On Laws, Men and Conscience

I never knew it would come to that.

“…I never knew it would come to that.”

 

I’m not a lawyer, nor have I played one on television (although I’m a some-time actor and have yet to play one of those on television either). But the lawlessness of our government, most egregiously perpetrated by the president and his administration in countless incidents (quite a few clearly impeachable and probably criminal offenses) over the past nearly seven years is obvious to anyone who has even a passing knowledge of law and how our system is supposed to function.

Solyndra, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS, Amnesty,  Obamacare, Homosexual Marriage, SCOTUS rulings (on the latter three in particular), the social justice activism by the Dept. of Justice in Ferguson and Baltimore, ruling via executive fiat with a pen and a phone, and now the Senate’s abrogation of its Constitutionally mandated treaty authority under Article 2 with the sham Iran “agreement.”  Whether for political expediency by the Democrats to destroy the country and remake it into some sort of socialist utopia or the complicity by the Republicans in high office to profit off the transformation, they have all but shredded the delicate fabric that holds the civil society together. And the thread that binds it all together is a just and stable law

Considering all of the above, Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis’ arrest and imprisonment for her refusal to grant marriage licenses to homosexual couples is an absolute travesty (the details were discussed at length on these pages earlier in the week). But we shouldn’t be surprised. As I understand it, she even offered a reasonable solution by  having her name simply removed from the licenses in question. It was rejected out of hand by the judge. In essence, she is to be made an example; she refused to knuckle under for whatever her reasons (religious and/or legal) and she will be crushed.

Aside from the usual media hacks and leftist legal “experts” who are cheering Davis’ incarceration and vicious public pillorying of her personal life, there sadly are a considerable number of alleged conservative legal analysts and even some in the GOP presidential field who, although professing sympathy to her plight, nevertheless talk about having absolute fealty to the rule of law. Unfortunately, they are either completely ignorant of the nature of the 1st Amendment, the 9th and 10th Amendments, the total abuse of the 14th, and the nearly seven years of in your face lawlessness coming from Washington, or worse; they’re active participants in it.

As I knew would happen when Obergfell came down, there would be a direct conflict between the individual’s right to freedom of religion and the now magically discovered “right” for two people of any and all genders to marry each other. Recall with Obamacare and the Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor cases, some Solomonic geniuses even pronounced that the first amendment only allows the teaching of Christian doctrine, NOT their actual practice. Kim Davis’ life, I fear, is ruined. Certainly her career as a public official is over. As are the lives of Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin for refusing to photograph a homosexual wedding in New Mexico, Aaron Klein for refusing to bake a cake for another same sex wedding in Oregon and Crystal O’Connor whose unforgivable sin was merely answering “no” to the hypothetical question of would her family-owned pizzeria cater a gay wedding (note: I don’t know anyone who’d have their wedding catered by a pizzeria). It was heartwarming to see the overwhelmingly successful Go Fund Me campaign in support of the latter. But this is not a longterm, practical response. Now that gay marriage “is the law of the land” we’re going to see many more lose their businesses defending themselves in court or get thrown into prison.

All three branches of our government, including the unofficial fourth branch as represented by the bureaucracy, are now arrayed against the people in order to cement the 100 year counter-American revolution. When the law is perverted in its enactment and in its subsequent enforcement, when thousands of pages of rules and regulations that have the force of law are enacted by unelected bureaucrats at the behest of the Executive branch that confiscate/redistribute wealth, punish success and force us into mass social engineering schemes, our individual liberty and sovereignty diminish more and more. Worse, our lives are no longer our own. Yet, despite a paper-thin veneer of legality, they are to be obeyed at all costs.

As I noted in my previous post, both Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson were also once the law of the land. It cost us over 700,000 killed to overturn the former and nearly 100 years of fighting an entrenched, unreconstructed (no pun) Democrat party/KKK to overturn the latter. One wonders how Lindsey Graham would’ve reacted to each of those decisions had he been around in their times. His utter obtuseness and complete lack of understanding of the past and what’s going on around him today is staggering. I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t bitch so much. After all, Arby’s fired an employee who refused to serve a police officer, so even-steven, all friends now, eh? Oh, wait. They DIDN’T fire him.

