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Commentary


President's D.C. Pastor Keeping Bad Company


Reverend Wogaman,

I just read your commentary picked up by the United Methodist News Service about respect for the law. In this commentary, you attempted to use the argument that not all laws should be followed. You said, "A law will not be much respected if it is not in harmony with the moral convictions of fair-minded people."

Farther along in the article, you mentioned polls and said, "It is proper to ask whether we are to be governed by public opinion polls rather than by law. That is a fair question. But such polls must surely be taken into account if our concern is over respect for law! A decision reached in defiance of the views of a large majority of the American people would diminish that respect, not enhance it."

It seems to me that you are trying to have your cake and eat it too. Only laws that are "...in harmony with the moral convictions of fair-minded people" should be followed, and "...polls must surely be taken into account if our concern is over respect for the law!"

You spoke of Selma and how the enforcement of unjust laws was obviously wrong. Well, I was born and raised in Alabama during the civil rights struggle, and I can assure you that, were a poll taken during that era -- of only church-going people -- a majority of people (maybe 70%!) would have been against integration. Further, who is to define which group of fair-minded persons' moral convictions should decide which laws to follow? Remember, we live in an era where no one person's beliefs are considered to be wrong. That is the America in the 1990's.

It's hard, isn't it Reverend Wogaman, to twist arguments in such a way in order that you can defend a serial perjury, serial adulterer, obstructer of justice, and all the rest. You may be on the popular side of this argument -- today -- but I predict that history will judge you harshly.

Speaking of history, I watched Dick Morris on "Hannity and Colme" last night, and he made the comment that Richard Nixon probably shouldn't have been impeached. I also read an article in the Wall Street Journal that said, had he refused to resign as Bill Clinton has, Richard Nixon would probably have been acquited in the Senate. Well, comparing Nixon's and Clinton's articles of impeachment and of what they have been accused, I believe that -- if William Jefferson Clinton gets off -- Nixon probably should have, too. Nixon did a lot of things, but there has never been any proof that he unleashed the kinds of dogs like private detectives, James Carville and Larry Flynt on his enemies. The man is a sociopath, albeit a very likeable sociopath, hence his 70% approval rating.

You've been taken in, Reverend Wogaman. Look around you at the company you're keeping. People like James Carville and Larry Flynt. Don't you feel like you need a bath?

In Christ,

<><

Don Spruill, Layperson
St. James UMC, Atlanta, GA
North Georgia Conference

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