Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Case For The Constitution: Federalist Five

     In todays reading of the Federalist Papers, we come to Federalist Five - again by John Jay. Once again continuing with this analysis contained in Federalist Four, Jay asserts the diplomatic, military, and economic necessity of union as opposed to distinct confederacies. He starts his analysis of unity vs. disunity by using the example of the British Isles and the separation between the Scottish, English, and Irish that existed before their unification.

     Jay asserts that if the states are divided into distinct confederacies, whether it be two, three, or four; it would naturally lead to animosity between the confederacies. As one group grows stronger economically - such as a confederacy of northern states - the others will become jealous and will naturally start to mistrust the stronger group of states. This will lead to division and an easier "conquest" if you will, by foreign nations. Thus, as Jay asserts, it is essential that the States band together to get rid of this possibility for disunity and suspicion.

    It is interesting to note, that though Jay's analysis of bordering confederacies and their potential to jealously, rivalry, and war is historically factual; the dangers that he described in this particular passage came to pass regardless of whether or not the Constitution was ratified. Because the Southern States saw themselves as a unique entity, not necessarily tied to the North, they operated their governmental policies for the betterment of their particular region. This can be seen with such historical examples as the Nullification crisis and overall opposition to northern interference in the slavery question.

Conservative Judaism Ordains First Openly Gay Rabbi

    On May 19th the Conservative movements Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City ordained the denominations first ever openly gay rabbi. The JTA reports that,

Rachel Isaacs, 28, was ordained at JTS on May 19. She told the Forward that she began her rabbinical training at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, but switched to the Conservative seminary after it began admitting openly gay and lesbian students in 2007. 
Other gay and lesbian rabbis have been ordained by JTS, but they kept their sexual preference under wraps to avoid expulsion. In recent years, some gay and lesbian students say their sexual identity was known to other students and faculty, but could not be openly acknowledged until the college officially changed its policy.
Following a 2006 decision by the Conservative movement's Law Committee to accept gay rabbis, JTS and the American Jewish University in Los Angeles began admitting openly gay students. The movement's Israeli seminary does not.
    This is just another reason why I am glad to belong to this movement. At our local synagogue, my husband and I have felt more than welcome and have been accepted into the community regardless of our sexual orientation. Though Conservative Judaism does not yet perform same-sex marriages in those jurisdictions where it is legal, I think that it is only a matter of time before the Conservative movement opens its doors to this as well.
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