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Someone suggested to me today that the purpose of law was to legislate a moral order in society.

I said that I thought laws were written to protect the liberty of people from others who would usurp it.

"Murder is, by law, illegal because it's immoral. That's why the law was written," said he.

"Really?" I questioned. "You don't think murder was outlawed because it robs a person of liberty? Because if morality was the basis of laws, there would be no end of laws. Where's the limited government in that?"


by Brett Rogers, 4/18/2009 1:12:53 AM


The law against murder is the one of the oldest laws that mankind has ever known. Understanding its origin puts serious holes in your line of reasoning. Murder was NOT outlawed as you profess because it robs a person of liberty (although it does do that too) but that is not why murder was outlawed. Murder was outlawed because God said so. From the earliest accounts in Genesis we see that it was outlawed by God.

That particular law comes from Him. As all law ultimately finds it origin in Him. Without that, then whoever is deemed the smartest man, or the most powerful government, gets to decide what is right and wrong.

In fact, there are things that humans know innately in all cultures and all societies. Some things are absolutely wrong always. Where does that universal understanding come from...not from man. It comes from God.

The only way we can truly know right from wrong is that God has declared it to be so. Arguing otherwise makes no sense. It only leads to anarchy. This was a sentiment expressed in a letter written by John Adams to Benjamin Rush in 1809:

"There is no authority civil or religious: There can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation."

I have a book, that I would freely give to you, if you would but promise me to read it. It is called "Original Intent." It is a book that addresses the intent of the founders of our nation and the constitution. Just let me know...and the book is yours.



Posted by Mike Demastus (, 4/18/2009 12:52:11 PM

If all laws are derived from God, which God, Mike? Christian? Muslim? Hindu? Jewish?

Plus, if morality as declared by God is the basis of law, which faith determines that morality? Baptist morality is different from Catholic is different from Latter Day Saint is different from Sunni is different from Shia is different from... well, you get the idea. Which one?

If the government is in charge of legislating morality, where does that end? I notice that you didn't answer the question I asked: where is the limited government in legislated morality? Do we make adultery a crime? Should pre-marital sex be legislated? Smoking? Drinking? How about dancing? Reading the Koran? Atheism? Should evolution be taught?

The first amendment speaks to freedom of religion. Is all reference to "religion" in the founding documents for our country simply a euphemism for Christianity, and Christian morals are the only true basis for law? Or did they mean what they said when they spoke of freedom of religion?

Mike, I have no problem with Christianity. I also have no problem with Hindu, Deism, Islam, Polytheism, whatever...

Pull me along a little further about the book. Is the Original Intent of the founders of our nation to establish a Christian nation? If so, is there no room at the inn for other faiths? Where does someone like me fit into your America?



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 4/18/2009 3:36:05 PM

In early tribal human history (pre-Christian), it would clearly be a detriment to the tribe if members murdered freely. The tribe would cease to be. Murder became outlawed because it was not in the best interest of the tribe.

Mike states "In fact, there are things that humans know innately in all cultures and all societies. Some things are absolutely wrong always. Where does that universal understanding come from...not from man. It comes from God."

This is clearly not a universal understanding, as many societies condone war, terrorism and exucution. And if my life were threatened, would it be absolutely wrong to fight to defend myself? What if my attacker were killed as a result?

I believe that our right to freedom of religion is just that, freedom to believe what we choose. Christianity has no patent on morality.



Posted by Annette (, 4/20/2009 10:39:07 AM

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