Ethics, Morality, and Justice
Wouldn't we all like to believe a direct correlation exists between the terms Ethics, Morality, and Justice? How many of us were taught in school that those terms are synonymous? I for one was taught that Truth, Justice, Fair Play, and Personal Integrity were all things that were valued by society; that if I held to these values, I would be afforded a "Fair Shot" in life.
Unfortunately, what we see at work in today's society does not line up with what we were taught in school during our formative years. When charged with a crime, I held to the truth and demanded my right to a trial in front of a jury of my peers. Alas, I was pre-judged by media manufactured public opinion long before I ever entered the courtroom to be tried. What happened in the courtroom was even worse; the story lines were all well-rehearsed by the prosecution as their witnesses were prepped and reminded of the story they were to relate. The facts were well filtered to fit the narrative put forth by the State, while facts that tended to be exculpatory in nature were disallowed. The notion that I was to be presumed innocent until proven guilty was in fact a lie. Prior to going to trial, I took the time to carefully read the code of ethics for both the States attorney and the Advocate (Public Defender) appointed to represent the defendant. At no time during the judicial process did either my attorney or the States attorney ever let this code stand in the way of assuring I did not receive a fair trial. In fact, my attorney became incensed when I refused to stand up and take the plea bargain I was offered. And when I told her that I could not in good conscience plead guilty because I was in fact innocent, her response was a flippant "Whatever".
Think of it; the people who were supposed to be standing up for truth and justice were the very people who disregarded and discarded those values in their efforts to pursue their own personal or political motives. And do you think for one second that this could never happen to you? That there is just no way because "That only happens to people who actually break the law, and I never break the law."? Because if you do, some day you may find that you have been sadly mistaken. I used to think that it was solely criminal thoughts, intent, and subsequent actions that determined whether I had to contend with the criminal justice system. Imagine my confounded surprise when in the middle of the night, in my very own home, I awoke to a nightmare without end. I was not charged because of something of my own intent or choosing, but because I am supposedly responsible for someone else's actions.
I feel it is my responsibility to do what I can to bring the moral crisis we all face to the forefront of the public eye. Someone needs to stand up and call a spade a spade — it might as well begin with me. After all, I have an intimate knowledge of the hypocrisy and corruption that has become "business as usual" in our government and judicial system. Of course there will be plenty of scoffers to berate my attempts to relate the truth. Nevertheless, denial can never negate the facts. It has been said that if you want to accurately judge anything or anyone, you need only look at the fruit they produce.
Ask yourself this question... how much untruth can be mixed with the truth before it all becomes a lie? As far as I know, the truth is always the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But when an account of events is "Cherry Picked" in order to tailor the narrative, that is an active suppression of the truth in order to further the lie!
If you are ever accused of a crime, do you honestly believe that by telling the police the whole truth, you will avoid being arrested and prosecuted by a ravenous prosecutor? I wonder, how many of you reading this have had a negative encounter with law enforcement and the judicial system. How many of you are related to or know someone caught up in the criminal justice system? Because that is often what it takes to have someone's eyes truly opened.
Do not misunderstand me; I do not mean to impugn that everyone who is a law enforcement officer, attorney, judge, or other entity attached to the judicial system is immoral or corrupt. But it only takes a small number of individuals to spoil the entire batch. Just as a small amount of yeast can leaven an entire loaf of bread, a small amount of dishonesty by those in trusted positions goes a long way towards committing atrocities against the defenseless. Even if a person in one of these positions does not commit an immoral act themselves, but stands by and does nothing to rectify a wrong they have knowledge of, they become as guilty of the wrong as if they themselves had committed it.
Imagine; at the end of the second world war, many of the German people claimed they were not responsible for what had happened to the Jews, the Poles, the Gypsies, etc... And yet, they stood idly by with full knowledge of the atrocities being committed by their leaders... fellow Germans. And when the rest of the world saw what they had been party to, did they buy the excuse that "it wasn't me, it was them!"? by no means! Just having knowledge of wrongs being committed and doing nothing to oppose the injustice makes anyone culpable and guilty because they stood by when they could have stood up! Not standing up for what is right when possible is nothing less than sheer cowardice.
