When I wrote my article about rape according to the seven laws, I got a complaint.
“What was the point in doing that? Isn’t it obvious that rape is wrong? Do you really need to find it in the seven laws for it to be wrong?”
Yeah, I’m the lonely legalist, the dude quarreling with himself about minutia, trifling matters, the unlearned figuring out his own way in his corner of the dark, the ignoramus thinking himself better than the trusted experts.
Man, why do I do this to myself?
Anyway, that person missed the point. I, as a Gentile, know within myself that rape is wrong. But unless an internal feeling corresponds with an objective standard, it’s just an opinion as good as any other, even unpalatable ones. And there are some modern rabbis (or most of them that I’ve read) that say it’s within one of the core seven laws, and then there’s a prominent rabbi amongst “noahides” who says rape is not among the core laws.
For some, it doesn’t matter; rape is wrong, no matter what. Therefore, for them, it’s a meaningless topic. Me, I choose to figure out which of my teachers I listen to and why. The “why” is important to me. If I were in a community with a righteous court, a court that actually upheld the seven laws, would the death penalty be on the table for a person convicted of rape?
Actually, thinking about it, would prison even be an option in such a community? Of the possible punishments or recompenses or rectifications, would prison or jail/goal be a real option?
Anyway, that’s another question for another time.
Anyway, I think about different subjects to do with the seven laws and morality. It may seem trifling to some, but it’s what I’m into. If it ain’t spiritual or meaningful … Well, the internet is like a marketplace of ideas, plenty of offers for different tastes.
Anyway, today, whole watching the movie “American Gangster,” I think to myself about how a community, a community that was morally good enough to set up judges and courts that upheld the seven laws, would view and deal with a drug dealer? How would those that deal with drugs?
Drugs, now that’s a wide topic. And defining that, who would that include? If I were to define drugs based on harm, would I include the American FDA as drug pushers? What about the local pharmacist? People who sell cigarettes or alcohol?
Also, is this issue even covered under the seven laws? If so, which law? Depending on the effect of the drug, would it be a case about murder? If the drug doesn’t kill, but it harms, would be classed under “injury?” Injury isn’t classed as murder directly, and the question would therefore follow if the issue of injury is linked to murder, as in something approaching the loss of life, damaging a life? Or would it be considered linked to theft, a loss of value or something that needs compensation?
Since some people think God actually obligates a Gentile to obey those who claim rulership of him, those accepted by the majority of his community as his ruler/owner, that God obligates this through the law concerning Justice, then would such people believe that this issue is covered by the law of Justice or linked to it?
But considering I’m not one of those people, that shouldn’t matter … Well, even if I don’t agree with their conclusion, I could still learn from their thought processes and ratiocinations. So … I should not shoot down such people.
The fact is that issues with different drugs can be so variegated that it could be covered by or linked to more that one of the seven laws, even if it’s not directly covered. And even if it was not in the seven laws, the scope of morality, of issues of right and wrong for Gentiles, is wider than the seven. Although the divine laws for Gentiles have a good amount of breadth, they are not exhaustive or all-inclusive regarding human morality and conduct.
What muddies the water with regards to this issue is that different communities and individuals currently hold conflicting views about different drugs. Marijuana … Isn’t that a weirdly named word? The “j” sounds like a “w”. Imagine asking someone if they want a shot of Jisky? Or is it Juisky? Is it the “u” with the “j” that … Wow, English is weird, isn’t it?
And I’ve just lost track again, haven’t I?
Anyway, marijuana is a contentious issue. Accepted by some, rejected by others, arguments are made on both sides about its permissibility. Tabacco and alcohol have been accepted by governments, but there is hefty evidence of their damaging and sometimes life-threatening properties. There are drugs approved by governments and their agencies, but their side effects are so potent that it can be questioned whether it’s a help or a hindrance or a harm? Even in this mixed up, messed world, a drug may be made illegal in one country while being legal in another, so all a person can do, if it is within their means, is travel somewhere else for a locally forbidden treatment or to get a ruler-forbidden high.
