A Christian Response to Laws that Require Immoral Acts

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Nova et Vetera


This article examines five cases which involve laws in our nation that presently require immoral action and then concludes with a sixth case in which the U.S. Supreme Court recently invalidated the application of such a law to a particular contract but left open a way still to use the law to impose immoral action. In each of the six cases, the article explains the evil of the law as a transgression of one of the commandments, which, if one is to remain moral, requires civil disobedience. It then explains how the person who follows the commandment and suffers the negative fallout from the consequences of civil disobedience nevertheless is called by Christ to go beyond and be perfect by following the beatitudes. Although more than one beatitude may be relevant in each case, this article examines only one, and a different one at that, for each case. The purpose of the article is to illustrate by these six examples how the beatitudes operate on a practical basis in the concrete circumstances of everyday life to satisfy Christ’s call to perfection.

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