This article is a good example of the latter. The situation: a conservative condemning an article which advocated for the socialization of law - putting all people in the US in the same situation of having to rely on the same 'pool' of public defenders. No more million dollar defense teams for OJ Simpson - he'll be getting a public defender. And here's the big plea:
Throughout the ages, most religions have rightly condemned envy as a terribly destructive motivator, harmful both to the individual and to the community. The Bible warns of it repeatedly and the thinkers of the Middle Ages elevated (lowered?) it to be one of the Seven Deadly Sins. And yet the modern leftists' embrace of class resentment is nothing more than envy dressed up in the language of virtue.
When someone is talking about the socialization of law - perhaps the one 'industry' aside from national defense where 'socialization' superficially makes a whole lot of sense - and their big play is "tut tut, I believe the CHURCH has something to say about ENVY", my instinctive reaction is "go fuck yourself." I find it hard to believe that the resistance to this idea is borne out of concerns for one of the seven deadly sins - it seems a lot more as if someone is asking "Hmm, how do get the religious nuts on board with this one, because my arguments suck but I still know what conclusion I want to reach here." This isn't a situation where I can point to a serious logical flaw in an argument, because no flaw is really present here. Something about the move just plain smells, and it makes me skeptical.
That's not to say I'm completely on-board with the idea of the socialization of law. For one thing, any such move would automatically result in yet another transfer of power towards the state, which always bothers me. For another, ideally I'd like to see nations where 'socialized law' is in play and if it has resulted in fairness, or just created a new and tasty breed of corruption and bias. But no, I'm not particularly wedded to the intellectual claim that there's something innately right about making it so people with more financial resources are able to more broadly and effectiveness help themselves to justice, whatever that word means once we've decided that some people deserve more of it or a more pleasant version of it if they're willing to pony up the cash. There may be good arguments against the socialization of law, but lecturing appeals to the great sin of Envy ain't it.
Is it just me? You conservative religious who happen to be reading this, please tell me if I'm getting the wrong vibe off Gabriel's piece. Or are you seeing some of it too?