Because of what I was taught in my formative years, my own personal ethos is based on truth, honesty, a sense of fair play. I do not shirk my moral responsibilities or shy away from giving aid to the weak and defenseless. I do all I can to stand against those who would take advantage because it is dishonorable to take unfair advantage of someone who is wounded and vulnerable. When Jesus spoke to His disciples, He spoke of the "Good Samaritan" when asked "Who is my Neighbor?" — the Samaritan did not shy away from the man who lay beaten and battered, he picked him up, tended his wounds, and saw that his shelter was provided for. This example provides a sharp contrast to the fact that the man's own countrymen crossed the road and passed by without lending aid to the man. Worse yet is the fact that they were supposed leaders, men of the cloth so to speak. It took an ordinary man, someone who was considered by the Jews as unclean and beneath themselves to see and meet the needs of their fellow Jew. Of course this is considered a hypothetical situation, but there can be no denying the applicability of the lesson.
A true story is exemplified in a poem titled "First they came for the Jews", written by Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran Pastor from Germany. "First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. And when they came for me, I was alone. There was no one to stand up for me..."
Fear is no excuse for failing to stand against injustice when you have knowledge that it is occurring. After all, "Courage is a matter of being very afraid, then doing the right thing in spite of the possible consequences." Truth is; everyone knows what is right and what is wrong, but a vast gulf lies between those who stand by and watch in apathetic silence and those who stand up to fight against injustice in its myriad forms. Look around you and see your world for what it really is. See the immorality hidden behind a façade of self-righteousness and stand up against those who use it to victimize the defenseless. Ignoring it only allows it to grow in strength and pervasiveness, until it someday rises up to claim you or someone you love as it next victim.
I am imprisoned, essentially alone and disenfranchised from society, and yet I do what I can to draw attention to the cancerous monster of a government out of citizen control. While many laws are intended to set necessary boundaries and protect the citizenry, many have come in to being that lead to the loss of freedom for individuals. With a system of law that has been designed by lawyers for the advantage of lawyers, it should be obvious that the foxes have been turned loose in the proverbial henhouse. The proliferation of a "Police State" has occurred because we have allowed those who are supposed to serve us, to instead fashion a system that serves them at our expense.
Anyone who turns on the television and watches the various news programs should be quite aware of the blatant hypocrisy running rampant in all branches of the government. It does not matter what side of the isle they supposedly stand on, they are all self-serving and belong to the class of elitists. These people no longer serve us, they serve themselves.
I suppose that in order to hammer the point home I could give example after example to specify just how corrupt our system of government, laws and justice have become. But why point out what is as plain as day? What I am really interested in accomplishing is change!
There are many "movements" afoot within American society today. And while I must admit that many of them have at least some merit, too many of these movements aim to accomplish their ends at the expense of other individuals. I am all for each of us being able to pursue our life's ambitions as long as doing so does not infringe on others.
The me too movement:
As a victim of sexual abuse, I have much to say regarding how I felt as I was being victimized. Not only do I understand what it feels like to be a victim, but I also have very specific feelings about how both justice and healing should be administered. Unfortunately, just bringing the subject up makes most people feel so uncomfortable that affective discourse concerning effective ways to combat this social illness becomes near impossible. Judging by long held draconian attitudes at work in today's society, people still attach a stigma to and attack what they do not understand. "Oh, how awful" they say as politically motivated prosecutors across the nation rail against such things in the public eye because it serves to advance their careers. All the while, the people they supposedly seek justice for are quickly forgotten after the sensational public show is over. Mission accomplished!