This doesn’t seem to be a simple issue at all in some senses.
But it’s something to ponder.
A commenter on my blog helped further open my eyes to the position of Rambam on how a Gentile gets a place in the world to come. I’ll quote a translation of Rambam’s words here, then I’ll tell you how I used to view it and then the view that seems to be more compelling that the commenter highlighted.
The quote is taken from the Mishneh Torah, Book of Judges, Kings and Wars, Chapter 8, law 11. This version is from sefaria.org.
Anyone who accepts upon himself and carefully observes the Seven Commandments is of the Righteous [the hebrew word “chassid” not “tzaddiq” – DD] of the Nations of the World and has a portion in the World to Come. This is as long as he accepts and performs them because (he truly believes that) it was the Holy One, Blessed Be He, Who commanded them in the Torah, and that is was through Moses our Teacher we were informed that the Sons of Noah had already been commanded to observe them. But if he observes them because he convinced himself logically (footnote 81, by his own intellect and conscience but he does not agree that they were commanded by G-d), then he is not considered a Resident Convert and is not of the Righteous of the Nations of the World, but merely one of their wise.
So how did I previously view this passage?
I used to understand this passage to mean that the … ooooh, I was gonna go Hebrew there, and I tend to dislike adding Hebrew to my posts. But I may have to. Ok, I’ll give a brief explanation.
The above translation translates the Hebrew word “chassid” as “righteous” when it is better understood in English as “pious, God-fearing, devoted,” maybe even “kind.” The Hebrew word “tzaddiq” is better understood in English as “righteous, just.” For the sake of what I perceive as clarity and avoiding ambiguity, I’m going to change the term “Righteous of the nations …” into “pious of the nation …” Why? Because I conclude there is a significant enough difference between the semantics of the Hebrew words and their English translations in this context (and many others).
Ok, so where was I?
I used to understand Rambam’s passage to mean that the pious of the nations who accept the divine origin of the Torah (written and oral) definitely get a place in the world to come, but, because Rambam never clearly stated that the people who keep the seven laws for other reasons, the wise of the nations, do not get such a place, then whether they get a place or not is up in the air, they may or they may not. I was reading the last part about the wise Gentiles as if their fate was open-ended and uncertain. Again, Rambam did not say about the wise Gentiles, “and these do not get a place in the world to come,” which is what I previously expected for Rambam to properly seal the deal and properly shut out the wise Gentiles from the world to come.
So that’s how I used to see it: pious Gentiles definitely get in but the fate of wise Gentiles is uncertain.
What is my new view because of the input of the commenter?
Before I answer that, I will say that the majority of rabbis (not all) that had referred to this section of Rambam shared the same conclusion as the commenter. But the Gentile commenter helped me see it now. It could just be a cumulative effect, all of those statements building up and the commenter was just the final straw, the icing on the cake. Or it could be that I’m in a different mental state now that makes me more responsive. It could be the way he said it. There could be so many reasons for the change. But, lo and behold, we’re here.
So, the commenter helped me focus on this phrase from Rambam.
Anyone who accepts upon himself and carefully observes the Seven Commandments is of the pious of the nations of the world and has a portion in the World to Come. This is as long as he accepts and performs them because (he truly believes that) it was the Holy One …
That highlighted bit, the commenter put it like this:
“is considered one of ‘the pious among the gentiles’ and will merit a share in the world to come. This applies _only_ when he accepts them and fulfills them _because_ the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded them …”
His translation was taken from the translation of the Mishneh Torah at chabad.org.
For me, this made it much clearer that the fate of the wise Gentile is not uncertain according to Rambam. Being a pious Gentile and getting a place in the world to come only applies if a person has a specific faith stance, acknowledgement or acceptance about God, Moshe and the oral tradition. The “and” and “only” necessarily excludes the wise Gentile. Therefore there may be no need for a clarifying “and a wise Gentile has no place in the world to come.” The statement that “he is not a pious Gentile” may be enough.
