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When Religion and State Collide

By Mad Hughagi in MLP
Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 04:40:46 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

A recent article in the National Post has outlined the release of a document that says breaking the law "can be a legitimate Christian calling" justified by the teachings of the Bible.


The document, released by a coalition of Canadian churches and written by John Redekop, a professor of history and political science at Trinity Western University in British Columbia (Canada), justifies civil disobedience in order to further the views of religion.

The conflict of interest between the state and religion is apparently increasing momentum as many governments are faced with new situations that deal directly with morality and it's implications in the lives of the citizens.

How do you feel about religion and it's relationship to the state? Is one justified in breaking the law when they are following their beliefs?

In our increasingly multicultural world it seems as though diversity of ideology is going to create a lot of difficulties in the process of governing a country.

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Poll
Is it justified to break the law in order to further ones beliefs?
o Yes 58%
o No 41%

Votes: 79
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When Religion and State Collide | 84 comments (84 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Nothing new (3.50 / 14) (#1)
by theboz on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:21:55 PM EST

This doesn't have to be about religion, what about any other beliefs people protest to make known? What I do not agree with is the fringe lunatics that want to murder abortion doctors, and blow up U.S. government buildings because their twisted version of Christianity/Islam involves hurting others. Also, when there are laws that blatantly infringe on people (such as anti-drug laws) I think it's ok to break them.

To me, what is acceptable is on a fine line, because once you do something to harm others for anything but self-defense, then you need to reevaluate your actions because you are probably doing something just as bad or worse than what you are fighting against.

Stuff.

Wow (1.26 / 23) (#3)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:30:55 PM EST

What an amazingly stupid post!

when there are laws that blatantly infringe on people (such as anti-drug laws) I think it's ok to break them

once you do something to harm others for anything but self-defense, then you need to reevaluate your actions

So which is it? You either agree with the first statement you made or the second, because you can't have both. If you naively believe drugs harm no one but yourself, you had better wake up. Just like people who whine about seatbelt laws -- until they're stuck paying for the cripples as a result.



[ Parent ]

drug using scumbuckets (3.22 / 9) (#5)
by alprazolam on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:39:26 PM EST

it's not the chemicals in drugs that get one 'high' but the way they manipulate the ether. as we all know there is only a fixed amount of ether in the universe. drug users benefit from more than there fair share of ether, effectively denying it to non drug users. therefore one person using drugs immediately lowers the quality of life for the rest of the world.

[ Parent ]
ether (2.50 / 2) (#9)
by strlen on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:45:02 PM EST

just to let you know, ether is a 19th century bullshit, which was quickly replaced by theory of relatively. and may i please know what subtance you used to modify the ether before you made the post? perhaps you may consider a different brand of it.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
ether (2.00 / 1) (#12)
by alprazolam on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:51:45 PM EST

perhaps you will try inhaling a whole lot of it. i can guarantee you that it exists. it evaporates quickly though, so don't waste any.

[ Parent ]
not in your sense (3.00 / 3) (#38)
by strlen on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:19:31 PM EST

great, take one definition of the word, which you used, then when i argue against you, use the other definition. that's the best way to arguing.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
considering (2.00 / 2) (#40)
by alprazolam on Thu May 31, 2001 at 11:26:04 PM EST

you missed the sarcastic nature of my original comment, there's no reason for me to attempt to argue with you, as i can reasonably expect you to misconstrue everything else i can say. rather than rehash old arguments, i thought i would sum up what seemed to be the conclusion many people came to, which just happened to direcly oppose jive billy's.

[ Parent ]
considering (1.00 / 1) (#41)
by alprazolam on Thu May 31, 2001 at 11:26:38 PM EST

you missed the sarcastic nature of my original comment, there's no reason for me to attempt to argue with you, as i can reasonably expect you to misconstrue everything else i can say. rather than rehash old arguments, i thought i would sum up what seemed to be the conclusion many people came to, which just happened to direcly oppose jive billy's.

[ Parent ]
crap (1.30 / 13) (#15)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:00:21 PM EST

Though it will get censored again (this is the second time I write this), here goes.

You have made a truly stupid statement. when there are laws that blatantly infringe on people (such as anti-drug laws) I think it's ok to break them

once you do something to harm others for anything but self-defense, then you need to reevaluate your actions

If you honestly believe that doing drugs harms no one but yourself, you need to wake up. You're much like those people that bitch and whine about seatbelt laws -- until they are forced to pay for the cripples in society.

[ Parent ]

Jive Billy: (4.50 / 2) (#30)
by Phaser777 on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:28:29 PM EST

Just so you know, intentionally posting comments several times is not the best way to promote your side of the argument. Hidden comments can be unhidden if enough trusted users think they were unfairly hidden, so posting redundant comments is unnecessary and just leads to more 0 ratings.

---
My business plan:
Obtain the patents for something (the more obvious and general the better)
Wait u
[ Parent ]
So. (3.00 / 1) (#63)
by Sheepdot on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 12:23:51 PM EST

If you honestly believe that doing drugs harms no one but yourself, you need to wake up. You're much like those people that bitch and whine about seatbelt laws -- until they are forced to pay for the cripples in society.

So then, if we *didn't* have to pay for the "cripples in society", wouldn't it be wrong to have seat belt laws? Wouldn't it be better for those who didn't wear seat belts pay for their own stupidity rather than society as a whole?

I exit with a quote:

"Since when is 'public safety' the root password to the Constitution?" - C.D. Tavares


[ Parent ]

Gimme a break (2.00 / 1) (#72)
by Tatarigami on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 05:31:02 AM EST

"You have made a truly stupid statement"
"You need to wake up"


Do you really think you're going to persuade anyone by slagging them off? Or do you have some kind of masochistic urge to alienate people so badly they stop paying any attention to you at all?


