Wolsey: Very well then.......England needs an heir; certain measures, perhaps regrettable perhaps not, there is much in the church that needs reformation, Thomas. All right regrettable! But necessary to get us an heir. Now explain how you as Councilor of England can obstruct those measures for the sake of your own, private, conscience.
More: Well.....I believe that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties they lead their country by a short route to chaos.
Exchange between Cardinal Wolsey and Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons.
These lines may be more true now than when Robert Bolt wrote this play in the fifties. I hauled out my copy of the film over the weekend. How often do we hear, "I don't really agree with this but we need to............................" only to find that events don't go the way we thought they would, that we we thought was true wasn't, or that we just plain screwed up.
A prosecutor insists on keeping a rape case going with no good evidence and finds himself not only having to drop the charges but sanctioned, disbarred, and facing a civil suit. Members of congress give public support to a war either out of honest belief, party loyalty, or fear of being labeled "soft on terror." Now they spend their energy trying to explain away their earlier support and the war goes on. We're faced with candidate after candidate, all trying to be everything to everyone only to be seen as empty shells. They only succeed in being no one to no body.
For some reason the words just aren't coming tonight. So, I'll leave it with this. You either follow your conscience or you don't. And I truly believe that every time you don't a little piece of yourself gets chipped away. Do this often enough and there won't be any you left.