The Patron Saint of Lawyers

Lessons for Trump's lawyers?

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Maybe Trump's lawyers should have learned a thing or two from the patron saint of lawyers: Thomas More, A Man for All Seasons Total Landscaping.

UPDATE: My friend Shubha Ghosh adds:

"And when the last lawn was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the lawns all being flat? This country's planted thick with lawns from coast to coast—man's lawns, not God's—and if you cut them down—and you're just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of lawn for my own safety's sake."

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  1. Two comments:
    1. Is there supposed to be a link to a picture or something?

    2. At least it wasn’t for Manscaping!

  2. When God closes a door, he opens a Four Seasons Total Landscaping…

    Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because of Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

    When I find myself in times of trouble, Four Seasons Total Landscaping comes to me…

    You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like you’re at Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

    You must be the Four Seasons Total Landscaping you wish to see
    in the world.

    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt at Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

  3. From Wikipedia: “… he was convicted of treason and executed. “

    1. Yes, he was convicted of treason and executed for doing his job and standing up to a king who needed to be called out on his bad behavior. Not unlike several people Trump has fired, some of whom Trump would also no doubt like to have executed.

      If you’re going to look for bad things to say about attorneys, maybe pointing to one who did his job ethically and uprightly isn’t your best example.

      1. If you’re looking for lawyers to admire, look elsewhere than Thomas More.

        1. Oh, he had plenty of un-admirable traits too. My point is limited to the reason for his treason conviction and execution.

      2. “doing his job and standing up to a king who needed to be called out on his bad behavior”

        We ought to have a smarter lawyer as a saint.

        It was stupid and hopeless to oppose the king and it made no difference whatsoever. Stupid and senseless gestures are just stupid and senseless, not admirable.

        1. Bob, this may surprise you, but some of us actually have principles and consider it admirable to live up to those principles.

          1. He put his family at risk too.

            In those days traitors often were stripped of property and their families left impoverished. Ever hear of attainder and corruption of blood?

            I suppose one can throw ones own life away foolishly but making your family suffer too is a bad “principle”.

            1. “For Wales? Why, Richard [Bob?], it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . But for Wales?!”

              1. Hollywood invention.

                All he had to do was mumble some words about Henry being the head of the Church. Coerced oaths are not binding, his soul was in no danger.

            2. Well, Bob, I guess that depends on whether More believed what he claimed to believe.

              If you take seriously the Biblical command to “fear not those who are able to kill the body, but after that there is nothing more that they can do; rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell,” then it’s an easy decision. A brief period of misery on earth followed by eternal bliss is preferable to “enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season” only to be followed by eternal hell.

              Now, in point of fact, most religious people would live a whole lot differently than they do if they actually took their own dogma seriously, which causes me to wonder just how much they really do believe it. And had More been a deeply cynical hypocrite who claimed to be Christian because it furthered his career, then that, too, would have been an easy choice for him to make. At that point you follow the king.

              So the real issue is: Do you really believe what you claim to believe?

              1. The real issue is not doing something useless and putting your family in danger.

                Was Henry deposed? Did the Church of England disappear? Were Catholics not persecuted for 200 years?

                Again, stupid and senseless gestures are not admirable.

                1. Bob from Ohio : Again, stupid and senseless gestures are not admirable.

                  Then you’re with us, Bob, on this whole Trump-denying-the-Election thing?

                  1. I’m never with you.

                    Politics is rough and dirty, stop being so prissy. Biden will sleep in the White House basement soon enough, nothing going on will delay that for a minute.

                    1. I’m for motherhood & apple pie. You can get behind me on that, can’t you?

        2. You’re kind of unclear about the role of saints, aren’t you?

        3. More was of the belief that if he publicly affirmed that the king’s adulterous relationship was a true marriage, he would have committed a mortal sin. He didn’t go out into the highways and call the king an adulterer; he (supposedly) broke a law requiring a positive oath upholding the king’s relationship with Anne Boleyn as a real marriage.