[ Parent ]
Right on, Civil disobedience (4.20 / 5) (#45)
by John Milton on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 01:28:17 AM EST

As long as their talking about Civil Disobedience, I don't care. There's a big difference between blowing up federal buildings, and sit-ins. One of the most influential books in my life was "The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail." If Christian groups feel that the state is supporting something immoral, I support their right to refuse to pay taxes or use any other non-violent means to obey their conscience. If the violation of conscience is that others are not Christian, then I have a problem. Intimidating people is no way to change their hearts.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
What counts as civil disobedience? (3.33 / 3) (#68)
by Sunflower on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 07:27:41 PM EST

While I tend to agree with your comment, the question of civil disobedience is an interesting one. What counts as civil disobedience and what doesn't?

In particular does property damage count as civil disobedience? It doesn't hurt people, but can be particularly effective, see for example the animal rights campaign The Huntingdon Life Sciences Campaign . These campaigns have adopted some rather strong tactics, but argue that destruction of property and harassment is non-violent.

The issue really is that the line between civil disobedience and violence is not as clear cut and simple as you make out.

[ Parent ]

Look at civil. (4.00 / 2) (#81)
by physicsgod on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 09:16:08 PM EST

I think the key here is the word "civil", in personal interactions civility has certain rules: you don't insult others, you respect them, and you don't hurt them or their property. Burning logging trucks might not be violent, but it is most assuredly not civil.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
others are not Christian (none / 0) (#79)
by kubalaa on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:59:59 PM EST

You made sense until this bit. You're saying it's okay to protest against the state supporting something immoral, unless that immoral thing is the specific case of non-Christians? Why is this any different? Would you protest if the state supported mass murderers? Yet the difference between you and a mass murderer is no more or less than that between an athiest and a Christian.

Unless I just misunderstood and you were trying to say that Christians can protest anything, even the existence of non-Christians, as long as they do it nonviolently? In which case I ask why nonviolence is sacred but all other ways of harassing and annoying people are not?

[ Parent ]

a great example of breaking the law for religion (4.21 / 28) (#2)
by cory on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:29:45 PM EST

The Underground Railroad. Many white northerners in the US during the early part of the 19th century helped black slaves escape to freedom in Canada because their religion told them that slavery was wrong. Nevermind that they were breaking many-many laws, and in fact could face severe penalties, up to and including death in some places. They placed their religion, their love of God and their fellow man, above the rule of petty despots in state houses and Congress.

That said, I don't think that following one's conscience should be considered a justifiable defense. Many people have been martyred for their faith over the years, and they have usually managed to overcome their punishment, whether death or just jailtime, by having their tormentors proven wrong in the long run. Besides, if you're not willing to pay the price for your devotion, do you really believe in what you're doing?

Cory


How dare you (1.20 / 25) (#4)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:34:29 PM EST

How dare you suggest that without religion slavery would still exist today. Do you honestly need some stupid preachy book telling you that slavery is wrong -- or could you not simply look upon a field of beaten black folks picking cotton and arive at the same conclusion.



[ Parent ]

Many have gazed on such a sight... (4.00 / 2) (#75)
by marlowe on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 01:10:08 PM EST

and not arrived at that conclusion. Sorry, but it's true. Moral stupidity is a fact of human nature. Ethical monotheistic religions help to ameliorate the effects of this stupidity. Yes, they do.


-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
How dare you (1.34 / 23) (#6)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:42:39 PM EST

How dare you suggest that without religion slavery would still exist. Do you need a little preachy book telling you that slavery is wrong, or could you not look upon a field of beaten down black slaves picking cotton and arrive at the same conclusion.

[ Parent ]
ah, now i see your explanation (3.37 / 8) (#11)
by cory on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:47:29 PM EST

First off, show me where I said that slavery would still exist if not for religion. Second, prove that many of the people who worked the Underground Railroad weren't motivated by their religion.

I'm fighting to restrain myself from typing in every obscenity I know. You have no idea how offended I am by you at this instant.

Cory


[ Parent ]
Toast (1.81 / 11) (#13)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:53:14 PM EST

I bet many of the people who helped with the underground railroad also ate toast. I believe that without toast slavery would still exist today.

Stupid statement? Sure, just like yours. The burden of proof is not on me to prove that without religion slavery would still exist, but instead it is on you to show that the abolishment of slavery is solely attributed to religion.

I stand by my toast theory.

[ Parent ]

Why don't you answer the question? (3.85 / 7) (#48)
by pw201 on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 05:07:33 AM EST

You have not answered the challenges in the parent to your posting, which are:

  • Where Cory said that slavery would still exist if not for religion.
  • Prove that many of the people who worked the Underground Railroad weren't motivated by their religion.
You're attributing to Cory of a view which he does not hold, in order to demolish that rather than his real argument. This is called a Straw Man argument. Your argument would be more convincing if it was addressed to Cory's actual statements.

[ Parent ]
wtf is wrong with you, jive billy??? (2.42 / 14) (#8)
by cory on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:44:12 PM EST

A 1??? I'm getting sick and fucking tired of this crap. I post a reply that is completely free from insult to anyone, makes several valid points, and some dumb fuck rates it as 1. Please explain this to me.

Cory


[ Parent ]
well (1.00 / 23) (#10)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:46:13 PM EST

Since someone is out to censor my viewpoint (my last reply, plus other to this story have been given a zero), I figured I'd voice my opinion on your naive statements through voting.

[ Parent ]
Ratings. (3.00 / 2) (#58)
by Alarmist on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 10:47:13 AM EST

According to your ratings history, the only ratings you make are 1s. Deal with it.

[ Parent ]
He's done it to a lot of people (2.66 / 9) (#28)
by theboz on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:10:09 PM EST

He's given all of my comments a 1...even if they are not in this article (even in my diary.) I'd like to find his email address to let him know what I think of him for being such an idiot. I won't follow by going on a ratings war against him. I'm sure someone else will take care of making the little jerk untrusted for me.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

How dare you (1.59 / 22) (#14)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:55:06 PM EST

How dare you suggest that without religion slavery would still exist today. Do you honestly need a preachy little book to tell you that slavery is wrong, or could you not arrive at the same conclusion by looking at a field of beaten black slaves picking cotton.

