Supporting evil is a holy duty??? Say what???
It was exasperating. I think that’s the word. Yes, exasperating.
Just in case you didn’t know, I don’t live in America. I would say that’s a blessing if the country in which I live and the people in it were qualitatively better. But … ah I don’t know, different dog, same crap!
Anyway, it seems like America’s rubbish gets washed up on every shore and is then painted across the land and houses via the media circus that is shoved by the truckloads into so many homes and businesses. As the world is both smaller and colder due to social media, it is relatively easy to see certain trends arising. One trend that found its way into my little island of life is that of a number of religious people, Jews and Gentiles, who are encouraging others in America of like-mind to vote for Trump as opposed to Clinton.
Personally, the specific identities of the selected political puppets offered to the public to give them the false feeling of control don’t really matter to me. That’s specific to the land. But the principles and the example such people are putting forward, those things are international and those are the things that bother me.
No, I haven’t got to the exasperating bit yet. It’s coming shortly. Probably now.
What I find exasperating (see, I told you!) is the notion of Torah faithful Jews, those who should be priests and ministers and a light to the nations, pushing for one candidate as opposed to the other using the argument of “the lesser of two evils.” And that’s not all! What makes this advocating so frustrating is that neither candidate actually wants to uphold the seven laws and their policies make no change to the continued abrogation, undermining and ignorance of these laws which are meant to be the spine of international law. Yet somehow, one political candidate is supposed to bring us closer to the seven laws than the other, even though both ignore it in policy and practice.
I had one Jew advocate Trump who was teaches Gentiles about the seven laws. And then another Jew who had previously advocated that voting against the seven is bad then turn around and promote Trump. A God-fearing Gentile at least implied, if not outrightly said, that there was some obligation to vote. One showed me an article showing how the Rebbe said there was some holy duty to vote in Israel for the most God-fearing candidate, and applied to that to Gentiles voting for the less worse candidate, that not voting somehow looked bad to others and aided in destroying the world.
And I step back and look at this aghast and in dismay. Some people are so programmed to invest in this system, they would vote for evil because it seems less evil than another evil. Why support evil at all if there is a choice to abstain?
I know, I know. Some who feel strongly about the political ritual will wonder why I would feel this way, why my convictions are so against helping prop up the golden statue of this Babylonian and Roman politic. [I use the word “Babylon” in the same way that the Rastafarians of Jamaica use it, and the word “Roman” to reflect the way a friend of mine refers to Esau and Esavian systems.] I’ve said it in different ways before and because of my opposition against this empty rite I have no qualm against saying it in a different way again.
What are the seven commandments for humanity? (Why do I so love doing this?)
- Justice or Laws or Courts (prohibition against injustice)
- Prohibition against cursing God’s name
- Prohibition against idolatry
- Prohibition against having sex with forbidden partners
- Prohibition against murder
- Prohibition against theft
- Prohibition against eating flesh taken from an animal while it was alive
So those are the seven commandments for humanity which we’re all obligated to follow. Now, what are the seven commandments? What are they supposed to be to us? What significance do they have? Why are they so important?
These commandments may be regarded as the foundations of all human and moral progress. Judaism has both a national and a universal outlook in life. In the former sense it is particularistic, setting up a people distinct and separate from others by its peculiar religious law. But in the latter, it recognises that moral progress and its concomitant Divine love and approval are the privilege and obligation of all mankind. And hence the Talmud lays down the seven Noachian precepts, by the observance of which all mankind may attain spiritual perfection, and without which moral death must inevitably ensue. That perhaps is the idea underlying the assertion (passim) that a heathen is liable to death for the neglect of any of these. The last mentioned is particularly instructive as showing the great importance attached to the humane treatment of animals; so much so, that it is declared to be fundamental to human righteousness. (footnote 34 of the Soncino edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, folio 56a, at http://halakhah.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_56.html)
The Noachide Laws are seven laws considered by rabbinic tradition as the minimal moral duties required by the Bible on all men. (Jewish Concepts: The Seven Noachide Laws, The Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/The_Seven_Noahide_Laws.html)
What Noahides are bidden to uphold is a simple code of the most basic more elements to human existence … However, being charged to uphold no more than the sheer bedrock of morality by which a human is elevated above the animal comes at a price … (The Price of Freedom: Understanding the Inflexibility of the Noahide Laws, ebook, Kindle Edition of Guide for the Noahide, by Rabbi Michael Shelomo Bar-Ron)
You should see that the words “basic,” “minimal,” “foundation” and “bedrock” emphasize that this is the level that we Gentiles should not go below. Especially once a non-Jew comes to the understanding of these laws, there should be no “below.” How can one go below the foundation, the minimal? These laws are of vital importance.
