When Government & Values Conflict

Strahlen

Thursday night, President Barak Obama spoke publicly of his plans to invoke an executive order allowing millions of those who entered America illegally and those who have stayed beyond their visas to remain in the United States without threat of deportation.

Before the speech was finished, the division such an executive order would affect was obvious forcing some to face how often personal values go against government demands and to question how to live with both.

America is not the only nation to face challenges which divide people of faith, nor is immigration the only issue to cause division. Abortion, care for the less fortunate, education, gun rights, marriage, and taxes are just some of the many issues that divide people around the world and which governments often attempt to control, sometimes dictating outcomes simply by failing to pass legislation in support of Christian values thereby allowing anti-Christian practices to become accepted common practice.

So what is a good Catholic who also wants to be a good citizen to do?

First, we must beware of our places in the Mystical Body of Christ. When we speak of Christ as the head of the church and each of us as having a part in His church, we realize how connected we all are. We realize that no government decision affects just one individual or group. Today, decisions often have repercussions even beyond our own borders. We must prayerfully consider the best outcome, not just for ourselves, but for all God’s children and then tirelessly do the work to make that best outcome a reality. We must realize that when one of us is hurting, we all feel the effects.

Second, we cannot mindlessly support “Feel Good Laws.” These are laws passed because our hearts hurt for those have heard about. Because of our imperfect desire to Love our neighbors, tragedy makes us want to rush in and fix things. Because we cannot usually simply fix a neighbor’s pain but still feel we must do something, we often acs with emotion instead of thoroughly examining all outcomes and longterm repercussions. The Bible tells us to guard our heart and to watch such acting on emotion. This does not apply just to marriage but to all decisions that should be made with Wisdom over emotion.

With all vigilance guard your heart,

for in it are the sources of life. Proverbs 4:23

Third, with few exceptions, we should do what the government dictates. In several places, we are told to obey our leaders, whether we look to the marital relationship of the submissive wife, the child to the parent, or the servant to the master, we see no reference to submit only if we agree, just simply, submit. This is most openly seen in Mark 12 when Jesus told the Pharisees,

Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.

Fourth, we must realize that submitting to the government is certainly not the same as blind submission or acceptance. When Jesus saw his Temple being used for trade and gambling, He fashioned a cord of whips, drove out the animals, and brought the tables crashing down stating He would rebuild in three days. While it may take us significantly longer to fix a broken government, we are also called to drive out those who corrupt, protect those who are in need of assistance, and build a Strong, Good, Just “kingdom.”

Fifth, in addition, while we balance submission to our leaders with our call to do God’s will, we must be particularly careful to understand the limits of a human-run government. No government, no country can provide for all God’s children. Governments that arrogantly say they can provide while attempting to win hearts, governments that promise rights given by God combined with entitlements given by man fail to admit their own limitations. They are building for themselves a Tower of Babel and when the tower falls as it will, the number of people scattered and hurt is often in promotion to the size of the tower.

Finally, we cannot be tempted by lures governments provide in return for our self-reliance, our independence, our free will. We must realize that  no government entitlement comes free of charge. There is always a cost financially, physically, or spiritually when one relies on the government. This can be seen in the emptiness in the eyes of those standing on welfare lines. Salvation does not come in the form of government legislation or handouts. We must keep our eyes on the One who does provide Salvation and show His way to others as well.

But be careful lest your heart be so lured away that you serve other gods and bow down to them. Deuteronomy 11:16.

When government legislation or action conflicts with our personal belief system, it causes conflict within us too.

We are called to be loving of all God’s children and to recognize we are all one body in Christ. Yet we are also called to be Wise rather than emotional when making decisions, when listening to and taking part in debate, and when voting.

We are called to be submissive to government. Yet we are also called to recognize its limitations and to stand up to it when it goes astray, becomes too powerful, or tries to buy submission.

Most importantly, we are told to always keep our eye on the Lord when earthly things distract our attention, to submit to Him over government. The Lord, the Loving Father of all nations, is the One ruler that will make no mistakes, that causes no conflicts in our conscience, and that is always Just when enacting laws and consequences.

All nations must pray for guidance in these troubled times.

 God Bless…

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12 thoughts on “When Government & Values Conflict”

  1. “When government and values conflict.” If you are looking for a solution to this “conflict” may I suggest focusing on a more important point: Do you really believe what you say you believe and pray for?

    Catholics say they believe God is the giver of life; and they pray for God’s “will be done on earth” in the only prayer Jesus ever taught his disciples. If Catholics, including clergy, truly believe that, then how can more than half of them endorse with their name and support a worldly organization that is diabolically opposed to what they say they believe and pray for? Such Catholics give that organization the electoral power to enact and promote those “values” in government which conflict with their faith. To end that conflict all those Catholics have to do is stop endorsing and supporting that organization. They don’t have to join another organization; just leave the one causing these conflicts.

    1. Stillbelieve-Exactly! When I say, ad nauseam, that it is a mortal sin to vote for any Democrat, I am NOT saying vote for Joe Blow, vote for a GOP member, or vote for a libertarian – I am saying leave that organization. Love your strong word “diabolically,” and if you think of 56,000,000 babies dead at the altar of the new Moloch and Baal, the Party Of Death, you know that “diabolical” is an understatement. Guy McClung, San Antonio

    2. Guy, how do you explain the U.S. bishops’ ineffectiveness all these years in allowing the slaughter of the unborn to go on?

    3. How many bishops and priests have you heard say, from the pulpit or in print, that you cannot vote for a Democrat? How many times have you heard the code for “vote Democrat”: eg “we are not single issue voters” and “life issues include poverty, war and immigration.”? It is not a matter of ineffectiveness, it is a matter of many of the clergy supporting the Democrats at all levels of government. If many of the bishops were shepherds and not democrat hirelings, instead of half of Catholics voting for Democrats only about 10-15% would vote Democrat. And many others would not vote GOP-they would write in or vote independent or some other candidate. Hardly anyone has read the bishops’ document Faithful Citizenship and concluded that it is a sin to vote for a Democrat-but if you read between the lines re what is intrinsic evil, there is no other conclusion. Yet this document is used as cover across the country for urging Catholic democrat votes. But mark well-Blacks and Hispanics are learning the truth – check out “black genocide” on google-no clergy can keep these millions of RETA deaths a secret anymore. Guy McClung, San Antonio

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  3. There remain many who think the U.S. is not sustainable as a country because of our diversity. There is inevitably enormous tension associated with diversity. Our own civil war was a testament to such tension. I only hope that we have learned to make peace with this tension and accept it as a part of who we are instead of trying to find ways of eliminating whoever or whichever group we perceive is causing tension.

    1. Yes Reader, you’re right. There are many who say the US is not sustainable for many reasons, its diversity and its freedom among the biggest. We’ve had so many bumps in our road, but have lasted over 200 years, more than many other less diverse, less free nations. We have been Blessed. I’ll add my hopes and prayers to yours for peace in our country, but I think part of the tension is always going to be here. Man will not live in full peace until Christ’s return. Will we be strong enough to face what’s coming and teach our children well? That I will pray extra hard for! God Bless you and thank you for commenting.

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  5. Dear Strahlen, So well said and so on point for today, the feast of the only King who matters, Christ the King. Thank you. Guy McClung, San Antonio

    1. Thank you, Guy. Yes, such crisis is seen worldwide today. It is so important for us to know He, Christ, is the only King who matters. Thank you for commenting and God Bless…

    2. Thank you, Guy. I’m not sure where my original response went, but I want to thank you for taking the time to comment and to agree with you – Yes, Christ the King is the only King who matters – Thank God! 🙂

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