Thursday, May 17, 2012

Should We Obey All Laws?

What if Congress enacted a law and the Supreme Court ruled that law constitutional---requiring all people to attend a minimum of 3 church services per month?

Would you obey that law?

What if Congress enacted a law and the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional under the Constitution's Commerce Clause, requiring all motorists to get 8 hours sleep before operating a vehicle on public highways, claiming that was in the best interest of the public?

Would you obey it?

Different people would respond differently, depending on their beliefs. And the personal demands on their life.

Christians would say the Bible teaches us to obey the laws of the land.

What if you were a jury member during the 1850's and a free person was on trial for assisting a runaway slave in clear violation of the Fugitive Slave Act?

Would you vote to convict and punish?

Slavery is immoral, therefore any laws that support it would also be immoral, right? No?

Thomas Jefferson said, "To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions is a dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy."

Some things to think about.

In a few weeks the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare. Clearly the Court is politically divided. Michelle Obama said at a fundraiser recently that she was certain about the position of the judges her husband appointed. I would agree. One of them helped birth Obamacare.

What if the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is constitutional?

Should that happen, and I personally believe the Court will find the "mandate," which is a central component, is not constitutional----but what if, should Catholics and other people of faith whose consciences are violated by some of the demands of Obamacare, obey a law that is immoral?

You will recall the events in the book of Acts (5: 26-32) in the New Testament. Peter and others were out on the streets preaching the gospel in the name of Jesus Christ. They were arrested, jailed and told not to preach in the name of Christ.

An angel appeared (v. 19) at the prison, opened the doors and released them and told them to go back to the public square and resume preaching, which they did.

Again Peter and his colleagues were brought before the council and the high priest (judge). The judge said, "Didn't we command you not to teach this message in Christ's name?"

Peter's answer was simple. "We ought to obey God rather than men." ( v. 29)

I am not advocating or even suggesting civil disobedience or lawlessness. I am asking you to think.

And I am suggesting that Christian people of faith will likely be tested in these areas of their faith and their conscience in the days ahead, should America not choose a different direction for the country. Paul referred to them as "perilous times."

Should the Court rule in favor of Obamacare, it will not only likely destroy America as we have known it, but will for certain cause biblical Christians to make some difficult decisions.

Walter Williams, an African American columnist, raised this question in a recent column. He caused me to think more specifically about how I should respond to the moral implications of Obamacare, should it be allowed to stand as law.

William's emphasis is a little different, but the consequences are similar. He makes the case that Congress has already gone beyond the powers delegated to it in passing Obamacare. He quotes Federalist 45 and Madison, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite," claiming that vision has been inverted---stood on its head---reversed.

I agree.

He cites Jefferson and Madison in regard to the legality of the Alien and Sedition Acts and reviews the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

Williams point is this: Obamacare is forcing us to buy a product--health care.

I strongly recommend you read his article.

My point is that Obamacare is forcing us to accept government imposed mandates that violates the essence of many biblical Christian's beliefs about the sanctity of life.

If this law stands, how should we respond?

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Informed. Be Active. Be Blessed.

26 comments:

  1. So Gary is teaching that we should follow our consciences rather than the law of the land. I agree - God's Word, in whatever way we understand it, supersede the laws of the land.

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    1. RALPHINEVERETT1:32 PM, May 17, 2012

      God's Word, in whatever way we understand it, supersede the laws of the land.
      *******************************

      Would you let a kid die because J W parents refuse blood transfusions?

      Allah's word superseded the law of the land and we got WTC 911 attack.

      Interpretation of religious scriptures and doctrines has caused a lot of suffering and heart aches for innocents over the years.

      Delete
    2. Ralph also the catholic Church not listening to the word of God caused millions to be murdered, plus a world war . Not as easy as a answer you make it out to be .

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    3. You're drawing on the wrong analogy here, Ralph. This isn't analogous to the WTC bombings. This is more parallel to requiring religious pacifists to serve in the military. America has a tradition of respecting conscientious objection.

