Donald J. Trump: Champion of Noahide Law

'During his almost four years in office, Donald Trump has been the greatest supporter of Noahide law in US history.'

Nathan Sav ,

Trump at Kotel
Trump at Kotel
Reuters

This article is dedicated to observant and traditional Jews, to the growing Noahide movement in the US, and to all Americans of faith. My call to all of you is to personally go to the polls on Tuesday and to support President Donald Trump for reelection, and I will explain the reasons for this in the coming paragraphs.

This Tuesday’s election presents two clear choices of how to shape the American moral landscape: one which is based on God’s eternal law (while allowing for individual freedom) and another one based on the globalist dogma imposed by the social media and the mainstream media. When Orthodox Jews are asked why they support President Trump, they often list his support for Israel and his defense of religious freedom (including the call to keep houses of worship open during the pandemic). An often-ignored aspect of his administration has been its promotion of Noahide law and values.

Every Torah-observant Jew has heard of the Seven Noahide Laws. These are seven very broad universal laws (with many ramifications) that God imposed on all the nations when Noah came out of the Ark. They include the prohibition of idolatry, forbidden relations, murder, eating the limb of an animal while alive, theft and blasphemy, and the obligation to establish courts of law to punish violators. This is a very basic covenant that God signed with every nation, as opposed to the more complex 613 commandments that the Jewish people must observe.

During his almost four years in office, Donald Trump has been the greatest supporter of Noahide law in US history and he must be reelected if only for that reason. By saying that the President supports Noahide law, I do not mean to say that he has imposed these laws on the US public, but rather that he has contributed to dismantle the liberal agenda to impose their secularist dogma on the entire population and has defended the rights of Americans who want to live by God’s law.

Abortion: Mass murder prohibited by the Noahide Covenant

Regarding the prohibition of murder, non-Jews are forbidden by Noahide law to carry out an abortion and the doctor performing this procedure must face the death penalty (Rambam's Mishne Torah, Hilkhot Melakhim 9:6). Even in cases where the life of the mother is at stake, the Tosafot commentary on the Talmud hesitates whether an abortion would be allowed and offers two alternative views (Sanhedrin 59A). In 1973, Roe vs. Wade abruptly removed the right to decide whether to ban abortion from the democratic process, and converted into a "constitutional right" thus forcing all states to allow abortions (while they can still regulate late-term abortions). Since this ruling, 62 million abortions have been performed legally in the US, which averaged over 1.3 million per year.

Interestingly enough, the U.S. Constitution is mute on abortion, which by default would give the authority to the states and their criminal system to deal with abortions. However, the need to impose the liberal agenda on the public has prompted the courts to deny the states the right to criminalize abortions.

In the years following this ruling, the only way that a president can influence abortion law is 1) by appointing Supreme Court Justices that are likely to uphold/reverse Roe v. Wade or 2) through certain government policy (though this option tends to be less effective).

In addition to appointing two Supreme Court Justices with strong abortionist stances, the Obama-Biden administration struck down a federal rule issued by Reagan and reinstated by the Bush administration known as the "Mexico City Policy" that prohibited the funding of international family-planning clinics that promote abortion. This policy bolstered the federal funding of Planned Parenthood, which saw its budget grow by hundreds of millions of dollars during the Obama administration. Obama also threatened to veto a Republican proposal in the House to ban abortions at 20 week and prohibited states from withholding federal funding to organizations on grounds that they may be used to perform abortions.

Joe Biden stated in a recent interview that, if elected President, he will make Roe vs. Wade the “law of the land.” In addition, his ambiguous answers to questions on whether he plans to pack the court indicate that he will push for this option. His last answer to this question was that he “plans to set up a committee that will advise on several issues, including court packing” is a clear indication that he will go for it. After Biden packs the court and sets the precedent, Democrats will have the option to override a conservative majority in the court by simply adding more Justices after winning an election cycle. This will be not only the end of Noahide law in the U.S. but also of democracy.

Trump's abortion policy represents a 180-degree shift from what the Obama-Biden era. He stopped abortion funding to Planned Parenthood and appointed 220 federal judges who favor returning to the states the power to decide on abortion and many other social and criminal matters. Textualist and Originalist Judges appointed by Trump believe that judicial interpretation should be limited to a reasonable reading of text of the constitution, and therefore they don’t see an inherent constitutional “right” to abort a fetus, as there is no indication of such right in the text. This jurisprudence allows for a fair playing field where both Americans of faith and their opponents in each state can compete for votes in order to decide on this. As soon as Roe vs. Wade is overturned, we will see the issue of abortion on the state ballots.

