Firearms Owners Association
Peaceful Civil Disobedience
“Oh, righteous father, wilt thou not pity me,
Murray Mandryk seems not to understand what motivated MP Maurice Vellacott to award the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee metals to two women who “are convicted criminals” (PM lets mavericks run astray, StarPhoenix, 27 October 2012). Apparently Mr. Mandryk fails to comprehend, that while perhaps committing “criminal” actions, these two women were participating in peaceful civil disobedience.
Peaceful civil disobedience has a long and honourable heritage.1 In his 1849 treatise “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” Henry David Thoreau explains why he chose to go to jail rather that to pay taxes that supported slavery in the southern United States and that country’s war with Mexico. Thoreau asks two pertinent questions:
Thoreau answers his questions by stating:
These two women, who as I understand were arrested while promoting their pro-life position against abortion, were simply following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi who said:
In his fight for civil rights for all citizens Martin Luther King Jr. engaged in peaceful civil disobedience. He was often arrested for illegal activities that were called "unwise and untimely." In his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail” Dr. King declared:
In his seminal legal text, A Theory of Justice, professor John Rawls considers peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience a suitable means of public discourse noting that:
Although civil disobedience “is strictly speaking contrary to law”, Rawls states:
These two women have ‘paid the price’ to be true to their core beliefs. I commend Mr. Vellacott for honouring them.
Edward B. Hudson, DVM, MS
** Song of the Free
1. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from a Birmingham Jail”
3. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (02 October 1869 30 January 1948)
Underground Railroad to Canada
Doukhobors in Canada
National Society for Women's Suffrage; Women’s Right to Vote
BY MURRAY MANDRYK,
Forget that these two women aren't from Vellacott's riding, or even his province. These women are convicted criminals, yet Vellacott had the audacity to compare them to American civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.
Really, sir? Then why not save your Jubilee medals for someone truly deserving, such as the next murderer of an abortion doctor? Or at the very least, save one for Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mour-dock, who recently stated that a pregnancy caused by rape was God's intention.
Yes, Saskatchewan can be a rather conservative place, even socially. But in a place that's also big on decency and sensitive to the perception of being seen as a redneck backwater, one suspects that Vellacott crossed the line. At the very least, it would seem that Vellacott is out of step with the welcoming new Saskatchewan.
It's time for Harper to round up his mavericks before the voters do.