10 Commandments in 'Ol Alabam
MICHAEL.MCCONNELL at LAW.UTAH.EDU
Thu Feb 27 08:29:22 PST 1997
I agree with most of what Marie Failinger writes:
> I would suggest that issues of high moral wrong, either of a government
> against individuals (e.g., enslavement, killing, taking away basic civil
> liberties) or against the people as a whole (e.g., dissolving the
> legislature, attempting to tax without legislation, etc.) would count.
> If the court had ruled that the children in this school were going to be
> jailed for saying the Ten Commandments, or even thrown out of school, that
> would be closer to such a case. If the Governor himself agreed to be put
> in jail because he would not stand clear of the Ten Commandments, I might
> even be impressed that he is a civil disobedient worth calling courageous.
> But any swaggerer can defy the law when he has arms and office and the
> power of demogogery on his side, and the only people he can hurt are
> minorities. So why should we be impressed--just because he's stubborn and
> powerful? If he wants to stand up for what he believes in, let him put
> something serious on the line.
The people Governor James is defying are not "minorities", but
people in power--the secular elite, backed by the state and federal
courts and the national press. He is, in that sense, being
"courageous." The "something serious" he is putting on the line is
any respect he might have in the national political arena. Let's not
make things worse than they already are by pretending that he is
beating up on the little guys; he is taking on the big guns, and he
will, I predict, come out of the confrontation a clear loser.
-- Michael McConnell (U of Utah)
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