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Questions tagged [civil-government]

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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According to Catholic Social Doctrine what duties do Catholics have towards sex offenders on supervisory release?

If a government authority decides to place two child sex offenders on Supervisory Release in a vacant house in the immediate proximity of ones family, should that placement be fought or is it the duty ...
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1answer
55 views

Does Catholic Church condemn cruelty to animals? [duplicate]

The Government administrtion in my country, India, has of late been positively intervening against cruely to animals including stray dogs and domesticated cattle . I would like to know whether the ...
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1answer
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Was the Catholic title “vicar of Christ” conceived as an “assistant” or an “agent”?

I was under the impression that a "vicar" was a "replacement" or "one acting in the stead of" another (an "agent") but it appears the Roman title of "vicar" seems to be more of an assistant. What is ...
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What is the biblical basis for carrying out social justice in opposition to the justice system?

What is the Biblical basis for seeking social justice when such actions are considered illegal, or in opposition to the justice system?
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1answer
78 views

What groups advocate and establish “unlicensed” churches in the US?

In the United States, most churches file papers of incorporation and formally apply for 501(C)3 status. A few choose not to, a notable example being the Indianapolis Baptist Temple Church in Iowa ...
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Is there any historical record of Elizabeth the First's reaction to John Knox's tract on 'the monstruous regimen'?

In his tract The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstruous Regimen of Women (see note below about the wording) John Knox appears to be extending Paul's proscription - regarding the place of ...
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2answers
191 views

Can a secular government ever be a moral authority?

Can a secular government ever be a moral authority? For example, if there comes a day in the future that a secular government decrees that murder is no longer a criminal offense in that nation, ...
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4answers
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According to Catholicism do any of the Ten Commandments directly relate to tax evasion?

Evasion of tax eg. Income Tax is a punishable offence under the civil laws in many countries. But many Christians seldom get the feeling of having sinned if they have evaded tax. I wish to know if ...
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How do Filipino Catholics get a church annulment when their state marriage is valid, considering the Philippines doesn't have divorce?

My previous questions were kind of wrong: Why is it harder for Filipino Catholics to get a church annulment? Marriage invalid. Would a church annulment require a state annulment or state divorce? Why ...
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1answer
143 views

Why do Filipino Catholics have a harder time to get a church annulment?

This question may be wrong. I think the right question is in the following link: How do Filipino Catholics get a church annulment when their state marriage is valid, considering the Philippines doesn&#...
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How has opinion on the death penalty among American Catholics shifted since 1974?

In 1974, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), "by a substantial majority, voted to declare its opposition to capital punishment" (source). In 1980, it reaffirmed this stance in ...
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559 views

What is the Catholic Church's historical position on capital punishment: how did we get here?

It's big news in the internet today. Pope Francis declares death penalty unacceptable in all cases. The Pope made specific changes to the catechism reflecting this. From the New York Times: ...
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280 views

Did Pope Francis declare that according to the teaching of the Catholic Church capital punishment is intrinsically evil?

The Internet is full of news that Pope Francis has amended the Catechism of the Catholic Church to forbid capital punishment under all circumstances. One thing remains unclear for me, however: Did ...
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1answer
177 views

According to the Southern Baptist Convention, what is the biblical basis for involving the church in politics?

I live in Kentucky, and a predominant preacher in this state is a man named Paul Chitwood, who is the executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. In 2015, Chitwood wrote an article called ...
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What was Samuel Rutherford's view on the role of pastors in wedding ceremonies?

Samuel Rutherford was an important 17th-century Presbyterian theologian who had significant influence in the drafting of the Westminster Standards, still widely used as a part of the constitutions of ...
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2answers
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Why is it not that a state divorce is actually an argument AGAINST a church annulment petition rather than a necessary condition for such petition?

This question may be wrong. I think the right question is in the following link: How do Filipino Catholics get a church annulment when their state marriage is valid, considering the Philippines doesn&#...
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3answers
209 views

What is Catholic Church's view on capital punishment?

Human rights activists in many countries where capital punishment is in vogue, have been advocating repeal of the punishment stating inter alia that that only God is empowered to take a human life. I ...
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1answer
106 views

How do Catholic courts evaluate evidence admission?

Say I'm married and I snoop into my spouse's personal belongings and discover some kind of evidence that, if it would be admissible, would prove beyond reasonable doubt that my church marriage is void ...
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3answers
553 views

Marriage invalid. Would a church annulment require a state annulment or state divorce?

This question may be wrong. I think the right question is in the following link: How do Filipino Catholics get a church annulment when their state marriage is valid, considering the Philippines doesn&#...
2
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1answer
83 views

Are all confessions protected from being used in criminal court as evidence against someone?

Catholic doctrine and law prohibit a Catholic priest from testifying in criminal court against someone, solely on the basis of a 'heard' confession: there is never an instance when a priest can ...
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1answer
110 views

According to Lutherans, what is the Kingdom of God?

In a conversation with a United States veteran, I was intrigued when his response to Luke 4:5, 6 was that the United States is not included among the "kingdoms of the inhabited earth" because the USA ...
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2answers
277 views

Can a priest act on a confession of molestation?

What, if any, ability does a priest or bishop have to stop a brother priest who has confessed to molestation of minors, according to Cannon Law? Very often I hear, and am personally aware of local ...
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3answers
654 views

Would a JW be disfellowshipped if they join a military (and are unrepentant about it)?

On my reading of a Anton Gill's 1989 book "The journey back from hell", he speaks briefly about JWs in the concentration camps. According to Gill, one of the issues the Nazis had with this group was ...
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1answer
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Who first understood the “authorities” in Romans 13 as spiritual, not secular, authorities?

In his forthcoming book, Freedom's Progress, libertarian Gerard Casey describes several different ways of interpreting and applying Romans 13:1–7. One approach in particular I had never encountered ...
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2answers
542 views

What were the Jehovah's Witness arguments against doing the Nazi salute?

For this question I am looking for answers from Jehovah's Witnesses, if possible. In this YouTube video ("The Schoolgirl The Nazis and The Purple Triangles") this lady Simone Arnold talks about how ...
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1answer
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Does the Catholic Church perform non-civil marriages in the Dominican Republic?

In 2013, as many as 200,000 people born in the Dominican Republic were stripped of their citizenship, due to their Haitian ancestry. Most of these people were thus rendered "stateless," making ...
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1answer
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How is the “spirituality of the church” consistent with theonomy?

In Hart and Muether's history of American Presbyterianism, Seeking a Better Country, they describe a doctrine of the "spirituality of the church," which emphasizes the spiritual, not social, task of ...
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Does the Catholic Church recognize any marriages performed by a Justice of the Peace [duplicate]

Does the Catholic Church recognize a marriage performed by a Justice of the Peace? I (Kathy) am a widow and have met a Episcopalian man (Dana) who is divorced but never married in any Church. We ...
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1answer
308 views

What is the biblical basis for allowing atheists to speak openly and freely in society?

Theonomy is a view held by some Christians which argues that the Mosaic law should be applied in modern society. One of the things that some proponents of this view argue for is that atheists should ...
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1answer
310 views

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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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
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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
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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
258 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 the ...
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1answer
313 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
94 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
475 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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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
284 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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385 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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2answers
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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
217 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
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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
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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
252 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
177 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
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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
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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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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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540 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. ...