One morning a few weeks ago, while having our coffee and checking the morning headlines, my husband suddenly put down his newspaper.
“He’s a tyrant. He’s dismantling the whole country. This is like a bad dream that keeps getting worse.”
I nodded. We were having many such conversations lately.
Last Wednesday, at sundown, the holiday of Chanukah began.
An eight-day holiday commemorating a miracle that had taken place in 2nd century BCE Judea, which at that time had been ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks) under Antiochus Epiphanes. When the Jews were forbidden to practice their religious way of life, a rebellion broke out, and after several years of battles, the vastly-outnumbered Jews defeated the Syrian-Greek army and became independent. When the Jews entered the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been defiled by their enemy, they found only one day’s worth of undefiled oil in which to relight the menorah (candelabrum). It would take another eight days to prepare more oil. But miraculously, the one-day supply of oil lasted eight days, and it signified to them that God was with them.
On Wednesday, as it turned dark, we placed our menorah by the window, and we lit the first candle (every night adding a candle).
I stood for awhile, watching the candle’s flame.
It felt strange to use the word “tyrant” to describe our current POTUS. Tyrants are supposed to be in history books: Antiochus, Titus, Hitler, Stalin.
I felt deflated.
As Pat_S noted on the blog:
We are at the edge of the abyss.
via Wall Street Journal: Religious Liberty and Obamacare
…. Americans of all faiths or even no faith were shocked by the Obama Administration’s treatment of religious institutions not because they share their moral qualms about paying for birth control. Most don’t. But the Constitution is supposed to guard minority views, especially religious faith and conduct….
The Obamacare mandate never should have happened under both the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which requires the federal government to meet a higher legal standard for any law that interferes with religious liberty. Regulations must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest and be the “least burdensome” option….
The White House is also deploying its usual legal disinformation. Because the “accommodation” applies to nonprofit entities only, it claims that the Hobby Lobby and the other plaintiffs are asking the Court to allow for-profit businesses to “ban” contraception for their employees. (This is similar to its distortion in the 2012 campaign that by supporting religious conscience Republicans were trying to outlaw contraception.)
In the current cases these distinctions between corporate forms are meaningless. The Constitution’s free-exercise clause does not evaporate when someone forms a faith-based for-profit corporation. Can the government compel a Jewish deli not to be kosher? The radical implication of the White House argument is that the Constitution doesn’t apply to commercial activity.
If the mandate is overturned, birth control will continue to be widely available and at low cost for all Americans. Nine of 10 health plans already cover contraception, and business owners would gain no right to interfere with the choice of their workers to use or not use it. But no one would be required by law to violate their deepest religious convictions.
These cases won’t overturn ObamaCare, alas. But they are an overdue opportunity for the Supreme Court to restore the inalienable rights being trampled by the raw political coercion of the health-care law. The tragedy is that so many Americans needed to sue the government to practice their moral beliefs.
On Wednesday night, I watch the flame awhile longer.
Then, I enter the chat room, before Tammy Radio begins.
I feel less deflated now.
And listening to Tammy, I feel energized and empowered.
In one month, 2014 will be here. There is much work to be done, to keep the House. And take back the Senate.
Tonight, the sixth night of Chanukah, Jews around the world will place their menorahs in their windows and light six candles.
We have survived.
So too, here in the U.S., “a nation blessed,” we will all survive our #EpicFail little tyrant-wannabe.
We have survived much worse.
Happy holiday season to all.
Related: (Note: In answer to the age-old question: “What is the correct spelling of the word ‘Chanukah’?” The answer is: No one knows. So, pick one, and just go with it 🙂 )