Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Rule of Law
A New Day Dawning
The Best Rules Are The Ones We Agree On
“Some rules were made to be broken” or at least interpreted differently. A fundamental factor in a law is that it is legitimate only insofar as it is to serve mankind. Sure it must be supported by those it governs and in modern day that needs to be a democratic machination of some sort. Check out this quote, or nearly quote from Abraham Lincoln “Obedience of the law is the greatest freedom”. That is heavy. Let me suggest that the only true laws are the ones we accept and place upon ourselves.
Here in So. Cal. A 65 mile an hour speed limit means to drive at least 74 in the fast lane. This is true. In L.A. they give tickets for driving slower, as obstructing traffic. No joking. The fast lane is for going fast. My favorite legal story is Jesus getting all angry with folks who complained that healing a person on the Sabbath was breaking God’s law of rest on the Sabbath. He gave them a tarnishing by explaining to the effect that if your ass fell into a pit on Sunday do you let him die until Monday? But the basis was so cool. “The law was made for man, not man for the law”. Perhaps that is true today, but the man in such cases is really “The Man”.
For many an artist and especially a writer type artist, breaking the rules may be what sets the writer apart and makes the work interesting for the fact of how it is written. If you could keep your emotions and preconceived notions at bay the whole kneeling thing by professional athletes was a very interesting move. It broke our respect laws for nation and the flag, but in fact violated no laws or rules.
Oh my! Maybe the best of all time was the protestant Luther rebellion against rules and dogma of the Holy Roman See. Until we figured out knee and back pain, not kneeling in church was totally forbidden. So many kosher laws were in place. Perhaps out of reverence for God but just as important was the healthiness of the food consumed at a time without proper conditions to store and keep meat.
Not so long ago there were no prohibitions on garbage. Toss it here and toss it there or burn it out back in a fire pit or drum. Smart people dealt with that and outhouses in a manner as to prevent sickness. Now there are laws that govern it down to a gnats behind.
A Short Distance For Love
A Happy Place
Our Own Rules
Do you remember when the term “think outside of the box” was all the rave? Actually it dove tailed and fit quite nicely into the dot com explosion. Break the rules of the old and bring in the fresh and new. How wonderfully it worked until the box that was being broken out of were rules for financial and business security, not to mention cyber security. And hence all that rule breaking literally resulted in an anarchy of sorts and the whole dang smoke and mirrors market crashed on them.
Oh do not forget our latest property value crash. For half a decade of economic growth we disobeyed the rules of credit worthiness and sustainability of value. I mean they just threw obviously good rules and laws out the window to turn a quick buck. And boom the walls of the Jericho property boom crashed down without a whimper of defense. Bail outs also broke the rules and held the economy down again. Rules were broken and the price for the intransigence was catastrophic.
My boy and I play a lot of sports type games in our made for it backyard. It is just amazing how an 8 year old can try to change the rules of the game in mid-stream to benefit him or restrict my winning ways.
Try the tried and true successful marriage deal. It requires strict adherence to a set of rules that create the bond of foreverness. Fidelity, respect, love, nurturing and responsibility in fulfilling promises are sacrosanct rules if the marriage is to last.
How about that Hammurabi code which fully encompasses the Christian and Jewish and to some extent the Muslim code as set forth in the Ten Commandments. (And note this is probably the law that Lincoln intentionally seemed to incorporate into the quote above about national cohesiveness. He very much out of character broke his rule of clarity). So do we get to expand or decrease the rules set forth in the commandments? Probably a bad way to go. Although I wonder in this new era if we apply it the same on a father who abuses his family. Should we honor such a man simply because he is a father?
So I think we now get to the two greatest commandments and the universal commandment.
I Don't Understand the Things I Do
A Real Water Windmill
Obedience Is A Choice
Love. How do we get around this law? Well we can hate and we can engage in slothful ambivalence and apathy and resulting inaction. A bad way to go and breaking the commandment of love is a road leading straight to hell on earth. While it is nowhere stated as a rule of law my biggest sin is taking love for granted. Like planting a garden and neglecting to water it. For taking love for granted is a sure fire way to kill it. Even in this taking for granted thing there is a clear notion of bad stuff going on when good folk don’t act good. (yes that is breaking rules of speech and writing to emphasize a point)
Do you honor your personal relationship with your God if you do not love your God? Do you honor your family, friends and neighbors if you fail to love them? The story of the little drummer boy and the poor woman who gave little that was much to her, leaves us with a commandment to act in love. What you have to give is what is required of you, going up, down and all around. While loving is the rule it comes with no direction either as advice or a compass heading, save for perhaps “moving forward”.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. A great idea unless you are a child lawyer. My brother read that and gave our mom a baseball glove for her birthday. Literally in obedience of the rule but with some connivance for a new glove. I reckon our love for each other requires lack of self-benefit, except for the feeling it rewards us with. That is what we refer to as a set of natural laws or rules.
It would appear that we should adhere to this law of love. No preconceived concepts. No reward. No sacrifice too large. A requirement that we lead our own selves into a state of being where everything is covered by the haze of love. Not a place to visit but a place to reside.
Because of some health issues I have been assigned a health coach by my provider. Salt and sugar went out of my diet like a banished outlaw. I follow this regimen to a T and then some. Guess what, when I do real well, better than required, I get to break the rules a bit. But we do not get to do that in love.
So bend those rules and laws in the direction of love. To this there is no penalty. There is only a great life.