Worst of all is the fact that laws have been put into place that disallow any man accused of such an act to put forth an effective defense, regardless of innocence or guilt. While laws such as "Rape Shield" statues are on their face, dedicated to protecting purported victims, they often act as a "Blanket Law" that denies the accused any effective defense. There is much to be said for how the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution applies to this very scenario.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Comment: Anyone born or naturalized in the United States is a citizen. All citizens are entitled to due process (basic fairness), according to the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Laws must be enacted and enforced in a way that treats people equally.
I find it especially disturbing that a law that was enacted to supposedly protect one class (victims), has due to its very nature, made a victim of myself and many others who have found themselves accused. While an avenue to seek reparations has been a long time in coming for those of us who were victimized, this movement does not validate the justice pendulum swinging the other way to the point of victimizing the accused. The fact of the matter is that sometimes an accuser's motives and patterns of previous behavior are germane to the matter at hand. To disallow any discovery in to these motives or behaviors clearly denies the accused a fair hearing of all pertinent facts.
While some may construe it as cruel or politically incorrect to closely examine a person who is accusing another of sexual impropriety, doing so is necessary to insure a fairness to the accused. Remember, until all of the facts are discussed and given to a jury of one's peers, they are accused only, not convicted. That simple fact seems to be forgotten when someone (most often a man) is accused of committing a sex crime. To presuppose that the one doing the accusing is infallibly truthful denies evidence that is often to the contrary.
The following excerpts are taken from R.F. Doyle's book "Save The Males".
According to statistics, between 27 percent and 60 percent of rape allegations are false (Charles P. McDowell, et al, False allegations, appearing as a chapter in Practical Rape Investigation: A Multidisciplinary Approach edited by Behavior Science Unit, FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia, 1985).
Until recently, it was customary in rape prosecutions for the judge to read Sir Matthew Hale's admonition that the jury ought to "view the woman's testimony with caution. Rape is an accusation easily to be made, hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused though never so innocent." No more, the legal system suppresses Sir Matthew Hale's commonsense admonition. See The Rape of Justice, by Prof Baskerville, a modern day successor to professor Amneus.
As in all accusations by women against men, the burden is on the man to prove innocence, which is exceedingly difficult, and contrary to our basic right of 'innocent until proven guilty.' Susan Shapiro Barash, author of Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie, published by St. Martin's Press, said, "Women lie as a survival technique, but also to get what they want." "Women lie every day," says Ottawa Judge Dianne Nicholas. Linda Fairstein, former head of the sex-crimes unit for the Manhattan District Attorney, estimates that half of all reports are unfounded.
As I have clearly stated in my opening statement concerning the "Me Too" movement, I know what it feels like to be a victim of sexual abuse. That being said, my aim is not to trivialize the need to protect victims or punish their abusers. Instead, I feel it is imperative that the quest for justice be unbiased, balanced, and fair for a// concerned parties. This means putting an end to "Blanket Laws" that work to deny due process to the accused. It should be up to the discretion of the Judge to determine whether a particular line of questioning rises to the threshold of being abusive in nature. That is what judges are intended to be, arbitrators of the court; insuring that proceedings remain lawful and germane to the issues at hand. To make legal decisions in accordance with "Political Correctness" is to depart from the very foundations that our system of law was built on in the first place. To quote President Harry S. Truman, "Political Correctness is the notion that one can pick up a turd by the clean end." That is to say, often times social or legal subjects contain subject matter that is offensive to the sensibilities of most. While facing these naked truths may make many uncomfortable, this cannot be allowed to shape the way society addresses its dirtier side. Because the subject of rape dredges up many emotional responses, especially for those of us who have been victims of it, to make legal decisions (enacting laws) based on those emotions has lead us down a path to injustice.
The LBGTQ.... Movement:
After reading about the December 9 attack on a woman in Alaska who advocates and celebrates the LBGTQ lifestyle, I feel impelled to comment. First and foremost, if and when anyone disagrees with the lifestyle choices of others, the decision to respond with violent language, gestures, or assaultive acts is a poor choice, both morally and intellectually.
