In an era where comets were considered the harbinger of death and wars, 13th century scholar Albertus Magnus wrote:
“Now it must be asked if we can comprehend why comets signify the death of magnates and coming wars, for writers of philosophy say so. The reason is not apparent, since vapor no more rises in a land where a pauper lives than where a rich man resides, whether he be king or someone else. Furthermore, it is evident that a comet has a natural cause not dependent on anything else; so it seems that it has no relation to someone’s death or to war. For if it be said that it does relate to war or someone’s death, either it does so as a cause or effect or sign.”
Comets don’t bring death, wars nor pestilence, and neither will Amy Coney Barrett. She is one of the most stable, eloquent, rational, intelligent, and able judges we’ve seen. The fact that she preaches the separation of church and state should clear any remaining doubts about her suitability for office. The arguments that ACB is ‘too Christian’ for the job are similar to the claims made over hundred years ago against admitting the ‘too Jewish’ Louis Brandeis.
During the 1916 confirmation hearings, the opposition to Brandeis was virulent. The press attacked his character and downplayed his qualifications. Harvard’s President A. Lawrence Lowell — who urged establishing quotas for admitting Jews to the school and segregating them in separate dormitories on campus—collected over fifty signatories to a petition objecting to Brandeis’ nomination. The names on his list included leading members of the American Bar Association such as Taft and Elihu Root. More than forty witnesses and known figures from the losing side of cases that Brandeis had prosecuted spoke before the committee against him, disguising their personal animus in rhetoric about dishonorable and unprofessional conduct.
Just like in the Brandeis case, the frenzied attacks and wild howling against ACB are driven by superstition and bigotry. This display of raw hate also reminds me of another time in history: that of the Malleus Maleficarum, when strong and independent women were charged with witchcraft and burnt at the stake by the tens of thousands.
References and Sources
Separation Between the Garden of the Church and the Wilderness of the World
Roger Williams the 17th century founder of Providence Rhode Island and the founding father of the founding fathers wrote that Church-state separation was essential for the health of both the state and the church. Williams asserted that there should be a “hedge or wall of Separation between the Garden of the Church and the Wilderness of the world.” When that wall or hedge was breached, he argued, it was necessary to rebuild it. Williams’ language is very similar to Jefferson’s metaphor of “a wall of separation between church and state.”
2 Chronicles 19:5-7
”He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city. He said to the judges, Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you when you render judgment. Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.”
Copyright 2020 Yaacov Apelbaum, All Rights Reserved.