than I realized, but they’re new to my neighborhood. I was a little taken aback, like why does my neighbor think I need to be reminded not to kill or steal? -Julia :)

Lou Cinda March 23, 2010 at 9:34 am

I am bad to want to “covet” something someone else has from time to time, but at least I admit it!! I think I should get extra points for honesty anyway!! lol

I haven’t seen that in my neck of the woods yet, but I am in the South, so that trend is probably on it’s way! It is a little bizarre though.

Lou Cinda :)
.-= Lou Cinda´s last blog ..Thrift Finds =-.

Hip Hip Gin Gin March 23, 2010 at 9:38 am

Haven’t seen any ten commandments lawn decorations. We do have a lot of what we refer to as “bathtub Marys” (no disrespect meant whatsoever). They are the little statues of the Virgin Mary in an oval type enclosure, that resembles a bathtub in a vertical position. They are everywhere.
.-= Hip Hip Gin Gin´s last blog ..Simple Pleasures =-.

Richella at Imparting Grace March 23, 2010 at 9:47 am

Hmmm. . . Since the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings has been banned in most places, I suppose these folks are exercising their constitutional right of free speech. I’ll say that I admire their gumption, at least. I’m a real fan of the Ten Commandments, but I’m not sure I could quite go with having a lawn ornament quite like that.

Tricia Rose March 23, 2010 at 10:03 am

To me it seems a more political than religious statement, sadly. If you disagree, imagine the exact same display in Arabic…
.-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..Hitting the Wall =-.

31everything March 23, 2010 at 10:04 am

LOL! Too funny :)
.-= 31everything´s last blog ..Taylor’s Closet =-.

greenie March 23, 2010 at 10:41 am

Regardless of what you believe or don’t believe, these are just plain tacky!
I live in the Bible Belt and have never seen these around. I lived in Boston and surrounding suburbs for a few years and these rank right up there with the “Madonna on the Clam Shell” lawn decorations you might see on Catholic’s lawns.

…And I think Tricia Rose makes a very strong point above.

Amber March 23, 2010 at 10:52 am

Wow, I was just thinking they were preparing for Easter. Guess I was off!
.-= Amber´s last blog ..the (almost) perfect tray =-.

Darla March 23, 2010 at 11:05 am

Bwahahahahahahah maybe they’re onto us. ;) Us thieves and killers of lawns.

Karen March 23, 2010 at 11:07 am

Can’t say that I’ve ever seen these in a lawn! Glass balls, plastic deer, even fake flowers…no 10 Commandments yet. Can’t say that I’m a fan of lawn ornaments in general, but these would be better than plastic animals!

Karena March 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

Not yet thankfully, I say if you must have them, take inside. They look like a tombstone. (and I am religious)

Art by Karena

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints March 23, 2010 at 11:39 am

Oh that is TOO FUNNY! Maybe that would scare people enough to stay on the straight and narrow:)
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Protect this House =-.

Karen March 23, 2010 at 11:46 am

I live in the country and three of my neighbors have huge yellow flags with “Don’t Tread on Me” a flappin’ in the wind – my husband and I looked at each other, rolled our eyes and said ‘whatever’ . . . the Ten Commandments though, they look like a cemetery thing to me.

Maya @ Completely Coastal March 23, 2010 at 11:52 am

I’m happy to report that they have not! The only sign I need is “Do not use my driveway as a turn around”!

Kathy :) March 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Not in my neck of the woods Julia…….I was raised to believe in them…but don’t think I would put them on my front lawn and over my bed I think not !!!

But I love it when people are not afraid to express themselves….that’s why I love this country !!!!

Thanks for sharing….

Kathy :)

mishelle March 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm

wow , that is weird… i have not seen them, nor do i think we could put that in our yard cause of the rules but, hmmm..
.-= mishelle´s last blog ..I just love anything Roosters! =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now March 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Hmm…I’ll go along with a few of the others and speculate that perhaps they’re making a political statement?? I TRY my best to live by the Ten Commandments, but I don’t know that I’d want to display them in my yard.

Lauren March 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I was running through my grandmother’s neighborhood the other day when I passed by a front yard with huge Jesus and angel wooden cutouts in the front yard, and I almost had to stop and walk for a minute. I’m all about cute Easter decorations, but I thought that was taking it to the next level. Now that I see these Ten Commandments, Christ doesn’t look too outrageous….

Carmen March 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I have never seen such a thing on someone’s lawn. Very interesting. ha!
.-= Carmen´s last blog ..Thrifty Treasures Made Over =-.

Kim March 23, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I’m a pretty religious person myself, but I wouldn’t want to display these on my lawn. I have heard of people getting their lawn decorations vandalized so I would be afraid that these would attract a bad crowd. Besides, I don’t own any lawn ornaments anyways.

Ann W March 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Funny. I’ve never been a fan of lawn ornaments anyway. Plant and Garden Blog
.-= Ann W´s last blog ..Aloe Vera: A Mild Chemo-therapy for the Skin =-.

anna see March 23, 2010 at 3:48 pm

hmm.. this is completely new to me. i am baffled.
.-= anna see´s last blog ..Guess Whose Doctor Told Her to Lose 15 Pounds? =-.