With the rise of anti-Semitism in America and throughout the world it should be quite obvious that this recent attack smacks of the same color. If your only response to something you disagree with is to resort to violence, you clearly display fear, impotence, and intolerance. Not only that, but this sort of response only fans the flames of such movements, thereby lending a degree of legitimacy to the very thing you oppose.
I condemn these attempts to bully, harass, and harm by those responsible for badgering this woman and other members of the gay community. Because I am a Christian man, I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. I do not agree with the LGBTQ lifestyle and agenda. Nevertheless, I refuse to give in to fear fueled hatred and the abhorrent acts linked to it. I am responsible for how I live and how I treat my fellow man, not how someone else chooses to live. Although I may not agree with what other people think, say, or do, my moral position can only be strengthened by extending love and patience, not hatred and vitriol.
History clearly demonstrates that acts like those perpetrated against this woman only lead down a road that assures increased human suffering. Many people rush to call these acts of thuggery "Hate Crimes", and in a sense that is a true statement; but this type of behavior is currently being perpetrated against people of many different ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds. For that reason, I am more inclined to call these acts anti-Semitic. Although the term anti-Semitism has historically been attached to people of Jewish descent, it has also been used to persecute people from other ethnic, political, and social groups. This mindset cannot be condoned or allowed to proliferate within the framework of our society.
The only sane choice for those of us who do not agree with others' lifestyles or agendas is to lead by example with lives lived in the very best way. If we honor our spouses and marital contracts, we prove that monogamy and traditional relational roles are true keys to living out fulfilling, successful lives. A quiet refusal to engage in arguments with those who try to project their agendas on us and our loved ones is the most effective way to combat their desire to make others accept their agenda as legitimate.
To those of you who are committing these acts of aggression towards people you do not agree with; stop allowing your frustration to lead to outrage, fear, and hatred. You are only adding fuel to the fire and inspiring sympathy towards those you oppose. Besides, many people who choose to live the LGBTQ lifestyle are loving, compassionate, contributing members of society. This is a fact! While I do not condone their homosexuality or denial of the sex they were born with, I honor them as fellow human beings who deserve the same respect and consideration as the rest of us.
Addendum to previous blurb on the LBGTQ.... Community and their cause:
Now that this attack has garnered the attention of civil rights groups, special interest groups, and our law makers, a new bill is being introduced to qualify this type of attack as a "Hate Crime". This is perfectly acceptable and to be honest, long overdue legislation. Unfortunately, buried within that bill is also an attempt to make an official State recognized LBGTQ Day here in Alaska. It is this very agenda that I was speaking about when I stated that to attack these people only lends credence to their cause. If I had not seen the actual cuts and staples on this woman's forearms myself, I would be tempted to believe that the whole thing was an orchestrated sham to garner sympathy, thereby furthering the LBGTQ cause. Who knows... there are a whole lot of Jessie Smollett's out there; people who manufacture events to make themselves the center of media attentions.
So what do Rape Shield laws, unethical behavior from members of the judicial branch, or the agendas of groups like the LBGTQ community have to do with Ethics, Morality, and Justice? C'mon! if I have to break that down we are in far more trouble as a society than I had dared toim agine. But to be perfectly frank and dispel any possible misunderstanding, allow me to sum it up in as few words as possible. Ethics...Morality...Justice...
These concepts are all intrinsically linked. They are so interwoven and dependent on one another that where you find one, you are bound to find the others. The absence of one or any of these in the many facets of our society is what has led to the breakdown of the social fabric. While I could go on and on to eventually write a book like so many other people who feel compelled to write about the crisis' we face as a people. I instead choose to leave this blurb as it is now. Of course I have much more to say, but what I have said so far should give any of you good cause for much pondering. Ultimately, that is my highest hope for what I write; that people read my words, are provoked to thought, and eventually, are compelled to converse with others about these subjects. All change begins with a conversation. I bid you good day.
David W. Mason
Dialogue is the oxygen of change
U.S. business consultant
My apologies for getting the letters out of their customary order in L.G.B.T.Q.
I am unaccustomed to using the term and no disrespect was intended.
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