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  2. "I am not advocating or even suggesting civil disobedience or lawlessness."

    Just planting the seed, right? Why else bring it up?

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  3. I don't see Gary trying to teach anything in this, in fact he says he's not. He's trying to get us to think. Thanks Gary, too many are not thinking.

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  4. Very provocative. The Catholics have already indicated they will not obey should Obamacare stand.

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  5. Been thinking about some of these things. Christians may have some tough times ahead if Obama is re-elected.

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  6. " am not advocating or even suggesting civil disobedience or lawlessness. I am asking you to think."

    Excellent. Thank you.

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  7. People should be aware of jury nullification for this issue and others that may come up in the future. When some people were on trial for hiding slaves juries found them not guily (even thought technically they were). Juries have the power to decide on the law and the facts, although many judges will tell you differently.

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  8. Faith and Freedom staff10:55 AM, May 17, 2012

    To the point. This story was published by CNS News today.

    "Pelosi: No to Provision Protecting Chaplains From Being Ordered to Act Against Faith: 'It's A Fraud'
    By Elizabeth Harrington
    May 17, 2012
    Subscribe to Elizabeth Harrington's posts (CNSNews.com) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she stands with the White House in opposing a provision in the House defense authorization bill that would prohibit anyone in the military from ordering a chaplain to act against his or her "conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs" or against the religious beliefs of the denomination to which he or she belongs.

    Pelosi described the conscience-protection provision as a “fraud."

    CNS News is featured on the home page of Faith and Freedom. You can read the entire story there.

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  9. I agree that things are going to change especially if Christians don't conform, it may get very difficult and we will have to make decisions. I foresee that the issues will not always be public/governmental but also personal, involving our families/friends. Those in fact may prove to be the most difficult of all. We will need to seek the Holy Spirit to guide us in our responses.

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  10. OK, I'm a little confused. How about some specifics? What specific law(s) would you not follow?

    Not all of you are religious employers who would be required to cover birth control. So what law(s) do you not want to follow?

    Are you not going to buy health insurance?

    What specifically will affect any of you that you will protest? And, please, do be specific.

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  11. Confused 12:43 No need to be confused, it isn't that complicated. Gary is asking people to think about their moral responses as Obama continues to undermine religious freedoms and the expression of those freedoms. They are attacking religious freedoms and right of conscience in regard to chaplains in the military. Pelosi is calling "conscience protection" a fraud. See the above post. That's specific. Maybe there are a number of religious employers who read this blog. How do you know? Be specific as to how you know.

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    1. This does not answer the question. So, OK, I'll ask again,

      What specific laws would you personally not comply with? And please be SPECIFIC.

      Thank you,

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  12. Still confused. obama is declaring that he will not support the provision in the House defense authorization bill that would protect chaplains from being forced by the federal government to violate their conscience on marrying gays. I would not bow to obama on a similar issue.
    Give me the list of laws obama will pass that undermine my Christian faith and beliefs and I will tell you which of those I would not obey. Who knows what this man may do?
    The current trend is a path toward undermining many issues of Christian faith and conscience. We have to wait and see how far he trys to go. That's why Gary was asking people to "think" about this, should obama be re-elected and should obamacare be ruled constitutional.

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  13. The problem we have is that Obama calls himself a "Christian" but does not really measure up as a biblical Christian. He is a secularist, with a secularist agenda. There is no other way you can define him.

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  14. Just like obama patted the arm of the Russian guy and ask for a little slack until after the election, he is patting the arm of the gays and saying just wait until I get re-elected, then we can really make some changes for you guys.That would probably create a lot of laws I could not obey.

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  15. One of the great things about this country was our dedication to religious freedom . This is a good question because as our government becomes bigger, it invades our personal lives ever so more . Secualism "good intentions" has taken a terrible form as of late where religion and the free expression thereof is no longer something that has blessed this land , it has become something that this land at times has to put up with by the left. That is a dangerous change of our culture.

    We seem to have to compromise more concerning Faith and morality . Immoral relationships become civil right issues . Yet religion is seen more and more intolerant. Our Constitution was meant to protect us from the over reach of government.

