The Government Doesn’t Legislate Anything But Morality

Over the years, I’ve heard the phrase, “The government can’t legislate morality,” far too many times. Most often, this statement belies an attitude of nonchalant, postmodern hedonism that fears man more than it fears God. But lest we turn this into an ad hominem affair, we ought first prove the point:

The Government Doesn’t Legislate Anything But Morality

1. The government makes laws.
From Scripture, plain reason, and experience, we know that governments must make laws. That, in the first principle, is why they exist. If people could govern, i.e., reign over, themselves, governments would in no way be needed. But because of sin, miscommunication, and mistakes (mostly sin), governments must needs exist.

2. The government decides what is moral. To make a “moral” decision is to decide between right and wrong, to make a mark between the right and the wrong, to outline the body of what is right and what is wrong. This is the essence of law-making: people must decide what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, fair and unfair, just and unjust in a given society. We ought not be uncomfortable with this; we make sense of life by making moral decisions. We say this is right and that is wrong; it is why we have fully-functioning, ever-active consciences.

3. Every law is a statement on what is moral, i.e., what is right and what is wrong. So go gun safety bills, veterans’ benefits bills, even national budget bills. Health care bills, economic stimulus packages, and constitutional amendments all make statements as to what is considered right and wrong in our country. This is the essence of lawmaking. “Laws” are statements about right and wrong.

4. Your sin doesn’t falsify or profane the government’s job. You may be disagreeing with me on the first two points, but that would only be because you have a vested interest in protecting one of your pet sins. Maybe you like to smoke pot on the side, or carry a same-sex attraction, or want to wink at your friend’s recent abortion. Maybe you love being well-liked by the people around you. Whatever the case, your disagreement with the moral legislation of the government is more a function of your own self-deception than of the verity of these claims.

5. The government must punish wrong-doing. Again, your own self-deception may trouble you here, so let us turn to an illustration outside of our self-defensive cocoons. Suppose a madman murders your dearest loved one, and you are an eyewitness. At his trial, you are called to testify. What do you say? Do you ask the judge to let him go free, or punish him? Unless your conscience is irreparably broken, you scream, “Justice!”

As 1 Peter 2:13-14 says, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.” The government doesn’t bear the sword (or the court system, or the jail system, or capital punishment) in vain. It’s sent by God to punish wrongdoers.

Don’t Hide
In the end, it’s clear that the government legislates nothing but morality. So don’t hide behind your saying that “it’s not their job to tell me who I can marry” or “it’s not their job to tell me what I can do with the child inside my body” (the two most common personal reasons for objecting to moral legislation). And please don’t be a coward and hide behind your fear of what others will think.

Just say that you believe same-sex marriage and abortion are completely moral, just, right acts, and be prepared to back those claims up logically. Don’t ask the government to give you a free pass because you like your favorite depraved act, or because you don’t have the courage to stand up against those who do. As a citizen of earth, it’s your job.

Advertisements

About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: