Friday, June 20, 2008

Moral Cowardice and Civil Disobedience

The essentials of Civil Disobedience are threefold; acting from a moral belief, one violates the law, and one accepts the consequences of that violation. Gandhi's presentation of the concept of satyagraha was that moral force itself makes your case. You stand before the judge, you express your moral stand and you force him to either accede to your moral point or to punish you. If punished, you accept it, and you presume that the media and popular opinion will (perhaps not now, but in time) move to correct the injustice. Martin Luther King Jr took the same path... as Henry Thoreau had before Gandhi. This is not new, it's not rocket science. It's not hard in theory, it's only hard to do in practice, because you put your body and liberty on the line.

There are three (I've heard five... but not seen it in print) counties in California where the county clerk has decided to refuse to have the clerk's office perform same sex marriages. Now, that's against the law, and while I disagree with the act, the decision to take that stand is--presumably--a moral stand. Or should be. However, in each case, it turns out that the clerk is a moral coward.

Not one of them is actually making that stand. Instead, they've refused to have any marriages performed by the clerk's office (in those counties). They're still issuing licenses for same sex couples, as required by law. But if their action was a moral statement, then one would expect that they'd simply refuse to issue same sex couples licenses at all. No, all they're doing is refusing to perform any marriages--and thereby they avoid the legal consequences, because they're not in violation of the law. They don't have to perform marriages. They do have to issue licenses, and they do have to not discriminate in the services offered to the public.

(I'd like to reiterate; I disagree with their stance. I'm simply doing the moral calculus here. Personally, I'm delighted that same sex couples in those counties are getting marriage licenses.)

Bottom line? The clerks aren't committing real civil disobedience. They're not acting based on their moral beliefs. They're simply engaged in a gratuitous act that's most analogous to a tantrum. They're not acting in a moral and consistent way, and they're not willing to face the consequences of acting on the basis of their beliefs.

Thin, thin stuff there. Not enough moral force there to light a single candle.

39 comments:

Robin Edgar said...
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ogre said...

Sorry, Robin. You're welcome to post--but I'm not providing a platform for your all consuming complaints about almost everyone and everything UU. On topic, which doesn't mean a gratuitous twisting to be "on topic" sort of. It's my blog, and I'm just tired of it. Which, I know, makes me part of the vast conspiracy. So be it.

Robin Edgar said...
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ogre said...

I see, Robin. Not willing to suffer the consequences of your "civil disobedience, I take it.

Having a marvelous day. Thanks. You too.

Robin Edgar said...
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Robin Edgar said...
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ogre said...

Robin, you make a practice of making every topic of discussion about you, your tale of woe, and your beef with one church and a few UUs. Every opportunity you get, with few exceptions, you sneer, defame, mock, and insult.

Have at it--just don't do it on my blog. It's not a "public" place and I've gotten tired of it and don't care to have it here.

Particularly not after your display of egregiously bad internet manners. I don't give a damn, as it turns out, who knows who "ogre" is. It wasn't adopted as a cloak for anonymity. But your choosing to address me by name makes the point that you've performed that intrusion of going to find out who I am, so that you can out me. Turns out I don't care. But your use of the name makes the point that you don't care to play within common etiquette.

Tolerance is a reciprocal thing, and you've violated mine. So from here on, comments off topic--and particularly those that are rude and derogatory to UUs in general will simply be deleted. Consider it the consequences of your misbehavior.

No doubt this makes me part of the vast conspiracy. Ah well.

Robin Edgar said...

:Robin, you make a practice of making every topic of discussion about you, your tale of woe, and your beef with one church and a few UUs.

Wrong Patrick. I only post comments on blog posts whose subject matter is pertinent to the U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy that I am exposing and denouncing. And it's not just about "one one church and a few UUs". Try at least several U*U "churches" and a whole lot of U*Us who make a total mockery of U*U Principles and ideals.

:Every opportunity you get, with few exceptions, you sneer, defame, mock, and insult.

Defame? I think not. I am very careful to be very truthful and accurate in my criticism of U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. As far as sneering, mocking and insults go, as long as U*Us allow intolerant and abusive U*U clergy (to say nothing of lay U*Us) to sneer at, defame, mock, and insult other people I will be returning the favor. When U*Us clean up their act I will become rather more civil but, as long as the UUA and individual U*U "churches" all but officially endorse the insulting and defamatory language of U*U ministers, and allow all kinds of other insulting and abusive behavior to take place in the UNSAFE SECT known as the U*U World, I will be returning sneer for sneer and insult for insult. U*Us have repeatedly broken their empty "covenants" so I do not feel bound to them.

:Have at it--just don't do it on my blog. It's not a "public" place and I've gotten tired of it and don't care to have it here.