[ Parent ]
i've already answered you (3.37 / 8) (#16)
by cory on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:05:51 PM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=comments&sid=2001/5/31/171218/672&cid=11#11

But your asinine drivel was voted down, so now you're just posting it again.

Cory


[ Parent ]
Drivel (1.64 / 14) (#18)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:08:26 PM EST

Drivel is in the eye of the beholder. Since I'm being censored here, it appears that this discussion is allowed to be one-sided only. Lovely system we've got here.

[ Parent ]
Why you're being censored. (3.66 / 12) (#31)
by rebelcool on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:30:52 PM EST

I see these reasons:

A. You've made incorrect statements.

B. You refuse to acknowledge this fact, and continue with a belligerant tone.

C. Adding nothing of value to the discussion.

K5 practices community censorship. Welcome to reality.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Community Cencorship? (2.36 / 11) (#39)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:22:24 PM EST

K5 practices community censorship. Welcome to reality.

Ah...well that makes it all better. Here I thought I was just being censored by an individual that didn't like what I was saying.

[ Parent ]

Well it's got to come from somewhere (3.77 / 9) (#21)
by SIGFPE on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:23:43 PM EST

Do you honestly need a preachy little book to tell you that slavery is wrong
Does looking at a bunch of slaves make you think slavery is wrong? How did that happen? There have been people in many cultures all over the world who have looked upon their slaves without thinking any such thing. Something must have caused the change of opinion that you have now inherited. That opinion hasn't come straight out of your head and isn't obvious. You have learnt it from the people around you in your culture. That 'preachy little book' has had a pretty big impact on that culture so you're going to need a stronger argument than 'could you not arrive at the same conclusion by looking at a field of beaten black slaves picking cotton'.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
The idea 'came out of someone's head' (3.50 / 2) (#74)
by MrMikey on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 10:40:24 AM EST

Perhaps I'm a white child raised on a Civil-War-era plantation. A slave did most the childcare. I grow older, and one day I walk outside to see that she is being whipped for some offense. That moment, I realize that she is a person, and by extension so are the other slaves I've been taking granted.

Perhaps I'm a compassionate man who doesn't want to see anyone suffer, and don't see skin color as a justification for slavery.

Much good and much bad can be and has been attributed to that 'preachy little book,' but it is certain that Christians do not have a monopoly on compassion or empathy. Indeed, it is sad that the loudest voices (ranting conservatives) give the casual observer the impression that Christianity is profoundly lacking in this attributes, given that I believe that most Christians do not share their outlook.

I'm an Atheist, I am certain that all men and women are our brothers and sisters, and that slavery is immoral, and can only cause further pain and suffering. No religion told me this. Personally, I think that those who adhere to a moral code because they seek a reward / wish to avoid punishment after death have a childlike grasp of morality. I've heard the "you should do what the Bible says or else you'll burn in Hell" sentiment often enough to be convinced that it's a pervasive meme within Christianity.

[ Parent ]

You sound pretty influenced by religion to me (4.00 / 1) (#82)
by SIGFPE on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 02:09:22 PM EST

I'm an Atheist, I am certain that all men and women are our brothers and sisters, and that slavery is immoral, and can only cause further pain and suffering. No religion told me this.
You are a member of a culture and you are simply espousing fairly typical values for a 20th century atheist. If you really think those values came from yourself you are sorely deluded. You've just picked it up from the culture around you and that culture has been shaped by a history of Judaeo-Christian ethics.

I don't think you need a religion to know that slavery causes pain and suffering but that's a different issue from whether or not slavery is immoral. Any slaver in the Southern states of the US could see clearly that slavery caused pain and suffering. It didn't stop them.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]

That is not what he said. (3.87 / 8) (#26)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:05:50 PM EST

He said that religion motivated some people to help in the underground railroad:

Many white northerners in the US during the early part of the 19th century helped black slaves escape to freedom in Canada because their religion told them that slavery was wrong.

Note the qualification "many". (i.e. not all were motivated by religion, just "many".) Note the lack of any claims about "ending slavery".

I don't know where the hell you got that crap about "without religion there'd be slavery today". No such claim was made.

I know it is easier to beat up on strawmen than to rationally respond to actual posts, but if you want to be taken seriously here, learn to.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Huh? (3.77 / 9) (#27)
by NightRain on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:05:54 PM EST

He never said that religion is needed to realise that slavery is wrong. He didn't even imply that. Instead, he used an example of people following their religious beliefs to do what they considered 'right' in spite of the laws at the time. It had absolutely nothing to do with the "religion = basis of all morals" debate.

[ Parent ]

follow the arguement (1.08 / 12) (#17)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:06:48 PM EST

Since my posts are being censored, please follow the discussion here: http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=comments&sid=2001/5/31/171218/672&cid=11#11

[ Parent ]
no good, can't see your arguments (4.00 / 4) (#19)
by cory on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:17:54 PM EST

Because I'm not a "trusted user", I'm not allowed to see your replies. Which makes this whole exchange frustrating to no end.

Whoever is rating Billy's rants to 0, please stop. You may not like what he has to say, but you're making it impossible for me to carry on a reasonable conversation with him and just adding to the confusion and frustration we are both experiencing.

Now, Billy, let's start over. Why did you disagree with my first post? You think I'm being naive, why?

Cory


[ Parent ]
Here's another censored comment of mine (1.83 / 12) (#20)
by Jive Billy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:19:41 PM EST

This one answers you:

I bet many of the people who helped with the underground railroad also ate toast. I believe that without toast slavery would still exist today.

Stupid statement? Sure, just like yours. The burden of proof is not on me to prove that without religion slavery would still exist, but instead it is on you to show that the abolishment of slavery is solely attributed to religion.

I stand by my toast theory.

[ Parent ]

that settles it (3.70 / 10) (#33)
by cory on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:43:11 PM EST

You're an idiot. Eating toast did not in any way motivate people to work on the Underground Railroad. Their religion did.

