Respect for the Law?25 April, 2009
In the years immediately following the Second World War, the Allies convened war crimes tribunals in both Europe and Asia. Some Japanese soldiers were found guilty of war crimes, specifically of torturing United States servicemen using various methods, including water-boarding. From the Washington Post:
At the trial of his captors, then-Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, one of the 1942 Army Air Forces officers who flew in the Doolittle Raid and was captured by the Japanese, testified: “I was given several types of torture. . . . I was given what they call the water cure.” He was asked what he felt when the Japanese soldiers poured the water. “Well, I felt more or less like I was drowning,” he replied, “just gasping between life and death.”
Some defendants were were sentenced to death, many others to prison. Yet now, the political (and religious) right argues that the torture method called water-boarding lawful. And not only do they have no problem breaking the law, they told others (soldiers and agents) to do the actual deeds. Ah, the sweet smell of respect for international law.
Seven months ago, a group called the Alliance Defense Fund (a ‘legal’ advocacy group founded by those lovers of freedom, Focus on the Family) decided that the time was ripe to challenge the federal law under which
places of worship can distribute voter guides, run nonpartisan voter registration drives and hold forums on issues, among other things. But they cannot endorse a candidate, nor can their political activity be biased for or against a candidate. (from The Times Leader)
and trigger a fight to overturn the regulations. Thirty-three churches took the chance of losing their IRS tax exemption and, on September 28, 2008, “participating pastors urged worshippers to vote according to conservative views on abortion and gay marriage” and “Several endorsed Republican Presidential candidate John McCain.”
Unfortunately for rule of law, “The IRS has nothing to gain from a costly symbolic battle. . . .” Additionally, Republican anti-tax and anti-government zealots have so gutted the IRS enforcement division that “it has limited resources. . . .” Ah, the sweet smell of respect for federal law.
The last case of respect comes from Iowa. As we all know, at the beginning of April, the Iowa Supreme Court decided that human rights really do apply to all humans. Of course, recognizing that humans have a right to human rights has royally cheesed of Focus on the Family. And they are suborning illegal activity on the part of public employees (and are offering to pay their legal bills (of course, Iowa taxpayers will have to foot the other half of all those legal bills)). (From Crooks and Liars)
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a legal advocacy group founded in 1994 by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson and the late Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, sent an e-mail to each of Iowa’s county recorders asking them to tell their staff that they “shall not be required to issue or process a marriage license, or to perform, assist or participate in such procedures, against that individual’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
The e-mail, which was sent out in conjunction with the Iowa Family Policy Center, says Iowa law protects citizens from being forced to “violate his or her conscience.”
The ADF then offers to “provide free legal review and defense” for any county recorder that adopts a “conscious clause” and is challenged “on the basis of its content.”
Attorney General Tom Miller has repeatedly warned county recorders that they do not have the authority to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, and “recorders do not have discretion or power to ignore the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling,” Miller said.
Ah, the sweet smell of respect for state law.
What do the radical religious and political right (and their mouthpieces) have against the law? The fact that they are expected to follow the law, too? Don’t super-duper hyper patriots have to follow the same laws as everyone else? Or am I living a dream?