ROTFLMU*UO! *EVERY* blog, unless it is password protected or something, is a "public place" Patrick and if you haven't figured that out yet you are a complete idiot. I seem to recall some UUA administrators decrying how U*U youth did not understand just how public their blogs were, but obviously U*U adults are just as oblivious to that fact as U*U youth.

:Particularly not after your display of egregiously bad internet manners.

ROTFLMU*UO! My "egregiously bad internet manners" are a direct response to the egregiously bad internet manners of U*U bloggers such as Peacebang aka Rev. Victoria Weinstein for example. . . I can't help but notice that you direct people to her blog where, once upon a time they could read about her sodomy fantasy involving a US senator anally impaled on the Statue of Liberty's torch, to say nothing of other sneering, defamation, mockery, and insulting of other people. N'est-ce pas Patrick?

:I don't give a damn, as it turns out, who knows who "ogre" is.

How about gooddogmasit then Patrick? Do you care if anyone knows your Beliefnet handle? I seem to recall gooddogmasit doing a fair bit of sneering, defaming, mocking, and insulting on Beliefnet. . .

:It wasn't adopted as a cloak for anonymity.

No of course not. . . Neither was gooddogmasit was it?

:But your choosing to address me by name makes the point that you've performed that intrusion of going to find out who I am, so that you can out me.

Brilliant deduction Patrick aka gooddogmasit. . .

:Turns out I don't care. But your use of the name makes the point that you don't care to play within common etiquette.

Correct. I do not care to play within common etiquette when U*U bloggers choose not to play within common etiquette themselves. . . Why should I be bound to "common etiquette" when you and other bloggers, to say nothing of U*U clergy and U*Us more generally. . . repeatedly make a total mockery of "common etiquette" with their online, off-line, private and public, sneers, defamations, mockery, and insults?

:Tolerance is a reciprocal thing, and you've violated mine.

Because you and other U*Us have previously violated my tolerance "Ogre" aka gooddogmasit. . .

:So from here on, comments off topic--and particularly those that are rude and derogatory to UUs in general will simply be deleted.

And reproduced on The Emerson Avenger blog. . .

:Consider it the consequences of your misbehavior.

Consider my "rude and derogatory" but highly truthful and justified comments to you and other UUs to be the consequences of *your* misbehavior "Ogre". . .

:No doubt this makes me part of the vast conspiracy. Ah well.

I don't believe that I have ever used the term "conspiracy" with reference to U*Us Patrick aka Ogre aka gooddogmasit. From what I can see, a good number of U*Us do a pretty good job of being obnoxious asses all by themselves on an ongoing individual basis. . . No "conspiracy" required.

ogre said...

I left that one, Robin. It made my points for me, nicely.

You're not nearly the internet sleuth you think you are. I've never had a Beliefnet handle. But I suppose if goodogmasit is as you portray, then I've just been defamed by you....

You miss the point of a blog, Robin. It's public, yes. But it's not a "public place" in that no one has any rights there other than those the owner extends. It's like holding an open house at one's home--it's open to the public, but not a public place, and one's "right" to be there is not a right, but a privilege that can be withdrawn at any time.

The absurdity of acting hostilely and rudely to UUs in general, as you are, in the fantasy that this will somehow persuade people to note your cause and do something about it is sorely misplaced. You're turning off the very people who might pay attention and do something, before they do.

But thanks for making the terms of our relationship clear.

Robin Edgar said...

Sorry Ogre but I am generally only rude to those U*Us who have been rude to me or other people first. There are actually a fair number of U*Us, including U*U bloggers, who I have never been rude to. Even if you are not gooddogmasit, something I have reason to doubt, you have been rude to me in the past in your guise as "Ogre".

ogre said...

Robin, I'm sorry if you've found me rude. But (for what it's worth), I found you so, well before I commented anywhere to you directly. You might think about how your style appears and feels to the run of the mill UU whom you want to move to interest and sympathy towards your issues.

As for gooddogmasit, pardon me while I snicker. It's hard not to appreciate the doctrinaire announcement that it was Col. Mustard in the Parlor with the gardening fork when you know it wasn't. Have a marvelous time proving I'm someone I've never even heard of.

Please.

Robin Edgar said...
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Robin Edgar said...

There were a few too many typos in the comment I posted above so I have corrected them and reposted it -

Sorry Patrick but my "internet sleuthing" gave me very good reason to believe that gooddogmasit was also the author of the 'Sparks in the Dark' blog. There are also some good reasons to believe that gooddogmasit and Patrick McLaughlin are one and the same person, regardless of anything said on Sparks In The Dark. Just because you deny being gooddogmasit is not enough to convince me that you are not him. Unfortunately far too many U*Us have lied through their teeth throughout this conflict. If you in fact are not gooddogmasit please accept my apologies and consider yourself to be "collateral damage" in this war of words that could have ended years ago if you and other U*Us had taken responsible steps to ensure that my legitimate grievances were responded to with some genuine justice, equity band compassion by the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal. If you and other U*Us allow this war of words to continue on unabated, and probably even further escalated. . . don't be surprised if there is some "collateral damage" every now and then.