So I can now see that Rambam excludes the wise Gentile from the world to come.
Now I am making it plain that Rambam does this. Although it is claimed that he gets this idea from one (yes, only one) previous source, Mishnat Rabbi Eliezer, doubt is thrown on this by rabbi Jonathan Sacks who quotes this previous source. In his article, “A Clash of Civilisations? Judaic Sources on Co-existance in a World of Differences,” he says the following.
The question naturally arises as to whether, according to Maimonides, the “sage” has a share in the world to come. One midrash (Mishnat Rabbi Eliezer) discovered in the twentieth century has been taken by some scholars as Maimonides’ source:
“When does this apply? When [gentiles] keep [the seven Noahide laws] and say [that they do so] because G-d thus commanded our ancestor Noah. However, if they keep them, saying, we do so because we heard it from someone else, or because that is what reason dictates . . . they receive their reward only in this world [not the next].” 41
According to this, gentile “sages” do not have a share in the world to come. However, the dating and authenticity of this midrash is a matter of conjecture. It may be the source of Maimonides’ ruling. It may however be the contrary – the midrash may be later than, and derivative of, Maimonides’ code.
So I’m taking the statement, the innovative and novel statement of Rambam, according to rabbi Sacks, on its own. I have no Talmudic evidence that it came before Rambam. And although I do see some logic in this stance, I also see some problems.
Alan Cecil made a statement in his book, Secular by Design, which I previously did not accept until the commenter clarified my view.
There are many who believe that the teaching of keeping the Noahide Law “by chance” (such as having current secular laws approximating Torah concepts [or having personal moral codes that approximate the Seven Laws – DD])42 should not be pursued. This teaching, that one must accept that the Torah was given to Moshe at Sinai as a prerequisite for accepting the Noahide Law,43 is a teaching that, as the one about the focus of the Noahide Law being “salvation in the World to Come,” is based on the Mishna Torah: “If he [the Noahide] fulfills [the Seven Laws] out of intellectual conviction, he is not…of ‘the pious among the gentiles,’ nor of their wise men.”44 The Hebrew of the Vilna text reads “nor of their wise men,” but the Yemenite version of the Mishna Torah (which was not subject to Christian censors) reads “but rather, of their wise men.”45 (pg 411 of Secular by Design)
Most Noahides who have come out of organized religion (particularly Christianity) have problems letting go of the theology, complaining about having to study “dry legalism” instead of “spirituality,” and that the prime motivation is for “fellowship” and “worship” rather than the moral and legal stipulations of the Seven Laws. The non-observant or Reform Noahide, much like his Reform Jewish counterpart, is the Noahide who believes the Noahide Law constitutes a “religion,” and focuses on the ceremonial and religious aspects of the Torah while ignoring the halakha of the Seven Laws. The observant Noahide, on the other hand, focuses on his or her obligation to observe the halakha of the Seven Laws. This is no doubt one of the major factors in the non-observant Noahide’s exclusivity in basing the Noahide Law on Maimonides, and his focus on keeping the Noahide Law (as well as other non-obligatory mitzvot) for “rewards” and “everlasting life” in Olam haBah, the World to Come.13 (pg 417, ibid.)
The footnote for this, footnote 13, goes hand in hand with my problem with Rambam’s position.
