Thursday, January 06, 2005

In Honor of Sen. Biden

Senator Joseph Biden just quoted this section from Robert Bolt's play, "A Man for All Seasons." It seemed appropriate to post an excerpt from the play that included Sen. Biden's reference. The application to the issue of Albert Gonzalez' appointment to the position of Attorney General should be fairly obvious:

More There is no law against that.

Roper There is! God's law!

More Then God can arrest him.

Roper Sophistication upon sophistication.

More No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal.

Roper Then you set man's law above God's!

More No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact - I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of the law, oh, there I'm a forrester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God....

Alice While you talk, he's gone!

More And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!

Roper So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!

More Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

More Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you - where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast - man's laws, not God's - and if you cut them down - and you're just the man to do it - d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

Roper I have long suspected this, this is the golden calf; the law's your god!

More Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god....But I find him rather too subtle....I don't know where He is or what He wants.

Roper My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else!

More Are you sure that's God? He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God - And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly!

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