I am usually quite careful about accurately targeting my verbal "weapons" but there may be the odd occasion where one of my verbal cruise missiles hits the wrong target or the verbal "shock-wave" hits more people than intended. That is the nature of war Patrick, even a "war of words". . . You and other U*Us either do virtually nothing to help bring this war to an end, or you even actively participate in it. I well remember confronting Rev. Brian Kopke of the Unitarian Church of Montreal about the fact that he and two other U*U ministers had completely ignored the complaint against Rev. Drennan that I had filed with them when they conducted his first "peer review". His rather sheepish U*U covering response was, "Nobody did anything." That in fact is highly accurate. It is precisely because a whole lot of "good Unitarians" have done virtually nothing to confront the evils that I am exposing and denouncing that this "war of words" continues to this day, when it could have ended over a decade ago. . . Feel free to continue doing nothing Patrick and see how far it gets U*Us.

AFAIAC You are still suspect #1 for being gooddogmasit until a better candidate comes along. Considering just how offensive and rude gooddogmasit was, I can well understand how a U*U ministerial candidate would falsely deny being gooddogmasit.

ogre said...

Ah, Robin, it's marvelous how you and Dick Cheney have truth and right on your side--and how that justifies all the collateral damage of your wars.

Robin Edgar said...

It's not *my* war Ogre. U*Us started this "war of words" and have abjectly failed and obstinately refused to do what is necessary to end it. Actually I do have truth and right on my side in this "war of words" and U*Us have a whole lot of well-documented untruths, lies, and wrongful actions on their side. I might add that, besides starting this "war of words", U*Us have repeatedly rejected every offer of justice-making and peace-making, and have significantly escalated the war by repeatedly subjecting me to unjust punitive measures intended to silence my legitimate criticism of obvious U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. U*Us are guilty of dragging out this war for years when, if they had lived up to U*U principles and ideal it could have ended over a decade ago. In fact it would not have ever started if U*Us had not flagrantly violated U*U principles in the first place. This is not just *my* war. It is Rev. Ray Drennan's war. It is the Unitarian Church of Montreal's war. It is the UUA and Ministerial Fellowship Committee's war. And it is any number of other individual U*Us' war. In any case, as should be clear from what I wrote here, I am not yet convinced that you are "collateral damage".

Robin Edgar said...

Oh and it just occurred to me that one of the main reasons that this "war of words" has gone on for so long is the *moral cowardice*, to say nothing of the moral and ethical mediocrity. . . of a good number of U*Us, including the aforementioned people but also including current UUA President Bill Sinkford who lacked, and still lacks. . . the moral courage to do what is necessary to bring this "war of words" to a genuinely just, equitable and compassionate conclusion.

Chalicechick said...

(((accepts the consequences )))

I am delighted that you brought that up. NOBODY seems to understand this about civil disobediance. Seemingly everyone who talks about civil disobediance seems to think it's all about doing what you please and claiming the consequences are unjust. If you're pleading "not guilty" it's not civil disobediance as one cannot by definition not have committed an act AND hae committed it for the purpose of spotlighting the injustice of the legal system.

Robin does LOVE to decide he's figured out who anonymous commenters are. It's pretty funny when you know he's wrong, though difficult to prove the point to other people. I don't bother.

Indeed, when I posted my very first comment on beliefnet, one of his ardent supporters told me that I was obviously another person.

The internet is so weird.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

:I am delighted that you brought that up. NOBODY seems to understand this about civil disobediance.

Maybe because you are wrong about "this" CC. . .

:Seemingly everyone who talks about civil disobediance seems to think it's all about doing what you please and claiming the consequences are unjust.

Wrong CC. Civil disobedience is all about knowingly and willfully breaking a law that one considers to be unjust in order to challenge that the legality of that law in court and hopefully have it struck down.

:If you're pleading "not guilty" it's not civil disobediance as one cannot by definition not have committed an act AND hae committed it for the purpose of spotlighting the injustice of the legal system.

ROTFLMU*UO! Wrong again CC. For someone who wants to be a lawyer you do say the most ridiculous things at times. . . The whole point of committing civil disobedience is to legally challenge the validity of the law one is deliberately breaking in order to do so. You can't do that if you plead guilty to the charges, whatever they may be. N'est-ce pas?

:Robin does LOVE to decide he's figured out who anonymous commenters are. It's pretty funny when you know he's wrong, though difficult to prove the point to other people. I don't bother.