Same-Sex Marriage and Sodomy: Two separate but related issues

The act of homosexual relations is clearly forbidden by Noahide law (see Rambam, Hilkhot Melakhim 9:7). While the Rambam does not elaborate on whether Noahides are allowed to celebrate same-sex weddings, the Gemara in Hulin 92B brings Ula’s interpretation of the verse in Zacharia 11:13 (“I took the thirty silver coins and threw them into the furnace”) as referring to 30 commandments that Noahides accepted upon themselves and did not fulfill except for three (which they did): They don’t write marriage contracts for two men, they don’t hang dead bodies for sale in the market, and they honor the Torah. Even if one could argue that this particular section of the Gemara is not halakhically binding, it is hard to say that the drafting of marriage contracts for two men, which is an act that facilitates and gives legitimacy to homosexual relations, is within the framework of Noahide law.

By appointing three Originalist Justices to the Supreme Court and creating a solid conservative majority, President Trump has paved the way to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, the ruling that imposed same-sex marriage on all 50 states. Since the text of the constitution does not make any mention on the matter, the power will go back to the states on this as well. By packing the court and adding as many liberal Justices as needed, Joe Biden will do the exact opposite.

It is interesting to note that even homosexual relations were forbidden in several states until the Supreme Court decided to struck down state sodomy laws as unconstitutional in Lawrence vs. Texas. The reasoning for this ruling was the same as in Roe vs. Wade: the dubious idea that there is a hidden right to privacy behind the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment. In a prior ruling (Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986) the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of Georgia sodomy laws. In his opinion supporting this ruling, Chief Justice Warren Burger cited the “ancient roots” of prohibitions against homosexual sex, quoting William Blackstone’s description of homosexual sex as an “infamous crime against nature”, worse than rape, and “a crime not fit to be named”. Burger concluded: “To hold that the act of homosexual sodomy is somehow protected as a fundamental right would be to cast aside millennia of moral teaching” (extracted from Wikipedia’s article on Bowers v. Harwick). This statement was made only 34 years ago, but it is unimaginable that any public official would make such statement today.

Theft: Law and Order vs. Chaos and Looting

After the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020, mobs from Black Lives Matter and other radical left-wing groups have stormed American cities with violent protests, including massive looting of local stores. President Trump reacted by sending federal troops to stop the looting and damage of private and federal property. This effort was welcome by several Democratic mayors and governors, but not by the left-wing media.

Theft is one of the seven Noahide laws and non-Jews are punished for this violation even if they steal less than a pruta (an ancient copper coin whose current value is close 20 Israeli agorot today). At the beginning of Parashat Noach, the Torah says that the main factor leading God to bring the flood was the fact that massive theft took place in those days (see Rashi and Targum Onkelos at the beginning of the parasha which translates the word Hamas as Hatufin).

While Joe Biden has condemned the violence during protests, the Democratic convention used this group as a slogan and sold the narrative of structural racism to the American public in a way to justify the looting. Just like Democratic mayors who were not able to stand up to the violent rioters, Joe Biden will not be allowed by his coalition partners to repress the violent protests and chaos is likely to reign in several large cities during his administration.

Dinim (the Obligation to Establish Courts of Law that will enforce Noahide law) and other commandments: Ever min haHay, Blasphemy and Idolatry

With the exception perhaps of ever min haHay, the US legal system does not allow the imposition of these laws, as the federal government is prevented by the first amendment to regulate religious practices. However, one thing we can say for a fact is that, while religious groups are being targeted and coerced by many local and state governments to accept their liberal agenda, the Trump administration has stood firmly on their side by issuing hundreds of amicus briefings and executive orders to advance religious freedoms (including the rights of small religious communities). One famous example is his call to open houses of worship during the pandemic while the globalist democrat governors made every effort to criminalize religious gatherings. Another emblematic example is his administration’s support of Jake Philips, a religious bakery owner who was harassed by the state of Colorado for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.

Concluding Words

Unfortunately, Americans who hold biblical beliefs have been in retreat from the public square in the last few decades, as globalist liberals and their allies in the media continue to impose their secularist dogma on the entire population. If Trump loses, his political death will carry the propagation of Noahide and Biblical ethics to his coffin. In this period of darkness, we trust that God’s eternal light will illuminate the minds of every American approaching the polls this Tuesday. I wish to conclude this article by quoting the Rambam’s final lines in Igeret Teman (a letter of encouragement he sent to the Yemenite Jewish community after forced conversion decrees were imposed on them):

ויחשיך באפו ובעברתו על כל הקמים עלינו. ויאיר מחשכינו כאשר הבטיחנו כי הנה החשך יכסה ארץ וערפל לאומים ועליך יזרח ה' וכבודו עליך יראה.

And He will darken with his wrath and his power all those who rise against us. And He will illuminate our darkness as he promised us “for, behold, darkness has filled the earth and gross darkness the nations, and over you God will shine and his glory will be seen by you” (Isaiah 60:2).



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