Oh, one last thing. Please show me a quote of mine that says "the abolishment of slavery is solely attributed to religion". I was speaking only of the motivations of many of the people who worked on the Underground Railway. The actual abolishment of slavery was accomplished more because of economic reasons than moral or religious (though even then, the reasons were couched in moral/religious language to help garner public support).

Cory

[ Parent ]
Ironic (3.66 / 9) (#34)
by GreenCrackBaby on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:51:12 PM EST

While this whole thread is amusing, I also find it ironic that religion was also one of the root causes of slavery.

[ Parent ]
Or, more likely (4.33 / 6) (#44)
by delmoi on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 01:17:59 AM EST

One of the root 'justifications' of slavery,
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
well, i tried (4.00 / 8) (#23)
by cory on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:29:30 PM EST

I see that someone replied to the parent of this post, but I can't see the reply so I assume it's Billy saying something truly insulting again. I tried making this conversation a little more friendly, but I guess that doesn't matter. So go ahead and rate this post a 1, Billy, like I know you're going to do. Though why I can't understand. Maybe when you reach 7th Grade and take an American history course (assuming you're American, of course), you'll learn a little about abolitionists, especially the Quakers, and how their faith motivated them to seek equality for all men. Until then, keep up the good work of making sure anyone you talk to can't see your replies.

Cory


[ Parent ]
Women too! (3.33 / 3) (#69)
by Sunflower on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 07:33:01 PM EST

especially the Quakers, and how their faith motivated them to seek equality for all men.

Quakers sought gender equality as well!

[ Parent ]

Abolitionists (3.80 / 10) (#24)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:47:46 PM EST

The abolitionists were mostly (or often) Quakers as the Quaker religion was anti-slavery. Most of the rest of the abolitionists were freethinkers over various stripes. Diests. Unitarians. That sort of thing.

Obviously the abolutionist movement was not the sole cause of the end of slavery. (As you know.)
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Civil Disobedience (4.18 / 11) (#42)
by SEWilco on Thu May 31, 2001 at 11:46:14 PM EST

I don't think that following one's conscience should be considered a justifiable defense. Many people have been martyred for their faith over the years, and they have usually managed to overcome their punishment, whether death or just jailtime, by having their tormentors proven wrong in the long run. Besides, if you're not willing to pay the price for your devotion, do you really believe in what you're doing?
Civil disobedience requires that violators of the laws of civil governments be willing to go to jail. Following your conscience is not a defence, as it's your personal conscience, but you can try to persuade the judge and jury that the law is unjust -- thereby setting a legal precedent. But if you're truly being disobedient due to the principle, you're willing to go to jail -- you won't be endangering the public in a high-speed chase while tring to get away.

[ Parent ]
Exactly, not violence (3.83 / 6) (#46)
by John Milton on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 01:40:53 AM EST

Thanks for pointing that out. I get so upset when people use civil disobedience as an excuse. You shouldn't have to make excuses, because what you're saying is that something is wrong, and you can't excuse doing it. As an aside, whatever you believe about the validity of the bible, wasn't Jesus Christ a pretty good example of Civil Disobedience?


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
actually, no (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by dleal on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 07:24:11 PM EST

one notable example is the occasion on which he is asked if people should pay taxes to the romans. His answer was, while showing a coin with caesar's picture on it, 'give to caesar what is caesar's, and to God what is God's'.

Jesus' 'disobedience' was always to the pharisees' interpretation of the law, not to the law itself. In fact, the apostle Peter (writing during Nero's time) encourages christians to obey the law, since all forms of government (even the terrible ones) are institutioned by God (even though christians were terribly tortured and persecuted during Nero's time). Of course, this doesn't apply to areas where the law commands christians to do what is in direct opposition with what God says (in the Bible).



[ Parent ]
Not really a religious question (4.30 / 13) (#7)
by ScuzzMonkey on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:43:26 PM EST

I understand that was the topic of the article, but really, this is a question of morals more than anything, whether you happen to tie yours to organized religion or not.

I think the answer to the question always has to be a qualified one. Certainly there are some national laws worth breaking in the name of morals, but what about those national laws which coincide with widely accepted laws of morality (if there are such things)?

I also don't think that this is a new or even an accelerating issue. The article itself cites incidents of civil disobedience in the Bible--this has been a quandry for as long as men have made laws. Granted, we make a lot more of them these days, but in some ways that's an inevitability as more and more people try to co-exist in smaller and smaller areas. I don't see that we have much more of this sort of protest occuring now than we've had in the recent past--I wasn't around back then, but the sixties come to mind as a much more active period.

Ultimately, I think that the question answers itself. Really, you don't truly believe in something unless you believe in it enough to follow it even in the face of threat of pain or enprisonment.
No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)

I certainly knews at least one... (3.25 / 4) (#22)
by SIGFPE on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:26:06 PM EST

...so-called Christian who refused to break the law because he believed there was a Christian imperative not to do that. I'm not sure where the biblical precedent is (Render unto Caesar???) but that at least indicates that this may be a special issue for some Christians. But frankly I think that's only of interest in a Christian forum.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Priorities (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by error 404 on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 10:49:18 AM EST

In Catholicism (at least the version I've been partipating in) there is a default position that following laws is generaly a Good Thing. But not the only Good Thing. And breaking them a Bad Thing, but not an absolute Bad Thing.

Where there is a conflict between a law and a more important law, you follow the more important law, even though that means breaking the less important law. But as long as following a law doesn't involve violating a church teaching, the church requires us to follow that law.

For anyone who takes their faith seriously, that's going to put faith before law almost every time. If it's a minor religious point like having to miss church one week to avoid a felony, law might win out. For someone with a purely formal faith or who just goes to church to please others, law will tend to win out. But for anyone with a real faith, that faith is more important than laws. Such a person might cave in to fear of prosecution and follow the law anyway, but that person will either come up with excuses or feel a deep sense of failure. It doesn't matter whether that's right or not, that's just how people are.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Understood (4.20 / 5) (#37)
by Aphexian on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:11:35 PM EST

"I also don't think that this is a new or even an accelerating issue."

