As a Jew, I find it both fascinating and alarming to watch the political/philosophical/moral debate raging in this country between the leftist secular progressives and right wing Christian fundamentalists. As most of us know, the secularists, who claim to be atheists, want all references to the Divine stricken from all public documents and monuments. As well, they want all public utterances in all forums to be devoid of any mention of spiritual matters. While they are rallying under the constitutional banner of “separation of church and state”, the driving force behind this campaign is to make morality a non-issue. These are the beginnings of a G-dless society in which government is the ultimate authority and there are no moral restrictions on private behavior. Anything that feels good is permissible as long as you don’t force it on someone else. There must be no impediment to the pursuit of pleasure. Those who call themselves “progressive” would be more accurately described as “regressive” because as King Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
This amoral secular regressive crowd is an interesting and dangerous group of misfits who believe that America’s support of Zionism is the root cause of hundreds of thousands of maniacal Muslims who live to spawn human bombs and perform public decapitations. Further observation of this movement reveals that the ACLU fights to protect the rights of perverts to prey on children and the members of PETA were seen protesting the genocide of Turkeys on Thanksgiving. Their leader has stated that eating a store-bought turkey is tantamount to hiring an assassin.
Moreover, there is a new lobby in Washington, D.C. called the “Church of Atheism” that was putting forth a considerable effort to get Congress to vote G-d out of office, so to speak, by removing “In G-d we Trust” from all of our currency. As a matter of fact, there was a church of Atheism representative on the Fox News cable network who said “We also have a place were we go to worship.” I wanted to ask her, “Worship what, yourselves?”
On the other hand, the conservative fundamentalists with groups like Christian Coalition, Right to Life, Paul Revere Society, Minute Men and the like, while they are fighting the good fight to preserve morality and justice, they articulate certain subliminal ideas that I find disquieting. For example, I keep hearing from pundits like Bill O’Reilly and others that the United States is a nation founded on “Judeo-Christian philosophy.” What exactly is “Judeo-Christian philosophy? If they are talking about monotheism, meaning the one true G-d who controls the world; that is exclusively Judaic. Moreover, the moral and legal principles of all civilized societies are based entirely on the Seven Laws of Noah, which come solely from the Torah (referred to by Christians as the “Old Testament”). Additionally, the principles of love, peace and foregoing revenge are also entirely derived from the G-d of Israel and expounded upon by our great Sages of blessed memory. Therefore, when it comes to morality and justice there is no “philosophy”, there is only the foundation called “Torah”.
Furthermore, the constitutional mandate of separation of Church and State is clearly there to prevent government from imposing or opposing any particular religion; not to create a godless secular society. In keeping with that principle the framers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were very careful to avoid making any references to any particular religion. They simply recognized the one true G-d as the ultimate authority to whom all government leaders are forever answerable. Thus, it would be inaccurate to say that the United States of America is a “Christian society” even though a majority of its citizens are Christians.
To sum up, the connection between G-d and the nation chosen to live in compliance with His law and serve as an example to all others, is symbolized by the famous “Jacob’s Ladder”. We learn that when our father Jacob awoke from his vision, he called the land upon which he slept, “The gateway to Heaven”. Although the focal point was the future place of the inner chamber of the Holy Temple, this was also equivalent to the entire land of Israel. The ladder, i.e. two poles linked by rungs, being a symbol of the conduit through this gateway that connects the Land and its people to HaShem, begs the question, “Why not a staircase?” The simple answer is that a ladder is more difficult to ascend. The higher you go the more you need to rely on others to hold it steady and the more careful you need to be to keep from falling off.