Maimonides begins his section in the Mishna Torah on the Noahide Law with the statement that “anyone who accepts upon himself the fulfillment of these seven mitzvot and is precise in their observance is considered one of ‘the pious among the gentiles’ and will merit a share in the world to come…this applies only when he accepts them and fulfills them because the Holy One…commanded them.” (Yad, Hilchot Melechim 8:11). This has had the unfortunate effect of making correct beliefs more important than correct behavior as well as putting the Seven Laws into a “religious” context; many ex-Christians who have embraced the Noahide Laws focus on the “salvation” aspect of the Noahide Law. The problem is that, according to Ramban’s commentary to Bereishis 34:13, the Seven Laws are not simply an individual means of salvation, but a communal one. “Apart from other serious questions that we have noted concerning the proviso, it should be obvious to persons familiar with Christian dogma that the proviso injected by Maimonides into the doctrine of the Noahide laws disturbingly looks very much like justification by faith…the Noahide laws are consistent with the ethical essence of Judaism…there is no positive commandment to believe in any dogma.” Konvitz, Torah & Constitution, 107. (pg 417-418, ibid.)
“Saved by faith,” that’s the religion I left behind. In that religion, the vast majority of the world was doomed, normally out of pure ignorance, to live and die in this life. The reason for their doom wasn’t a deed. Some people may have been the best in their community, sometimes choosing to do what they felt as right, not following the crowd. But even that person is doomed. And why? It was simply the fact that they didn’t believe in Jesus as their personal saviour.
Now the person who “converted” and “became a noahide” under Rambam’s teaching, how do they view the fate of people who do good but did not believe as Rambam specified? Well, it didn’t matter if a person had never met a Jew, throughout history, even before the translation of the original Septuagint, they were doomed because they did not have the right faith. A Gentile without the guidance of a Jew, without the knowledge of Sinai, without faith in God or Moshe, such a Gentile, no matter what they do, is without hope. Why? Because a place in the world to come only happens if they truly believe that God gave the Torah to Moshe at Sinai.
So to accept this, I’d still have to accept “salvation (entrance to the afterlife) by faith.” … Oh, should I say “emunah” and not faith? For me it makes little difference conceptually in this context.
I remember, when I would conversate or argue with Alan Cecil, disagreeing with him on this point. I was sure that Rambam could be read and understood in a more open way, that there wasn’t this doctrine of “justification by faith” in his work. It seems now that I was wrong. Shame he’s not around to see me admit that. Would he have chuckled to himself?
It doesn’t sit right with me that even a Gentile who does the best he can in his situation who doesn’t have access to the Torah revelation, and that has be to both oral and written, not just the written, such a person, for all his good deeds or avoiding the bad ones, is judged on what he doesn’t have access to. Does that seem right? Not to me, apparently.
And, believe me, I’ve seen the comments that some have made. Some, mainly disciples of Rambam or a rabbi that follows him, will say that that’s just the way it is. Rambam said it, so it’s like God said it, and that’s it! But I question Rambam and don’t see that stance as clearly evidenced. So the declaration doesn’t mean anything to me. To link with a previous article, isn’t Rambam like an ancient version of rabbi Moshe Weiner and his “Divine Code?” People simply take his word for it, and that’s it. I’m not at that place. I’m still in the world of “two Jews, three opinions.”
Other people, a good few, not only the commenter who inspired this post, see it as inconceivable that people would want to “follow” (whatever that means) the Seven Laws or their general prohibitions without believing God and Torah.
Now I don’t see the seven laws as some set formulation that a person must see and knowingly take on board in that strict formulation. I think more in terms of RambaN’s (Nachmanides) understanding of “righteous” where it simply means innocent of committing the crime. So Abram, pre-Genesis 12:1, he would become innocent of idolatry because he reasoned his way out of accepting false gods (not accepting the truth of God’s existence, which is not one of the seven laws according to the Talmud, not even according to Rambam!). I’ve known atheists (who therefore don’t commit idolatry) reason that abortion is wrong, that it’s murder. If they are heterosexual, they most likely would not have committed homosexuality. Lots of people see adultery as wrong without God.
A place where certain “noahides” mess up is their view of “cursing God.” This is a specific act where a person essentially vocalises a wish for God to act against or hurt or end himself. It is not simply speaking against or opposing God. And many don’t commit the specific “legal” act of cursing God’s name using one of his names.
