Renewing the American Spirit

Patriot Week begins on 9/11 and ends on 9/17 (the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution (Constitution Day)) and renews America’s spirit by celebrating the First Principles, Founding Fathers and other Patriots, vital documents and speeches, and flags that make America the greatest nation in world history. Many of current holidays have become overly commercialized or have lost their deeper meaning. We need to invigorate our appreciation and understanding of America’s spirit. This blog is dedicated to keeping the spirit of Patriot Week - and America - alive all year long.....

Friday, October 28, 2011

King Arthur: My laws must bind everyone, high and low, or they're not laws at all.

In the movie classic Excalibur, King Arthur's wife, Guinevere, is accused of adultery with the King's champion, Sir Lancelot.  In the story, normally such a charge would be met on the field of battle by the husband of the wife, but Arthur defers the battle to Lancelot. Arthur, as King, must preside over the battle as judge to ensure that the battle follows the law and the pure of heart prevails.

Outraged that her husband refuses to champion her reputation, Guinevere confronts Arthur later that night, and the following exchange occurs:

Arthur to Guinevere: You [Lancelot and Guinevere] are the people I love best in the world. 
Guinevere: Then why can't you defend me? 
Arthur: The law!  My laws must bind everyone, high and low, or they're not laws at all. 
Guinevere:  You are my husband. 
Arthur: I must be king first. 
Guinevere: Before husband? 
Arthur: If need be.
Arthur exemplifies the First Principle of the Rule of Law.  He refuses to break his own law to ensure its integrity for the rest of his kingdom.  It was a concept alien to his own wife, and to most of world history.

As Arthur explained, a law is not a law if it does not bind everyone - from the lowest person to the highest - from the janitor to the CEO, from the prisoner to the judge, from the taxpayer to the President. Thankfully, America has taken a different path - one in which the rule of law prevails and our leaders are bound by the laws they make.

To learn more about the rule of law, check out PatriotWeek and Americas Survival Guide.

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