Chained Melody

WRITING - Joe Bob's America


Last week a couple dozen Fetus Fans went on trial in Fargo, North Dakota, for walking into a women's clinic,

chaining themselves together by the neck, and refusing to leave. They sat there puffing out loud prayers and reading the Bible and generally making enough noise and obstructing enough floor space to make the staff's life miserable. Even after the cops got there, they refused to leave.

(This is all on videotape.) So it took a long time to get cops in there who could cut the chains off their necks and then arrest them all one at a time.

A few hours later these same people were surprised when a judge set stiff bonds for them.

A few days after that, they were even more surprised when a district attorney decided to seek jail terms for criminal trespass and resisting arrest.

So far we agree on all the facts. Now let's move on to the trial.

Most of these demonstrators chose to represent themselves, and so I tuned in to watch the trial, thinking, "Great! Civil disobedience! A political trial! We've finally got some people with the guts to go to jail for what they believe!"

Wrong.

They quoted Jesus. They quoted Moses. They quoted Martin Luther King. They quoted Gandhi. They may have even quoted Thoreau, the guy who WROTE "Civil Disobedience." But somewhere along the way they missed the point:

THEY WERE ARGUING THAT THEY SHOULDN'T GO TO JAIL AT ALL!

Evidently they need to read the books again.

When Thoreau broke the law, he also reported to the jail. He didn't say "I didn't really commit a crime." He said "I committed a crime to make a point. I'll now go to jail."

These were people who wanted the CREDIT for civil disobedience without the PENALTY for it. They were, in other words, cowards. It was very disappointing. Some of them even had the gall to threaten the jury, suggesting that if the juror found them guilty, the juror himself would have to answer to God.

Lemme explain something to you people:

Gandhi went to jail.

Martin Luther King went to jail.

Every single Christian martyr, at one time or another, went to jail.

And since you guys are so fond of quoting Jesus, you should go back and read this one: "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God's."

Evidently they slept through the first half of the sentence. It doesn't say "Render unto God what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God's, too."

Caesar, in the form of the sheriff of Cass County, North Dakota, has the key to the jail.

And one more thing: Please don't use the term "civil disobedience" again to describe whatever this is that you're doing. Other people NEED this term. When other people use it, they mean it.