Source:   Los Angeles Times
Pubdate:February 18, 1998


Richael Kelly ("The Corruption of Democracy," Commentary, Feb. 11) informs
us that we are required to obey every law, no matter how onerous or odious.
Really? Consider the following moral thought experiment. In some states
certain sexual acts are legally proscribed, even if the participants are a
married couple in their own bedroom with the shades drawn.

What if a friend, living in such a state, were to tell you that she and her
husband thoroughly enjoy these acts but never engage in them, because, she
says, if we can pick and choose which laws to obey we're on a slippery
slope to anarchy. Would you hope (a) that this exemplary citizen seeks high
public office or (b) that this pathetic authoritarian never achieves a
position of power?

Perhaps it's my terminal adolescence, but such thought experiments seem to
me instructive, particularly in these times of rampant sanctimonious cant.

Santa Barbara