Last Friday, a
On that same day,
While this is good news and a step in the right direction in
In evaluating their claim, the first thing we need to remember is that each of these municipalities and counties is a part of a larger political entity: the state. States like
Since they are outnumbered by representatives from these two cities, they are undoubtedly subject to laws they themselves would not have enacted. But no one thinks that this gives the people of
What about civil disobedience? In Christian thought, the civil authorities are due our obedience. But that duty isn?t absolute. The state may not command what God has prohibited, nor can it act arbitrarily or capriciously. But, biblically, there are no grounds here for disobedience.
It also needs to be noted that in a democratic polity such as ours, civil disobedience is always a last resort. Those who believe the law is in error have the obligation to work through the democratic process before resorting to civil disobedience. That hasn?t happened in
Their claim to moral kinship to the civil rights movement is spurious. African Americans were shut out of the democratic process; civil disobedience was one of the few options available. The same cannot be said of gay Americans who are heavily involved in politics.
What?s happening isn?t a blow for freedom, but a reckless disregard for law. This disregard should trouble every American, regardless of his or her opinion about same-sex ?marriage,? because lawlessness leads to tyranny. The rule of law is the most fundamental principle of free societies that came, incidentally, from a Christian influence in the Reformation.
We don?t get to pick which laws we?ll obey. And those who try to do so are a threat to the rule of law that has made our way of life and freedom possible in the first place.
For further reading and information:
?Bloomberg, New Paltz Mayor March in Gay-Inclusive Parade ,? NBC,
Jesse J. Smith, ? More gays wed in New Paltz, but without embattled mayor ,? Daily Freeman,
Matthew Cox, ? New Paltz, N.Y. Mayor Says He Plans More Gay Weddings ,? Bloomberg,
Lea Brilmayer, ? Full Faith and Credit ,? Wall Street Journal,
Thomas Sowell, ? Gay marriage confusions ,? Townhall.com,
Lisa Schiffren, ? How the Judges Forced the President?s Hand ,? New York Times,
Fred Bayles, ? 1913 law could foil plans for gay marriages in Mass. ,? USA Today,