Imagine the idolator, the apparent idolator, who is indifferent to “the gods,” no longer accepting them as powers or gods. Even according to the Divine Code and Rambam, without that acceptance, they are not culpable. I can provide the evidence if asked.
Now these people may not even know the specific formulation of the seven laws. But personally, they may be “righteous” in the RambaN sense, not having actually done the acts prohibited in the seven.
If I don’t accept Rambam’s salvation by faith, then how do I understand the Talmudically derived statement, “the righteous (not pious) of the nations of the world have a place in the world to come?” It would be about deed and effort, rather than “believe this!”
But as I said before, I do see the logic that a person who accepts the God who is beyond this life, who gives life, would possibly have access to the next life, and those that reject that God would only get reward in this life. It makes sense. But that is general theism, a theism accessible by reasoning by (m)any Gentile (like that of Abram), not Rambam’s oral-Torah-specific monotheism.
Look, God is sovereign. He could easily create humans, set them in a place and time where they don’t have any adequate access to the Torah tradition and/or revelation, and just have them live this life and that’s it. Regardless of their struggles or pleasures in this life, it’s God’s to do as he wants, and I don’t think I can call it unjust.
But something doesn’t sit right with me about “salvation by specific faith.” Maybe it’s a skepticism that comes from the rejection of the religion I once held dear. Maybe there’s some religious humanism in my psyche. Or maybe, just maybe, there is something wrong with that “salvation by faith” position.
It’s something for me to ponder on.
When I left Christianity, I left the idolatrous elevation of a man, whether it be Jesus or Paul. I wanted to obey God and his primary revelation in the Jewish Bible, the Torah. Throughout the path from there to where I am now, I developed a lot of skepticism. I looked for the foundation of claims and found many of them to be severely lacking. From science to politics, I saw less truth. Even recent betrayals in interpersonal relationships become the basis of distrust in people in general.
I’m damaged goods. (Aren’t we all, David? Most of us, maybe.)
So in this seven laws gig, I’m more or less adrift, floating around, seeing different things around me.
One trend I’m seeing that causes me to check myself is the reliance on the Divine Code, the study and writings of rabbi Moshe Weiner. He did a great thing, a service to Gentiles and Jews. He wrote a massive work, compiling all sorts of teachings for Gentiles from the Torah sources. It was translated by other good men and then we get the Divine Code. It’s become recommended study for everyone and it would make sense. Such endeavour and study to give easy access to … to … to the Seven Laws? No, a wider set of teachings with the seven laws interspersed, the Noahide Code.
With the inaccessible nature of a lot of its sources, inaccessible to most Gentiles, it was inevitable that the Divine Code would be seen as an ultimate source of its own, that it would become the standard of a Gentile’s knowledge of the seven laws. Having an argument with someone about government and courts, when I asked for evidence of a certain argument, I was simply pointed to the Divine Code, that I should obtain a copy and read it there.
“Go learn at rabbi Moshe Weiner’s feet.”
It was as if the standard of study was the Divine Code. It’s the main source circulated amongst the groups I’m a part of.
I wonder to myself if this is what happened to Rambam and the other ancient rabbis. They write a studied book and become a standard. Part of me recoils at such a notion, being at the behest of someone else. They dictate and I must obey. He is the authority, the better learned and I’m just an ignoramus.
But what else is there? God did not give the Torah to Israel directly. He gave it mostly to Moses. And that’s the written and oral tradition! They had to trust him. And God didn’t give the Torah to the Gentiles and the Seven Laws have been lost from amongst us. So I would have to trust Israel.
But how do you do that with statements like “two Jews, three opinions?” Weiner has the loudest voice. Is that the right voice in all things? People disagree with him, rabbis, and it’s sometimes mentioned in his book. It’s been mentioned in a book written by another rabbi. But I can still see that it is his voice that is followed, not the “dissenters’.”
