Monday, July 11, 2005

Of Thee I Sing

Note, please, a permanent addition to the sidebar of this blog. Tipped off by CatHouse Chat of the Old Dominion Blog Alliance, I have signed a pledge originated back in March by a California blogger who goes by the name "Patterico." The pledge is a simple one. It says simply and in full:

If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.
According to his on-line biosketch, Patterico is a prosecuting attorney in Los Angeles County, California. He adds:
In addition to prosecuting criminals, Patterico maintains a blog called Patterico's Pontifications. Topics include media bias, legal issues, and political discussion from a libertarian/conservative perspective.

I didn't actually count, but it looks like hundreds of bloggers have taken the pledge and reported this to Patterico. Who knows how many hundreds of others have done so, quietly on their own?

St. Thomas Aquinas writes, in the treatise on law within his Summa Theologica, that "a tyrannical law, though not being according to reason, is not a law, absolutely speaking, but rather a perversion of the law" (Question 91, "Of the Various Kinds of Law"). He adds:
Now it happens often that the observance of some point of law conduces to the common weal in the majority of instances, and yet, in some cases, is very hurtful. Since then the lawgiver cannot have in view every single case, he shapes the law, according to what happens most frequently, by directing his attention to the common good. Wherefore if a case arise wherein the observance of that law would be hurtful to the general welfare, it should not be observed (Question 96, "Of the Power of the Human Law").
Civil disobedience. It's the law -- the moral law.

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