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Morality and the Law

Christians are frequently accused of trying to impose their values or their beliefs on others, including through the legislative process (the making of laws). Christians in a democratic republic have as much right to be involved in the political process as anyone else. This means they promote laws that reflect their own values. Christians do not seek to subvert the political process; they engage it, as it is the right of every American. “Can morals be legislated?” Well, an opinion in years past offered by a retired Episcopal priest in our local newspaper stated bluntly that when you attempt to legislate morals, “That’s wrong.” May I offer another view? I say that it is impossible not to legislate morals. Every law “imposes” someone’s moral “values” on someone else. A law that prohibits murder, for example, imposes a belief that murder is wrong and upholds the tenet that human life has value. Christ said in Matthew 19:18, He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. My belief is that society is better off with such a law in place.  Pardon me if I presume that almost everyone agrees that murder, stealing and child molestation, among other “social” ills, are wrong without referring to any recent “studies” to support that opinion. This sense of right and wrong that is a central part of our culture is also reflected in our laws. Do you really want to live in a society where morality is absent from our legal code? The Bible says in Proverbs 29:2, When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

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