This is the only part I disagree with... In light of the current White House administration, I do believe this is a curennt and pressing (or "accelerating") issue. I, personally, am an athiest, but I have no problem with religions or practicing religion. What I have a problem with is a lack of multicultural representation in a governmental situation.

See here and here and here.

Now, please don't take me as a political bigot. I'm decidedly not. Those links were from a quick Google search, in order to bolster my position. I understand the links are weighted, but the quotes are real.

To reiterate - I believe in equal and fair representation of religion (ALL religions...there isn't just one, if anyone hasn't heard), or no representation at all. I see such a position (my position) being portrayed as evil and damaging more and more these days. Acceleration of predominantly Christian, predominantly intolerant beliefs, I fear, is not the odd case - but the norm.

Such a thing I cannot - will not - tolerate. Suddenly, due to the fact that there is a sympathetic ear in charge, and somehow the second largest religion in the world feels they are losing a grip, people are advocating breaking laws?

[ Parent ]
No bigotage assumed (4.50 / 4) (#43)
by ScuzzMonkey on Thu May 31, 2001 at 11:52:45 PM EST

Hmm. I hadn't really considered that angle; the original article was written more in consideration of private citizens working against an unsympathetic government. I see what you're saying, though--that maybe it's easier for them to do so when they feel that the repercussions may be less harsh coming from sympathetic officials.

I don't know if I'd worry too much about it, though. I think we've just gotten used to Clinton being in office--no lectures on morality coming from him. But Jimmy Carter was a far more deeply religious man than Bush II, and while Bush I didn't say such, I suspect in his faith was a more important part of his daily decision making than it is for his son. Mass persecution of infidels did not occur when either of them were in office.

Also, most active law enforcement occurs at the state and local levels. The president may be able to set a tone, but it's your local police department and prosecutor's office who decide who gets busted for what. Plus, you've got the people on your side! At least according to this site which indicates that religious affiliation has been declining in the US.

When you say you will not tolerate this, I'm curious--what are you going to do about it? Because I'm sure you realize, the reason that organized religion is making a larger splash with this administration is the fact that it is organized. Politicians love to court a gauranteed block vote like the religious right. So, until you and like minded people can get together and present a similarly attractive interest group, you're going to be left with your worries (various Constitutional protections aside). Unfortunately, I think that the very reason this scares you is part of the reason you'll be unable to organize against it--conformity, baby.

Anyway; my two cents. Signing off for the evening...
No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
[ Parent ]

Well put (4.33 / 3) (#54)
by Aphexian on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 09:25:38 AM EST

But contradictory...

"At least according to this site which indicates that religious affiliation has been declining in the US."
and
"So, until you and like minded people can get together and present a similarly attractive interest group"
and
"Unfortunately, I think that the very reason this scares you is part of the reason you'll be unable to organize against it--conformity, baby."

So who's conforming? Am I conforming for being one of the religious dissidents (our numbers are growing!)? Or are the religious right conforming since the CEO of the country is on their side? Or doesn't he really matter all that much, he just sets the tone?

I understand where you're going with this, and its quite insightful, but you can't have your cake and eat it too. I might not have explicitly stated that I really don't care if atheism is represented at the local, state, or federal level. The battle to be waged is not mine (although I choose to fight it out of personal morals), but is the battle of the other umpteen-hundred religions out there - many of whom are WELL organized, and whose numbers are NOT declining, they're just underrepresented in our government.

As I stated once, at "that other site", there's no such thing as an athiest war, athiests don't knock on your door and try to sell you NOT believing in god. If anything, its apathy at its greatest, so in order not to fall into that trap you have to take up causes.
What am I going to do about it? That's a very good question. I suppose I'm going to raise all heck and be a general annoyance.
*Knock Knock Knock* Mr Administrator, the Lord's Prayer was said during the allotted 5 minutes of silence in my child's class today. My son is [Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Allergic, etc] and I don't appreciate this.
You get the idea.

But scare me? I'm not sure on that... It scares me that other people might be denied their religious freedom. That's all. You can't deny me mine, I don't have one. And before you say it, not having one may be a freedom, but if that were to change, I don't have a problem lying. I'm not betraying any deity by doing so.

Thank you for your comments and your attention.
[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]
Thank you (5.00 / 3) (#56)
by ScuzzMonkey on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 10:27:26 AM EST

I'm not sure where you see the contradiction, though. What I was trying to say, perhaps badly, was that the strength of the religious right lies in their willingness to conform. That's why they have influence, and that's why they have their agenda on the nation's table today. Although religious affiliation is declining, I didn't mean to imply that those people without an affiliation are gaining political strength--the problem (or issue, I guess, it's not really a problem) with that group is that they are unlikely (by nature, as it were) to subordinate themselves to any central organization that could make use of their numbers. What I am trying to imply is that the religious right is losing numbers and seems likely to continue to do so... so things should gradually get better, not worse. But that's not because one side is gaining strength, it's because the other is losing it.

I see you've pre-empted me on the "Being an atheist is an exercise of religious freedom, too" argument, but being atheist does not necessarily mean being unprincipled. I can understand why you wouldn't feel as though you're betraying a higher power if you had to lie to the authorities about your religious affiliation, but there are plenty of us who would have a principled objection to pledging allegiance to a god we didn't believe in, even if we didn't believe in any other.

I think you're right not to care if atheism, per se, is represented in government. That shouldn't ever be an issue; nor should the religion, sex, race, or whatever of any office-holder. What should be at issue is their tolerance as officials of people who do not share their personal beliefs, sex, skin-color, and their willingness to treat everyone as equal under the law. Despite various well-publicized abuses, I think that generally most local officials are pretty good about this. I appreciate your willingness to stand up and promote this where you can. But raising heck at your kid's school is not going to affect the next presidential election dramatically, and that's the area you seemed to be most concerned with.


No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
[ Parent ]

Ahhhh (4.50 / 2) (#60)
by Aphexian on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 11:00:06 AM EST

Thanks for fleshing that out. I see your position much more clearly now, and I think if you leave our poor examples and convolusion aside, we pretty much are agreeing with eachother.

