One of the things that we learned early in our civics class is that we are a nation of laws. Per capita we have more lawyers than any nation on the globe and daily we write more laws on national, state and local level. In our churches from time to time it is almost hilarious to see how preachers are bashing the concept of law because they are preaching the message of grace.
This past week I found it interesting to see how laws have been applied. In the case of the Ethiopian student, Robel Phillipos who has helped accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his lawyer argued that the law should not be applied with the same strictness because he is just a kid. He is young and cannot handle the law as an adult. While I was reading this, I was surprised to see that another judge decided that girls as young as 15 should be able to get the morning after pill without the knowledge of their parents because since they are sexually active, they are considered full grown women and they have their right to privacy now. Refusing to give them the pill in the school is an infringement on their rights was the judge’s conclusion. While I was pondering on how a girl is a full grown woman at 15 and yet a boy is not a full adult at 19, I read yet another curious legal decision. Another judge in California decided that the medicinal distribution of marijuana can be negated by individual counties. This is because in the state of California that has laws for almost everything in sight, the distribution of medicinal marijuana has avoided any laws and it is almost antinomian (no laws prescribed).
I remember a philosophical discussion with a police officer when he stopped me somewhere in the Midwest (something that I do not recommend). I said to him: Officer, from all the people that are speeding on this highway, how come you stopped only me! His answer was: I cannot stop all the cars at the same time, but it does not mean that they are not as guilty as you are! Even though I continued my discussion, I knew that he was right. He applied the law to me because I was the guilty one.
The application of the law for all the people on equal basis has become a major problem. The Obama Administration, the major cities of Chicago and Los Angeles have laws on their books which they have decided not to implement. This posture is very problematic because one of the oaths that political people take is to obey and implement the laws of the land, state or local government.
We have these fluctuating laws because we still are trying to figure out when a child becomes an adult. Is a 15 years old an adult and therefore, she is in control of her body without the knowledge of her parents who are responsible for everything else in her life? Is Phillipos less an adult at 19 because it is a different issue which he did not fully comprehend or if he did fully comprehend, we should not apply the law.
I find that some Christians have difficulties with Jesus when he tells us that he came to fulfill all the laws and commandments that God has given. They have difficulties with God who is a just God, a merciful God and a loving God. At the same time, the apostles were willing to disobey laws that were made by men and were in contradiction to the laws of God, while connecting the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ with the Last Judgment: “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31) That final judgment will not fluctuate because it will determine the eternity of every human being.