Sunday, 24 February 2013

Love, honour and obey

I was astonished this week to hear the following question asked by a juror during the trial of Chris Huhne's ex, Vicky Pryce...

Would religious conviction be a good enough reason for a wife feeling that she had no choice, ie she promised to obey her husband in her wedding vows and he had ordered her to do something and she felt she had to obey?

Thankfully, the judge was singularly unimpressed and pointed out that this question had nothing to do with the case being heard and that in any case it was not being offered as a defence.

Nevertheless, it does raise an interesting question. You take a vow before God to obey your husband. He gives you a gun and tells you to go out and shoot someone. You obey him and when prosecuted your defence is that you hold unshakeable religious convictions and believed you had no option but to commit the crime.

Are you innocent? I say not, but it would be interesting to test this in a court of law.

I am reminded of the differences that exist between different cultures. Many years ago, I shared an office with a Japanese gentleman who sat to attention every time his boss rang him up from Japan. I remember saying to him "If he asked you to jump off the top of the building to your death, would you do it?"

His reply was most intriguing. He didn't say no as you would expect, he just replied "Why would he ask me to do that?" Seems that the guy just wouldn't because he was responsible for his staff. I pushed the point and eventually he said that he would do it - but wouldn't ask why.

I was astonished that he would just blindly obey, but as he explained "He would not ask me unless he had a good reason." Then he added "What would you do?"

I simply replied "I'd tell him to fuck off!" How about you?

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