Time for civil disobedience in America

Lydia McGrew has a provocative post up at What’s Wrong with the World about the looming confrontation in Australia between Catholic hospitals and the government of Victoria, due to a new law requiring pro-life hospitals to provide abortion referrals. “No, we won’t kill your baby, but let me help you find someone who will!”

She says it’s time for civil disobedience in Victoria, Australia, and she’s absolutely right.

I say it’s past time for civil disobedience here in the United States.

Local school boards, for example, should have openly defied certain state-mandated curricula years ago.

During the judicial murder of Terry Schaivo, the entire hospice staff, police, and other authorities should have disobeyed the court.

Catholic Charities in California should have disobeyed the state and refused to provide contraceptive insurance coverage for their employees.

Catholic Charities in Massachusetts should have disobeyed the state and continued to operate without providing adoptive services to homosexual “couples”.

Starfish Creative Invitations should have disobeyed the city of Seattle and refused to comply with the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

Every county clerk in California should have refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses in the wake of the California Supreme Court misruling last May.

Etc., etc., etc..

I know, I know, the threat of imprisonment and financial ruin and all of that.

I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day. He’s a school administrator in a little town up here and a traditional Catholic. The various state mandates which require that acceptance of homosexuality be force-fed to school children haven’t yet been implemented in some of these districts in rural northern CA. My friend is adamant that he won’t allow such things in his school, and if it finally comes down to it, and the state sends in the National Guard or the local sheriff, he’s ready to face the consequences.

Boy arrested for attempting to bring water to Terry Schaivo.

6 thoughts on “Time for civil disobedience in America

  1. I’m sure many of your readers homeschool. For those who do not, and for all Californians who have to watch their tax dollars be used to support ideologies contrary to religious, moral and natural law, I received the following in an email from Yes on Proposition 8. It reads, in part:

    Last week Californians were shocked to learn the California Teacher’s Association-the state’s largest teachers organization-had donated over one million dollars to the No on Proposition 8 campaign. With this donation, the CTA sided with the most radical anti-family forces.

    Even after the public outrage over the CTA’s million-dollar donation, they still gave more money against our families and our values with another donation days later.

    Just this week the No on Proposition 8 campaign began airing a television ad featuring California’s Superintendant of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. Abusing the power and trust vested in him by the people of California, Superintendent O’Connell has the audacity to deceive voters about homosexuality being taught in the classroom.

    How does he respond to a class of first graders being taken to a same-sex marriage ceremony in San Francisco?

    Yesterday, a school in Hayward is holding a gay “Coming Out Day” for kindergartners.

    And how can he explain the following email we received this week from the mother of a five-year-old girl in Southern California?

    “Pray for me. I’ve just started this battle. Ashley brought home a book from Kindergarten that says ‘All Families are different— Some families have 2 mommies and some families have 2 daddies.’ I went and talked to the teacher and she knew what was in the book and was ok with it. She said she’d ask the principal what the policy is. I will not let it go. I just hope the school sides with me.”

    This is exactly what we can expect in every school is we don’t pass Proposition 8. The CTA is committed to indoctrinating our children with “values” contrary to our own and Superintendent O’Connell is now their willing accomplice.

    I’ve told you I’d stay out of presidential politics until after the election, but I urge anyone not planning to vote AT ALL to please – even if you leave everything else blank – vote YES on Prop. 8. I do believe we, as Catholics, are obligated to do this much.


  2. Thanks for this post, Jeff. I agree with you very strongly on several of these and am inclined to agreement on several others. The one I agree with most strongly is on Terri Schiavo. The sheep-like way in which people obey courts gives me the shivers, especially in a case like that where they went ahead and killed her on one judge’s orders. The sheriff’s men were even prepared to fight the state troopers when there was a loophole of a few hours when the court order was not in effect. It’s terrifying. When we saw the people being arrested, my husband said to me, “Look, here’s a picture on the Internet of a policeman losing his soul.”

    And the business about forcing people to apologize for refusing to serve homosexual “marriages” is incredibly bad, too. They always have to make us say shibboleth, don’t they? I would hope that I would go out of business before apologizing as that business owner did. But it’s hard to know how _much_ to blame her. Ground under the heel of leftist totalitarianism. You will submit. You will apologize. Say the words now.



  3. I would cite two or perhaps three major factors to explain the absence of civil disobedience or any other effective action to save Terri Schiavo. First, there was the sheer fact that for most people, especially those in law enforcement, the idea of civil disobedience is unthinkable. They literally believed, all of them, that they were bound by their consciences to do what Judge Greer said. They called that the “rule of law” and believed that it must be obeyed without exception, even to the point of defying the state troopers when there was that tiny window of time when the court order lapsed. Second, there was the fact that death by dehydration was already well-entrenched in the society, both legally and culturally, and had gradually become that entrenched since the Cruzan case in 1990 (I believe it was). Not only were the legal structures in place to allow (though not compel) Judge Greer to do what he did, but when Michael Schiavo told everybody, “This happens all the time. Nobody would be making a fuss about this if the family all agreed,” he was (just for once) speaking the truth. Too many people in the country and even in that part of Florida could remember, probably, having okayed a similar death for one of their own relatives to allow themselves to be too upset about what was happening to Terri. The hospice had protocols for this, because it was something that had been done before, and so forth. And finally, even when very small legal loopholes were found (the congressional subpoena, for example, or that few-hour lapse of the court order), no one actually wanted to provoke a literal fight, so the higher powers–Gov. Bush’s state troopers, the federal govt. whose subpoena was ignored–blinked, appalled at the thought of a shootout with the sheriff’s men.

    What is ironic is that if some local police department and/or court similarly defied the next level of government and arrested an abortionist (say, under some pre-Roe v. Wade law), the outcome would be exactly the other way around. The federal judiciary would issue a court order for the release of the abortionist, the federal marshalls would be sent in with grim determination, and the local police holding the abortionist would be forced to back down. It would be Birmingham, Alabama (isn’t that the right civil rights reference?) all over again. But they couldn’t muster the will to do the same for a helpless young woman about to be murdered.


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