"What I am trying to imply is that the religious right is losing numbers and seems likely to continue to do so... so things should gradually get better, not worse"

I feel much more at ease with this statement. I still think its something to keep an eye on, while keeping an eye towards the future, but I can't argue with your logic.

"What should be at issue is their tolerance as officials of people who do not share their personal beliefs, sex, skin-color, and their willingness to treat everyone as equal under the law."

My school example aside (which was admittedly a poor example, but carried my meaning), I agree that we should be focusing on the law makers and the instigators. Upon reflection, I suppose my example was merely a hint at a little civil disobedience of my own - and perhaps not what I truly want to encourage. If it's the ONLY voice, that's fine, but the best choice is to go for the movers and the shakers.

Thank you for the dialogue, it has been enlightening.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]
And thank you, sir (none / 0) (#62)
by ScuzzMonkey on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 12:19:51 PM EST

Yes, you're right... I'm pretty much on-board with your position. And I couldn't agree more that such important matters bear constant scrutiny, regardless of their current state of affairs. It's when we forget or don't take the time to speak out against such things that they become strong and dangerous.

Thanks, I've enjoyed talking with you.
No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
[ Parent ]

umm, "second largest"? (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by cory on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 01:28:36 PM EST

http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

Christianity claims almost as many adherents as the next two religions (Islam and Hinduism) combined. Catholicism alone accounts for over a billion, with the various Protestant fringe groups (rim shot) making up the rest.

From where I sit, you're advocating that the President hire people based on their religion, rather than whether he thinks they can do a good job. Yes, many if not all of the current cabinet are devout Christians of one stripe or another, but they have their jobs based on their ability to do them. The fact that they share their religion with their boss only makes it easier for them to get along, which makes it as important in this context as whether they all like to play golf or not.

People will always be motivated by their religious beliefs (that is, when they have any). Trying to change that, even complaining about it in the first place, is a fool's errand. Not to mention a gross violation of civil rights.

Cory


[ Parent ]
Sorry... (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by Aphexian on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 02:10:26 PM EST

I take that back. I was under the impressions that the Muslim religion was the largest. The error can probably be explained by the following (from the site you linked):

"Many Muslims (and some non-Muslim) observers claim that there are more practicing Muslims than practicing Christians in the world. Adherents.com has no reason to dispute this. It seems likely, but we would point out that there are different opinions on the matter, and a Muslim may define "practicing" differently than a Christian."

So thank you for the correction.
In the ever-present quest for clarification, let me say that I am not advocating hiring political figures based on their religion. Their personal religion is inconsequential. What I was calling for was multicultural representation. Hiring people of a different religion is a misguided way of acheiving this goal.
I meant representation to the effect of there being a sensitivity to religions besides christianity. Mental representation, if you will.

I apologize if I was unclear.
[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]
that makes sense (3.50 / 2) (#66)
by cory on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 03:31:03 PM EST

Making sure that public servants are mindful of, and respectful to, the differences between cultures and religions (and other groups to which humans belong) is a noble goal.

Cory


[ Parent ]
If that follows... (3.62 / 8) (#25)
by cei on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:56:57 PM EST

Since Open Source is a religion (SourceForge, GNUAge), does that mean that posting DeCSS is religious civil disobedience?

Civil disobedience is a civic duty. (4.26 / 15) (#29)
by your_desired_username on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:14:27 PM EST

Where would we be without Martin Luther King's civil disobedience?

All civilizations contain mistreatment. Mistreatment can lead to dissatisfaction and frustration. Unrest and violence often follow. Historically, many violent revolutions have occurred because some thought themselves ill-treated. The costs of these revolutions in human lives has often been high.

Civil disobedience is a people's way of alerting a civilization that something is wrong - a polite (particularly in comparison to armed revolt) way of calling for change.

I believe the resulting changes, in addition to (often) being good in their own right, play an important part in reducing the occurrence of violent revolts, preventing untold misery.

Of course, some civil disobedience is ill-considered, and makes problems worse and not better (think KKK) - but I believe civil disobedience has made us better off overall. (Sorry - no time to root up some evidence - I'll just hand-wave in the general direction of Gandhi and his ilk.)



The system itself (4.00 / 5) (#36)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:05:56 PM EST

I think this points me to asking whether or not the system itself is fundamentally flawed.

You would think that eventually we could design a government that is flexible enough to allow for people to make significant changes without infringing on the rules that the government itself creates.

Is western society at this level of sophistication? The fact that people would have to resort to breaking the laws in order to make their opinions heard seems to indicate that this is not the case.

I guess what I'm driving at is that eventually civilization may not contain mistreatment. I don't think we are there yet, and as such people will be able to justify breaking the law in order to push the system in the right direction. Maybe one day this won't be the case though, and if it is possible, how should we go about living our lives in order to promote this change?


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

Yep! (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by pallex on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 10:20:22 AM EST

"I think this points me to asking whether or not the system itself is fundamentally flawed."

I was thinking that the other day, in South London, as i stepped over some homeless people, passed the `warning - burglers and robbers operate in this area` signs etc...

I think you have a moral duty to be moral - whether or not this is in line with the law is less important.

A religious person of some persuasion spoke a few years ago in England about how it was ok for a poor woman to steal from a big store (think it was Tesco`s in this instance) if she couldnt afford to feed her children.

I`m not into religion by any stretch of the imagination, but i`m suprised the (Christian) church here doesnt do more stuff which gets up the governments nose - not for the sake of it, but because so much of what does on in society`s name is so clearly against Christianity (as well as several other religions). Perhaps that tells you a lot about the cosy relationship between church and state (which certainly wouldnt be tolerated in the States).

[ Parent ]
what you're getting at (4.50 / 2) (#78)
by kubalaa on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:53:40 PM EST

Technical laws and the actual code by which society operates aren't always, or even most of the time, in accordance. Like Napster; sure it's technically illegal, but most people obviously don't feel too guilty about breaking the law in this case. Or a subtler example, Fair Use, which as you can see from the word "Fair" depends entirely upon the subjective notions of fairness in place at the time.

