Yesterday, July 4th, fell on Saturday this year and, for me, Saturday is the Sabbath first and everything else second. So, I did what I always try and do which is read that portion of the Torah (the first Five Books of Moses) that is the designated weekly reading. It never fails that I receive a take-away from the weekly reading that directly applies to something I’m struggling with in my life at the moment. The insight or guidance I glean also enlightens and enriches my life. Rarely, if ever, has that take-away been about politics and governance.
I was reading the portion which in Hebrew is Bamidbar (Numbers 24:1-9). When studying Torah, there is the text and also commentary by great sages and Jewish scholars that accompanies the text. The commentary on this portion is as follows:
“He saw the exemplary order of the Israelite camp. The tribes maintained their separate identities, and the tents were arranged so that their entrances did not face one another, which prevented intrusions on the privacy of the other families. That tribes and large, extended family groups staying together showed that the people felt responsible for one another, but at the same time they zealously protected the personal dignity and rights of the individual families.” [Emphasis added}.
The Israelites migrated as one People yet that whole was made up of 12 distinct tribes which “maintained their separate identities.” They functioned as a unit for the greater good but lived according to the customs and ways of their respective tribes.
Apparently the Israelites understood what we have yet failed to grasp.
Gay marriage, flying the Southern Heritage flag (a/k/a The Confederate flag), education, and many other issues are for the States to decide, not the Federal Government. Yes, we are one people…we are all Americans. But within that whole it was established by the founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, that we were to live and select according to our free will, the customs and ways of states that most reflected our personal beliefs and lifestyles.
The Supreme Court has wrongfully robbed us of that right in the recent gay marriage decision.
Marriage, gay or otherwise, is a State issue. The State has an interest in regulating marriage. Such things as custody and inheritance rights necessarily involve State action. However, there is absolutely no legal or moral basis for the Federal government or the Supreme Court to mandate anything regarding marriage.
Similarly, the flying of a flag is also a State issue. It is up to the majority of people in any given State to decide how they feel and how they choose to legislate regarding this issue. It is surely not to be determined by harassment and boycott by a “national-politically -correct- self-righteous-civilian- thought-police force” that decides what States should do in regards to this and other issues that affect their particular State as set forth in the Constitution of the United States.
The more power we allow the Federal government to acquire, the less power both the States, and we as individuals, will have. Talk radio host Denis Prager likes to put it this way: “The bigger the government the smaller the citizen.”
The Bible, whether it’s the Torah or the New Testament, is a divinely inspired wealth of knowledge and guidance on how to live our best lives. Yesterday, it also reminded me of why and how this Nation was similarly inspired. The “why” was so that people could be free to worship as they saw fit. The “how” was the drafting of the Constitution by divinely inspired individuals who saw the need for States’ rights and a limited centralized government.
We, the people, would be smart to reawaken to these truths before it’s too late.