The Golden Rule: Getting a little dull from lack of use

Treat others the way you want to be treated.
This is the golden rule. The core message of nearly every significant spiritual text. The foundation upon which political ideologies and laws are built.

It’s very simple in theory. If everyone followed it, laws would be unnecessary. Quality of life would skyrocket for everyone. We can all objectively agree that the more people who follow this philosophy, the better our civil society becomes.

Although almost universally held as the standard in interpersonal relationships why is it so few actually practice what they preach?

It is almost becoming commonplace to hear yet another story where one group expects others to accommodate them and their personal specific beliefs while at the same time these same folks do not show any tolerance for the beliefs of others or even attempt to accommodate others’ views.

Members of a Jewish sect is expecting others to meet their weird requirements to avoid the scandal of alleged religious discrimination. The Plain Truth about the Ultra-Orthodox Jews: Washington Post Commentary

We see the world is pretty much going insane over attempts to define and prevent “religious discrimination.” On the one hand, Christians are being forced to publicly renounce the Bible for the sake of homosexual “marriages” or else be driven into bankruptcy for the crime of “discrimination.” On the other hand, Muslims expect the Navy to change their dress code to accommodate their belief they must grow out their beards.

Now we have another instance of people invoking “discrimination” to get their way. The U.K.’s The Independent reports, “Groups of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men keep delaying flights by refusing to sit next to women.”

A flight from New York to Tel Aviv was delayed by half an hour last week after a group of male ultra-Orthodox Jewish passengers refused to sit next to women, the third such incident in recent months.
The cabin crew on the Delta flight out of John F. Kennedy Airport tried to find seats for the men, but were met with refusal by other passengers, some of whom took a dim view of the reasoning behind the request.
The incident took place on Delta flight 468 on 20 December, the Israeli publication The Times of Israel reports. An American passenger ultimately switched seats with the men.
This is the third widely reported incident in the last few months in which ultra-Orthodox Jewish men have delayed a flight by asking to be segregated from women.
On the eve of the Jewish festival Rosh Hashana in October, a flight, also between New York and Tel Aviv, was delayed by an hour after a group of Haredim refused to sit next to women.
In this case, passengers ultimately left the plane before take-off.
A month earlier in September an El Al flight descended into an “11-hour long nightmare” after a group of Haredi Jewish passengers refused to sit next to women.

Okay correct me if I am wrong here but it would seem that these Jewish men knew that there was a good chance that they would meet members of the opposite sex while traveling on a commercial airline. In fact they bought their tickets in advance. I do not know if they made any effort when booking their flight to make the airline aware of their special needs. I contend that it is up to these men to make advance arrangements to accommodate their specific unique needs and not force the entire traveling public to have to adjust their lives to accommodate these men.


The airline is not responsible for special accommodations if they are not made aware of them in advance.

“Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman. It was obvious that the plane won’t take off as long as they’re standing in the aisles.”

These men could have bought seats next to each other or at the very least requested that they not be seated next to a female passenger when they purchased their tickets. Now I am all for following your beliefs and standing up for what you believe but I have a hard time understanding how riding in a plane with female passengers is okay as long as you do not sit next to one. Or what about being waited on by female flight attendants, doesn’t that violate your strongly held religious beliefs?

Are their beliefs a bit extreme, perhaps, but again I want to repeat it is not the responsibility of the  public to accommodate the specific beliefs of these men when they are utilizing public transportation. If they did not wish to encounter any female passengers they could have chartered a private flight.

Whether it is the homosexual groups demanding that businesses accommodate their specific beliefs or the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect demanding the public accommodate them, or the Muslim groups who demand special privileges in public places or special consideration in the military, these groups are not walking in love toward their neighbor because they insist on having their way without any consideration for the needs or accommodations of others.

4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

We live in a culture of entitlements and of people more interested in protecting their own interests than in working out solutions to difficult situations.  This kind of attitude paralyzes governments, polarize relationships and destroys families, and the civil society.  If my part of a conversation or a relationship is focused on what I get out of it or on protecting my rights, it is not a relationship that I can call agape (love). This is not loving our neighbors as ourselves. This is certainly not the intent of the golden rule to treat others as you would have them treat you. The motto today seems to be to browbeat others into treating you like you want to be treated. All this is disguised in the robe of tolerance, and equality. This behavior is neither tolerate nor equal and at its core it is not very civil.

The civil society is under assault in America and it all hinges on whether we believe the golden rule or not. America is one of the most tolerate and civil societies on the planet and yet there are those malcontents who insist on tearing at the very fabric of our civil society, the respect of human life. This respect for all life was codified in our society by both the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. These manuscripts reflect the founders belief in a divine authority and that the ‘rule of law’ should be the guiding principles of our society. And that law was based on the Mosaic Decalogue which includes the ‘Golden Rule.’

That’s the way I see it. What say you?

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