"Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, no matter what name it is called." ~ John Stuart Mill
My Day in Court
If only Thomas Jefferson could see me now. If only he could savor the sweet fruits of his prophetical and misunderstood insight into the horrors of majority rule! How right he was that the will of the majority must be reasonable. But not just reasonable--also ethical, moral, above reproach and unwilling to trample on the sacred rights of fellow men. But how gullible are we to think we can entrust mere mortals with the impossible feat of protecting under color of law those divine rights which we ourselves must defend ? Very.
Well, I had my day in court, and I too tasted the bittersweet poison of Jefferson 's political fruit. I singlehandedly experienced the bloated, diseased morals of the State imposed on me by that mythical government mechanism known as the "majority." How can I argue against such a Herculean enemy that would dwarf my individual rights to nothing more than fancies of the State, known as licenses, privileges and civic duties? I was, and remain, a lawbreaker who would dare to ignore the State's ex cathedra decrees that bind the hearts and souls of men with endless, nanny rules in an endless, nanny nightmare. My horrid and infamous crime? I was allegedly clocked over the speed limit on a highway.
Word to the wise--when singing Christian music in your car and driving with the flow of traffic on a clear, beautiful fall morning, remember you must first worship the State and "Slow Down." The charge for which I was arrested and released at the scene? Automatic "Reckless Driving" per freshly passed statutory law. I thought about apologizing to the State Trooper profusely for running over the pedestrians a few miles back and weaving in and out of traffic in such a way that I caused a few small sedans and a tiny woman in a big SUV with a Howard Dean bumper sticker to run off the road. But it was best that I kept my mouth shut. White troopers may not like a young Latino saying anything other than, "yes, sir," "no sir," "yes, master." We live in the land of the free?
Needless to say, I was surprised when the Trooper pulled me over in a covert white sports car, looking like he borrowed it from his teenage daughter. So this is what it feels like to get bumrushed in Tienanmen Square by a plain clothes communist cop! What a lovely feeling! Okay, so I wasn't a Falun Gong worshipper going fast in a tiny Asian manufactured car, but the similarity was rather disturbing nonetheless. I felt proud to be an American as I was forced against my will and better judgment to hand the Trooper my license and insurance information. Boy, was I glad I earlier asked permission from the government to drive any car, let alone use this particular one on the king's highway!
The Trooper handed me my information and told me I was going an outrageous speed. Of course he must have exceeded whatever that speed was in order to catch up to me, but who's keeping count. Perhaps he hit the pedestrians a second time. My better judgment knew that I was going about ten miles slower, but how can you argue with a Trooper with no radar gun and a bad case of that-time-of-the-month-have-to-meet-my-quota? My speedometer refused to testify on my behalf. I obediently accepted my arrest and summons ticket with the enthusiasm of a parent being advised their kid needlessly died in Iraq at the hands of the people he helped liberate.
I managed to pry out a cold "Thank You" to the officer that was about as warm a reception I would ever give someone in his line of un-profession. Weren't there any real crimes being committed in the hundred mile radius? Weren't those my income and sales taxes paying for his uniform and his stealth hot rod? By this time, the Christian praise music was turned off, and my thoughts drifted off to Catholic parochial school were I was taught that to "honor thy father and mother" also meant to always obey police officers. I wanted to drive around looking for the closest nun to give a good rebuke.
Being the model American citizen I was, I made my way to work in order to help improve George W.'s economy, when the gravity of the situation sunk in. That wasn't just a ticket I got. It was a summons. As in court. As in a judge and a government prosecutor, (that diabolical role that still ruins the human race). I started getting nervous, since I was a relatively new law student studying to one day present myself before the government bar to, yes, you guessed it, ask permission to practice in state and federal courts. "Honor thy government." A conviction for a felony would not look too good to the bar review committee. So what do law students do when they get in trouble? Find a lawyer who will help them out. And so I did. And it helped, but little did I know I was morally better off going to my son and admitting to him, "Son, your father is a coward."
Here was my chance to practice the Americana I was preached to all my life: Everyone gets their day in court. Well, I got mine. First, my friend and I met with the state prosecutor. A hard-nosed, arrogant man who was more suitable as a bouncer for some dirty strip club than administering assistance and plea bargains in the halls of justice. My friend pleaded with the prosecutor. He said the kid has a clean record. Nothing. He has a family. Nothing. Goes to law school. Nothing. Works full time. Here, the prosecutor said that it was my problem, not his. One last attempt was tried. Suddenly the clouds of sunshine broke upon the wicked hypocrisy of this so-called public servant and he agreed to throw out the felony charge and reduce it to a hefty speeding ticket. Oh joy! Gone were the heavy chains and stigma of the Scarlet Letter - S - for Speeder, and come were the delights of a plea bargain basically bought with a government bribe. "And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free!" Or so the song goes.
