For questions about the government's authority, how Christians should interact with secular governments, the relationship between Church and state, and the relationship between Christianity and secular laws.

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Can you only have a sacramental marriage?

I have tried to find an official ruling from the Catholic Church on this matter, but haven't had any luck and have only come across others asking the same question. This question is from the angle of ...
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0answers
26 views

Was the transition from establishment to voluntary church support made with “little difficulty” in the US?

In A History of American Christianity, Chapter 16, Leonard Bacon writes: The transition from establishment to the voluntary system for the support of churches was made not without some difficulty, ...
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1answer
39 views

Is there such a thing as a 'concordat' today in the Catholic church?

Background to question raised: I have been reading old histories where as a background stage, there were various antipopes (sometimes even 3 competing popes at the same time). The complex ...
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1answer
92 views

What is the Catholic view of separation of church and state in terms of war and application of the death penalty? [closed]

Note: This question was an honest search for a Catholic view not an accusation or attack. If I had written an attack it would be a 1000 times more severe and to a specific point. The defensive ...
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2answers
81 views

Why did the Western and Eastern churches react to their respective states so differently?

In Church History in Plain Language, Bruce Shelley points out a key distinction between Western and Eastern Christianity: how each has related to the State through history. Ambrose had hit upon ...
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1answer
70 views

Do laws and policies restrict religious freedom in Saudi Arabia? [closed]

Accurate religious demographics are difficult to obtain in Saudi Arabia but while all citizens are considered Muslims by the state, there are believed to be at least 1.5 million Christians living in ...
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1answer
55 views

Cities of Refuge - Churches of Refuge

In the Old Testament, God asked Joshua to set aside six cities where those accused of manslaughter may flee to for protection against their avenger! 7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount ...
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1answer
63 views

What was Calvin's view of capital punishment?

What was John Calvin's position on use of the death penalty? For what offenses did he support its use? Did he support or oppose any particular methods of execution? In what ways did his views change ...
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2answers
271 views

What is the theological background to the belief that taxation is theft?

Within American evangelicalism a debate has recently been reignited on economic policy, and I've been astonished at the number of people saying that some or all taxation should be considered to be ...
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1answer
90 views

Was Augustine opposed to the death penalty?

In Henry Chadwick's translation of the Confessions, I find him making a surprising claim: Like most of the Church Fathers, Augustine was against capital punishment. (page 21) The context is ...
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4answers
305 views

Did Pope Francis overstep any official Catholic boundary when he criticized Trump?

Pope Francis implicitly criticized Donald Trump as not a Christian when he said, regarding Trump's proposed policy to build a wall between the USA and Mexico and immediately deport all illegal ...
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1answer
185 views

What are the current views of the Catholic Church on the right to secession?

I’ve recently heard an interesting opinion that no entity has moral right to exercise authority upon any social group that is unwilling to remain under this authority (excluding inmates). Therefore, ...
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1answer
65 views

Have any Protestant leaders in Korea expressly supported the destruction of Buddhist statues?

In its discussion of inter-religion relations in South Korea, Wikipedia states: Buddhist statues have been considered as idols, attacked and decapitated. [...] Such acts, which are supported by ...
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2answers
176 views

What is the biblical basis for the freedom of religion?

Christianity generally believes in the exclusivity of believers in Jesus the Christ. John 14:6 NIV Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except ...
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3answers
996 views

How is the amazement of the Jews explained by those who believe that “Render Unto Caesar” affirmed the paying of taxes?

In Matthew 22:15–22, Luke 20:20–26, and Mark 12:13–17, the question "is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?" is perceived as a "trap" by both Jesus and the Pharisees who are putting the question forth. ...
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2answers
182 views

What arguments are used by Protestants who object to the use of marijuana, even where it is legal?

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in a few states this summer, no longer can the argument against marijuana be that people are supposed to obey those in authority over them (in this ...
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1answer
82 views

What is the biblical basis for “March for Jesus” or “Jesus Day”?

