The Second Amendment and the Golden Calf

Yesterday during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a ban on 157 different types of assault weapons, and magazines containing more than ten bullets, Ted Cruz, Republican Senator from Texas, lectured Diane Feinstein on the Constitution. Cruz archly asked Feinstein, the author of the bill, if she would agree to limit the First Amendment so that it only applied to certain books and not others. While Sen. Feinstein appropriately decried and dismissed Cruz’ inappropriate attack, there is still more irony to be exposed and explored.

Ted Cruz, the apparent supporter of rights enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, actually supports curtailing the Fourteenth Amendment so that a woman will not be able to protect her own right to privacy in the case of an unwanted pregnancy. Ted Cruz has also vigorously supported curtailing the First Amendment separation of Church and State. (In other masterful strokes Cruz argued before the Supreme Court in 2003 that Texas was free to back out of a legal settlement in which it had vowed to improve health care services for poor children. The justices ruled unanimously against Texas. The next year, Mr. Cruz persuaded the court not to release Michael Haley, who had been sentenced to 14 years in prison for stealing a calculator from a Walmart, even though the maximum was two years under state law. even Mr. Cruz conceded that prosecutors had erred.)

In addition to obviously wanting to curtail some less important and peskier amendments while being an absolutist on the second amendment, Cruz also stretches credulity with being pro-life. While supporting the rights of fetuses who are not people, he seems to blithely dismiss the rights of actual children and adults (some 2600+ have been killed since Newtown) who are threatened by the approximately three hundred million firearms already in private hands.

There is a Hassidic teaching that the reason that Moses broke the Tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written when he saw the Israelites dancing around the Golden Calf, was that he was afraid that they would also make the Ten Commandments into an idol—that it would be worshiped rather than understood, frozen rather than interpreted. Cruz and his ilk (back by the Gun Industry and their shills at the NRA) have made the second amendment into an idol. If even weapons of war are not to be banned from private ownership, we are truly dancing around the Golden Calf.

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