DOES GOD COME BEFORE NATION?

Welcome to Roger’s Take on Religion: An Inclusive Perspective

A Virginia law office last week began flying a Christian flag above the American flag. An attorney for the firm was quoted as saying that, “It should be God before government” – an interesting position for a law firm to embrace.

This flag waving adds to the increasing expression, especially by conservative Christians, that religious faith trumps government laws. (In the above case, the law states that no other flag shall be flown above the American flag.)

Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, is a more visible example of the “God before government” movement. “I never imagined a day like this … where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage,” she said.

Faith has always allowed for civil disobedience whether in the form of sit-ins seeking to overturn segregation laws or in the individual example of Ms. Davis’ protest of same-sex marriage.

Here’s My Take: Faith comes in many sizes. In its narrow form, it is a set of “God’s rules” for uplifting the righteous and rejecting those who stand outside the veil – non-Christians and gays, for example. In its broader form, faith invites inclusion of the outcast and the rejected. The first places God above government when government seeks to penetrates its narrowness; the latter places God above government when government unfairly discriminates or ignores the common good of its people. There is a difference.

Ms. Davis, or St. Kim as some have called her, is no Rosa Parks.

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