Anybody who has worked in Middle School will understand the human gift of subverting the law from the inside out. So, for example, the dress code says boys will wear neckties on dress day. The fellas all turn up in the most garish, ugly, unfashionable ties from the Goodwill. So the authorities say only school uniform ties may be worn, so the guys tie the ties in a weird way–great fat knots and short top parts and long bottom parts. So the bosses say uniform ties must be tied properly so all the guys learn how to tie bow ties and do them very properly. You get the idea.
I remember one boys boarding school in England where the guys had to wear khaki pants and navy blazers. The junior boys swapped blazers and pants with the older boys so the juniors’ blazers had sleeves that hung down below their hands and had huge shoulder pads while the big boys crammed themselves into blazers and pants two sizes too small.
When laws become too specific in order to quash certain behaviors it becomes easier and easier to subvert the law. The case in point in the news this week is the pro life protester in England–Isabel Vaughan Spruce, who was arrested simply for standing outside an abortion clinic praying silently in her mind. You can see the video of her arrest here.
She was known to police for being a pro life protester, and the UK government recently put in place a very restrictive exclusion zone around abortion clinics forbidding any kind of protest activity that might offend or intimidate women going in for an abortion. Therefore the usual small band of faithful pro life warriors were banned from protesting within a certain perimeter of the clinic.
With the human talent for subverting the law from the inside, all they now need to do is go to the very edge of the defined exclusion zone and stand there with a rosary in their hands. Just as the school authorities had to tighten the rules and make them more specific so the stupid UK authorities will probably extend the exclusion zone and come up with something else like, “Any gesture or bodily stance which suggests prayer of any kind will be considered an unlawful protest.”
One observer questioned about the increasingly woke British police force, “What would happen if some Muslims put down their prayer mats and prayed within the exclusion zone?” It would be interesting to see what would happen.
I guess it is the Mennonite in me which delights in this breaking the law from the inside out. Obedience with a vengeance I call it. OK, the whole thing IS somewhat immature, I admit it, but this is what things are coming to!