If you can't prove that I am wrong, or at least present some compelling evidence that i am wrong, it might be because I am not wrong. . .

:Indeed, when I posted my very first comment on beliefnet, one of his ardent supporters told me that I was obviously another person.

How am I in any way responsible for that CC?

:The internet is so weird.

It would be a whole lot less "weird" if people had the guts to post under their real names instead of anonymously or pseudonymously wouldn't it CC? You know perfectly well that I know your real identity so maybe you can thank me for not "outing" you yet considering how many times you have sorely tempted me to do so.

Chalicechick said...

Robin, you only know my name because I trusted you and told you. It would be rather unsporting of you to hurt me personally and professionally by spreading it around, though I am fairly confident you will one day betray my confidence and do so. As you note, you are frequently tempted to do so.

For what it's worth, I am never tempted to hurt you personally or professionally and if you have told me anything you regard as a secret, let me know and I shall never reveal it whether you betray me or not.

As for Civil Disobediance, people's definitions do differ. Ghandi felt that even insulting his opponent was a violation and you were supposed to willingly submit to all punishments associated with the crime.

Thoreau did plead guilty, freely admitting that he was violating the law when he didn't pay the poll tax and rather than fighting to stay out of jail, freely admitted that he was happier in jail than in an unjust society.

There's no sense in telling me I don't understand the law when you're not using the legal terminology correctly. Legally, "guilty" is not a moral judgement. All "guilty" means in a legal sense is that you have been adjudjed to have violated the law. In a legal sense, a person can be "guilty" of murder, but the question of "guilt" is irrelevant
when it comes to a soldier killing an enemy combatant in a war, because soldiers killing enemy combatants isn't illegal. (The soldier may FEEL "guilty" after doing so, but that's not the sort of guilt the law addresses.)

Indeed, if you plead "not guilty" Civil Disobediance doesn't work because in letting you go the judge doesn't have to pass judgement on the law itself.
It is the judge's finding you guilty and letting you go anyway that makes civil disobediance effective. (And makes a huge fuss in the press, and makes clear that even judges think the law is unfair, etc.)

Example: Bob, an abortion clinic protestor, violates a law that he can't get within 50 feet of an aborition clinic while protesting.


If he pleads "not guilty," he is effectively saying "I never got within 50 feet of the clinic, or somebody held me at gunpoint and forced me to, or I was insane at the time and didn't know that going within 50 feet was wrong." If the judge lets Bob go in this case, then that doesn't say anything about the law, because apparently he has decided Bob didn't willingly violate the law.

If he pleads "guilty," he can then argue "Oh, I got within 50 feet of the clinic all right, but doing so shouldn't be illegal, so I shouldn't be punished."

The point about Gail accusing me of being somebody else was merely to illustrate how common false accusations of sockpuppeting are and that you are not the only one who makes them. In a sense, I was defending you.

CC

ogre said...

Nonsense, Robin. "It's not my war." Amazing. Do you even believe that?

There's no activity I've ever found sign of making war on you. If's you, cruising the internet, trying to drag every UU into your drama. It's effectively impossible for the vast majority to have any idea if you have a case or not--and to be honest, given the way that you speak to people who've just come into the picture... most decide they don't care to find out. You're a continent away, and rude. You're hostile, and you lump everyone who's a UU into one pile and sneer... and wonder why people shrug, turn away, and decide that their time is better spent on issues of justice that are (a) larger and of greater scale and weight and (b) don't require engaging with someone who makes a practice of verbally spitting on you and trying to find ways to hurt and humiliate you.

If I'd cared to be anonymous, I could have done so--I have friends in banking security and so on. My use of 'ogre' has been explained several times in various places and I chose to continue to use it so as not to create a break in people's understanding of who was posting. But since in some places I've been pretty open about who I am, where I am, and so forth, only an idiot would assume it was an attempt at anonymity. (You'll note that I'm not bothering to delete your post with my full name on it. It proves the point about your behavior, and that I don't give a damn about the connection between my name and 'ogre.')

It's not my task to prove a negative, which is the absurdity you propose. You're the one who asserted that I was gooddogmasit. Prove it. The burden of proof is on an accuser.

You've asserted that you don't feel bound by etiquette. You've asserted that you don't care who gets hurt as 'collateral damage' in your war--and it is yours. You're the one waging it.

And yet you proclaim that yours is a moral position?

ogre said...

CC, thanks for a meaningful post on the subject of the original.

You're right. Thoreau pled guilty in order to force a judge to perform an act that he(the judge) felt was unjust. It's the same tack that Gandhi took, and others have. You violate the law on solid moral grounds, and in court you assert the moral claim... while acknowledging the law and affirming that the judge must either agree that the law is wrong and immoral, or BE immoral and impose the sentence called for.

