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Restoring the Political-Moral Center


Until the second half of the twentieth century, the major parties of the left and the right in the United States and in other advanced Western democracies operated within a framework of shared basic moral values. These universal ethical values—which predate, but were authoritatively reiterated at, Mount Sinai over 3000 years ago—constitute the common root and the enduring shared values of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They are known as the “Noahide Laws,” the moral covenant established by G-d with Noah for the renewal of civilization after the Flood. They were practiced and transmitted by Abraham until they were reaffirmed at Sinai as the eternal and universal legacy of humanity.

As laws of a Divine covenant, they found deep resonance in natural law traditions from Cicero to the American Declaration of Independence with its reference to, and reliance upon, “Divine Providence.” Indeed, an Act of the US Congress in 1991, on a bipartisan basis, recognized how these “ethical values and principles . . . upon which our great nation was founded . . . have become the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws.” (In the same legislation, they warned that “without these ethical values and principles the edifice of civilization stands in serious peril of returning to chaos.”) With this deep, shared tradition underlying Western society in general and American society in particular, any laws contradicting its fundamental moral principles would have been almost unimaginable until recent times.

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