Laying Down The Law
Just as murder can be hazardous to your health, crime can be hazardous to the law. I long ago opined to my children that if the laws of God were followed, there wouldn’t be as much need for all of these laws of man.
Not that Constitutional laws are unnecessary. Indeed, the U.S. Constitution, as conceived, created and promulgated, is descended from the English legal canon that upheld the Rights of Man, as they descended from the natural rights of any human being, based upon the word of God.
Woe to the individual who wishes to treat the U.S. Constitution like an historical document of the preservation of the freedoms of each individual in a democracy! The U.S. Constitution is not merely law. Why, it’s a post-it-note board for “constitutional” scholars to tack up their tacky interpretations of anything-goes as long as the money goes in my wallet!
Chasing the money-changers from the temple was, for me, one of the more treasured acts of Jesus upon this earth. Chasing them from the temples of legislation is quite another matter for we mere mortals. Such buildings were constructed for the purpose of money changing hands through the exchanging of statutes for slush-and-hush money. I am nonetheless such a romantic realist that I persist in my belief that actual codification of natural law, in accordance with our Maker, makes it through the hallowed halls of the U.S. Congress every once in a while in this land of optimal opportunity. Every so often, laying down the law, real law, does take place.
Laying down the law, real law, began eons ago.
The Book of Leviticus is the third book of the Torah and the third book of the Old Testament of the Bible. The majority of its verbiage deals with laying down the law by God to Moses, or, as I was taught during my childhood, by the God of the Old Testament to Moses. Moses was tasked with laying down the law to the Israelites after their Exodus from Egypt and their arrival at Mount Sinai.
“Let my people go” is the theme song of the Book of Exodus. The Book of Leviticus is more in tune with “Climbin’ Up d Mountain.”
There are one too many wanna-be Moses in this land of the free who climb those steps of the U.S. Congress, thinking they are the Millennial Prophets and that burning bush is the U.S. Constitution — set aflame!
At times, I think back to the days of my childhood, learning from the Old Testament about sin and guilt and how to gain forgiveness, and this return to basics is a purifying event for me. The impurities and sins of humanity are on such noxious noisome noisy display every day that I dare not watch the News anymore, lest I become unable to fit God into that tabernacle known as my mind and heart and soul.
I recall an aunt who was steeped in the Calvinist doctrine of the Dutch Reformed Church. In that rigid system of credence in the Almighty, a person is either a Select or an Elect. Being a Select, you’re in like . . . well, not Mr. Flynn, but, perhaps, Moses, where Heaven is concerned. If you are categorized spiritually as an Elect, you’ve got a row to hoe, and you get started early and young hoeing it.
It always seemed so self-defeating to me, perceiving God as the vicious King on High who would cast out any man or woman who did not keep the doctrinal precepts of a man-made religion. It has always troubled me, the ways in which the mortals here on earth accrue personal power at the expense of other mortals who are not faithful to the Lord in terms of doctrine or ritual, but who submit their souls to the Lord in ways that a sanctuary ritual can’t cover in terms of piety and humility.
It does not matter to the Ineffable whether you went by the Book, in rote order, of each commandment, in terms of speaking. Actions speak louder than words, and the actions of hypocrites have driven more people from the sanctuaries of churches than any other ill on earth.
A few years back, a very dear friend of mine returned from vacationing with some Warehouse-Bible-thumpers who proceeded, whilst on the sands of the beaches of Hawaii, to proselytize about their Faith. My friend was a Roman Catholic, a troubled soul who often spoke to me in terms of her religious training, but more often in terms of her spiritual needs.
Her refrain was “My Way’s Cloudy”.
She could not understand exactly what had happened to her during those hours devoted by the New Believers to informing her about the wrongness of her Catholic Church. I calmly and quietly explained to her that she had been “spiritually mashed”.
The expression drew laughter, but she had been so insulted by this pontificating of a Protestant over her Catholic religion, that this feisty female fought back with these words:
“Well, my church has pews and a pulpit and a place to kneel . . . and a place to confess.”
Religious wars still take place, even in an America that is certain of its tolerance of so many things. The ritualistic purification of impurities was of such concern to the Israelites that Moses became the Key Legal Eagle of his day to lay down the law to people who thirsted for salvation. Nowadays, the law is seen as the latest utterance from the Tower of Babble.
Chapter 26 of the Book of Leviticus is a good beginning for a primer on purity of the soul, no matter what your dogma, gospel or article of faith.
YE shall make no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God.
2. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.
3. If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them:
4. Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
5. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time; and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
6. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
7. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
8. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
9. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
Swing low, sweet chariot . . .