20 April 2012

Disobedience of Immoral Laws


The Founding Fathers of the United States knew very well the role of religion and the true source of authority of government. They may not have agreed upon all matters of theology, but there was a consensus that, in this new Republic, the authority of civil government comes from the consent of the governed, and that right of the people comes from God. Today the unbridled contemptuous conceit of the American government is a world apart from its form in the new Republic. The State is being promoted as not just supreme, but supreme in its own right. Christians, especially those promoting the sanctity of life, are called domestic terrorists. Those opposing the policies of the government on religious grounds are called extremists. At the same time, the government seeks to suppress the Church in many diverse ways.

Our Founding Fathers new that laws only have enforceability as just laws if they are under God. Immoral laws have no force. Unjust laws have no force. Not only do we as Christians have a duty to oppose immoral laws, we have a duty and a right to disobey them. If we do not, then we become complicit in the wrong contained in the law. We become responsible for their outcome and effects. We cannot place complying with the law or supporting the law above our duty as Christians.

Sadly the faith of many who claim to be Christian today has been eroded to the point that they are more afraid of the government, the military, and the police than they are of God. Fear of the government leads to cooperation with unjust and immoral laws and policies when instead love of God should lead to actions against oppression and godless tyranny. Only through putting our faith in action can we hope to ensure the freedom of our faith and of all people on earth.

+ Rutherford Cardinal Johnson