Saturday, March 13, 2004

The reason I had a hard time supporting Judge Roy Moore in his defiance of law is that once you ignore the rule of law in a case you believe in, it becomes difficult to criticize others for doing the same in cases you don’t believe in. Do the supporters of Judge Moore also support the actions of those who are illegally pursuing or granting same-sex marriage? I assume not. And ultimately this breeds contempt for the law which is worse than losing the particular case that you feel strongly about.

The following scene from the classic film “A Man for All Seasons” helps make the point. In it Sir Thomas More upholds the need for Law.

Wife: Arrest him!
More: For what?
Wife: He's dangerous!
Roper: For all we know he's a spy!
Daughter: Father, that man's bad!
More: There's no law against that!
Roper: There is, God's law!
More: Then let God arrest him!
Wife: While you talk he's gone!
More: And go he should, if he were the Devil himself, until he broke the law!
Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?
This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down (and you're just the man to do it!), do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?
Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

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