As a Christian, I believe that the scripture contains the basis for all the activity that I, as a member of the Church, need to get involved. Of course, we can't find all kind of Christian activity ...
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1answer
118 views

Do Mormons respect the EU “Data Protection Directive” of right of access to personal data?

For some background: the EU "Data Protection Directive" is a European Union directive which regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union, as explained in this Wikipedia article. ...
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1answer
108 views

What arguments have been offered as to how Christianity is incompatible with a system of forced collectivism?

Communism, as formulated by Karl Marx, incorporates several ideas including state mandated atheism, a removal of social classes, and a collective economic system. Of these, the first is obviously ...
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2answers
460 views

According to Roman Catholicism, is it a sin to vote for pro-choice politicians?

Let's not make this a debate about pro-life and pro-choice views of abortion. According to Roman Catholic teaching, would it be a sin if I voted for a pro-choice politician such as Bernie Sanders?
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2answers
189 views

What is the Biblical basis for believing that it is sinful to commit illegal actions?

After reading, The Bible seems to allow polygamy. Why doesn't the church? I interpreted the answers to mean (based on the selected answer and votes) that polygamy is a sin because it is illegal. ...
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3answers
185 views

What do Christians against state recognition of same-sex marriage think of the fourteenth amendment in US law?

From what I understand, the fourteenth amendment in American law is interpreted by the SCOTUS to be implying that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. To me, this means, from the ...
6
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2answers
624 views

Does the Catholic Church believe prostitution should be legalized?

Aquinas and Augustine seem to put prostitution in the same category as fornication or pre-marital sex: the state should allow fornication and prostitution to exist for the sake of the common ...
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2answers
160 views

Did Rahab sin by hiding the Hebrew spies and lying to the leaders of Jericho?

In Joshua 2 we have a classic case of civil disobedience: 3 Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to ...
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3answers
220 views

Why was Esther not sinning when she broke the law and approached the king?

Here's the text in question: Esther 4:15–16 (ESV)15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or ...
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2answers
288 views

Did the midwives in Exodus 1 sin by disobeying and lying to Pharaoh?

In Exodus 1:15–16, the king of Egypt orders the Hebrew midwives to kill the sons born to Hebrew women. However, they do not obey: But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt ...
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3answers
265 views

What are some of the reasons for which mainstream non-Catholic Christians are against gender-neutral secular marriage? [closed]

What are some of the reasons for which mainstream non-Catholic Christians are against gender-neutral secular marriage? I get that some churches won't acknowledge religious gender-neutral or same-sex ...
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1answer
123 views

Are there any non-pacifist traditions that object to military chaplaincy?

I'd like to know if there are any non-pacifist Christian traditions or denominations, either historical or contemporary, that object to individual participation in the military as a non-combat ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Did Lactantius ever say why it was good for Christians to be ruled by a Christian emperor?

Lactantius was a Christian who had been a part of the Roman government (which was hostile to Christians) prior to his conversion. Sometime between 303 and 311 he wrote a systematic theology, in which ...
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1answer
119 views

What is the argument that we should honour government laws?

I don't believe government laws should be honoured. In the bible, especially the NT, it makes clear that this world is ruled by Satan. Governments carry out capital punishment and support most of the ...
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2answers
391 views

What is an overview of early church opposition to authorities?

What is an overview of early church father expressions of opposition against authorities? I'm looking for things like: Protests against state-/government-sponsored injustice Arguments against the ...
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2answers
308 views

How well-accepted are Thomas Paine's views about the Bible being against monarchy?

One of the most influential works which convinced people to support the American Revolution was a pamphlet by Thomas Paine called "Common Sense". (I first heard about it on Liberty's Kids!) "Common ...
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1answer
165 views

What is an overview of how Christian commentators have explained rulers to be a terror to bad conduct?

Paul writes in Romans 13: For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. (Romans 13:3a ESV) If we interpret it as referring to all rulers at all times this statement does not seem to ...
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1answer
315 views

What is the Biblical basis for opposing State Brutality?

