Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia sent this email regarding the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.
The Supremes have decided:
“Love your neighbor as your self”
is NOT unconstitutional.
Mazeltov to them and to all of us that, when push came to shove, the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court mostly reaffirmed the notion that fellow-human beings and fellow-citizens owe loving-kindness to each other.
That we owe each other food when we are hungry, a place to live when some bank takes our home away, money to tide us over when some boss or some bank takes away our job. And health care when we are sick.
That notion is rooted, thanks be to God, in our ancient religious traditions. But over and over, it’s up for grabs.
And I do mean “grabs” –- grabs of the merely wealthy to be super-wealthy, grabs of the super-wealthy to invest hundreds of millions in campaign ads and lobbying, to grab still more power…
Even this decision treated some neighbors as not quite worthy of the same respect and loving care as others. This one gave the states a way out of their Medicaid obligations — to the very very poor. No surprise. If somebody’s gonna be left out, who else?
It’s also true that this Supreme Court has done some terrible damage — that ironically misnamed decision “Citizens United,” worst of all. And yet I’m tickled that this time Chief Justice Roberts did what his appointer, President “W,” would not have wanted. The history of Justices whose lives turn out to have a tiny taste of freedom tucked away — it’s delicious.
So there is still more work to do. In the New Declaration of Independence from Corporate Domination we sent yesterday in honor of July 4, we mention Medicare for All. That’s still the fully decent answer.
But for now, take a deep breath, grab your sweethearts and dance a dance of joy.
In the Passover Seder, there is a really strange song. It says, “If we had reached the Red Sea but it had not split, Dayenu! – good enough! If we had reached Sinai but there had been no Revelation, Dayenu! – good enough!”
At one level, this makes no sense. At another, it makes EVERY sense. If we want to transform the world, then we must celebrate each step on the journey, even if it’s only half a step. We know there must be another step; the song has many verses. But if we refuse to celebrate, we will burn out before we can take another step.
Today, right now, rejoice. Tonight, tomorrow, on the FOURTH itself, begin to plan the steps we still must take.
Enjoy the fireworks. They are celebrating one small step of Independence from the Corporate King George.
And — fly the Flag of Freedom. It’s right here.
Blessings of justice and joy — Arthur