I am reminded of Burt Lancaster’s performance as a former Nazi judge on trial for war crimes in “Judgement at Nuremberg.”  He ultimately takes responsibility and condemns himself for not standing up against lawless laws when standing up was necessary and, considering his position, could have counted for something.  He not only didn’t, but he went along by sentencing innocent people to death or concentration camps simply by following what was also “the law of the land,” which in Nazi Germany were the infamous Nuremberg Laws.

If Kim Davis’ arrest and imprisonment as a prisoner of conscience isn’t an alarm bell, it damn well should be. We are in uncharted territory and it’s frightening. The time for organized, non-violent resistance has come. Exactly how that manifests itself, IF it manifests itself, is anyone’s guess.

 

 

22 comments to “On Laws, Men and Conscience”
  1. Your conscience is contrary to the public good, comrade. All is within the State, from the State, and nothing without. Therefore, comrade, your conscience is nothing. Please report to reeducation now, comrade.

  2. I’m torn by this.
    On the one hand individual conscience is important. And I can find no reason this woman should be in jail (as opposed to simply relieved of her position or some such.)
    I almost tore into one of friends who “has never been so angry at what this woman is doing” (Really? Nuclear Iran, barrel bombs in Syria, migrant crisis and THIS pisses you off?)
    OTOH, one does not have a right to a government job if one cannot fulfill the duties required.
    I’d probably settle for equity, locking up the DC clerks who refuse to follow the law as well.

    Yes, the court case is based on whimsy and cliché.
    Yes it’s bad law.
    But the seeds of our destruction were sown in Marbury v. Madison then. The system of judicial review is what we went with.
    It was only a matter of time before the law was abandoned for feelings.
    We also have a process for overriding the court, it’s long and arduous, but it exists.

  3. Have to disagree. Although I agree that Obama’s pen and phone does not give me justification to go kill someone or rob a bank, Obergfell is in direct violation of the 1st and 10th Amendments as well as standing Kentucky law regarding who can marry whom and it is well within Kim Davis’ purview to disregard the decision, which from my understanding is not a law in and of itself anyway.

    It’s why I also bring up the Nuremberg Laws. We cannot just blindly follow just because “it’s the law” under these circumstances. The pact between the citizenry and our leaders has been violated. Someone has to stand up; All of us have to stand up. Before it’s too late.

  4. The last two sentences of your comment sum up the problem, IMO. It is not so much that people violate the law, which has happened for as long as there have been laws; rather, it is that those sworn to uphold and defend our laws violate them with impunity, and there is never any push-back.

    To me, one of the worst features of the “conservative” mindset is that it points out gross malfeasance, points it out again and again, at yet never exhorts anyone to take any action to remedy what is becoming an ever more intolerable situation. I don’t need to name names: my disdain for all too many “conservative” pundits is not well-hidden.

    It does us no good to give endless examples of, say, Hillary Clinton’s egregious avoidances of the law. Hell, we already know who and what she is. Perhaps it makes some feel good — and self-righteous — to say “woooooo, she’s such a crook!” but nothing is accomplished.

    I feel certain there are people who must have workable, constitutional, solutions to offer, and the skill to help put them in motion. I can only conclude that they see a threat to their income or an unaccustomed expenditure of energy in their futures if they try. It’s far easier to whinge.

    But I see only two choices unless we put a stop to the current situation, and soon: either we surrender to the demands of the leftist mob, or blood gets spilled. I hope I’m wrong, but don’t think I am. I would dearly love to see the Giants of Conservative Thought — for once — as advocates for positive, active change.

  5. Even if we accept Obergfell as “law of the land” this could have been resolved without sending her to jail. The left has turned into one of their own bete noires, Judge Hoffman from the Chicago 7 trial, and they don’t even realize it.

