The LA Times has an editorial on christian extremist leaders who recently declared that are above the law and that they (and their followers) don't have to follow laws that go against their religious beliefs. (photo h/t Reuters)
Needless to say, the editorial board completely disagrees:
Last week, a group of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox leaders released a “declaration” reminding fellow believers that "Christianity has taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required." Then, after a specious invocation of King, the 152 signers hurl this anathema at those who would enact laws protecting abortion or extending the rights of civil (not religious) marriage to same-sex couples:It doesn't get an more UN-American than this. Our country was founded upon a constitution, not any one particular set of religious beliefs. Our bible is that constitution. We are a secular nation. Most of our founding fathers were not religious men. In fact, they most sought to minimize the old religious ways of Europe by writing the very constitution that we hold sold dear.
"Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality. . . . We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's."
This apocalyptic argument for lawbreaking is disingenuous, but it is also dangerous. Did the Roman Catholic bishops who signed the manifesto consider how their endorsement of lawbreaking in a higher cause might embolden the antiabortion terrorists they claim to condemn? Did they stop to think that, by reserving the right to resist laws they don't like, they forfeit the authority to intervene in the enactment of those laws, as they have done in the congressional debate over healthcare reform? They need to be reminded that this is a nation of laws, not of men -- even holy men.
Of course the nutters woudl have you believe this is a "Christian Nation," but not a single one can point to the phrase "Christian Nation" anywhere in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights. In fact, religion was deliberately left out.
The actions of these "religious leaders" should have their tax exempt status stripped immediately. The IRS should be on them like flies on shit.