My suspense/thriller THE POISON CUP abounds with lawbreakers. Pete Turner, the protagonist, takes the law into his own hands when he arranges a murder for hire; Orville Wooten “befriends” kids as a pedophile. Angel Corelli sells illegal assault weapons in his New York gun shop. Probably every person who breaks the law can justify his actions with reasons that make sense to him. How about the last time you drove over the speed limit?
Controversy polarizes people today in a debate implicit in how we view laws, and ultimately, how we see our U.S. Constitution. Is it the law of the land, based on principles true for all times, or is it an outmoded document that should evolve and keep up with the times? Are there foundational principles that are true for all times? Does human nature change? Is human nature basically good—or as the Bible declares—a fallen nature? (The question of whether the Bible is outmoded for modern times is also part of the debate.) In addition to Roman law, an English jurist, Sir William Blackstone and his “Commentaries” guided our founding fathers’ preparation of the Constitution. Blackstone based his ideas on the Bible.
Isn’t it possible that if there are no true-for-all-times principles, the day may come when murder-for-hire and pedophilia are accepted practices? Our founding fathers designed our Constitution to protect us from vigilantes and criminals. Without laws that do not change, are we not removing the secure foundations of these protections, even the foundations of a civilized society?
An ongoing debate is about whether our government should build a wall, (whether an actual, physical wall or simply more stringent law enforcement) to protect our borders from illegal immigrants, some of whom are criminals and purveyors of illegal drugs comimg into our country. Although one may sympathize with those illegals who try to join family members already here, does sympathy negate the need for upholding the law? Is there a greater question here with larger ramifications—the undermining of the foundation of an ordered and civilized society?
My daddy came to this country on a boat from Ireland. He became a citizen and did it legally, as have many other immigrants. Is the issue about keeping out immigrants like those who have helped make this country the great nation it is, or about respecting and upholding the laws, without which we can only have chaos? When people believe they are an exception for whatever reason, can we say they respect the laws that make for a civilized society? Like Pete Turner and Orville Wooten who justify their actions, does that make their right supersede the larger good and the rights of everyone to live under the laws that make for peace and stability?
I heard one view for not building the wall. Don’t laugh. It seems some environmentalists are concerned that birds and bats will not be able to fly over it. Apparently, some birds fly too low to make it over. To that, a friend of mine retorted, “If they aren’t chickens, they ought to be able to make it over okay or stay on the other side.”
What do you think? Should we worry about the birds and bats not being able to fly over? Can anyone make a sensible argument on behalf of the birds to reasonably conclude we should not lawfully protect our borders? According to Matthew 6:26 we are more valuable than birds…but then maybe the Bible is just another outdated viewpoint.
Picture credit: mdc.mo.gov