In Judaism, there is a tradition known as “building a fence around the law.” As the page linked in that last sentence indicates, it derives from a verse in the Tanakh — the Hebrew scriptures known to Christians as “the Old Testament” — specifically from Leviticus 18:30.
Leviticus, as you may know, is a favored book of the Republican Party because it tells them not to tolerate homosexuals and to avoid eating shrimp or lobster at fundraisers. According to them one of those rules is absolutely applicable to the modern world.
But I’m not really going to get into politics here: this post is about the negative aspects of building fences and how this can as easily choke the law and divorce it from the intent behind it as it can protect it. [Read more…]