Over the weekend I watched the 1966 Fred Zinnemann movie A Man for All Seasons. It is about the true-life stand taken by Sir Thomas More, then Lord Chancellor of England, against King Henry VIII and his break with Church of Rome over his desire to divorce his frist wife, Catherine of Aragon, to marry his mistress Anne Bolyn, declaring himself Head of the Church of England.
One of the best exchanges in the movie was between More and his son-in-law William Roper. More rightfully stood up for the integrity of the law in the face of a threat. This clearly shows the difference between the last eight years under the lawless Bush and those of us who advocate due process.
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Thomas 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 is 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, do 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!