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I’m going to save everyone a lot of time. Whenever a political or religious group breaks a law, here are the responses that you’ll see from people who sympathize with the group. Now, you won’t have to wade through endless commentary — including your own.

One note before we begin: Any or all of these items may be relevant and true. I’m just categorizing them, not judging how applicable they are. God knows that I’ve said some of them myself.

1.The group didn’t really break the law if you look at it from the proper viewpoint.

2. The group technically broke the law, but the law that they broke is so unjust that it shouldn’t be a law at all.

3. The group broke the law, but the injustice and abuse that motivated the group to break the law is much worse than the crime that the group committed.

4. The media have blown the crime out of proportion while ignoring or downplaying other abuses that are much worse.

5. The authorities’ actions in response to the crime are far more severe than the crime deserved.

6. The group’s crime, while certainly illegal, is understandable if you look at it from the group’s perspective. (Corollary: If you were in their shoes, you would have committed the crime, too.)

7. The real crime is the activities that aren’t against the law but should be.

8. Our founding fathers broke British law, and we revere them, so why are we attacking a group whose intentions are as noble as the founders’?

9. It’s Obama’s fault. (Insert the name of any other politician who annoys you.)

Feel free to add #10, #11, #12 . . .