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Monday, October 12, 2009

Can Christians Ever Disobey Ridiculous Laws?

(ah finally, it's been too long since a Christianity + politics and junk and stuff blog post...)

The subject of this post has come into my mind a few times recently, brought on because Harmony is pumping breast milk for a friend of our's who is staunchly committed to breastfeeding, is due with her fourth child, but has been troubled by low milk supply (I'm sure she's tried all the remedies) with all previous children (I think).

Christians are supposed to subject themselves to the laws of the land. So says Romans 13:

1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;

4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.

6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

7Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Obviously we are supposed to obey God rather than man, so unless man's law contradict's God's, we are to follow it. If the government were to pass some sort of ridiculous law saying that any/all breast milk must be tested in an expensive procedure before being allowed the possibility of being shared, what to do in that situation? (Think that's too ridiculous to be plausible? Go to the Common Room blog and search for the term "CPSIA," for extensive blog entries about the subject) I have a bad feeling that a law such as that one would not directly violate any of God's laws...

BUT...

Perhaps there would be loopholes in the law that Christians could find and heavily exploit, as long as exploiting the loophole did not involve any sort of deceit or illegal activity (notice the phrasing where I do not include deceit as an illegal activity, for if it were so, all politicians would be in jail, where probably most of them belong anyways). Then again, would that sort of interpretation/exploitation of loopholes be Pharasaical? Would we cease to be following the spirit/intention of the law? (then AGAIN, we are not dealing with exploitation of perceived loopholes in God's law, but man's.)

Of course, some would say "but think of the CHILDREN...what if someone were to try to hurt your children by passing them bad milk...??? So we must outlaw unregulated breast milk in all forms." My question does not pertain to getting milk from a milk bank or whatever; it concerns getting milk from someone you know, from a friend who would never think to give spoiled milk to anyone, much less a friend with a new baby.

I know that this blog has several readers (maybe even the vast majority) who are firmly supportive of breastfeeding, who also happen to have similar Christian worldviews as we do. You know who you are, and I would like to hear from you. I'll also take comments from people who do not share similar views as we do (and you know who you are) ;) What do you think?

Related Posts:

4 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Headmistress, zookeeper

    If such a law were passed (and I expect that somewhere in America it is illegal to give your breastmilk to another woman's baby), I would consider such a law to contemptible to dignify with my attention.

    The highest law in this land is The Constitution of these United States. Any laws that violate it are already illegal, and therefore I do nothing wrong in ignoring them.

  • Harmony

    I'll give another example:

    You live in an apartment complex on the third floor. You just got home from a massive trip to the grocery store. The baby is asleep in the car seat, and it's a raining cats and dogs outside. There is no way you can carry both the baby and the groceries upstairs. If you take baby out first, she will wind up screaming in the apartment alone while you lug the rest of the groceries inside.

    In some states (but not all) it would be illegal to take the groceries in first. So do you make baby cry for the sake of a silly law?

  • CappuccinoLife

    I think that there are times when a law intended for good actually prevents a good from happening.

    I am OK with well-intentioned civil disobedience, or getting around laws because one feels they prevent us from obeying God or doing something God has called us to or requires us (helping a neighbor and caring for our baby would qualify, I think).

    I do think, however, that if we choose to do this, we should be prepared to stand up and face the consequences if someone in authority chooses to enforce a law, even a silly one.

  • Sara

    Well, from my reading of the CPSIA, I don't think there's much to worry about as far as breast milk is concerned (nor really much to be concerned about for most people- I shop at a number of consignment/thrift stores and haven't heard a peep of complaint from any of them!) but if, in some strange scenario, sharing breast milk (privately, between moms, not banking) were ever made illegal-- a) i don't think there's any way it could ever be enforced, so why worry -and b) i certainly wouldn't follow the law. like headmistress zookeeper-- i would consider such a law too contemptible to dignify with my attention.

    As for the second scenario-- I'm more concerned about someone driving off in my car with my baby, or simply snatching my baby out of the car, than I am about the baby crying for a few minutes while I lug the groceries inside. I'm not making my baby cry for a silly law- it's NOT a silly law. It's a very sensible law. A baby crying for a few minutes won't lead to permanent harm- leaving a baby unattended in a car very well could.

    And I second CappuccinoLife's second paragraph.