Tuesday, January 7, 2014

There is something Rotten...

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" Marcellus says to Horatio, as I recall it.  Except some of us are not in Denmark, we are in the United States.  So, to take the phrase from Marcellus, "There is something rotten in the State of America."  Unlike Horatio, I will not calmly say that the Almighty will guide out nation back to health and prosperity.  There is something amiss, and everyone has a finger to point, but always remember this, when I point my finger at you, there are at least two pointing back towards myself.  What is rotting in America today, why that is the American Dream, that is our rights, it is our collective spirit, and our lives that are rotting.

I constantly hear about American Exceptionalism, the belief that America does not need to play by the rules other nations do because we are different, we are better.  Rose commented once, "America marches to a different drummer. Its uniqueness is explained by any or all of a variety of reasons: history, size, geography, political institutions, and culture. Explanations of the growth of government in Europe are not expected to fit American experience, and vice versa."  But this has left us open to decay, as we are seemingly unwilling to change anything.  The more we learn, the more many revert back to previous more dangerous views of the world and reality.

I will not argue that at one time, America was at the pinnacle for many people.  Someone could come to the US, and they could make something of themselves.  This is still true to some extent.  I know some of you will disagree, but America has slipped into an early dementia.  Corruption in all levels of politics, problems in the justice system, rampant mental health issues, profit by any costs, poverty, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, bullying, homelessness, fundamentalism within religions, which forces people to become militant in their views and actions. 

We are all to blame in some way, we did not stand up when this started, we do not stand up now, and now when people do stand up it just forces people to retreat into their protective shells, and some of these people gather into groups, steadfast in their beliefs, refusing to view any other options than there own.  Answers are to be found, but they will not please everyone, with each answer people will be angry, but at this point we can no longer look out for our own selves, we have to ensure that the majority can move forward with minimal interruptions.

Why is it such a problem when two people of the same sex want to get married?  I am a Rabbi, I do not have a problem with it.  Yeah, if I wanted to adhere to Leviticus I would say something, but who one persons loves is between the two people, and any deity they wish to discuss it with, no where in that discussion should I come up, unless invited.  Honestly, people need to stay out of it, outside of saying whatever floats their boat.  The same is true about abortion, if a woman wants to have one, it should be an option, and no person has the right to tell her otherwise.  You might not like it, but its not your say.  To borrow a gun rights statement, and change it to apply to these two subjects.  If you don't want a gay marriage, don't get one.  If you don't want an abortion, don't get one.  Its that simple. 

As for the corruption in the political system.  Stop voting down party lines, view each candidate, look at their views, examine them.  I don't mean that in the sense of looking at the top two parties, look at every single man or woman who throws their hat in the ring, and then vote accordingly.  To fix the justice system, one needs to stop criminalizing everything, and hole people equally responsible for their actions, from the president to the pauper.  Stop worrying about what others want to do, or what they do, and worry about your actions.

In a time where people are being arrested for leaving pets in their cars during this bitter cold or intense heat, it is acceptable to do that to other people, providing they aren't children.  See a problem here?  While the founders felt that all men are created equal, it appears that our representatives today do not feel that sentiment.