Monday Morning Quotes

Monday Morning Quotes ~
MMQs on facebook /// @MonMornQuote on twitter
Since 1998 I've been sending out these reflections first thing each week--one or more quotes plus my thoughts about the intersections and contradictions. They're archived here back to 2002, and a new one is posted every Monday morning. Dialogue is still welcome . . .

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Quote #1142 - #CherryPickedOriginalism

08 Jul, 2024


"America is being led astray by a small handful of folks who are drunk-driving on originalism—and not in a funny Marx Brothers, spin-around-in-circles-and-all-fall-down sort of way. No, it’s in a children-murdered-in-their-classrooms, women-hemorrhaging-in-parking-lots, environmental-and-health-regulations-destroyed kind of way. And that’s because the whole nation is currently lashed to a small, stupid, perpetually changing theory of legal interpretation variously known as “originalism,” or “textualism,” or “original public meaning,” or “history and tradition.” A theory that is—unless you were born in the 1990s—younger than you are."
Dahlia Lithwick

"... we need to treat ethics in biblical texts just as we treat ethics in any other works of ancient literature. It is a vacuous exercise to pick and choose which atrocities were really ordained by any gods and which were not. We should have a zero-tolerance view of any text or collection of texts that at any time endorses genocide, misogyny, and other atrocities. We always judge ancient texts by modern ethical standards, and the Bible should not be treated differently."
Hector Avalos

"Jesus was a radical nonviolent revolutionary who hung around with lepers hookers and crooks ... was anti-wealth, anti-death penalty, anti-public prayer (M 6:5); was never anti-gay, never mentioned abortion or birth control, never called the poor lazy, never justified torture, never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes ... and was a long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless, community-organizing, anti-slut-shaming, Middle Eastern Jew."
John Fugelsang

The "originalism" of which they speak
(they being the Supreme Court, the Federalist Society,
and affiliated lawyers and politicians)
treats the constitution
like Evangelists treat the bible:
they cherry-pick at whim
which tenets they will uphold
and which they will ignore,
and, also, which they will distort
so the text seems to agree with whatever it is
they're claiming.

Of course, it's as absurd to believe there is only deep truth to be found by
trying to get into the mindset of
a privileged white slave-owning land-owning cis male founder of this country
as there is by trying to get into the mindset of
whoever you believe wrote down the various pieces of the bible,
both old and new testaments.

And now they're chopping down the cherry tree
out in the open
with us all watching
(well, watching only when we're not getting felled along with the branches)
and they're speaking the truth about their intentions
in a document called Project 2025.
We all must read it carefully,
read it and weep,
weep and get angry,
get angry and build strength,
and then do all we can to stop them.

It's now, baby,
or never.

Shellen Lubin
July 8, 2024

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