Utah Politics/Region

Art Pollard pollarda at lextek.com
Fri Feb 4 11:48:30 MST 2005

At 09:19 AM 2/4/2005, Derek Carter wrote:
>Ryan Byrd wrote:
>>There is no evidence of any "Prima Nocte" laws in feudal Europe, even
>>in France. It is an invention, designed to produce controversy, of our
>>beloved Hollywood (though allusions appear in Mozart's opera, Le Nozze
>>di Figaro.)

Actually, there is some evidence that it was a common law in 
Europe.  Though not at the time of William Wallace but one or two hundred 
years later.

But the point I was making still applies.  Perhaps a better example would 
be that of American slavery which was perfectly legal and ratified by the 
Supreme Court (see the Dredd Scott case) which ruled that slaves were property.

Just because a law is on the books does not mean that it is a law that 
should be obeyed or honored by society.  I suppose we could fall into the 
pit of moral relativism but if we stayed in that pit, there is likelihood 
that there would still be slaves in the South, Bogg's extermination order 
might still be standing, and it would still be permissible to slaughter 
American indians.

I think that any of us would argue that the laws that permitted our 
forefathers to enslave the blacks, kill the Mormons and native Americans 
were just laws.  Just as there were laws 100-200 years ago that let others 
enslave and kill unjustly, there are laws today that let one group to take 
life liberty and property from one group or another unjustly.

Because you can get enough of your friends together to pass a law does not 
make it just or that it should be obeyed or enforced.


Art Pollard
Suppliers of High Performance Text Retrieval Engines.

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