Why I'm Teaching My Son To Break the Law


#1

In 1858, hundreds of residents of Oberlin and Wellington, Ohio—many of them students and faculty at Oberlin College—surrounded Wadsworth’s Hotel, in Wellington, in which law enforcement officers and slavehunters held a fugitive slave named John Price, under the authority of the Fugitive Slave Act. After a brief standoff, the armed crowd stormed the hotel and overpowered the captors. Price was freed and transported to safety in Canada (that’s a photo of some of the rescuers in the courtyard of the Cuyahoga County Jail, below and to the right). I know these details because my son recently borrowed from the library The Price of Freedom, a book about the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue, as the incident is called (PDF). My wife and I used it as a starting point for telling our seven-year-old why we don’t expect him to obey the law—that laws and the governments that pass them are often evil. We expect him, instead, to stand up for his rights and those of others, and to do good, even if that means breaking the law.

Personally, I would say that I love liberty more than any other value, and I don’t give a damn if my neighbors or the state disagree. I will be free, and I’m willing to help others be free, if they want my assistance. Screw any laws to the contrary. I don’t think social psychologist Jonathan Haidt would be surprised at my attitude. According to him, that’s what makes libertarians tick. And that’s what my wife and I are trying to pass on to our son.

Why I’m Teaching My Son To Break the Law - Reason.com


#2

I was labeled a mass criminal by government many years ago and each year they add more “crimes” to the list.

I can think of nothing more offensive than being called a “Law abiding citizen”, it is the equivalent of endorsing the very epitome of evil.

"What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark,***…Isaiah 5:20 ***


#3

What an excellent piece! (Forgive me for finding special satisfaction in that it was written on my birthday, no less.)

To quote J.C. Tuccille: “Yeah, I prefer Emerson and Thoreau, too.”

Ahh, gool ol’ ‘Civil Disobedience.’ Remember when our dear, late friend, Charlton Heston made his speech regarding the same? I sure do! IIRC, he quoted Henry David Thoreau’s original piece:

Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.

It impressed me enough to forward it to my mother who, in turn, asked me if I agreed with civil disobedience. Of course I replied that I most certainly did, adding that it may get me into trouble one of these days, but would hope that she’d listen to my side before deciding if it was a good or bad move.
Her reply? (She’s so cute.) “Please don’t get TOO brave.” LOL

If it’s of any value, (I hope it is), we tried to cultivate that same attitude in our children. But true to being my mother’s daughter, I also told them that, unless you’re willing to paint a target on your back, you’re best off disregarding evil laws quietly.


#4

Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then?

Because the legislators don’t?..


#5

Of course they do! They just choose to ignore it.


#6

They’ve ignored it for so long, they no longer recognize its existence.


#7

But the point was actually, why would anyone sign over his conscience to anyone else. It’s just here in the United States, we sign it away to our legislators, as if they were somehow morally strong enough to represent us. Ugh.


#8

I’d venture to guess it’s partly because we’ve had it ingrained in us since our youth to respect the law, and, by extention, law enforcement.. Reason being, that we are a nation of laws, and if we choose to disrespect them, we cease to be a civilized nation. IOW, to do as you are told.
All of which lead to our following the law by habit. Which, in turn, can lead to lazy brains.
Of course it wasn’t intended that we hand over our conscience in the bargain.
Perhaps they should’ve read a little more Emerson and Thoreau.

Btw, it is not just here in the U.S. Afterall, we’re the ones who started the breaking away from ‘doing as we are told’. As in, “When in the course of human events…”


#9

Yes, ma’am.


#10

[quote=“Rightwing_Nutjob, post:9, topic:38952”]
Yes, ma’am.
[/quote]My, what a nice, polite young man you are. ~big grin~