Thursday, June 11, 2009
Civil Disobedience Versus Respect for Authority
I found this posted on Daily Paul, a pro-Ron Paul blog. I will comment on it and also one comment that was made about it:
In all fairness to the border agents, the 4409 guys did seem a little more interested in starting a direct confrontation with them, rather than getting their message to the passing motorists.
There was a simple solution that wouldn't have required all of them to walk through the checkpoint area. Have most of the people park in the designated parking area - load up a car with people - drive to the desired protest area - drop off everyone but the driver - driver parks the car or takes another load of people down. No need to walk through the checkpoint 'zone'. Now when the cops tell you to get in your car, you can honestly say your car isn't here. And when it's time to leave, you can honestly say that their checkpoint on the state right of way is blocking you from getting to your car.
And I'm suprised [sic] that none of the ten or so people there couldn't tell the cop that the grassy area around the road is a public right-of-way, not a road. Yes, cops make [expletive deleted] up because they don't know the law (if they did, they would be a lawyer, not a cop). But if your group of ten people is even less knowledgable [sic] about the law than the cop, then don't try to argue the law.
And I never heard them ask the cop for his badge number, supervisor's name and what department he was with. Even if the checkpoint is run by the feds, once actual cops show up to help out, you can file a complaint with their PD for assisting.
And trying to convert the agents to your PoV is a lost cause; this is purely a paycheck to them. You might as well be a PETA member trying to walk through a meat processing plant and yelling at them for killing chickens. Nobody is going to quit their job for you.
If you really want to get these to stop, get a bunch of people to go through intentionally during peak travel times (like BEFORE work), play dumb and start up a five minute conversation asking what deal is. Do not act like a protestor, act like an increasingly annoyed motorist. Do not let them direct you out of the primary traffic lane. If you can hold up the line badly enough, otherwise disinterested motorists will start to complain.
It's unfortunate, but most Americans think the Constutution [sic] is about as relevant as the Ten Commandments. They're willing to give up any rights that they don't need to exercise on a regular basis if it makes them feel safer or more wealthy [sic]. You have to put it in terms that are meaningful to their daily lives.
I agree with what this commenter says (at least until the last two paragraphs). In Romans 13:1-7, it says:
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Were these BP agents acting within the bounds of the Constitution, stopping U.S. citizens traveling from point A to point B 50-100 miles from the Mexican border? Probably not. Is it ridiculous that they are doing this so far away from the border while the illegal immigrants are getting across the border by the thousands? Definitely yes.
But does that mean that Christians (the protestor doing most of talking and who is the most aggressive is a Baptist minister) should intentionally look for a confrontation with them? No. And I don’t even agree with doing what the commenter has suggested in the second to last paragraph of his comment. It was not good to get the police involved in this because they are then taken away from their other duties which are honorable to God necessary for maintaining peace and justice. If they are deliberately acting unjustly, then God will judge them for it. But as Christians, we should give them respect and the benefit of the doubt. Christians shouldn’t hold up traffic something like this. Its not like as if this is going to go to the Supreme Court like the Rosa Parks case.
On the other hand, we do need to stand up for the Constitution and the idea of protesting this injustice is good. And there are times when civil disobedience is a good and proper for the Christian. What the commenter says in the first few paragraphs makes sense. Acts 5:28-29 says:
Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
If governing authorities are harassing Christians enough that they cannot preach Christ Jesus to those willing listen, then civil disobedience is appropriate. We should stand up for others rights to speak freely also even if we disagree with them. But I think that these folks are a bit too aggressive. Matthew 5:38 says, (Jesus speaking):
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
If you read this post (or just use common sense and take this passage in context), then you can easily see what it means (liberals stretch and distort it). It is even more sad that most Americans have no respect for the 10 commandments than it is that they don't have any respect for the constitution.