Civil disobedience is following the unspoken laws of society while disobeying the written laws. If society is beginning to think that it's okay for blacks and whites to sit in the same part of the bus, then doing so is not criminal, but civil disobedience.

Of course with our limited perspective, we apply this idea retroactively and subjectively. Today most people agree racism is bad, so they label all anti-racism actions in history as civil disobedience which is acceptable. Ignoring the fact that at the time, anti-racist ideas were considered radical and therefore purely criminal.

Anyways, if you're confident that eventually your mindset will win out, then go ahead and break the law; once enough people agree with you, it'll automatically become civil disobedience.

[ Parent ]

Perspective please (4.11 / 9) (#32)
by delmoi on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:30:56 PM EST

In our increasingly multicultural world it seems as though diversity of ideology is going to create a lot of difficulties in the process of governing a country

'Increasingly multicultural world'? By most accounts the number of cultures is decreasing, and those cultures are becoming more similar. How can you say that the world is becoming more 'multicultural'? And, while the percentage of white people living in the US may be going down, I don't really think most of the rest of the world is changing very much. The world has always been multicultural.

And what's this about 'creating' problems. I mean, has the last 6000 years or so of human history been relatively free of racial and ethnic strife or something?
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
Intent (4.00 / 3) (#35)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:52:48 PM EST

Sorry, perhaps I did not word these concepts properly.

By "increasingly multicultural world" I was refering to the integration of different cultures in nation states. If you think that the world was as diverse 300 years ago as it is now then I guess we have different views on things. The fact that modern nations are moving towards a more holistic ideology for government, as opposed to basing their government around a certain religion is an example of this. There are still religous states, but then again the people in these states don't have any disagreement between their religous devotion and how the government is ruled, do they?

As far as creating problems, I think you misunderstood the driving force for this article. I am referring to problems in maintaining a government which best suites it's constituents. Obviously if the majority of people in your country follow the same religion it is going to be easier to design the laws by which your nation should live.

I guess I should left my comments out, seeing as this is MLP and all, but I felt that a few might generate some interesting discussion. It's too bad that most people seem to be looking at this article a subjective point of view. I was intending this to generate discussion as to why religions and government are at odds sometimes, and as to how a government can best handle this situation.

Thanks for the criticism. Hopefully my reply will help to renormalize things.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

language is not precise (none / 0) (#47)
by hany on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 03:39:04 AM EST

  1. Language is not precise.
  2. Making compromises means being more broader (i.e. less precise).

Laws are both language and compromise. Thus man can always consider his mind is more precise in judging reality than any law.

Of course, there is a risk that one man's judging of reality can be totaly diferent than judging of others. Conflicts can then arise.

But still, set of words on paper (or any other medium) should not be placed above man's judging. That's why we have courts, judges, trials, ...


hany


Personal values versus society... (3.50 / 2) (#49)
by neuneu2K on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 05:40:05 AM EST

While I think that intellectual integrity should be paramount, it is hard for me to support religious extremists in any way. However I do support their moral rigth to break the law if they disagree with it...
But it does not mean i do not want them to pay for it !

In short, personal values should guide our actions before social pressure (law IS a formalised social pressure) but we should never expect society to accept our personal values.


- "And machine code, which lies beneath systems ? Ah, that is to do with the Old Testament, and is talmudic and cabalistic..." - Umberto Eco
It depends (4.60 / 5) (#50)
by jd on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 08:21:15 AM EST

I'll put this in boolean logic, just to be irritating. :)

  • A == (Law is morally right)
  • B == (Specific disobedience is morally right)
  • C == (Acting out that disobedience is right)

Let "right" = true (or 1), and "wrong" = false (or 0). Let x be undefined. What we then have is the following truth-table:

A 0 1 0 1 B 0 0 1 1 C 0 0 1 x

That we have an undefined value would seem to suggest that this is the wrong problem. And, if you think about it, that's fairly self-evident.

A religious doctorine is a set of guiding principles on how to live comfortably amongst other people. (It is NOT, as some would have it, a set of rules on pleasing whatever God the person believes in, even assuming that the God they believe in exists. You can't MAKE someone happy, a God least of all. They will be happy or unhappy, entirely by their own efforts, thank you very much.)

It follows, then, that acting in accordance with "beliefs", but in discord with life, =must= be in discord with the God that the person is trying to please.

(To put it another way: God: "I'll create me a Universe. Ahhh... that looks nice. Now, I'll add a few people, and tell them to -keep- my Universe nice." People: "Stuff you, God! Your rules say I can be disobedient, so I'll go muck up your Universe! Oh, and while we're at it, you're to be pleased with us. Now, go do as we say!")

Of course, the bottom-line is that the laws themselves should be in accordance with life and civilization, since their SOLE function in society is to preserve both. They HAVE no other purpose.

The question then becomes, why do we, as a reasonably enlightened, reasonably civilised society have so many laws which are NOT in accordance with life and civilization, that there is any religious question at all?

IMHO, if the laws are, themselves, unethical and immoral, the Government should seriously consider getting together a committee of philosophers, psychologists, religious leaders, politicians and economists, and simply re-implement the entire legal system from scratch. Ditch everything (bar the Constitution) and devise a self-consistant, ethical, moral laws which work and are -automatically- somewhere within the bounds of the acceptable to anyone who had any desire to behave along ethical and moral lines, regardless of religion or lack thereof.

(It won't happen. A simplified, logical legal system would put far too many lawyers out of business. Worse, it would allow any John Doe to understand what was happening, at any given time.)

Logic (4.75 / 4) (#51)
by wiredog on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 08:32:55 AM EST

Has very little to do with law. Or religion.

"Anything that's invented after you're 35 is against the natural order of things", Douglas Adams
[ Parent ]
Some problems (4.40 / 5) (#52)
by RangerBob on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 08:47:31 AM EST

My problem with this is the justifications people might start using when they do something. At the low end, someone might make a big case out of "My religion doesn't believe in stop signs or stop lights". At the other end, you could have "My religion demands that I harm people who aren't of my belief system".

