Justice vs. Personal Preference

A question that has been slowly forming over the past few years crystalized in my consciousness with the ‘Hobby Lobby decision’ from the Supreme Court. Is it just me and my imagination... or does it appear to anyone else that the ‘law’ as managed by our legal system is looking more and more like the personal preferences of whoever happens to be in the judge’s seat? For some naïve reason, I thought that the law represented something higher than personal bias. I thought it had something to do with universal good, and whether you liked a particular law or not was irrelevant because it stood for what was intrinsically right, fair, and just. It symbolized a higher consciousness that would guide us in daily life. However, there have been a series of legal decisions and their reversals that have made it look like the law is not really law. It looks more and more like a system based on some other guy’s beliefs. If a law is nothing more than that guy’s belief, what makes his beliefs any more of a law than my own? That might sound like playing with anarchy, but if we are going to have a nation based on the rule of law, that law better damn well be something that stands up under rigorous tests of consciousness – not conscience – since the whole idea of conscience is much too tangled with religious biases. This latest entanglement seems to be a blatant violation of the ‘separation of church and state’ principles that our country was founded upon. People fled Europe in the Middle Ages because of cruel and unreasonable persecutions based on religious bias. It looks to me that Hobby Lobby and a huge number of other corporations are leading us right back down the primrose path to the divisiveness, greed, and distrust fostered by religion.


  • Hi Penny , I met you in Ojai last month. I showed you some of my pictures of orbs and faeries.  I have been wanting to send you some pictures and wasn’t sure which e-mail address to send to you. Thank you , Randi Catlett

    Randi Catlett
  • Hi, Penny- I also used to think that Law was about Justice, also. I think that is what we were taught in school, yes? But after getting involved in politics (trying to protect natural healing and now trying to keep my town from being inundated with CAFOs) in he last decade or so I’ve come to see it more as the encoding and means of enforcing a set of values….of whomsoever is in the power to do so. The first inkling of this came when I read a definition somewhere that said that a system of law determines the hierarchy of rights in a society. In other words, what rights get to trump what rights when rights conflict between people are exactly what law is designed to sort out. When I realized that I saw that in modern America, corporate/commercial rights reigned supreme, which surprised and saddened me. At first I just had this general intuitive sense that that was the case. But then I heard an ecological lawyer named Thomas Lindsey, who had done considerable research into this topic, speak. He laid out how it was actually written into the constitution on purpose that commercial values would trump all others. So it is actually structured into our legal system that commercial values trump ecological values and many human values. He gives a full presentation on how this happened historically (along with how he was forced to discover it in trying to determine why environmentalist lawyers were so powerless to protect people from harmful commercial enterprises that they wanted to keep out of their communities. It is a fascinating story. You can this laid out in a series of 8 videos (20 mins each) called Democracy School Online. I think of it as “true secrets of American History revealed!” It will give you a new view of George Washington, James Madison, etc. as businessmen who specifically wrote the constitution to create an empire like England’s (they had to get rid of the Articles of Confederacy to do this), in order to grow America as a commercial power in the world and further their own business interests. Check it out. I promise that this is not a rant. It is a serious explanation of how our current legal system makes protecting the environment fundamentally impossible. And it is very eye-opening. http://www.celdf.org/democracy-school-on-line

    Linda Hedquist
  • I agree.

    Doris Duke
  • Sounds like the had about as much time to ready the Health Care Laws as they did to read the Patriot Act. I grieve for our lost democracy.

    Penny Kelly
  • Hi Penny:) Personally I was glad to see Hobby Lobby get their way. Not because of any religious belief of mine but because it means that the bigger point of the Government Health Care Laws are being put up to the light. That Law was flawed from the start. It was passed by our Congress and House of Representatives without the time to read all it’s 2000 pages or have the time to understand what they were agreeing too. I believe it was in their possession two weeks before the vote??? That was all by design. Then after it is voted the President has altered it over 250 times with the stroke of that pen he so boldly refers to. Which I can’t believe is even legal. Isn’t that why we vote on things so no one person has the control?

    The health care law was never about helping the uninsured. It has done more to profit the pharmaceuticals with the insurance companies fronting the way. If the agenda was truly to insure the uninsured it could have been done in a straight forward sensible manner. I’m glad to see the push back. I think Obama Care is a farce and nothing more that a shell game for the pharmaceuticals. That’s just my opinion. Regards, Patty

    Pat4086 Lee

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