Your idol was always dead
A friend of mine and I had a disagreement. I had seen the effects of an injustice that had occurred and had shared it with him, but from the beginning he seemed to victimize the victim rather than just deal with the injustice. But in the course of our dispute, he made a wise observation, one that was highlighted to me in a related issue that came up.
I’m talking quite vaguely, aren’t I? Yeah, … I don’t like it.
So some guy had decided to stand on what is classed as public property, on some greenery near an airport, and hold up a sign critical of the government. He was captured by the police for, as they stated, trespassing, and charged, needing to go to court and trial in front of a jury. The judge of this case commanded the man that he was not to use terms like “First Amendment” to defend himself or similar terms to show the legality of his action. Even though the lawyer in opposition admitted that he was on public property, the jury charged the man as guilty. The judge imposed such strictures on the man that his livelihood was at risk because he was no longer allowed to go within a certain distance of that public property. He would be under house arrest for a time. He’d have to wear a tracking band around his ankle. For each one of the judge’s edicts the guy has to pay for them, the upkeep of the ankle bracelet, and other aspects. In effect, he pays for his own punishment. There was more, but the judge was … let’s just say, as the guy was doing something that under American law was legal, the judge was corrupt, punishing a person when the charges against him didn’t have a proper legal/moral basis.
ASIDE: This is why I was fairly disturbed by my friend firing insults towards the victim – but hey, to each his own, right? …. I don’t know. One of the core Seven Commandments is the prohibition against injustice. This judge, the police that captured the guy, the jury, even the lawyers, broke this law. But my friend who knows Gentile Torah Law chose to focus on the act that the guy did (standing with a sign that spoke against the government on public property) which was not forbidden under the Seven Commandments, neither was it against a related aspects of the Seven. Would I say “to each his own” if my friend, or anyone, had treated a victim in a similar way if this were one of the other laws? If this were the prohibition against murder, and the victim had done no wrong with regards to Torah principles, and the murderer got away with it, and my friend had chosen to criticize the murder victim – the dead person – because they were doing something that was not immoral but possibly irritating, would I say “to each his own”? Would I be that glib? Hmmm ….
Anyway, through the course of this injustice, the victim and his colleagues – a group called PINAC (Photography Is Not A Crime) – were upholding the validity of the american constitution, saying how their first amendment rights were trampled. During one of the court sessions, when the people from PINAC were outside the court, across the street with their video gear, filming, not really having any interaction with the court proceedings, the same judge sent some police to them, giving a command that if they don’t stop filming, he would have them arrested under something called “contempt of court”. He declared that they were not allowed to film the court house, even though again it was a legal act according to american law. (Not to offend the ladies, but it would seem like this judge, a man, was going through his own “time of the month!”) Because of this, PINAC filed a law suit against the order, and recently won with the judge rescinding the order. What they then did was celebrate this by filming outside the courts and saying that “the first amendment had been restored!” Since the cops had been called out again for them, the PINAC crew even shook hands with the same policemen that had previously been the tools of the judge to threaten them before.
Looking at the comments on the site with the video of this affair, people were praising the PINAC people for restoring the constitution, for standing up against the judge (at least on a legal basis), and some reprimanding the police for going against some oath that they took.
My friend’s message rang through me as I saw this: the praise of the constitution, holding the actions of the cops and the judge to that standard. My friend had said that these sort of actions, from the injustice to the praise, are just symptoms of a much deeper problem: the actual legal system, the constitution itself. I would add the society as well. The same people who fall victim to the legal system are the same ones who prop it up. It’s like a big oversized idol that is shown over and over again to be faulty and failing, and yet, whenever it falls over, the worshippers still stand it back up again, dust it off, and go back to prostrating before it.
You see, moving past the fact that the writers of the constitution instituted the protection of actions prohibited by the Seven, the document has proven itself to be either ineffective against the expansion of government powers and tyranny or the enabling factor for such expansion. When the police arrested that guy, the constitution offered no protection. The “first amendment” was worthless. Throughout the process of this guy’s case, I’m sure the document still existed but it was no assistance. The guy has had his freedom taken away and that document was rotting in whatever place it was. Even when the judge rescinds his judgment on PINAC, there seems to be no repercussions for him. Let’s imagine that the victim manages to successfully fight off the charges he was found guilty of, that judge is still comfortable and able to pass judgments on others. And there are many others like him and his tools, his mercenaries with badges. And all while, this document and its statements are vacuous for the most part.
All the times in American history that injustice and immorality has prevailed, sometimes in the name of those pieces of paper, and other times oblivious to the existence of that paper, all the while, the government and the society have fallen deeper and deeper into a state of atrophy around it. The government stays corrupt and an aggressor against its own serfs. And the people are still taught to place hand on heart and idolize coloured cloth, esteem the document which is just the product of the rich white male minority in a bygone age, hold as ideal values at times contrary to sense and morality, essentially esteem a dead idol, that was dead, is dead and will always be dead. A document can’t replace the moral education and habituation that needs to be interwoven in the fabric of a community. Patriotism and nationalism, pride in and zeal for a landmass and a bunch of strangers, need to be replaced with a zeal for actual and active justice and righteousness. What good is a “first amendment restored” if the lout and the power structure that gives him comfort is still securely in place to rob from, steal and kill someone else? What good is a “first amendment restored” if the society that supports that blood-sucking power and legal structure still, to some extent, reveres it and will vote for its continuance until it topples and falls, crushing enough of its devotees? What good is a “first amendment restored” if a victim shakes hands with and gives respect to a mercenary who will act on the orders of injustice? [Some may say kindness may help win that cop over to a better way of thinking. But as the saying goes, a person who shows pity to the cruel ends up being cruel to those that need pity!] What good is “a first amendment restored” when the document itself has such moral and legal holes in it? To quote the Divine Code,
“… from time immemorial, in places where the Noahide Code was forgotten, all groups of humans, from the most primitive to the most sophisticated, still devised some legal code of rules to define acceptable and unacceptable behavior for internal governance.
Those man-made systems, however, were – and are – no more than convenient social contracts to safeguard self-preservation. Individuals or societies that adopt them are [sometimes] wise, for they serve practical or utilitarian purposes. They do not constitute, however, a sense of enduring morality …” (The Divine Code, pg 43, words written by Rabbi Immanuel Schochet, what is in square brackets is my change, he used the word “indeed”)
To be frank with you, a legal system (and thus a society) without the Seven Commandments as its basis, may have good points, may have wisdom, may be practical, but will always have wide avenues open for moral degradation and injustice. I know there are people classed as “British” proud of some entity called “Britain,” there are people classed as “French” proud of something called “France”, there are people classed as “American” proud of something called “America” … pick a country! Any will do! But the focus and pride in those things that are most irrelevant to the cause of “kindness, justice and fairness” (Jeremiah 9) are what mutilates a society, not helps it. Whichever law code you have, be it the British farcical legal mess, or the American constitution, whatever … without a proper basis in Torah, in universal objective morality, in some practical ways, it may do some good, but where it counts, it’s hardly worth the paper it’s written on.
My friend, should you choose to read this, I hold my hands up. We may disagree about much. We may disagree about little. But I see some of what you mean. They hold their idol around and carry it around while it cuts and crushes their hands. Until they choose to cast it down, I agree, they are as much to blame for their wounds. Of course, as I’m sure you know, that doesn’t mean that … If I say “as you know,” then that assumes you know. So I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. But let’s just say, I understand.