Morality Vs. Legality

by James Howell 2 years ago in opinion

What’s Right and What’s Wrong Versus What’s Legal and Illegal

Morality Vs. Legality

In America, our laws are often based off of Christianity. Thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal, and the like. While we know these are wrong to do because they affect a person or property that is not ours, some of these laws fall into a gray area of doing what is right vs. what is legal.

For example, it is a catch-22 if a child walks out in front of me while I am driving and I have to cross a double line in order to miss them. Pedestrians do have the right away in most cases; however crossing that double line is illegal, and I just committed a moving violation in the eyes of the law. I did what I thought was right and avoided harming the child, yet it is still illegal to do so.

Now these laws are often enacted in order to protect us, or so they say. However the justice system is extremely flawed when a person who is smoking pot in their car in a parking lot gets more time than the person who murders their child. We are separating immigrant families and the government loses track of them. Some end up in child trafficking rings, and some are either dead or missing. We do this in the name of border security, even though they may be requesting asylum to save their own or their family’s lives. Tearing families apart in order to secure our borders does nothing to improve border securities. We put children in large dog kennels and give their families no information on them. Even an elected official was barred from entering, and was only allowed to enter after continuing to make sure that the media and public knew what was happening.

In a lot of towns in America, it is becoming illegal to feed the homeless. This tells me that the government isn’t concerned about the homeless, but rather an economic boom in their town. If they can push the homeless on another town, they will no longer be their problem. Property taxes will go up, and they believe they can draw more business. Instead of expanding or building new shelters, it’s just easier to push them on another town.

Now it’s easy to say that “You can’t fight city hall,” or that they are just doing their jobs, or that there’s nothing you can do. However, you do have a few options. On social media, you can keep it in the forefront and make sure that everyone knows what is happening. Whether it is a child being ripped from the arms of their parents, a case of police brutality, or any other social injustice you might witness or hear about. There is also an option for when you are on a jury, and you believe that no crime has been committed. It is known as jury nullification. Theoretically, if no person or property has been harmed, then a crime has not been committed. An example I will use from my own beliefs is some 18 year old smoking pot in his own house. Who or what has he harmed by this? Why should I send him to jail and ruin his record when I believe that he has done nothing wrong, and no one or nothing has been harmed?

Most of cases of human rights violations are done out of ignorance and fear. Whether it be done by federal, state, or local governments. Mr. Rogers tried to teach us to balance between love and fear. Even the bible says we should welcome a foreigner as a neighbor. This goes hand in hand with what Fred Rogers tried to teach us. While that message didn’t reach everyone, we will be a much better world if we can learn to do this.

James Howell
James Howell
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James Howell

Father, activist, man in black...

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