When Is It Justified for Christians to Engage In Civil Disobedience?

Frank Turek is an award winning author and speaker.
Frank Turek is an award winning author and speaker.

Should Christians ever disobey their government? Some say no. But Kim Davis sides with Martin Luther King and thinks civil disobedience is justified.

Ms. Davis is the Rowan County Kentucky clerk who spent four days in jail for refusing to put her name on same sex marriage licenses. Claiming to be a new Christian, Ms. Davis is also a long-time Democrat.

In court last week, Judge David Bunning told Davis: “The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order.” He said that “if you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.”

Judge Bunning is absolutely right. This is the kind of chaos that results when people do not respect the law. But I’m not referring to Kim Davis — I’m referring to the United States Supreme Court.

As I’ve written before, and the multiple dissents state more eloquently, there is no justification in the Constitution for judicially imposing genderless marriage on every state in the union. Five unelected justices simply imposed their own law on 330 million people.

But does that justify civil disobedience? Where do you draw the line?

Certainly, there is a line somewhere. After all, we laud those behind the Underground Railroad who freed slaves and those who protected Jews in Nazi Germany.

While bad marriage laws are obviously not as serious, consider a more equivalent scenario: Suppose the Supreme Court decided to drop the age of consent in every state to twelve years old (a position Ruth Bader Ginsberg supported before she became a Supreme Court Justice). Would you think that Kim Davis should be forced to endorse the marriage of a 75 year-old man who brought a twelve year-old girl into her office? I hope you can see that there is a line and it’s not far from Kim Davis.

Liberals believe in civil disobedience — when it suits their causes.

Despite chanting, “Do your job!” outside Kim Davis’s office, liberals were rejoicing when San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom ordered clerks to violate California law and issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in 2004. They certainly were not chanting “Do your job” outside of Attorney General Eric Holder’s office when he told the states last year to ignore their own laws that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. And liberals were not asking a federal judge to throw President Obama in jail when he refused to do his job of defending the Defense of Marriage Act in Court.

So just ten minutes ago liberals believed that defying marriage laws was heroic!  Now their blatant double standard is all too obvious — they laud civil disobedience when it’s used to advance the religion of sex and denounce it when it’s used to protect Christian or natural law beliefs.

But on what authority does one defy the government? One man who wanted a same-sex marriage license asked Kim Davis on “what authority” was she not issuing licenses. She cited God.

Yet, the question needs to be asked of both sides. By what authority did Newsom, Holder, Obama and other liberal politicians defy the law? They certainly weren’t citing God or the Creator cited in our Declaration of Independence who gives us unalienable rights. But without an authority beyond man’s law, there is no authority for their actions nor is there any objective standard to ground unalienable rights.

Without God, every right claim is merely a human opinion.  At least Kim Davis, agree with her or not, is citing an authority beyond herself.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Frank Turek is the president of CrossExamined.org, coauthor of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, and the author of the new book Stealing from God: Why atheists need God to make their case.