If there was ever a case of a completely innocent man being beaten and killed for crimes he did not commit, it would have to be Jesus. Yet, when Peter sliced off the ear of a slave, Jesus told Peter ...
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1answer
333 views

Does the Catholic church today require for you to pay taxes?

I am a student at a private Catholic high school in New York. I am currently doing a project on the Middle Ages and had this question: does the Catholic church today require for you to pay taxes?
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2answers
769 views

Are Jehovah's Witnesses particularly anti-violence?

One of the things I've heard about Jehovah's Witnesses is that they've been persecuted by governments for their pacifism: They do not work in industries associated with the military, do not ...
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2answers
269 views

Hierarchy of Catholicism, government, and papal teaching

The bible teaches that we should submit to our governments in: Romans 13:1-2 (KJV) Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ...
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3answers
301 views

Can Christians be judges?

There is a famous, often (ab)used phrase, "judge not, lest you be judged" , which implies (to me at least) that people on the whole, and Christians in particular, should defer from judging other ...
2
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1answer
185 views

According to the Catholic Church is the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act an unjust law?

After going off on HIPAA one of the kids brought up Barack Obama and said that, "he's going to make Catholic Hospitals perform abortions." I said that wasn't exactly true, for now, at least, but he ...
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2answers
293 views

Does the Roman Catholic church consider HIPAA to be an unjust law?

HIPAA, the United States Health Care Privacy Law has been in effect for nearly two decades. It's the law that makes people all nervous about talking about other people's well being with their doctors ...
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5answers
9k views

What crime was committed by the “thieves” crucified with Jesus?

During yesterday's sermon, the pastor mentioned the theory that the thieves crucified next to Jesus likely weren't simple thieves to warrant such a sentence, but were probably "thieves with a cause." ...
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1answer
99 views

Why are Holy See-PLO's relations “special”? [closed]

In an official Pope's discourse it is said: The Holy See currently maintains full diplomatic relations with 179 States, to which must be added the European Union and the Sovereign Military Order ...
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3answers
6k views

Under what circumstances is disobeying a bad law justified or even obligatory?

Civil Disobedience Justified There is a Biblical precedent for civil disobedience. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's refused to worship an idol in Daniel 3. The Israelites' openly rebelled against ...
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2answers
487 views

Do Catholics psychologists have a moral obligation to treat homosexuality as a perversion?

I was reading today about the Governor of New Jersey acting to ban "Gay Conversion Therapy", and wanted to know if this is just one more thing that Catholics would have a moral obligation to oppose. ...
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3answers
488 views

According to Two Kingdom theology, could a man hold both secular and spiritual office?

The so called Two Kingdom view of the separate institutes of secular state vs the church identifies a fairly clear boundary between the authority of each: one demanding some compliance with a nominal ...
10
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3answers
26k views

Why do Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to pledge allegiance or salute the flag?

I have heard that Jehovah's Witnesses are forbidden to recite the Pledge of Allegiance (to the United States flag) or even to salute it. What is the basis for this prohibition? I'm wondering what ...
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3answers
6k views

What is the spiritual significance of swearing on a Bible among the various churches and denominations? [closed]

When someone is deposed in court, they are asked to swear on a Bible. My premise is that the use of a printed Bible in this instance is derived from a pagan ritual or rituals, rather than a practice ...
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1answer
182 views

Is life imprisonment in accord with Catholic social doctrine?

I recall hearing an old religious sister talking on Relevant Radio a few years ago about her experience in Mexican prison ministry. She said that life imprisonment is just as bad as the death penalty ...
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2answers
272 views

Does the New Testament allow Christians to interfere in policy making processes of the nation? [closed]

The rules/laws of a nation is always controlled by the Religion of the Majority. During the time of the Old Testament, The Mosaic Law was the Government Law. The New Testament is different. 1 ...
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4answers
765 views

Should Christians be against the death penalty? [closed]

Christians go to great lengths to get the government to outlaw abortion--something that I personally would support. Though I see support from Christianity against abortion almost as unwavering, the ...