Whatever ruling the Supreme Court hands down in regard to the Affordable Care Act and its "individual mandate" our lawmakers will have to continue their monumental struggle to find common ground if health care reform is to move forward. How can we help?
On a recent trip to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Florida's Congressional delegation, I found myself in the House Chamber gallery, courtesy of Congressman Ander Crenshaw of Florida's 4th District. We were in his office when a vote came up on the House floor. He graciously moved us to the House gallery and in the few minutes he had before the vote, he pointed out some features of that imposing space.
The one feature that grabbed my attention and has inspired me since, is the historic gallery of the world's great lawmakers presented around the upper perimeter of the chamber. These 23 marble relief portraits depict historical figures noted for their work in establishing the principles that underlie American law. We have Solon, the ancient Greek lawmaker, Hammurabi the Babylonian, Sulieman the Ottoman, and the Romans, Gaius and Justinian I. We have Sir William Blackstone representing Great Britain, and our own Americans, George Mason and Thomas Jefferson.
The feature that really fascinated and inspired me was this. Twenty-two of the 23 sculptures are profiles. Moses is the only full frontal sculpture and he looks directly down at the speaker's podium. His full face watches over all the proceedings, all the voting, and all the State of the Union addresses. He sees it all.
So why does Moses get the privileged seat and all other lawmakers have to settle for a partial view? Well, he was the only one to transform a wandering people into a nation for one thing. And how was he able to do that? By fully and humbly acknowledging the divine source of law. We call it Mosaic law; Moses called it God's law. From that humble perspective of subservience to divine power, he became the most revered lawmaker of all, worthy of watching over the lawmaking of the most powerful nation on earth.
Individual beliefs differ, but Gallup polls continue to show that over 90 percent of Americans believe in God. I find that comforting. And I'm glad that Moses, God's humble servant, continues to watch over American law-making, reminding us that there is always a higher source of law.