          Did More anticipate that what the king regarded as his royal prerogative – breaking up his family in service to his ambition and lust – would trickle down to the masses and lead to…what we see today?

          1. I think lust and ambition had trickled down to the masses long before More.

            Economics may not efficiently trickle, but lust always does……

            1. I’m sorry to say that you’ve inadvertently rephrased my remark so it means something different.

      3. I oppose the execution of the lawyer hierarchy, a group of 25000 traitors running the profession. Violence is usually wrong and not persuasive. Life was so hellish, and stinky, execution was a kindness. See the history of Henry’s Privy Council. Henry was too big to clean himself, and his personal hygiene could take an hour with solitary access to his ear.

        Wasn’t More an Inquisitor? He burned Lutherans for reading the Bible in English. This is highly relevant to today. The Inquisition was a great business model, lasting 700 years. You blasphemed by eating meat on Friday, reading the Bible in English or a million other regulatory violations. We have a plea deal for you. Avoid the stake for 40% of your estates. That Vatican did not get to look like that from collections at church. The Inquisition ended when French patriots beheaded 10000 church officials.

        We are in the Inquisition 2.0, the sophisticated American version. The adversarial system comes from the Scholasticist disputation as the best method to reach the truth. Disputation stinks as a method of reaching the truth. Everything about the American legal system stinks, and is in failure. The Common Law plagiarizes the Catechism of the 13th Century. Even the Catholic Church moved on from Scholasticism in the 19th Century. Not so the American lawyer profession. The rent seeking is now a $trillion a year, returning nothing of any value. This is like the funding of a 10 Vaticans a year.

        The lawyer profession must be crushed to save our nation. The 25000 hierarchy lawyers could be arrested, tried an hour with the reading of their legal utterances as the sole evidence, and executed in the court basement, for their insurrection against the constitution. They would be replaced, in a minute, by grateful competitors. It will be harder to end the Inquisition 2.0. But that must happen.

  4. “When all the laws are flat, and the Devil comes for you, where will you hide?”

    “What law did he break?”
    “The law of God!”
    “Then let God arrest him.”

    That’s important, but it’s about the extent to which we can look to More. He was not a tolerant person.

  5. Perhaps “If telling the truth will lose your case, shut up.”

  6. Thomas More was happy with the law that allowed him to burn heretics at the stake.

    1. So what. At the time, it was essentially undisputed that heresy was a capital crime. The only dispute was about what constituted heresy.

      In other news, Martin Luther was a virulent anti-semite, George Washington was a slave owner, and FDR didn’t care much about civil rights. On the other hand, Hitler was a vegetarian tee-totaller and, from what I understand, a terrific dancer.

      1. And he was into animal rights.

        1. And he had the good taste to offer the job of official Nazi filmmaker to Fritz Lang, who had the good sense to decamp to California.

      2. So what.

        So, I assume that saints should transcend the mores of their times and act in accord with firmer moral principles. Most people don’t do that, of course, but then most people aren’t regarded as saints.

        And, among your examples, I see no reason at all to consider Luther an admirable individual.

      3. He was also a better painter than Churchill.

  7. This “total landscaping” gag will have legs. Thanks for getting things rolling.

  8. Did More ever have a dispute with a genuine advocate of religious freedom – or even of religious tolerance? Or was this a case of people disputing over who should be repressed.

    More believed in repressing the Protestants. Perhaps he feared that the Protestants wanted to tear England’s faith and institutions up by the roots for the benefit of the wealthy while screwing over the poor. People can be paranoid that way.

  9. The fact a clearly humorous aside turns into a contentious argument and petty namecalling does not bode well for comments section here. Lighten up people.

    1. It didn’t bode all that well for you (for what that’s worth).

  10. Well he certainly was into lawns but I suppose he was English.
    Seriously, did he actually say this or are you just going with the movie.

  11. I can see that the Hilary Mantel view of More is winning out over the Robert Bolt view.

  12. Not just lawyers–On 31 October 2000 Pope John Paul II declared More “the heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians”!

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