We’ve learned a lot of true history this past week, mostly along the lines of how evil courts of men can be. We have been shown true examples of where courts have wrongly decided cases in contradiction to Natural Law and while very informative, we have always been a nation of laws created and decided upon by men – with a court system established by the Constitution of the United States of America.
I’m not sure how just recognizing that courts of men do fail gets us much of anything other than making us feel good for recognizing it.
We have learned that it was the “courts” that created the institution of slavery and other various affronts to Natural Law and humanity – but I’m actually surprised that the two most heinous court decisions in the history of mankind haven’t been mentioned – the condemnation of Jesus in front of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin is a Hebrew court made up of 23 community elders and captured in the four canonical gospels Jesus is tried and condemned by the Sanhedrin, mocked and beaten and is condemned for making the claim of being the Son of God. Unable to convict Jesus of blasphemy in a religious court, He was then turned over to a civil court, a Roman court under Pontius Pilate for treason – claiming to be a king when Caesar was king. Jesus also frustrated this court with his truth and unable to convict him of any civil crime, the decision was turned over to the crowd, leading Pilate in Matthew Chapter 27, verse 24 to say:
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
The corruption of the people led to the crucifixion of Christ. The courts were merely a tool they used to get what they desired. The laws were ignored.
There is a really good retelling of this Biblical story through the perspective of a lawyer you may find interesting here.
My point in relating this story is not to try to imply that courts are infallible or that laws are always correct rather it is to note the response of people to these events.
Did the Hebrews destroy their own legal system because they convicted the Messiah? No, history records that the Sanhedrin continued to dispense Jewish law for another 400 years after the death of Christ.
Did we destroy the Torah and the Bible and discard everything good in them because rabbinical law was used to crucify Jesus? No.
Throughout the ages, laws get made, decisions are taken and actions are committed that both agree and disagree with the recognized standards of behavior – and codified laws. We can all see that and we can all quote chapter and verse of decisions contradictory to the Constitution and even issues when the courts got involved when they had no right or grounds to do so.
That this is a fact is indisputable – but this doesn’t mean that we are powerless or that the very system that has been used to reach this point must be discarded.
I would like to propose something for us to think about.
Several years ago, I was reading through some of my father’s stuff from WWII – I came across some notes that had to do with an operation that was conducted in the waning years of the war – whether he was involved or not, I do not know…he never spoke of his war experiences – ever – which makes his family wonder what he actually did in the war.
As Germany was being overwhelmed with the productive capacity of the United States – we were cranking out tank after tank, plane after plane to replace what was lost on the line, our intelligence folks began to realize just how far advanced the German technology was. We all know about the V-2 but it is a documented fact that they were well advanced on a stealth bomber, advanced guidance systems for bombs and missiles, electric powered “Elektroboat” submarines, infrared night vision – and the Russian and Chinese AK-47 owes much of its design to the German SturmGewehr-44 design and the tapered steel cartridge designed for it. They had even cranked out a jet fighter, the ME-262 and had tested the Lippisch P-13a, a ram-jet powered, delta-winged fighter. If we had not destroyed a “heavy water” facility in Norway, throwing their scientists at least a year behind, they would likely have had an atomic bomb before we did.
While it was clear that they didn’t have the productive capacity to actually get these turned out in numbers, the US never wanted this tech and power to fall into the hands of our enemies – and even though the Russians were fighting the Germans with us, it was clear that they were not our friends and as soon as hostilities were over, they would be in direct competition with us for influence around the world – and thus the Cold War was born.
So the US conducted Operation Paperclip. Per Wikipedia:
Operation Paperclip was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program used to recruit the scientists of Nazi Germany for employment by the United States in the aftermath of World War II (1939–45). It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), and in the context of the burgeoning Soviet–American Cold War (1945–91), one purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific knowledge and expertise to the USSR, the UK, and the newly-divided East and West Germanies themselves.
Although the JIOA’s recruitment of German scientists began after the European Allied victory (8 May 1945), US President Harry Truman did not formally order the execution of Operation Paperclip until August 1945. Truman’s order expressly excluded anyone found “to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazi militarism”. However, those restrictions would have rendered ineligible most of the leading scientists the JIOA had identified for recruitment, among them rocket scientists Wernher von Braun, Kurt Debus and Arthur Rudolph, and the physician Hubertus Strughold, each earlier classified as a “menace to the security of the Allied Forces”
What does this have to do with anything?
Well, we didn’t throw away the science simply because it was Nazi science that had been used in the most evil of regimes. We didn’t condemn it as illegitimate because of who created it and how they were using it. Why not?
Because it was science and we recognized that there was not “evil” science, it was the people who used it in that way who were at fault. We knew that the same “science” that had produced evil in the hands of the Nazis, could produce good in the hands of the right people.
Rather than see it fall into the hands of people who would likely do the same, the US co-opted the Nazi scientists and turned them to working for the country that had become the beacon of good in the world. Their work allowed the US to become the lone super-power (before Obama got hold of us).
The “law” is little different from the science. There are great, learned and just people in this world; all we need is a modern Operation Paperclip to turn it around. We have to infuse the “system” with people who truly honor the Constitution.
We can’t wash our hands of it in the fashion of Pilate.