Yes, Robin, one hopes that the judge will strike down the law. But one goes in already accepting that it's unlikely and that one is effectively a sort of indigestible moral sabot (a grotesquely mixed metaphor, but we're dealing with the legal system -- already something of a Frankenstein's monster itself, so...) throwing yourself into the gears of the system, knowing that one day... you or someone else doing this will jam the system and make it back up.

Pleading innocent strips you of the essence of satyagraha, of moral force. It demands nonviolence and honesty (particularly with oneself), and thus the protester pleads guilty--because the law was violated. It was violated willfully and knowingly and with clear intent. No one is, in fact, ever more guilty than the individual committing civil disobedience.

The point of civil disobedience is that it's done out of the highest moral intentions, and with the utmost care. That's why Gandhi canceled some major planned protest actions, even at great cost to the movement he created and led. because when his followers succumbed to violent action, they stripped the moral upper hand from his action.

By refusing to carry through in such a case, he not only reined them in and made people think about the justification and morality of the cause, he also reminded them that one evil does not justify another. And he reaffirmed for the media and the British that his moral cause was of the utmost purity... so that when he brought himself to bear on them again, they were obliged by their own nature and intellects to respect him and to see his points.

(This, Robin, is why "collateral damage" is such an immoral thing--it's an attempt to justify harm done to innocents and bystanders, to justify it as the only way to do harm to those one is intent on harming. But true civil disobedience and satyagraha never sets out to harm or seek vengeance, and there is no tolerable injury to innocents in the cause. In fact, there is not intention to harm the opponent, only to use truth and moral weight to force him or her to acknowledge the right, and to accept it and act on it. The very step of accepting such repugnant euphemisms and using them is proof that one is doing something morally wrong, and trying to paper it over.)

Robin Edgar said...

:Nonsense, Robin. "It's not my war." Amazing. Do you even believe that?

Yes, Ogre. It is not "my war". It is a war that U*Us started and U*Us insist on perpetuating by refusing to redress the injustuces and abuses that I am fighting against. It is the Unitarian Church of Montreal's war as much as "my war" and it is the UUA's war as much as "my war". A good number of individual U*Us have activley participated in this "war of words" as well.

:There's no activity I've ever found sign of making war on you.

ROTFLMU*UO! No of course not. You are so totally out to lunch with that assertion that I will not waste electrons providing examples of all the numerous ways that U*Us have waged a war of words against me for over a decade now.

:If's you, cruising the internet, trying to drag every UU into your drama.

It's not just *my* "drama" Ogre. What about Rev. Ray Drennan's "drama"? But let's bring things more up to date. . . here is a U*U "drama queen" whose chosen fate was to become an active participant in this "war of words" instead of a peacemaker.

:It's effectively impossible for the vast majority to have any idea if you have a case or not--

Wrong. There is plenty of evidence available to U*Us that shows that I have a very valid case. Indeed it is not even just one case any more because U*Us keep adding to the pile in their misguided efforts to silence me rather than deal responsibly with my grievances. I have a variety of valid cases against U*Us all of which are supported by plenty of solid evidence, much of it in written form.

:and to be honest, given the way that you speak to people who've just come into the picture...

Sorry Ogre but I am generally civil with U*Us who have not insulted me first and, as I have already pointed out, there are a good number of U*Us who I have never been rude to.

:most decide they don't care to find out.

Most U*Us have decided that they don't care to find out the truth from Day One. Not because I am rude but because they do not want to have to admit that their clergy and other leaders are "rude" (to put it mildly). Here is an excellent example of a UUA official jumping through all kinds of hoops to avoid acknowledging the extremely rude and offensive language of a U*U minister you seem to be a fan of.

:You're a continent away, and rude.

I guess you can say the same thing about your good friend Peacebang can't you Ogre?

:You're hostile,

Why shouldn't I be a tad hostile towards U*U who repeatedly verbally defecate all over me and other people Ogre?

:and you lump everyone who's a UU into one pile and sneer...

Wrong. I do not do that. I am quite careful to properly identify my targets. I do however have good reason to consider the greater U*U "religious community" to be collectively responsible for the injustices and abuses that they continue to refuse to responsibly redress.

:and wonder why people shrug, turn away, and decide that their time is better spent on issues of justice that are (a) larger and of greater scale and weight and (b) don't require engaging with someone who makes a practice of verbally spitting on you and trying to find ways to hurt and humiliate you.

The only U*Us that I might verbally spit at are those who are guilty of heaving gobs of verbal spit themselves or condoning the verbal spitting of other U*Us. Since you brought up the image of "verbally spitting", this decade old newspaper headline might be something of an eye-opener for you. Itb would appear that a Montreal Mirror copy editor thought Montreal Unitarian U*Us were guilty of some verbal spitting of their own. You know what they say Ogre. You don't spit into the wind. . .

