To the Left, legality matters most, while to the Right, legality matters far less than morality. To the Right and to the religious, the law, when it is doing its job, is only a vehicle to morality, never a moral end in itself. Even the Left has to acknowledge this. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Ala., bus in 1955, she violated the law. Therefore, anyone who thinks she did the right thing is acknowledging that law must be subservient to morality. Why, then, must the overthrowing of Saddam Hussein be subject to international law as determined by Communist China, neo-KGB Russia, amoral France and the thugs who rule Syria?
The answer is to be found in the Left's substitution of legal for moral.
And why is the Left so enamored of law?
First, the Left, which is largely secular, regards morality not as absolute, but as relative. This inevitably leads to moral confusion, and no one likes to be morally confused. So instead of moral absolutes, the Left holds legal absolutes. "Legal" for the Left is what "moral" is for the Right. The religious have a belief in God-based moral law, and the Left believes in man-made law as the moral law.
Second, whereas they cannot change God's laws, those on the Left can and do make many of society's laws.
In fact, the Left is intoxicated with law-making. It gives them the power to mold society just as Judeo-Christian values did in the past. Unless one understands that leftist ideals function as a religion, one cannot understand the Left.
Laws are the Left's vehicles to earthly salvation. Virtually all human problems have a legal solution.
Some men harass women? Pass laws banning virtually every flirtatious action a man might engage in vis a vis a woman. Flood legislatures with laws preventing the creation of a "hostile work environment." Whereas the religious world has always worked to teach men how to act toward women, the secular world, lacking these religious values, passes laws to control men.
In fact, since it lacks the self-control apparatus that is a major part of religion, the Left passes more and more laws to control people. That is why there is a direct link between the decline in Judeo-Christian religion and the increase in governmental laws controlling human behavior.
All this helps to explain the Left's preoccupation with controlling courts; passing laws; producing, enriching and empowering lawyers; filing lawsuits; and naming judges. Laws and the makers of laws will produce heaven on earth.
And that's one reason the Left hates the America represented by George W. Bush. This country under this president says morality is higher than man-made law. To the Left, that, not Saddam Hussein's torture and rape rooms, must be fought.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”