    Now in the name of common good , government is attemting to mandate its morality on the people , instead of the people having a government that defends them individually .

    Good question , and one I wish the left would be more concerned with . This war on women was manufactured because religious institutions objected to having their conscience attacked . It is not the choice of health care that the religious institution wanted to stop , it was their involvement in that choice . That should have been a better conversation , one the left used as a gotcha instead of a mutual two way conversation where resolution could be found .

    Mick

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  16. "Give me the list of laws obama will pass that undermine my Christian faith.. "

    "That would probably create a lot of laws.."

    None of you has come up with a single law that impacts your personal religious freedom.

    So, I'll ask again, if the time comes for you to demonstrate your faith with civil disobedience, which specific law are not going to comply with?

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    1. Are you stupid or just trying to be confrontative? Obamacare is a LAW. To violate it is to go against the law. If the Catholic church doesn't have several things (birth control & others) in their insurance coverage for employees, etc they will suffer a fine. That is the LAW of Obamacare. They have a choice to follow the prescribed LAW and violate their conscious or not and then they will have a choice to pay the outrageous fine or not and probably terribly affect their ability to perform many humanitarian services that they currently do.

      If instead you are just trying to make some silly point, then you are still stupid. Make your point if you can.

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    2. Again, you couldn't answer the question I asked. You are all talking about how Obama has infringed on your personal religious freedom. I'm just asking which law he has passed that you would personally not follow? So far, no one has been personally affected.

      The Catholic church has been, but only when it acts as an employer in the public sector. The church itself as an employer hasn't been affected when it acts as a church.

      So Gary's provocative question really has no bearing on any of you individually at this time as none of your personal religious liberties have been restricted.

      I think I've made my point quite nicely. Not bad for a stupid person, eh?




      answers (unless you are personally the catholic church). I think I've made my point that you

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  17. If it's a choice between obeying God or man, the answer obviously is to obey God rather than man. If the choice is between obeying God or obeying "the laws of the land" as one of the posts puts it, then the answer is still to obey God. However, in the matter at hand we can obey both God and the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. It is the highest law in the land (under God and His law) and the source from which all other laws derive their just authority. Any bill passed by Congress, or an order given by the President, that is not specifically authorized by the Constitution as one of the enumerated powers that it delegates to our federal government, is not law. To obey such an unlawful act, bill, or Presidential order, would be to disobey the law of the land (the Constitution) and thus to disobey God who tells us to "be subject unto the higher powers" and there is no higher power in the land (under God) than the U.S. Constitution. To willfully submit to federally mandated healthcare insurance, would be to willingly participate in a lawless act. But then this isn't the first step the federal government has taken outside it's Constitutionally prescribed bounds. The majority of its actions for some time now have constituted usurpation that goes beyond it's prescribed role.

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  18. Civil disobedience is the wrong tack to take. It's exactly what the president is hoping for.

    The contraception mandate was put into Obamacare intentionally in order to provoke a conflict with the Catholic Church on terms that favored the administration. "Birth control" is just about the only issue on which even most other Christians line up more with secular culture than with the Catholics. (Which is why it's always called "birth control" rather than abortifacients and sterilization; non-Catholics would be too likely to be sympathetic.)

    The benefit to the president is twofold. First, the biggest cultural obstacle to tyranny is the churches. The Catholic Church is the largest and best established in America. If he can break the influence of the Catholic Church, all the smaller churches will be infinitely more vulnerable. And second, the Church owns a large network of hospitals, schools and charities. If those are still operating when the mandate goes into effect, the Church will be liable for fines it cannot pay. How much do you suppose the administration would scruple at confiscating the property in lieu of payment?

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    1. Very well stated Joel. Yes, there is an ulterior motive as you describe.

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  19. we should have a new american revolution and do away with all democrats and librels ..all arabs and anyone here illegally,,and anybody or org.that hires and supports them..religios or other wise..put oboma and family on a boat back to kenya where hes from and make joe arpio president of the u s a

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