:You're the one who asserted that I was gooddogmasit. Prove it. The burden of proof is on an accuser.

I don't disagree and I do not have absolute proof that you are gooddogmasit but the evidence that I did have pointed to you as suspect No. 1 so I took a shot in the dark to see how you would respond to it. It seems that gooddogmasit has all but disappeared from Beliefbet. I am having trouble finding old posts from him although I archived plenty of them. Regardless of whether or not you are GDS you have been rude to me in your guise as Ogre so I do not feel obliged to be terribly polite to you in any case.

:You've asserted that you don't feel bound by etiquette.

When U*Us are rude to me or other people first. I am civil towards U*Us who are civil towards me but if a U*U is rude and offensive they get short thrift from me these days.

:You've asserted that you don't care who gets hurt as 'collateral damage' in your war--and it is yours.

Actually I did not say that. I just said that "collateral damage" happens in all wars. I do believe I even extended my apologies to you if you were "collateral damage" although AFAIAC I had grounds to associate your real name with your pseudonym even if you are not GDS.

:You're the one waging it.

Sorry Ogre but various U*Us are waging verbal war against me too and, one thing is certain, U*Us are not doing what is necessary to make genuine peace in this conflict. Even if UUA officials are hunkered down in their virtual bunkers at 25 Beacon Street it does not mean that they are not responsible for the verbal cruise missiles I may send their way. You know what U*Us say Ogre. No justice. No peace. . .

:And yet you proclaim that yours is a moral position?

The vast majority of my various positions most certainly are moral positions and I can assure you that many U*U positions in this war of words are far from moral ones. In fact my picket sign slogan that says -

"CHURCH" OF THE IMMORAL MAJORITY

is justified by the immoral positions assumed by the majority of Montreal Unitarians, UUA officials, and other U*Us in this conflict. If you would like I can draw up a long list of immoral positions taken by U*Us in this war of words from its earliest stages right up to the present day.

Chalicechick said...

It just occurred to me that "guilty" and "not guilty" might not mean the same thing in Canada and the appeallate system might work differently.

Suffice to say, at least under American law saying Bob is "guilty" is a factual, not a moral judgement and doesn't mean that the law is good and Bob is bad, merely that Bob violated the law. (If it is illegal to paint your house green, and you paint your house green, you're guilty of violating the law no matter how stupid the law is.)

So if you plead "not guilty" you are saying either "I didn't do it" or "circumstances beyond my control forced me to do it."

If you want to say you did it but that it shouldn't be a crime, plead guilty. It's also the honest thing to do. After all, you did do it.

Also, in America, district court judges don't even have the power to strike down laws in most cases. You need an appellate judge to do anything that's going to set any controlling precedent.

If you're found "not guilty" you won't ever see an appellate judge. (Unless the prosecutor appeals, which they don't usually in cases where Civil Disobediance might come up as prosecutors generally know a test case when they see one.)

Appeals courts rarely accept appeals from the winners of cases.

CC
who shouldn't be so American-centric, but Thoreau was also writing about America, so she's probably a bit justified.

ogre said...

I've made my points, Robin.

You've asserted several things about me that you've not even bothered to try to substantiate (here and on your blog). Given their tone and character, I see no point in continuing to engage in conversation with you.

Good luck catching flies with the vinegar and vitriol.

Chalicechick said...

Also, if you're not guilty of breaking the law, you have no locus standi to challenge the law.

After all, the common law (and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) require connection to and/or harm from the law that a party is challenging to support that party's participation in the case.

If you were found "not guilty" of violating the law, then the law hasn't harmed you, so you don't have standing to argue that the law was unjust in the first place. (No, your legal fees in defending yourself probably won't count as sufficient harm.)

(And no, your status as a taxpayer doesn't give you standing to challenge any law you please, only the ones that involve unconstitutional federal spending.)

Ok. NOW I think I'm done.

CC
who is pretty sure this is WHY civil disobediance works the way it does, haivng thought through it.

Robin Edgar said...

:I've made my points, Robin.

And I've made mine Ogre. . .

:You've asserted several things about me that you've not even bothered to try to substantiate.

That's pretty funny Ogre because I can say pretty much the same thing about you only I have already refuted most of your unsubstantiated allegations about me. Kinda depressing isn't it?

:Given their tone and character, I see no point in continuing to engage in conversation with you.

That's the kind of thing people usually say when they find themselves on the losing end of an argument with me Ogre. . .

:Good luck catching flies with the vinegar and vitriol.

Dare I say, "Get the fuck off your high horse" Ogre? ;-) Who says I am trying to catch flies anyway? I sure didn't. . .

Joel Monka said...

Robin- am I to take it that you no longer believe me to be gooddogmasit?

Robin Edgar said...

