Thursday, July 4, 2013

Disperse Ye Rebels, Ye Rebels Disperse

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
That governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed is, to use a technical term, balderdash. Governments derive their just powers from God. God can use a good political authority to bring prosperity to his people, but God can also make use of wicked rulers to chastise a wicked people. Man is a social animal. Government is an institution that arises naturally from our social nature; it's the animating principle of our drive toward the common good. Government, being a natural institution like marriage, has strict limits upon its actions. The Church is concerned first and foremost with man's eternal destiny, whereas the State's primary concern is man's temporal welfare. It is for this reason that the Church was considered superior to the State, and why the Church could make pronouncements about actions of the State up to and including declaring a command of the State to be null and void. Any law authored by the State which interferes with our duty toward God does not command our obedience. We render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. But when Caesar demands that we render unto him the things that are God's, we have a moral obligation to tell Caesar to go to hell.

However, one unjust law does not give us permission to wage general warfare against Caesar. We still have to obey the traffic laws even if Caesar legalizes abortion or recognizes sodomite "marriage." Christians must obey all legitimate laws even as we refuse to obey laws which contradict divine law which, as St. Augustine told us, are no laws at all.


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