  6. You’re point is well taken.
    But our system of government does not give to each individual the ability to interpret the constitution, but to the courts.
    Now I don’t think the framers ever expected such a politicized court (thanks FDR!). But for that matter they didn’t anticipate such an expansive federal government either. (Thanks again FDR!)
    This all leaves us with the question: where do we go from here the constitutional system so irrevocably deviated from?
    We can try to change it within the context of the system
    We can go full leftard and ignore it
    or
    We can blow it all up (them damned dirty apes.)

    I find the last two…less than palatable, frankly. I can’t be certain the first will work, but I’m willing to try it (since it doesn’t we’ll be moving on to 2 and/or 3 anyway.)

  7. Tsrblke, “change within the context of the system” isn’t going to be too damn palatable, either. The only way I can see to do it is to throw all current nationally-elected welfare queens out of office. That’s ALL, as in 535 Senators and Representatives, as well as the Preezy and VeePee. And, while we’re at it, do all we can do seriously discourage any of the presidential wannabes coming from Congress from continuing their runs.

    Beyond that, an outfit like Mark Levin’s legal foundation needs to step up and start filing suits against the government by the gross for every constitutional violation, every broken promise, every backroom deal. All the while they should also be pushing for hundreds of arrest warrants against the malefactors in D.C.

    Will all that happen? Naaaah. Should it? Obviously, I think it should. I believe the only way to stop lawlessness is make it so damn unattractive that people are no longer attracted by the potential perks for themselves.

    Again, the major resistance won’t come from the evildoers, but from those who would have to leave their comfy chairs and take a stand against tyranny.

  8. In the current climate, I’m afraid the only “solution” is to make it a painful, unpleasant and career/income-ending process for ANY people, in D.C. and at the state and local level, to do the wrong thing.

    We know politicians can be bought off. That’s no longer amusing. Plus, the price of bribing them to do the right thing would be an economy-killer.

    I don’t recall people being offered inducements to follow the Ten Commandments. Unless you consider being allowed to live an “inducement.”

  9. My understanding of this new interpretation of the 14th amendment resulted in forcing states that don’t recognize gay marriage to recognize the licenses of the other states that issue them. I suppose one could argue that it while Kentucky must recognize a Massachusett’s license, that Kentucky doesn’t have to issue a license of it’s own.

    And I have always argued that a private business should have the right to chose who it will do business with and who it won’t. For any reason. You hate blacks, Hispanics, Asians or whitey, midgets, tall people, fat people, ugly people, jocks, nerds, whatever. I don’t think it is the smartest business decision to discriminate as you are shrinking your possible pool of income, but it’s your business not mine.

    The government on the other hand is supposed to represent the community. ALL of it. You can’t do the job required, find another job.

    I would also support the arrest of Obama for his failure to comply with a federal judges injunction against handing out green cards.

    Hillary has clearly violated national secrecy requirements. She needs to be arrested as well.

    Now if the locals can find some nice work-around in which Davis keeps her job and she doesn’t have to issue licenses, I’m amenable to that, but if they don’t want to, they shouldn’t have to.

    Reminds me of the muslim girl that sued Benneton or the GAP because they had a dress code that didn’t include wearing a veil. I understand your “religion” says that you have to wear that outside, but they have a dress code that says nothing covering the face. You want them to give you money, do what they ask.

  10. Ultimately I’m not all that conflicted, although I do sympathize with people who find her incarceration out of bounds.

    She’s conducting a civil disobedience protest and I support her right to do that, but she is a Public Servant. She cannot choose which members of the public (who pay her salary) she’ll serve.

  11. Perhaps that is true…that Kentucky can simply decline to issue licenses. But to what end? So heterosexual couples are also denied the right to marry?

  12. Standing is all. The courts frown on allowing suits filed by people who are not directly damaged.

    And unfortunately the damage done to one’s country is not enough!

  13. CBD,

    As JJ said, there is nothing on the books in Kentucky concerning Gay marriage. So they should just issue heterosexual marriage licenses.

    Unless of course this new ruling on the 14th amendment is that whatever you do for one, you must do for all. In which case, polygamy is now legal.

  14. I was referring to CBD.

    But since you brought up Polygamy, it’s coming up sooner than you’d expect!

    Eugene Volokh is writing amicus briefs, that libertarian bastard!

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