In Klingistan, the people are small and green. A new leader decided all the people of the kingdom would wear yellow shirts. He had found a law in the history books that said he could tell the people what to wear. So, "Only yellow shirts," he declared. "Starting on Tuesday at 9am, everyone will wear yellow shirts. Always."
One fellow, we'll call him, Adam didn't want to wear a yellow shirt.
Another person, Anna, had to make her own and she asked for a two hour deviation. By 11am she could have her shirt done, but 9 wasn't quite going to work.
Tuesday came and the leader sent the police out to enforce his new law. Many people didn't take it seriously, so he created a special police force just for the yellow shirt policy. Anna was arrested first for not being on time.
Adam started speaking out in the streets wearing a, gulp, blue shirt. He called for the yellow shirt law to be abolished and Anna to be released from prison.
Well, in the tradition of the green people the leader had to be followed. It just had to be done. The ancient writings said so. The leader sent the yellow shirt police to disband the crowd, even though they all wore their yellow shirts. It wasn't seemly for them to gather together and listen to that Adam fellow talk ill of the leader. You see speaking ill of the leader was also forbidden in the land. The original leader of the green people, many hundreds of years ago, had said so.
The shirt police fired shots into the crowd, live ammunition, killing several people. The red blood soaked their yellow shirts. No one would be allowed to congregate in the public squares, yellow shirts or no. Poor Adam, who felt he had something to say, was arrested.
It was a big event in Klingistan and well, a man who worked for the newspaper had happened by during the gathering. He was intrigued and took notes from a distance. So he wrote a little observation piece for the local paper. He tried very hard to only tell what had happened because he knew it would be sensitive. The next day the newspapers flew off the stands. All the green people who weren't at the gathering were fascinated and wanted to know what had occurred exactly.
You can imagine it wasn't long before whispering was going on among the green people. Even though the leader said so, well some weren't sure if the arrest of Anna or Adam was the for the best, but then tradition said they must obey the leader. It was perplexing, but no one was sure what could be done.
The shirt police went to the newspaper and talked to the poor observant fellow. His choice was to, well, clarify the story, perhaps recant some things or face losing his job, maybe going to prison. He got going on a new version of the event. The printer sent couriers out on the streets to gather in the unsold papers.
When Adam's family saw the newspaper the next day with the new version, they were disturbed. They knew they couldn't say anything against the leader. But poor Adam sitting in prison. He had a different opinion yes, but, well it was disturbing. They went to the religious house in their neighborhood. It seemed they ought to appeal to a higher power on Adam's behalf.
While his mother knelt at the front, the state police entered the back of the building. A large green officer, cleared his throat loudly. "Excuse me, you will all have to leave this place. It is not a sanctioned place of worship. It deviates from the tradition. The ban is effective now."
Everyone sat or knelt frozen in place contemplating this announcement. Stunned.
"You need to leave, NOW!"
The startled group shuffled out. The general police nailed the door shut and posted a notice of where a legal place of worship existed. Adam's mother grasped the officer's arm, "Is this because of Adam?"
He shook her off. "No," he straightened the yellow uniform blazer. "I don't know what you are talking about. This worship place doesn't abide with the tradition. The new leader wants to enforce the old traditions. We must enforce it."
The poor woman sobbed as she walked home. Something didn't feel right, even though the traditions were being followed. Somehow she felt dirty or wrong. She also had a conviction she would never see Adam again. And she didn't.