I’ll add that it is not a good thing to claim that these laws are so vitally important and then spit on them, encourage others to break them and to support them being broken.
So let me look at the details of these commands to see if there is a political party or candidate that I can really get behind without sacrificing and betraying the details of the laws.
The law of Justice is understood in various ways. But the seven laws should be upheld courts. Laws should be set up which approximate those of the Torah law for the Jews. Injustice shouldn’t be rife in the courts. There’s no place for juries and solicitors, only expert judges. Judges should judge according to the seven laws and warn and teach the people regarding them. Police should as open to punishment for crimes as anyone else, not protected on all levels, from from sergeants to unions to even the judges, from prosecution.
I’ve not seen any points of political policy that addresses this at all. I’ll move on.
As a point of law, it should be forbidden to curse God using his name. This is a crime of speech. Yet the belief in freedom of speech, that a person can say what they want without threat of legal action, means that it is protected act under the draftings of fictional human rights and constitutions to speak venom against God.
I won’t insult your intelligence or waste your time by even pretending that today’s politicians and political parties would even dare or dream of putting respect for that divine law in their policies. Not even “saint Trump” is espousing that one.
What about idolatry? What is in the policies of Labour or Conservative or the Liberal Democrats or UKIP or the Republicans or the Democrats or the Trump or the Clinton to forbid idol worship? Hmmm … Wait, don’t all parties preach freedom of religion? Don’t constitutions and law protect the “rights” of people to worship whatever they like? Seems like a prohibition against idolatry would be anathema to present political and societal mores.
Have we taken any steps closer to the seven laws yet? I’m not seeing it. Seems like the seven laws are on one side and political parties and candidates are on the other, and there’s no Trump or Clinton even aiming to step closer.
Now remember, the seven are foundational and basic divine laws for humanity. For me to just pass a single one and see it trampled under foot by the politicians vying for the individual vote to attain the throne they salivate for (how honourable, if only Moses was like that), to see that indicate to me that this party was aiming below the bedrock level of human morality. And did you know Torah faithful Jews and Gentiles are promoting that?
I’m gonna continue now. You may be bored so if you feel like clicking away now if you haven’t done so already, I fully understand. I’m used to singing and talking to and for myself so … Anyway …
Forbidden sexual partners. So adultery is wrong. Anything in the proposed policies and bills to make that illegal? What about … wait for it … homosexuality? Is Trump or Clinton bringing is closer to that law? Should I burst out laughing at the ridiculous idea of politicians of today bringing us closer to this basic foundational standard? Or should I silence myself in despair, crestfallen?
Murder? Any word on abortion?
At least with theft, that law is … is … oh … civil forfeiture laws make the police into thieves and bandits. In fact, police worldwide have the ability to legally steal your stuff. There’s a rabbi I know that may question the Torah legality of income tax, but hey, there’s no point going there since so many see so much virtue in the coerced distribution of wealth, even (or maybe especially) amongst those who follow the seven laws.
And then there is the law against eating the flesh taken from an animal while it was alive. Now I know that laws state that an animal needs to be well knocked out before going cut up, but the fact that I’ve seen doubts in writings about the seven laws about the suitability of store meat makes me question whether the government law really upholds the principle of eiver min hachai.
Either way, let’s see if Trump or Clinton … ah, who am I kidding? There’s not a policy they’ve proposed to follow this law.
Come here! A little closer. You’ve stayed this long, so I ain’t gonna bite. Let’s consider, you and I.
It is the contention of some that voting for modern political candidates gets us closer to seven laws. For me personally, I think such a contention is devoid of actual truth. Based on just a cursory glance at the seven, for me, that is clear. But think a little deeper.
