Sunday, July 2, 2017

Where Should G-d's Law Be Written?

As you can see by following this link, the latest effort to use the power of government to promote all or part of the Bible came, quite literally, to a crashing halt.  In a relatively short span of time, too.

Two aspects of this are interesting.

First, there's the whole idea promoted by religious conservatives (and their secular partners in blasphemy) that the power of the state should be used to promote theology.  And not just any theology.  Their theology.  Whether those who disagree like it or not.  The "logic" behind this routinely cited is that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, and therefore the power of the sword (whether held by a Federal or state hand) is fully justified in keeping it that way.

I could, at this point, launch a screed about the failure of many of these "Christians" to translate other aspects of the Bible into public policy.  Caring for the poor, and the strangers and sojourners within our midst, are among those aspects (to say nothing of the ever-present problem of winking). But that's not even the most significant problem with this whole Ten-Commandments-in-government-buildings trend.  Neither is the fact that, like it or not, this nation was not founded as a "Christian" nation.  Read the Preamble to our Constitution.  Find any "Christian nation" references in there? Didn't think so.  And, even had you done so, there's always this to chew on.

There's a more important question to consider, however:  where should G-d's law be written?

Well, a superficially plausible answer would be on and in houses of worship.  Perfectly reasonable, and utterly, utterly superficial.

Let's step back for a moment and ask the question:  What does the Bible say?

In fact, this is something that orthodox Christians and Jews can agree upon:  G-d's law is ultimately meant to be written on and in our hearts.  Take a look, and note that the word often translated as "heart" in the Bible is more correctly understood to mean "center"--that around which every other aspect of our lives revolves.

That is why the First Amendment to the aforesaid Constitution prohibits either the establishment of religion by government, or the restraint of freely worshiping.  Religion, first and foremost to the Framers, was meant to be a choice.  Nothing else could truly be called religion; in fact, it can only be described as tyranny.

And the second interesting thing about the Arkansas story?

As I've said before, a war in this nation has been brewing for some time, and now both sides have joined it.  This is a fact none of us should celebrate (I surely don't).  But it is one we all must now face--and join together to find a better way.  Hopefully, G-d's.

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