Thomas J. Scribner
The Troubled Times of Now
(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)
We live in troubled times. Though I have lived in Utah since 1973, I was born and raised until then in San Bernardino, California. The recent tragedy there was personal. I have two close family members who are police officers in that county and many relatives who still live there. I am grateful to live in a country with an established set of laws and procedures to deal with these kind of problems. They certainly aren’t perfect, but without them we would dissolve into anarchy. It wasn’t that long ago in Great Britain where safety was in how strong your master’s castle was and if he had better knights than the other guy.
We have come a long way since then. Utah recently had a traveling exhibit on the Magna Charta, the first attempt by landowners to wrest some individual rights from the king. That was several hundred years ago, but the Magna Charta began a movement which would eventually cause the United States to go to war against England over the denial of those individual rights, and base its new country on the theory that all power is held by the individual. With all those “owners of power,” laws were needed to keep society from going back to feudal wars. So, when I am dealing with a client who has been harmed by a neighbor moving his fence, I am grateful I can bring a complaint to a court and use a peaceful means to solve the issue. We don’t have to defend our honor with a duel, or rally our extended family into a battle. At its most basic, laws beat war.
Disruptive groups like ISIS are always around. Hitler wanted to take over the world by sheer power. ISIS wants the world to be governed by its Caliphate and forced to follow its theory of the world (which doesn’t include individual rights at all). Its goal is the same as Hitler, but its methods are different. It can’t win with its power, so it must attempt to destroy us with fear and hate, causing us to disregard our system of laws. In the past, we as a country have always rallied when attacked and, by keeping true to our long-developed system, based in law, succeeded in defeating our enemies. So, in this time of year where we seek peace for all, take a breath and give thanks for the many people working to keep us safe and able to enjoy our individual rights guaranteed by our constitutions and laws. I pray we may all have a Merry Christmas and peace on earth this holiday season.