Tag Archives: Judaism

Oh, yes, and then there’s the Golden Rule

Golden-Rule-1

“Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets.”

Matthew 7:12

Ah, yes. You’ve that said before, yes?

The New Testament of the Bible attributes that admonition to none other than Jesus of Nazareth.

I am extremely nervous melding Scripture with contemporary American politics. But the Golden Rule seems somehow appropriate to mention in this context.

Ted Cruz last night stood before the Republican National Convention and delivered a stem winder of a speech that said almost everything he was expected to say … except for this: “I hereby endorse Donald J. Trump for president of the United States.”

He didn’t go there. And why do you suppose he declined to take that step?

Because of what he described as the “slander” and “defamation” of this wife and father. Trump tweeted that unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz during the primary campaign. Then he implied that Sen. Cruz’s father might have been complicit in President Kennedy’s assassination. Sen. Cruz told the Texas convention delegates this morning that he couldn’t endorse someone who had treated two of his loved ones with such cruelty.

“I am not in the habit of supporting those who attack and slander my wife and my father,” he said.

It’s fair to ask: How do you suppose Donald Trump would react if someone had said anything like that about his father and his wife?

The Golden Rule can be found in many religious contexts, be it Judaism, Hinduism and Islam … in addition to Christianity.

Trump has said he is a “religious person.” Well, someone who knows and follows the teachings provided in the Holy Bible might be aware of what Matthew’s Gospel tells us about how to treat others.

The Golden Rule seems always to take a beating during the heat of a fierce political battle. Politicians say things about their opponents that they never would tolerate from others and none of this is unique to the current campaign.

Trump’s way of tossing out insults and innuendo as weapons against his foes — and against their family members — puts the Golden Rule into sharper-than-usual focus during this election cycle.

I know that critics of this blog will respond with rejoinders about how politicians dating back to the beginning of the Republic have said far worse than what Trump has uttered.

Fine. Bring it on.

However, at this very moment my particular focus is on a major political party’s nominee for the presidency of the United States of America. This man has failed to abide by the Golden Rule.

Muslims, Christians … whatever

Image #: 21630241 Dr. Benjamin Carson, director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH) REUTERS /JONATHAN ERNST /LANDOV

Ben Carson now has weighed in on the matter of religion and politics.

The good doctor’s take: Americans shouldn’t elect a Muslim as president, apparently because he believes the faith isn’t compatible with the U.S. Constitution.

Carson weighs in

I’m trying to find where in the Constitution it speaks to its compatibility with any religion. The only thing I can determine is that the Constitution — the finished document — is expressly non-religious. It doesn’t condone any religion. Not Christianity, or Judaism, not Islam, not Buddhist, Hindu or Shinto.

Surely, Dr. Carson — one of 16 individuals seeking the Republican presidential nomination — knows this. Doesn’t he?

It’s neutral. Get it? The only reference I can find even to the word “religion” is in Article VI, where it declares “no religious test” shall be given to anyone seeking public office anywhere in the United States of America.

How about we not talk about whether one’s religious faith qualifies — or disqualifies — him or her from serving a nation that comprises people of many faiths?