The article also assumes a Christian mindset. There are some belief systems out there that don't quite believe in a harmonious world (And no, I don't mean Islam or anything like that, so don't even start). What about these groups? Can they now say that acts of violence against innocent people are merely civil disobedience? If one group can start using this excuse, ALL groups have the same ability.

There will always be a place for civil disobedience, just as there will always be a place for people to work within a system to change a system. I do have a problem because people could use this idea to create excuses for just about anything they want to do. Of course, I also fully admit that I'm a pessimist when it comes to the virtues of human nature, so I can see a lot of abuses that can come out of this.

Sorta... (3.00 / 1) (#53)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 09:04:08 AM EST

I wrote this in '98 - it's somewhat lacking in discipline.

Of course, the spirit supports the individual's actions and not that of the church, but it doesn't state that outright.

farq will not be coming back
civil disobedience (3.50 / 4) (#57)
by Signal 11 on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 10:36:27 AM EST

The law and religion are two separate matters and both can exist seperate from the other. The question then becomes, is religion adequate justification for breaking the law?




--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

The insanity! (3.66 / 3) (#61)
by codemonkey_uk on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 11:19:53 AM EST

Lets look at the question: "is religion adequate justification for breaking the law?"

I have to say that this question is one of the dumbest questions ever asked. What is "adequate justification"? And to whom must this justification be adequate?

For the person who holds the belief that requires them to break the law, then that belief is adequate, or they would not truly hold that belief.

For the maker of the law, the belief is irrelevant - the law is all, and no justification can truly be adequate.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

justification (3.50 / 2) (#67)
by Signal 11 on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 07:15:37 PM EST

I have to say that this question is one of the dumbest questions ever asked.

And yet such a 'dumb' question has still managed to get no interesting answers from someone as 'smart' as you.

What is "adequate justification"? And to whom must this justification be adequate?

Good question. There's this thing called 'epistimology', and many books have been written about these 'dumb' questions.

For the person who holds the belief that requires them to break the law, then that belief is adequate, or they would not truly hold that belief.

False. I believe that the DMCA is wrong. However, if I engage in activites that I believe are just, I could be jailed. I have sufficient justification to disobey the DMCA, but I won't because the consequences are severe.

For the maker of the law, the belief is irrelevant - the law is all, and no justification can truly be adequate.

For makers of laws, the law is the justification.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Hmm... (4.00 / 1) (#77)
by CaptainObvious on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:41:26 PM EST

Depends on who you ask.
---

Excuse me for butting in, but I'm interrupt-driven...
[ Parent ]
good quote fits here (none / 0) (#70)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 02:06:30 AM EST

not sure exaclty how it goes...but i'll try to summarize it.: the separation of church and state is not soley in the states best interest; it is more along the lines of in the *church*'s best interest, so why *either* side would want any part in getting closer to eachother it is beyond me ( as a merger of the two would leave the citizens of the country with no hope for salvation exept to follow the government...food for thought )
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
What's the difference? (4.50 / 2) (#71)
by jesterzog on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 04:09:40 AM EST

justifies civil disobedience in order to further the views of religion. ...

... How do you feel about religion and it's relationship to the state? Is one justified in breaking the law when they are following their beliefs?

I'd like to ask another question:

Is there much of a difference between this, and the hoardes of people who justify stealing music to bring down the RIAA? (Which is mostly portrayed as an evil cartel that purchases control of government.)

I guess if you don't stand up for something you think is right, you can be overrun. But you also have to be prepared to face any consequences as a result. If and when people from the church coalition are caught breaking the law, they should be dealt with accordingly. The system sucks like that.

If they end up changing the rules as a result, good on them. But they'll have a hard time if they can't convince a lot of people of their views.


jesterzog Fight the light


Scary answer (4.00 / 2) (#73)
by tumeric on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 06:41:22 AM EST

Is one justified in breaking the law when they are following their beliefs?

Although I would feel very uncomfortable if people did break the law as they felt fit, I can see no reason why arbitary, short-lived laws written by man could ever be more important than your very reason for existing (if you were religious).

I'm arguing from a logical standpoint as I am not religious myself. However, if I did feel the creator of the universe within me, I would certainly let them guide my actions more than, say, a law created by Bush Jr.

Can someone with strong religous views describe how a balance is met? Does following the laws of man make you less religous if they disagree with your moral code?

the issue (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by kubalaa on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:41:21 PM EST

The problem is that in reality most people aren't lucky enough to have God himself telling them what to do. And those that do don't usually agree with the Church anyways. So for the religious masses, instead of doing what Dubya says, they do what the Pope or their local pastor or whomever says. In that sense, everybody is following the "laws of man."

So you can see that if churches went around telling people to disobey authority figures, they'd lose most of their own control, which is why they usually don't do that. On the contrary, many include obeying authority figures, both religious, domestic, and secular, as a strong moral imperative.

[ Parent ]

obligatory scriptural quote (3.00 / 2) (#83)
by anonymous cowerd on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 04:38:17 PM EST

...Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

This is so beautiful, because just like

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

it's no answer at all, and He knew it but He didn't care, because for some questions there are no formally correct answers, but in any circumstance, answers or no, you're going to end up doing something.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

stint grits
darts file
gratis ways to fit tins
dapper angle
ill apple
-Barbara Baracks

Civil Disobedience (none / 0) (#84)
by Mantrid on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 08:54:21 AM EST

I think sometimes people's faith can push them to acts of Civil Disobedience which is fine (assuming you aren't killing anyone), just be prepared to face the consequences - fines, jail time, criminal record, etc.

I'm always annoyed sometimes when protestors complain and b!tch and moan when they are sent to jail...Standing up for your beliefs is all well and good, but it's not going to be easy all of the time!

Am I making any sense here?

When Religion and State Collide | 84 comments (84 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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My heart's the long stairs.

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