Some people advised me to just follow one rabbi, let that rabbi be my authority. Again, it becomes blatantly obvious that that would be the easier path. And why can’t I just bend and do that?
Because I won’t! It has to be that simple. Because I won’t be told what to do and how things are and simply accept it. I don’t give any person the authority over me, the right to rule and control me, even an expert. I don’t trust enough. Another person can have a view, a stance, a declaration and position, and then they can give their reasoning or basis. It’s for me to them judge and then act, not vice versa. That person isn’t God; I ain’t Israel; and this ain’t Sinai! It’s no different for a rabbi and I won’t act any other way!
It’s blunt! It may not sound nice. But that’s me looking at myself and seeing what I see.
I already know that there are places where I don’t agree with the Divine Code and find better stances with its “opposition.” So I can’t have it as an authority. As a resource, sure! Not an authority. I don’t think rabbis have any God-given authority over non-Jews anyway.
I guess I just have to be honest with myself.
When reading some of my posts, some have been startled or surprised by the position I take with regards to the application of the seven laws for humanity. When I judge governments, cops, political systems and the such by those divine laws, when I keep putting the laws forward as the proper basis for international law, they get images of storm troopers or tyrants, putting an oppressive thumb upon a scared and cowed populace. In sharp contrast, they hold the view that the seven laws are just a private belief, a moral code and teaching for oneself and those that agree, whilst the rest of the world does its own thing: international law is decided by whichever political system is in place at the time, whether it be democracy, republic, monarchy, whichever. The seven laws simply become religious and personal maxims equated to Hillel’s teaching, “whatever your neighbour doesn’t like, don’t do it; the rest is commentary.”
What is the basis of my broader application of the seven laws? Does it negate the personal view? Do I want some “Seven Laws Empire” conquering the current world systems and forcing compliance upon a resisting people?
Upon the descendants of Noah were enjoined seven commandments. (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin, 56a)
Who were given the obligation to keep the Seven Laws? The descendants of Noah! That means all humans. Even when the children of Israel were given their own set of laws, the rest of humanity still had this obligation to keep the Seven Laws.
What details do the seven laws include?
The very first law listed in the Talmud is a Hebrew or Aramaic word that is interpreted a variety of ways, including laws, civil laws, judgements, equity, courts of judgement, courts, justice. Despite the variety of English words that cover the Hebrew or Aramaic, the scope of the meaning is quite clear. This primary law is talking about the arbitration or adjudication of people in a legal setting. The two most accessible understandings of this law, Maimonides and Nachmanides, speak clearly of courts upholding the seven laws and establishing civil law similar to that of Israel.
When the Jewish teachers discuss various parts of this law, judges, witnesses and capital punishment are also discussed.
So with the first law listed in the Talmud, it became clear to me that the seven laws aren’t just a private morality but rather a community wide, a worldwide, standard. The description of the seven laws being enjoined on all humanity shows that it is worldwide and public in scope rather than only and simply a personal code of conduct.
Does this global or communitywide view of the Seven Laws negate the personal view? Hell no! It never could. All humanity is obligated, each person. In order for it to be obligatory on the world, it must be obligated upon the individuals. So they must also be a personal code of conduct. That’s why they can still stand or exist even though much of the world doesn’t know them (consciously) or the governments and the courts ignore or undermine them.
But isn’t the only way for the seven laws to be implemented by force and oppression? Mustn’t some power shove them involuntarily down peoples throats? The systems right now stand opposed to parts of the seven laws and their source. Who nowadays would want laws that limit freedom of religions, or freedom of speech? How much of the world is for the woman’s right to choose (to murder their unborn children)? Governments take too much pleasure or see too much benefit in seizing (stealing) the property or children of their serfs. And how many who worship democracy are happy with (ignorant) juries, manipulative lawyers and God-complexed judges?