Justice had finally been served! A dangerous, roving criminal like myself was pulled off the very highway I took to work every morning to gain the wages that clowns like this government prosecutor so easily stole from my paychecks and fine. My state legislature, robed in the impeccable garb of light and goodness, looked out on the helpless mass of my neighbors and decided that if some should choose to drive against the resistance of wind and friction at a speed that was not to their liking, they would be found guilty of a felonious and scandalous crime. I think the amendment to put these criminals in stocks at the town center was narrowly defeated in session.
These charlatans in political office spoke on behalf of the majority who elected them to office. The majority chose to hand the reins of personal responsibility and freedom to their government masters instead of choosing self-discipline and good parenting decisions for their own families. Meantime, the minority who either did not vote or were defeated by the serfs' incumbent, had to quietly and obediently take one for the team. The majority makes state politicians into the new prelates and priests of our day, selling the junk trinkets of false religion and superstition and gladly taking the shillings of an over-taxed peasantry in order to hear souls spring every time the coin box rings! It is no wonder to me that we are just a breath away from the New Dark Ages, a time when computer databases and technology will replace medieval castles and knights. The people are hungry and desperate for feudal lords who would pen their gates in and protect them from freedom, rather than leaving them free.
'Let us remember, that 'if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.' It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers in the event.' Samuel Adams, speech in Boston , 1771
But then the moment of truth came. I was called in session before the judge (his honor?) to provide an answer. There I was ready to stand up for myself--to be a man endowed with unalienable rights for which I could drive a car without interference unless it was proven I caused harm to another. I even dressed up in a suit. So what did this ardent patriot do when given a chance to address the court of justice and the mechanisms of the State? I said, "Good morning, your honor," and "Yes, I plead guilty." There it was. All my convictions, beliefs, morals and the hopes of example for my children dashed into a thousand pieces of miserable hypocrisy and shame. I pled guilty and accepted the crooked plea bargain of a crooked system that sought to reduce me to nothing less than a peon and serf forever condemned to a plebian existence.
What of the jury trials, and being innocent until proven guilty? What of my peers judging the law itself and finding such charges to be unjust, let alone illegal under the very documents, language and constitutions that brought our raging colonies from under the fat fingers of tyrannical England ? Hey, I couldn't risk a real trial and the possibility of getting convicted. I was already condemned a lawbreaker and should have considered myself fortunate to not have an arrest record. I have my career to think about. Who has time for principles and truth? Who can afford to honestly reflect upon the choking tentacles of the State on every aspect of our lives? To have to ask permission to work for our bread and share it with our own children inside the houses we are allowed to live in.
A youth pastor once told a college friend of mine that if he wanted to be serious about his faith, he must obey the speed limits meticulously. I didn't have a Scriptural reason at that time as to why I did not agree with the man, but something did not sit right with me on this one. I now know that self-government as ordained by God has only one limited, legitimate function, and passing speed limits is not it.
Perhaps it could be said that if I make an agreement with a private highway owner to obey a private speed limit, then I have given my word and have made a contractual promise. I am then liable for keeping it in the eyes of my peers as well as the eyes of my God, to the detriment of either my public reputation and the judgment of my Lord. But if I may travel on a private road with no restrictions, what right does a homeowner on that road have to pull me over and harass me if I go too fast for his liking or if he feels inferior when I pass him in the fast lane? If he does not like my safe driving, then he should take it up with the road owner. Likewise, the Scripture says that the earth is the Lord's and everything in it. That includes the federal highways not owned by one particular man but supposedly kept in common for the People. Therefore, the State has no moral justification to harass travelers who are not proven to have actually caused harm to others when traveling on the True King's highway.
Lest there be moral busybodies out there who would arm themselves with God's Word to help cement their ceaseless worship of Big Brother and government, I will offer the scathing judgment of Scripture upon those politicians who would abuse the Creator when they abuse His created mankind. For God used the mightiest empire on earth under Nebuchadnezzar to destroy and humiliate the very people called by His Name: Israel . He used a tyrannical empire to destroy a special, theocratic State that was specifically delivered and saved from the oppression of Pharaoh to be a light to all the Gentile nations. Having miserably failed to keep the laws of Moses or look for the Messiah Jesus He had promised, God brought upon them swift and terrible judgment.
But lest any man think that God would support or endorse a tyrant of any political stripe or historical epoch, we are told that Babylon itself was condemned for her wicked treatment of their fellow man even though they were used for God's purposes. Let this be a warning for anyone who hides behind the American flag and the mantra of equality and democracy while they bow to their political idols and altars. We can only make so many excuses to ourselves and our children for the police state we have created under the color of authority we call the "majority."
"Behold I am going to stir up the Medes against them, who will not value silver or take pleasure in gold, and their bows will mow down the young men, they will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb, now ill their eye pity children. And Babylon , the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldean pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah ." ~ Isaiah 13:17-19