For anyone who has followed and understands the relationship between church leadership and civil government in the U.S. in the last 50 years, declarations of American pastors pledging civil disobedience in case the Supreme Court decides to favor sodomite “marriage” (like this one, for example, or this one), seem ridiculous at best, and quite pathetic.
“We stand today to put America on notice that we will not obey an unjust law.” Yeah, right. You ain’t fooling no one, Rev. You will eventually obey that unjust law. That’s what you have been doing your whole career: obeying unjust laws, or, at the very least, refusing to challenge the civil governments in the land for their unjust laws. You’ve done it, and those before you in the same pulpit have done it. It has become a hallowed tradition for American pastors to serve the secular statist religion of Americanism.
More than 50 years ago Leonard E. Read said that, “People reject socialism in name, but once any socialistic activity has been Americanized, nearly everybody believes it’s all right.” The same thing can be said about American pastors in general: They reject injustice in name, but once injustice is institutionalized in government law, nearly every single pastor thinks it’s all right, or at least it’s not worth being rebuked from the pulpit.
For the last 100 years not only have the pastors refused to challenge unjust laws, they have refused to even bring the Bible to whatever laws the different levels of civil government have passed and enforced, to check whether they were unjust or not. In fact, worse than that, for the last 100 years the pastors in this country have openly declared that the Bible doesn’t have anything to do with the political realm, that the Gospel is limited to the individual soul and the institutional church, and therefore has nothing to say about the powers of the land. “It’s not the pastors’ job to talk politics,” has been the refrain. And since politics is where the issues of justice and injustice have been discussed and resolved, this has effectively barred the church from any authoritative voice in discussing justice or injustice.
Note well: it was not the civil government that barred the church from speaking justice. It was the pastors themselves.
State crimes we’ve overlooked
So when the Revs babble about “unjust laws,” keep that in mind: They have been silent on the issue of unjust laws for a century, at least.
They have been silent on the creation of the IRS and the introduction of Federal income tax: an act of the Federal government that is only unconstitutional but also strongly anti-biblical, for it violates the Eighth Commandment.
They have been silent on the creation of the Social Security Administration, another clear violation of the Eighth Commandment.
They have been silent on the 501(c)3 clause and the control of pulpits by the IRS.
They have been silent on the creation of the Federal Reserve System and the destruction of monetary value.
They have been silent on Roe v. Wade and the holocaust of tens of millions of American children supported by government fiat and tax money.
On the immigration restriction laws – not only unconstitutional but also openly anti-biblical.
On the creation of the standing army of police, designed specifically to rob the population in favor of the political class and to keep political dissenters suppressed.
On the introduction of no-fault divorce laws.
On the creation and the expansion of the government school system – a clear violation of the very First of the Ten Commandments.
On the expansion of government redistribution programs, from welfare to individuals to welfare for corporations.
On foreign wars.
On government regulations which ban or restrict individuals from fulfilling their calling under God to take dominion over the earth.
On government monopolies, a clear violation of the biblical principle of equality before the law.
On the war on drugs, a clear example of government tyranny, designed to enrich the government by giving it powers which God never has.
On eminent domain.
On gun-control laws.
On civil forfeiture.
On property taxes.
On government-controlled healthcare.
On the bank bailout. And on the automakers bailout. And on the agricultural subsidies. Etc., etc., etc.
As state destroys, clergy silent
The marriage decision of the Supreme Court didn’t come out of the blue; it was a logical and expected element in a century-long invasion of society by the different levels of civil government, in violation of the principles of limited government and individual liberty established by the Law of God. For a while the pastors were left immune to that invasion; they had their 501(c)3 status which protected their donations.
It was the hard-working, productive, middle-class, tithe-paying ordinary members of their churches that got hit the worst by the predatory expansion of government agencies and laws. The pastors didn’t care. They remained silent while the government was destroying the liberty and the property – and sometimes the lives, too – of their church members, while at the same time asking for tithes and donations for supporting the very churches that remained silent at this injustice. (The decline in giving and tithing in the last 50 years was only natural and expected – in fact, I’d say, it is morally mandatory to stop supporting churches who have passively or actively become accomplices in the legislative plunder of their ordinary members.)
If the pastors in this nation were faithful to the historical example of the Black-Robed Regiment of the Revolutionary Era, the pulpits in this country would have been thundering with denunciations of all these government violations of the Ten Commandments, from the public school system, taxation, and regulations, to police, immigration restrictions, and foreign wars. Civil disobedience and rebellion against unjust laws would have started much earlier, a century ago, or, at the very least, 40 years ago.
Unjust laws must be disobeyed, as a testimony to the Gospel (Acts 5:29). Not only that, but unjust laws must be publicly denounced from the pulpits, and God’s judgment must be constantly invoked and called for on those civil government officials who pass those unjust laws or support them. Such officials must be excommunicated from the churches in the land, together with church members who work for their campaigns and publicly support them.
But American pastors remained silent, for many years, on many unjust laws, and many unjust politicians. The decision of the Supreme Court didn’t happen in a vacuum; it came in the context and through the momentum of a century of government injustice and church silence.
The vows, therefore, that they will disobey this particular unjust decision of the Supreme Court, are nonsensical. In order for such disobedience to be effective, they will have to roll the ball back and start disobeying on every single unjust law passed by the different levels of civil government in the U.S. The power of the government to enforce that decision of the Supreme Court was built over decades through these other unjust laws.
The powerful apparatus of enforcing the SCOTUS’ decision was built on the millions of cases of destruction of life, liberty, and property of these previous unjust laws. You can’t change one thing only. In this specific case, you can’t roll back one court decision only. To be able to do it, you need to roll the ball all the way back to the starting line. That is, declare opposition and civil disobedience to every single law, regulation, court decision, executive order, etc., which can’t be shown to be based on specific biblical verse or commandment in the Law of God. Anything short of that would be inconsistent, and would be rightly viewed as hypocrisy. It’s about time for pastors to understand: piecemeal action leads to inevitable defeat, or, at the very best, to short postponement of inevitable defeat.