-- Tom Hoefling
"The only Person with any legitimate "choice" in matters of protecting innocent life and defining marriage is God. And He made those choices at the beginning of His creation. The only real question left for us is whether or not we will dutifully conform our laws and practices to His choice, so as to be blessed, or to be a curse to our posterity."
-- Tom Hoefling
"One may well ask: 'How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?' The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all.'
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.
...Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong. ...A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law.
I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law. Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was 'legal' and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was 'illegal.' It was 'illegal' to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws."
-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail
"Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected. And if these, or either of them, are regulated by no certain laws, and are subject to no certain principles, and are held by no certain tenure, and are redressed, when violated, by no certain remedies, society fails of all its value; and men may as well return to a state of savage and barbarous independence."
-- Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833
"Hence also, the origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact, between the rulers and the ruled; and must be liable to such limitations, as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have, to govern others, except their own consent? To usurp dominion over a people, in their own despite, or to grasp at more extensive power than they are willing to entrust, is to violate that law of nature, which gives every man the right to his personal liberty; and can, therefore, confer no obligation to obedience."
"When human laws contradict or discountenance the means, which are necessary to preserve the essential rights of any society, they defeat the proper end of all laws, and so become null and void."
-- Alexander Hamilton
"'You shall not murder' contains no exceptions. If there are exceptions made, there can be no equality. Which means there can be no justice. The premises for the rule of law, and any decent claim to liberty, are completely destroyed. What part of this do American Christian 'pro-lifers' fail to understand? The main obstacle to saving our country is not Planned Parenthood, or Obama, it is "conservatives" who don't seem to understand what it is that must be conserved if we are going to survive as a free, secure, prosperous people. I'm sorry if this message is offensive to some, but it's the truth. And it's a truth everyone needs to hear, and act upon in their politics, before it is too late for America and for our posterity."
-- Tom Hoefling
"Love to God and love to man is the substance of religion. When these prevail, civil laws will have little to do."
-- John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
From Harlan Brown:
I recently finshed reading chapters 2 ("It's Always the Economy") and 3 ("That Which Is Legal Might Also Be Evil") of "When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons from Nazi Germany" by Erwin Lutzer. Page 58 of Chapter 3 says: "Laws reflect a nation's priorities, agenda, and values. In Nazi Germany, where religion was privitized and God was separated from government, not even natural law was recognized as having validity. When Hitler got the Reichstag to give him the power to make the laws, the laws he made were arbitrary, drafted to fulfill the goals of a totalitarian state. The Nazis proclaimed, 'Hitler is the law!' As Goering put it, 'The law and the will of the Fuehrer are one.' Right and wrong were determined by Hitler and his cronies."
Page 61 says: "Without a belief in God, nothing is unconditionally wrong. When God is separated from government we are forced to accept arbitrary laws. Either God is the lawgiver or man is; either we derive our laws from theistic universal values, or we say that the individual countries or cultures are the lawgivers. Either God is supreme the state is supreme."
Lutzer concludes on Page 74: "We must not permit the lawmakers or the courts of America to discourage us from doing what we must: representing Christ in our personal and corporate witness. As our freedoms are curtailed, our witness becomes more focused, more challenging. Let us be obedient to a higher law, the law given by the Supreme Court of the Universe."
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
-- The First Amendment, the United States Constitution
"There is no good government but what is republican...a republic is 'an empire of laws, and not of men'...a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangement of the powers of society, or in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the best of republics."
-- John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
"A people who have abandoned their allegiance to God, to self-evident truth, to the principles that make the rule of law, and even civilization itself, possible, are ripe for exactly the same sort of destruction that occurred in the last century in Germany and Russia. Go ahead, burn up your most precious inheritance on the altar of perceived political expediency. Just don't whine when you're destroyed. And don't expect those of us who are determined to maintain the old allegiances to like it, or to thank you."
-- Tom Hoefling, April 17, 2012
"This natural law, being as old as mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, from this original.”
-- William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England (1765)
"'Just and true liberty, equal and impartial liberty,' in matters spiritual and temporal, is a thing that all men are clearly entitled to by the eternal and immutable laws of God and nature, as well as by the law of nations and all well-grounded municipal laws, which must have their foundation in the former."
-- Samuel Adams, The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting, Nov. 20, 1772
"The instruments, by which [government] must act, are either the authority of the Laws or force. If the first be destroyed, the last must be substituted; ... and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government, there is an end to liberty."
"[W]here there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community."
-- Benjamin Rush, letter to David Ramsay, 1788
America's Principles in Public Policy
“We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was ‘illegal.’”
— Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail