“If You Don’t Like Our Laws Then Leave!” Is Dumb. Don’t Be Dumb.
Plenty of people have a more than healthy understanding of the rule of law. What not enough people seem to understand is that occasionally, the law as it is written violates the law itself when particular situations arise.
From Aristotle all the way up through the Founding Fathers, thinkers and political figures have understood that sometimes we should change or even disobey the law.
All law is born from what is good and just, but sometimes what is good and just can be at odds with the letter of the law. It is when the letter of the law violates what is good that it becomes necessary to change or disobey that law.
An obvious example of a law at variance with what is good would be a law which mandates murder. A more controversial example would be a law which requires children to be separated from refugee parents for prolonged periods as they seek asylum.
The rule of law must be tempered by an appreciation for what is good and just. Failing to do so results in law that is counterproductive to what is commonly good for all individuals.
To be a shameless snob for a moment, anybody mentally situated to say, without the least bit of reflection, something like “that’s just the way the law is here and anybody who doesn’t like it should leave!” is a brain-dead, knuckle dragging, mouth-breathing moron unfit for democracy. Fin.
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Kyle Huitt is currently an M.A. student in Western Michigan University’s philosophy program. He graduated from Hillsdale College in 2019 with a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in history. He has spoken at various Christian apologetics events and writes regularly about religious and political issues.