History is full of the broken promises of politicians, especially when it comes to election promises where they are trying to get votes. So many times they simply say what tickles the ear in their quest for power. Yet all of a sudden, the most recent election deserves our attention and we need to pretend as if this time, the moral integrity of politicians has risen when there is no evidence of this. Let’s not fool ourselves.
In the country I live in, in elections, normally there is a choice between, in one hand, a power hungry, but well presented, parasite who cares for getting the reins of power for himself and his group and shows no practical care for the seven laws, and on the other hand, someone else who matches the same description. So it’s a choice between evil and evil. And according to too many, the moral thing a person should do, a person’s holy duty, is support (either) evil. I’ve been told that to do otherwise is to support evil.
Did you catch that “brilliant” logic? Let me apply it to the seven laws. Did you know that the seven laws are all prohibitions, even the law of Justice? Did you know that that means that if you are presented with the opportunity to do an evil deed, a deed that contradicts a command, then you must not do it? You have to refrain from acting. But not according to this “voter” logic. According to voter logic, if you don’t support idolatry, you actually support idolatry. So by keeping the commandment, you’re breaking it!
Although that way of thinking, that not supporting a politician is an evil act that spreads injustice, is comfort and justification for those that have the conviction that politics is a way to fix the world, experience has taught me the opposite. History teaches me the opposite, that more often it is through politics that evil is protected and incubated, and to be a supporter of it is to support murder, wars, lies, injustice, immorality and the continued abolition of and ignorance about the divine laws. History shows me that, too often, it is law-abiding tax payer, the avid voter, that has been complicit in the crimes the political system in which one has invested oneself.
After all that, let me put it simply. One aspect of the seven laws, for me, is personal responsibility for one’s own actions. If there is a selection of candidates who all do practically nothing to promote the divine laws and continue in the current state of injustice, and I have the choice also to abstain, to refrain from giving my support to any one, then “the lesser of evils” is irrelevant when I can avoid supporting that which contradicts my standards (I’m still talking about the seven, but I also include other moral gripes I have with the state and its acolytes).
Another aspect of the seven is communal and social. They are laws meant to be kept by people groups, not just individuals. But expecting change from the top down, trying to place that “less worse” vote for grand politician is vain and worthless. If the people are not educated morally, then the selection for Prime Politician will be just as illiterate and will be a product of that miseducation. Considering the vast majority of people I meet, whether at work, home, in religious settings, amongst the “noahides,” “gerim,” Jews and rabbis, are happy with or are happy to settle with and/or promote the current system of living at the expense of another, having others forced to pay for one’s choices, and having people punished, extorted, coerced and killed at the dictates of the politicians under the illusion that “democracy” permeates and perpetrates, considering that, then the communal aspect of the seven laws will remain dead, the society needed for the establishment of righteousness will always be out of reach. If my experience is anything like the rest of the world, then don’t look to the expected places, the synagogues, the noahide or ger virtual meetings, the Torah faithful Jews. Look for that stray rabbi, shouting in the corner, that gentile shuffling in the shadows where he can’t be prosecuted by the mob. They can point you to the corpse that was meant to be a better people. Don’t expect mourning from their tired eyes and despondent hearts, just a warning to prepare for what the majority voted for, what they deserve. Because when certain consequences come, they swallow the righteous and unrighteous alike.
I know the argument, “but if I don’t vote for candidate x, then the country I live in will collapse and fail!” The implicit arrogance of that belief walks hand in hand with its deluded nature. An individual vote is numerically worthless. Think about it, maybe in terms of sound. When there are just a few voices, individual voices can be heard. But in a din, in a cacophony of millions of voices, the voice of the individual is effectively silenced. In this analogy, I’m only talking about the “power” of a vote. If an individual does or doesn’t vote, it makes no real difference.
So the person who says “if I don’t vote, this or that politician will come into power and destroy the plot of territory I’m invested in,” such a person is living in cloud cuckoo land.
If I want to do something positive for myself and the community around me, I’ll learn and apply and be consistent with the seven laws and the many other universal principles the Torah had to offer. I can give charity, teach, be an example and a good role model. I can do these things without showing people that faithfulness to the seven laws can be sold for the promises of politicians, people hungry for power, but with no divine standard.
Neither the ballot box nor its illusion, nor the deceiving politicians, nor their acolytes are a friend to me or the Torah I uphold.
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