Monday, August 28, 2006
Honesty and law-breaking
Being truthful can be hard especially when the outcome of being honest is something pretty annoying. Right now Alex and I have decided to be honest about something we really don't want to be and the option to not be honest is pretty tantalising and from a convenience standpoint is a lot more appealing.
I think that we are both going to have periods of regretting our honesty and getting frustrated at God that he even asks this of us in the first place.
I think we often think that being honest will give us a warm fuzzy feeling of doing the Right Thing - but often to be truthful is hard and the outcomes plain rotten. In a strange way despite the consequences we both sighed a sigh of release when we realised what we should do- and that we would do it.
It's funny because I told my mum about the whole thing and she was really shocked that we decided we would tell the truth and take the consequences. She assumed that because I've been an activist I'm, in her words, "into breaking the law..." . Mmmm well I have done a few things in my time which I'm not sure qualify as breaking the law or not. (who are you kidding Rachel?) Which does make me wonder again about whether it is justified to break a worldly law in order to bring about Godly justice
I think it is. If the government banned church going or praying I'm sure many would (and should) break this law. The things that I am perhaps guilty of breaking the law mostly revolve around making known injustices and abuses of human rights that have been made federally lawful. These are areas that the Bible speaks clearly on "defend the cause of the weak, fatherless and widow" "love mercy and justice" etc.
I understand that I am to respect the law and authorities placed over me - but I wonder if I can respectfully dissent and respectfully break the law ? I have personally shouted at John Howard (not at the television- at the actual man) and looking back that was disrespectful (of another human being as well as a Prime Minister) and also achieved nothing in terms of bringing about justice. But being a dissenting voice in a rally/protest/march is respectfully saying that a policy is wrong, visiting refugees in detention centres is a voice saying (with respect) these people are human with human needs and should not be treated like (worse than) animals. I suppose as I am getting older I am seeing that there is a line (be it sometimes blurry) between respectful and disrespectful dissent. To be wise is to be thoughtful and not get carried away with the emotion or anger that one may feel (which I have regretfully done on many an occasion) and consequently break the law. But perhaps if one thoughtfully and respectfully breaks the law then it is OK.
I have an image of Jesus in my mind pushing over all the tables in the synagogue, angry, indignant. (respectfully) law breaking?
I have an image of Jesus healing on the day of rest - respectfully dissenting?
I have an image of a man on a cross deemed the biggest lawbreaker of his time -(respectfully) dying.