Bonnie March 23, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I haven’t seen them yet but I’m really not surprised. I’ve considered painting the Ten Commandments on my door frame but… pretty sure I wouldn’t want to post them in my front yard, though. Interesting look.

Melanie March 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I haven’t seen anything like this before? Who puts that in their yard even if they believe it. It’s not even cute! Just sayin’. LOL!
.-= Melanie´s last blog ..The First Pioneer Woman Recipe! =-.

Debbie March 23, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Hi Julia! Oh my your post today is very interesting. I have never seen this…but I do know here in California I have heard many and I mean many people who are upset that the government took down the commandments from courtrooms…therefor I would say these people are upset and trying to stick it to the government…and maybe a few neighbors!….big smile….I too like lawn ornaments….
.-= Debbie´s last blog ..Sweet ~Bittersweet =-.

sarah March 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm

how odd! I have never seen anything like that..anywhere!

.-= sarah´s last blog ..A Beach Cottage Exclusive! A Visitor from California =-.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic March 23, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I haven’t seen them…but I don’t have Hobby Lobby here. :)

I’m so, so curious about where they were made and who made them.
.-= Jeannine @ Small and Chic´s last blog ..The Big Reveal, Day 3 (The Dining Nook) =-.

Why S? March 23, 2010 at 11:42 pm

That is the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard of. Like Hip Hip Gin Gin, we have a few bathtub Marys around. It’s due to our dense immigrant population. The bathtubs I can take. They have a certain aesthetic value. The 10 Commandments? Just tacky. Oh, and for the record, our country wasn’t founded on the values of the 10 Commandments. It was founded on the Bill of Rights. Thomas Jefferson was an atheist, after all.
.-= Why S?´s last blog ..The L.A. Marathon Passes Us By =-.

stacey March 24, 2010 at 12:04 am

We could send the headboard version to Tiger Woods maybe?

Jessica March 24, 2010 at 2:15 am

Where does Why S get her/his historical info?
The 10 commandments are good, but I would be more likely to put a scripture pertaining to salvation from the New Testament in my yard. I know a lot of people who have scripture signs in their yards. We don’t have any in ours, but I think they are a good thing. :-) Probably not so much from a decorative point of view, though. Haha
.-= Jessica´s last blog ..Brothers =-.

christy March 24, 2010 at 3:43 am

No, we live in pretty liberal area and we’re more likely to have flamingos on lawns than the ten commandments, I think!
.-= christy´s last blog ..The Foo’s Fabulous Big Girl Room! =-.

karin March 24, 2010 at 7:14 am

I think that Cyndia is right.

angela | the painted house March 24, 2010 at 8:12 am

I guess I would be disappointed that I was the only house in the neighborhood that hadn’t been visited by the finger of God. :) No, haven’t seen these either.
.-= angela | the painted house´s last blog ..The Painted House Has Moved! =-.

Nichole March 24, 2010 at 9:21 am

I haven’t seen these either. I’m not big on lawn ornaments. Except of course, my Mary statue! :) Mary is actually in my back garden. And she’s very happy there.
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..A Gastronomic Tour of Lincoln, Nebraska =-.

Jen March 24, 2010 at 10:51 am

Really? I mean, honestly, most lawn ornaments are fairly tacky in my opinion, even religious ones. And hanging the ten commandments above your bed just seems odd.
.-= Jen´s last blog ..Spring Cleaning =-.

Allison March 24, 2010 at 11:29 am

I find most lawn ornaments to be fairly tacky, and not in the “So Tacky They’re Actually Whimsical and Fun” kind of way, so most of them get a giant no from me. That said, it doesn’t really surprise me to find the 10 Commandments in lawn art form, since you can find pretty nearly anything in lawn art form these days. :)

On another note, Thomas Jefferson wasn’t an Atheist. He was a Deist. He believed in God but not organized religion, and he and the other founding fathers were careful not to include a specific religion as being the basis for this country, because that had been a big issue with England. In fact, God isn’t referenced once in the Constitution and the only place religion is is in Amendment 1 of the Bill of Rights, and even that’s in respect to freedom to practice any religion a citizen sees fit. That was pretty much the whole point: freedom to govern oneself, freedom to choose religion for oneself, freedom to not be jailed merely for speaking out. Keep in mind, the phrase “In God We Trust” wasn’t even on our money until the 1950s and McCarthyism. That’s a pretty recent development.

Gary March 26, 2010 at 2:25 am

Jesse James, the tattooed biker guy not the gunman, just bought copies for every room in his house and put one on his bike as well. Some people just can’t remember the basics.

room service ~ decorating 101 March 26, 2010 at 6:59 am

I hate them.

Bill August 6, 2010 at 4:44 am

I know a few kids in my neighborhood who love to steal lawn ornaments. I have a feeling these would be at the bottom of a lake somewhere if they were in my town. :)

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