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Something to Think About: The Need to Follow the Law

Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn

 

new michael vaughnSo, President Trump has signed an executive order cracking down on sanctuary cities.

This order (amongst others) has caused a tremendous amount of uproar, within various pockets of our nation.

However, this is one of those orders that I have given some thought to, and I have found the community’s reaction to be troubling.

Let me explain.

There are cities and states which are publicly, and I dare say, proudly, boasting that they will ignore the federal government’s executive order.

And, the reason that I find this to be troubling is because you have municipalities that want their people to uphold the laws of the land, yet those same municipalities have openly said they will violate the laws of the federal government.

Individuals have the right to protest what they have deemed to be an unjust law, or an injustice (unless of course you happen to be the owner of a bakery, and you refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding), and I believe local government officials should also uphold the laws which they have been bound to protect.

If their values and beliefs will not allow them to uphold such laws, then they should resign from their positions, and instead stand-up for the things in which they believe.

For example, there was an incident recently, in which a county clerk in the south refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples, because of her personal objection to the law.

The media decided to ridicule her, and to demean her for not doing her job as a government official.

At the time, although I supported her 100 percent in her personal objection, I did agree that, as a government employee, she should have been bound to uphold the law.

That same principle applies to President Trump’s executive order, as it relates to sanctuary cities.

I am in 100 percent agreement with President Trump, relative to illegal immigration. However, I do also believe that, as individual Americans, we should be able to peacefully protest as much as we want.

So, just as many people called on that county clerk to do her job as a government official; I believe those same people should be calling on government officials to do their jobs as it relates to sanctuary cities.

Back then, many members of the media said that, if the clerk had refused to do her job, she should suffer the consequences.

I would like echo that same statement today, for those officials who say they would violate the federal ban on sanctuary cities.

Federal funding would be held back, if these municipalities refused to uphold the federal government’s laws, as they are required to do.

And, what would happen if every individual in the community decided they did not want to follow federal laws, simply because they did not want to?

The governments under which those laws had been violated would punish the offenders.

Then, the people in those communities would say the individuals who violated the laws should suffer the consequences.

And, they would be correct.

If you do not want to suffer the consequences, then you should obey the laws of the land.

We have to keep in mind that, the consequences of violating the federal ban may indeed be enforced.

And, we should not blame President Trump for enforcing federal law, just like we would not blame law enforcement officials for enforcing the laws of local municipalities.

We are a nation of laws, and when we as citizens do not believe a law to be just, we have the right to peacefully protest it, and to vote out those who have legislated such laws.

However, the local officials who currently hold government jobs are also obligated to do those jobs, or they should be prepared to accept the consequences.

The county clerk was wrong then, just like government officials are wrong now!

If you would like to contact me, please email me at mvaughn.seniorpastor@newwineskin.org

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