To give an example of western justice, I recently heard of a case where two guys walked into a pork shop (police station) carrying guns and were promptly arrested. They pointed their guns at no one, made no threat, did not even hold the guns in their hands. But the “manly” and “brave” cops screamed for them to get on the floor, which they obeyed, and disarmed and arrested them. They hadn’t done anything immoral or illegal, but, as usual with police many times, charges can be created.
So these men were set before a certain judge. The problem for the prosecution was that the judge was too open, dismissing charges and listening to arguments from the defendants. The prosecuting lawyers couldn’t have that. So they changed the judge to one they knew to be anti-gun (not really anti-gun but wanting the great mass murderer, government, to have and control all guns). This new judge brought back the previously dismissed charges, didn’t allow the defendants to present certain evidence, made sure to “instruct” the jury and, in essence, made sure that, for the legal act of walking into a police station armed, the men will spend between nine months to 5 years in jail!
That’s western justice! Or at least the epitome of it! That’s western morality! And I am certain that many will say, “well, the men shouldn’t have done it.” Many have said that they deserve to get what they got. But it still proves that the citizens’ freedom and life is in the hands of the state, ergo, they are all its slaves.
Anyway, I digress.
Sorry. Back to the point.
Oh yes. How can the Seven Laws be implemented without conquest? Aren’t I promoting the Seven Laws Dark Empire?
The problem with this question, with the way of thinking behind this question, is that it shows faith in political power (conquest) as opposed to moral power (persuasion and change from the inside, volitional).
I had the pleasure (God, thank you for technology) of listening to a podcast from essentiallibertarianism.com about the difference between moral power and political power. Very eye-opening. It came from somebody in the 19th century.
Now let me make it positively and absolutely clear: NO PART OF THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS FOR HUMANITY DEMANDS OR TEACHES CONQUEST AS A MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION! And I don’t promote such an idea either.
Lasting and positive change can only come from a volitional change, a commitment and a conviction. I can only put forward what I myself can do. That is to share, to converse, to be a good example and teach my children. That’s what’s in my power. I’m not the sort to preach conquest which is not in my power. I’m not the sort to say, “this should happen,” or “that should take place,” when it’s out of my reach or span of power or control.
For the seven laws for humanity to become what they should be, international law, there would need to be a worldwide change in opinion or point of view. I can’t do that, and it’s not my job to do that. How God, the only one who can do this, does it is in his hands. Maybe it’s for the “last days” of this age. Maybe it’s for the coming world or the next world. But it’s not for me.
So no, I don’t want conquest and tyranny (like the deluded secular society of today). All I can do is try to spark grassroots change in my extremely local environment, or even just keep the conversation going amongst better able Gentiles who embrace the seven laws.
This doesn’t have anything to do with the Seven Laws for Gentiles. But I felt strongly about recording my present thoughts.
I must never forget that government schools are still a form of forceful control. For all the good people, the well-meaning people, that may work there, I still send my children there under threat of violence or punishment. They make sure to remind me of this with every letter they send. They make sure to remind me of this at every parents evening. Every time my child is sick and cannot attend, it is reinforced with the warnings and and the requirement upon me to give a good reason for their not attending.
If they can control the movements of my children, that only reinforces the idea that my children don’t belong to me but the state.
Despite the positives that may come from my child attending those government indoctrination camps, they are still government indoctrination camps. They don’t teach my child to become a good person, but rather a good citizen (“slave”). Whether my child gets a good grade or not in terms of results of tests, the aim is to teach my child that obedience to govt authority being good and disobedience to such an authority is being bad.
They only send the good looking sheep, the meek and sincere ones, in front to hide the murderous shepherd behind. The nature of the state is to turn good people into weapons of evil.
Never forget, David!
Don’t you ever forget!
I’m going to try something new with this one. I’m just going to flow, meaning that I’m just going to talk out this article and see how it goes. The amazing thing about having an iPhone is that its speech to text functionality is really quite easy to use. So here goes.
