Charles Pierce writes for Esquire magazine. He’s a hardcore Leftist who hates Donald Trump and now Judge Roy Moore. Pierce has described Moore as “a lawless theocratic lunatic.” It’s true that Judge Moore “lost his job as chief justice of that state’s supreme court twice” by defying “the authority of the federal court system.” This, of course, made him lawless.
Next, Pierce accuses Judge Moore of being theocratic by citing the following from him:
“God is sovereign over our government, over our law. When we exclude ‘Him’ from our lives, exclude ‘Him’ from our courts, then they will fail. We’ve forgotten that God is intimately connected with this nation. Without God there would be no freedom to believe what you want.”
As I mentioned in a previous article, our founders recognized that our rights come from God and not the State. It’s a fact that religion, specifically, the Christian religion, had a lasting impact on the founding of our nation. You can read it in the colonial charters, state constitutions, various laws, and official and unofficial documents of the time.
Here’s a free downloadable PDF book I wrote: “The Case for America’s Christian Heritage.”
Did you know, following the definitional criteria of Charles Pierce, that Martin Luther King, Jr. was also “lawless” and “theocratic.” He broke existing law and appealed to the Bible and religious leaders to make his case. But for people like Pierce, that’s OK because King was trying to make right a moral wrong. Only liberals can be lawless and theocratic by appealing to the Bible (or nothing at all) to justify their claims against their definition of what unjust.
Let’s look at some of King’s thoughts on God and civil disobedience. The following quotations are taken from King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” (April 16, 1963). Note how he starts the defense for his actions:
- I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the [biblical] prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own hometown. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.
- One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”
- Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.
- Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar [Dan. 3:17-18], on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.
- We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.
- And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . .” So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth, and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation, and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.
- There was a time when the church was very powerful–in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators”‘ [Acts 17:1-9]. But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man [Acts 5:27-29]. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example, they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are.
- But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.
- We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.
- One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Judge Roy Moore, like millions of other Christians, believe that killing unborn babies is as immoral and lawless as denying blacks the right to vote and sit anywhere they want on a bus or a lunch counter. More blacks have been killed by abortion than on slave ships, lynchings, black-on-black murders, and police shootings. It’s unfortunate that King did not see the devastating effect that abortion has had on blacks. He was a supporter of Planned Parenthood.
We also believe that it is immoral and lawless to force people to act against their conscience…