Respect for the law is more than simply not violating the law, but rather having a reverence for it. Abraham Lincoln recognized the duty of every single American citizen to revere the law . In a speech given at the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois on January 27, 1838, Lincoln proclaimed:
Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity swear by the blood of the Revolution never to violate in the least particular the laws of the country, and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and laws let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor — let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty. Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in primers, spelling-books, and in almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the lively of all sexes and tongues and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.
Finally, for a real laugh, check out this 1950’s public domain film on Why We Respect The Law (see WhyWeRespect).