As the earlier diary entry made clear, the Thanksgiving blog post of my local rabbi posed a number of questions. I took the liberty there and here in answering those questions.
Some time has passed and my comments at blogspot remain under moderation. The lack of response has led me to respond to one of his earlier postings:
As a Rabbi, I am supposed to remain non-partisan when it comes to supporting individual candidates for office and I take that principle very seriously. But, that does not preclude me from expressing admiration for particular decisions made by those in political office.
Thank you President Obama for the courage you have shown in speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage. Many of us, myself included, have found our views on this subject “evolving” over the past years. But, at some point, the statement has to be made loudly and clearly and your decision to make that statement today will help to lead our nation to a better place, a place in which all will be able to live in dignity and equality.
Your statement reminds us how important it is to stand up for what we believe even though some may disagree.
Here is my response.
There are 613 commandments in the Torah. I don’t know anyone who observes all of them (ie, Temple sacrifice disappeared a couple millenia ago with the Temple ), least of all myself, but they are to be taken seriously. Somewhere since my youth, the prohibition against men having sexual relations with other men seems to have been wiped away. Perhaps it is for the better, as I am not necessarily against two persons willing to make a lifelong commitment to each other.
However, we allegedly live in a land guided by the Rule of Law. The Defense of Marriage Act, passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton September 1, 1996, has never been overturned. The current Administration and its Attorney General may not like it but it is the Law of the Land. They have chosen not to enforce it.
Similarly, the Administration and its AG may not like the immigration laws presently on our books. Failing to enforce them, however, and suing the individual states which attempt to enforce them and similar laws to protect their borders, however, reeks of Law-Lessness. It is the absolute abrogation of the Rule of Law.
There is a right and legal way to change the rules by which we treat each other, and there is a wrong and illegal way to do so.
I don’t necessarily disagree with the rabbi’s conclusions. But if rules aren’t really rules, then do we care if men breed with dogs, or if Americans are cut down on their property by drug traffickers who recognize no borders?
Do we stand idly by while millions of illegals jam the nation and ultimately its voting rolls, changing the very idea of the nation we are?