Maybe you would care to point out where I suggested that you were gooddogma-sit Joel. For the record I have had reason to believe that Patrick McLaughlin is gooddogma-sit for about well over a year now. I did my internet sleuthing a while back after GDS got particularly obnoxious towards me.

ogre said...

< sigh >

And you accuse me of being rude to you, Robin?

You showed up here to be insulting. You proceeded to accuse me of being someone you found obnoxious--but have no proof of that, it appears (nor will you, since I've never had any presence on Belief.net).

You whine that UUs don't push their leaders and ministers to make your micro-cause into something that is corrected to Robin's satisfaction. And apparently, you expect this combination of wining and insulting to have some beneficial effect.

Sad.

My assertions are that you're rude and insulting. And whiny. And that you're a lousy PI.

I've not seen you disprove any of that.

...

Joel, so you're gooddogmasit too? Maybe we're all gooddogmasit--you, me, CC, Peacebang...

Robin Edgar said...

:And you accuse me of being rude to you, Robin?

Indeed I do Patrick. What's the "sigh" for?

:You showed up here to be insulting.

I showed up here to in this thread to shed some light on U*U moral cowardice and ersatz "civil disobedience" but you "memory holed " my pertinent comment which was on-topic to the theme of this post. Call it insulting all you want. Other people would call it speaking truth to U*U "power".

:You proceeded to accuse me of being someone you found obnoxious--but have no proof of that, it appears

Sure I do Patrick. There is plenty of evidence of your obnoxiousness and rudeness right here in this thread.

:(nor will you, since I've never had any presence on Belief.net).

It is possible that you are not gooddogma-sit but that in no way means that you are not obnoxious and rude Patrick. If you publicly deny having a four year old son named Gabriel born on Feb. 22, 2004 , I will take your word for it that you are not gooddogma-sit.

:You whine that UUs don't push their leaders and ministers to make your micro-cause into something that is corrected to Robin's satisfaction.

My cause is by no means a "micro-cause" Patrick. Anti-religious intolerance and bigotry is found throughout the U*U World. My case is just one of the worst examples of it. One hopes. . .

:And apparently, you expect this combination of wining and insulting to have some beneficial effect.

Well U*Us didn't listen to my more civil communications in the past so I do think that some well aimed insults founded in all but indisputable facts may indeed have a beneficial effect. I have warned U*Us that as long as they continue to tell insulting and damaging lies about me that I will return the fav or by telling some rather unpleasant truths about U*Us.

:Sad.

What is really sad is the well documented fact that U*Us have repeatedly proven themselves to be chronically unready, obstinately unwilling, and pathologically unable to practice what they preach.

:My assertions are that you're rude and insulting. And whiny. And that you're a lousy PI. I've not seen you disprove any of that.

Well I do not deny being rude and insulting towards U*Us who are rude and insulting or condone the rude and insulting behavior of their fellow U*Us including U*U clergy. As far as whiny goes I wouldn't need to complain so much if U*Us responsibly redressed my legitimate grievances. Lousy PI? Ask Peacebang if I am a lousy PI. Everyone makes mistakes but, until you deny having a son called Gabriel, I will hold off conceding having made one by accusing you of being gooddogma-sit. Even if I was wrong about that some fairly strong circumstantial evidence pointed in your direction.

ogre said...

I've already stated that I'm not gooddogmasit, Robin. How will my "swearing" that I'm not the alleged parent of the alleged Gabriel (my wife would have had a fit if I'd suggested such a name for any of our kids) make any difference?

You're the PI. Do your own work. Clean up your own mess. You're the one who made the false accusation. It's not my job to bail you out of looking like a fool. You assert a fact, you provide evidence. But if you'd been the sleuth you think you are, you'd have found the evidence of my children's age range even more easily than you found my very, very lightly disguised name.

Having lied about me on your blog, as well as here; having asserted that you don't feel bound by any normal rules of etiquette, you expect me to take your word... that you'll accept my word? Oh, the honor. You mis-estimate the importance of this to me. You've made yourself look a fool, and I am to offer you my word so that you'll let me off your accusation? Nope. You hung yourself on that rope, and I'm perfectly willing to leave you twisting gently in the virtual breeze.

Your stature as a "PI" -- with me -- rests on your having penetrated my "secret" identity (the one I cast a screen about as thick and sturdy as tissue paper around, right down to the email address that I use...) and having falsely identified me as someone you've got a grudge with (whom, it would appear, is also Joel Monka... dang, I'm developing a lot of parallel identities here!). Ooooh, I'm impressed.

Don't go kicking down any doors anytime soon. You'll probably get the Patrick McLaughlin that the TSA tells me that they want to talk to every time they jerk me around at an airport for up to an hour or so. I assume he's not Al Qaeda (but, hell, isn't everyone today?); more likely he's IRA, and wouldn't give you a genteel UU greeting....

