There’s a phrase that’s often invoked as if it should be some sort of magical “last word” in a dispute: ‘It’s the law.’
If something can be said to be ‘the law,’ it’s spoken of as if it’s automatically right and exempt from any disagreement. The problem with this is that there is such a thing as an unjust law — a law that is not worthy of being respected. People who appeal solely to “the law” to make their case tend to disregard this fact.
It’s easy for someone to expect everyone else to respect a current law when he happens to agree with that law. But when someone has that expectation, it raises the question: would he have been respectful of the law himself before it changed — when he wouldn’t have agreed with it? I don’t think it’s hard to guess the answer to that.
It all comes down to this: if one can only support a position by appealing to a law that they personally agree with, then one really has nothing higher to appeal to than their own preferences.
It’s not enough to say that something is “the law.” The key question is whether or not something should be the law.
For a law to be considered just, it must be grounded in objective reality. If a law runs counter to objective reality, it must be treated as being unjust — regardless of how many people agree with it or how influential those people are.
For example, abortion on demand for any reason is currently “the law.” But what is it ultimately based on? Ask this question to people who agree that it should be “the law” and you will get any number of different answers. There will be vague euphemisms, shallow buzzwords, emotional arguments, logical fallacies and misrepresentations. There will even be statements that subtly contradict each other — sometimes from the same person.
What you won’t get is anything that lines up with hard knowledge about the early development of human life. You won’t get any rational argument as to why a human life would be inherently less valuable at an early stage than at a later one. You won’t get any logical explanation as to why one person should have the right to decide that another person will not be born.
That’s because one can’t arrive at a “pro-choice” position by looking objectively at reality. One can only start at that position and then attempt to make it appear logical.
Abortion on demand is not “the law” because it deserves to be; it’s “the law” in spite of not deserving to be. Basically, it continues to be “the law” because it’s highly profitable to a powerful industry, and because it’s been sold to a generation that’s been taught not to value human life or sexual responsibility.
Another thing that’s currently “the law” without deserving to be is “gay marriage.” There are many attempts to justify its being “the law” but, as with abortion, there are none that are rational or based on facts. It’s basically assumed, without proof or evidence, that same-sex “marriage” is equal in value and meaning to traditional marriage; and this assumption is treated as if it’s the only proof that’s needed. Knowledge to the contrary — about the actual value and meaning of marriage, about the uniqueness and indispensability of both sexes, about what truly constitutes equality, about the inherently unhealthy nature of same-sex attraction — is sometimes disputed, but mostly is treated as if it simply doesn’t exist.
“Gay marriage” is supposed to be about equal rights, but it isn’t. Equal rights only exist where people have equal responsibilities and are held to equal standards. “Gay marriage” is, ultimately, an attempt to have equal rewards in the absence of equal responsibilities and standards. It is as much opposed to genuine equality as anything can be.
Of course, there are other unjust laws in our country. Inevitably, they exist because the law has been hijacked into protecting something from opposition — something which cannot stand on its own merits, and which cannot be defended rationally.
When and where there are unjust laws, there is injustice done. There are rewards for doing what is wrong, and there is punishment where no wrong has been done. There is the promotion of that which is harmful, and there is the discouraging, even forbidding, of that which is beneficial.
When a law is unjust, we have the right to oppose it. In fact, we have the duty and the responsibility to do so.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.