So yes, it looks like I found myself a new enemy! Okay, maybe that’s a bit more dramatic than it really is. But at least I can say that it seems like some of my recent articles has antagonised somebody. I can guess that someone is reading this article is thinking, “surprise surprise, you antagonise just about everybody.” That person may have a point.
So I wrote an article a few weeks ago criticising British values. I then wrote following articles that would be seen as being directed towards British society. Because somebody didn’t like that, they have used their power on Facebook to kick me out of a number of groups and delete all of my recent articles from those groups.
Now in my defence, I have tried to communicate with that person. I’ve sent messages querying the exact nature of my wrongdoing. But, alas, the only response I have received so far is silence. It seems that my evil is so deep and insidious and malicious that I have been formally excommunicated out of this person’s group of acceptable acquaintances. And not only that, but he wants to make sure that I am evicted from any place where he is if he has the power to do so. No one that he knows is supposed to hear what I have to say.
Now my wrong could not be personally attacking someone else in my articles. It should be clear that in my articles I go more after points and ideas rather than individuals. Even the article about the hypocrisy of some noahide did not dwell on her identity but the self-defeating claims against me. So again, my focus was on ideas, not on individuals.
So, the fact that this person is British, the person that has tried to kick me out of the various groups on Facebook, and combined with the fact that I’ve been criticising British society and its political system, leads me to the conclusion that this person may hold “Britain” on some pedestal, treasuring some aspect of this wicked system that I have condemned.
[I understand that this is only a conclusion based on circumstantial evidence, and therefore it can only be tentative. But it’s all that I have right now since my antagonist chooses to hide behind silence.]
Every now and again on my blog, I’m sure I record the fact that I’ve been kicked out of various Facebook groups, that I’ve lost a number of friends. I know sometimes it can happen because I can be very harsh and blunt. But I know the other times it is because my way of thinking conflicts with something that somebody else treasures.
The main thing that comes across my mind right now is that just because somebody claims to uphold and respect seven laws, that does not make them a good person. Just because somebody claims to honour and worship God, that does not mean that they still don’t have idols in their closet. Today’s idols are a lot more subtle and insidious. They don’t have to look like a stone graven image. They don’t need a literal temple or church that advertises the fact that here you worship this idol as a god. It can just be an idea or ideology that you give too much adoration, focus, or even attention. Today’s idols are a lot more easier to smuggle into your psyche like a form of syncretism, where you have the worship of God combined with your own preferred or chosen ideology. It happens so often nowadays.
But let’s be blunt. If it’s easy to have opposing philosophies sink into a Torah-loving mind, then how the hell can I act as if I’m immune, as if I’m the pure pointing out the stains? What an arrogant stance to take!
But it’s scary. It’s disconcerting. To look at oneself with a question, where are my issues? Where have I messed up? It’s easy to shout from the rooftops when you’re certain about what you’re standing on. But what if you look down? What if I look down and find I missed a crack? A missing layer? What if I’m standing on nothing but lies? What I’m guilty of what I condemn?
So I made an enemy, an antagonist. Maybe he’s just trying to do his best and due to his well-intentioned choices, he finds himself standing opposite to me, opposing my stance. I can be irritated at how he chooses to act. But I won’t shoot him down too much yet. He can stay in relative anonymity until he really goes on the attack.
Despite all of this, it’s always important that I check myself the best I can. Yes, syncretism is bad. The philosophical idols are bad. But the only person I can change is myself, so I should always beware to look in the mirror and check myself.
It’s like my wife said a few times,
Who is the judge? The judge is God. How is He judge? Because he decides whether I win or lose, not my opponent. Who is your opponent? He doesn’t exist. Why does he not exist? Because he is just a mere dissenting voice …
As a friend pointed out, my worst enemy, my enemy, could be me!
If it seems like someone is opposing me, it’s very important that I check myself. There may be something I need to learn … Actually, there’s always something I need to learn.
Wow, that didn’t turn out how I expected.