....

As to your claim that you were making a meaningful analogy to the arrest of Bill Sinkford--Bill violated the law and was arrested. The clerks in California (the subject of the original posting) were not. They boldly took a stand where they could hide in a wrinkle of the law and not face any consequences.

That's not civil disobedience.

It's moral cowardice.

What Sinkford was--or wasn't--charged with is a question. But it was a decision by the legal authorities, not a case of Sinkford avoiding consequences for having violated the law.

There's no analogy.

Robin Edgar said...

ROTFLMU*UO!

It looks like someone got your Irish up Patrick. ;-)

I will let your readership decide who is the biggest fool here. I did not lie about you Patrick because I had good reason to believe that you probably were gooddogma-sit. I wasn't 100% sure but I figured it was worth assertively *asking* if you were gooddogma-sit and seeing how you responded. Interestingly enough, the angrier you get, the more you sound like gooddogma-sit.

As far as moral cowardice and civil disobedience goes. I don't see any evidence here that the California clerks are even describing their refusal to perform same-sex marriages as civil disobedience but U*Us *do* proclaim President Bill Sinkford's and other U*U clergy's media-whoring trespassing and entrance blocking during public protests as "civil disobedience". I doubt that Gandhi or Thoreau or MLK are terribly impressed with what U*U religious leaders have the gall to call "civil disobedience" these days. Both you and CC have pretty much made it clear that it is nothing of the sort. Which is what I said in the first place. . . N'est-ce pas Patrick?

Anonymous said...

Drennan did not lie about you Robin because he had good reason to believe that you probably were psychotic. He wasn't 100% sure but he figured it was worth assertively *asking* if you were psychotic and seeing how you responded. Interestingly enough, the angrier you get, the more you sound psychotic.

kim said...

Ogre-- When Robin said you were Goodogmasit, I immediately thought, "Wow, he's really good at having another voice that sounds really different!" I enjoy much of Goodogmasit's posts too, but they don't sound like you.

Joel Monka said...

"So does that mean that you are not gooddogmesit on Beliefnet Joel?" from the comments to this post I can usually document what I say, Robin

Chalicechick said...

Kim, I thought the same thing, particularly since my memory is that GoodDogmaSit talked about how he was an atheist all the time. Joel isn't an Atheist at all and if Ogre is, I don't recall him ever mentioning it.

I think it's funny that Robin has suspected Ogre was GoodDogmaSit for "Well over a year" but was accusing Joel of being him in December 2006. I guess the good news is that Robin believed you, Joel, and immediately decided GoodDogmaSit must be somebody else.

I had totally forgotten the "CC is Dim Thinker for arguing that Bill Clinton isn't a slut" discussion.
Something is wrong with the world when I can get nostalgic for old fights with Robin.

And I think it's interesting that both sides of this argument have used the "I will not waste electrons providing examples" (of the point I just made). Dodge, too.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

Asking Joel, "So does that mean that you are not gooddogmesit on Beliefnet Joel?" is not the same as accusing him of being gooddogma-sit Kim. It means that I suspected that he might be gooddogma-sit and sought his confirmation that he was not gooddogma-sit. I might add that being a "pagan" and being an atheist are by no means mutually exclusive. There are a certain number of "pagans", not just U*U "pagans" I might add, who do not really believe in God or gods but none-the-less practice various forms of paganism because they find value in pagan spirituality.

Saying that I will not waste electrons on addressing "Ogre's" incredibly DIM Thinking pronouncement that, "There's no activity I've ever found sign of making war on you." is hardly a "dodge" CC. There is no shortage of evidence of U*Us waging a war of words with me on the internet and in the "real world" for over a decade now. Heck there's plenty of evidence of U*Us "making war" on me right here in this thread, especially since "anonymous" just chimed in and repeated the familiar U*U "war words" that accuse me of being a "crazy" "psychotic" "nutcase". Oh well I guess that I will just have to keep telling more unpleasant truths about U*Us and U*Uism since U*Us insist on spreading damaging lies about me even long after I would have thought U*Us might have figured out that it was far from wise to do so. . .

Chalicechick said...

I find several things completely bizarre about this conversation at this point. Mostly, Robin's logic. But also being an atheist and naming your kid "Gabriel."

It's a really theistic sort of name AND it's going to get his ass kicked on the playground. If he's four now, I bet the other kids have already started calling him "Gabrielle" and many worse names.

CC
who really would like to name her theoretical firstborn male child "Cooper Robertson" but between "Coop" and "Rob," I think he'd be fine after the first time attendance was called. If the best choice for a nickname is "Gabe," you might as well name your kid "Homosexual" or something.

kim said...

CC-- You're going to name your son after my brother?!?! Gosh! :-)