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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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29 votes
7 answers
5k views

Are Christians bound to the laws of their country? [closed]

Clearly not all governments are based on Christian principles. Should Christians be bound to obey the civil laws of their respective countries (states, cities, whatever) even if they disagree with the ...
Caleb's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
1k 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&#...
BCLC's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
3k 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?
Azure's user avatar
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23 votes
4 answers
23k views

Biblical basis for the separation of church and state

I know there are a lot of non-biblical arguments for the separation of church and state. Some Christians also support it on biblical grounds, but I've never looked into the matter myself. Which ...
StackExchange saddens dancek's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
3k views

Swear to tell the truth 'so help me God'?

I know that in court if you don't believe in God you are allowed to simply give an "Affirmation" instead of an Oath. But what I want to know is why any Christian would swear an Oath to tell the truth "...
2tim424's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
4k views

Who was the first Church Father to argue for executing heretics?

When was it first said in Christianity by a church leader that heretics must be put to death? Who came up with this idea and presented it?
brilliant's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
778 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: Francis ...
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
394 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 ...
gaazkam's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
311 views

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?

Note: 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 ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 368
-2 votes
2 answers
344 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&#...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 368
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Should Christians uphold unjust laws that are not overtly immoral? [closed]

Inspired by this question, I'm left wondering how Christians ought to respond to laws that are unjust, but not overtly immoral. I think most of us will agree that Christians ought to disregard laws ...
Flimzy's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
78k 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 ...
Narnian's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why do Latter-day Saints believe that the US Constitution is divinely inspired and what does that mean?

Recent events have brought more attention to some Latter-day Saints who have referred to the US Constitution as "divinely inspired." When did this belief originate? What scriptures do they ...
Mr. Bultitude's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
652 views

What is the basis for Theonomy?

From Wikipedia, Theonomy, from theos (god) and nomos (law), is the state of being governed by God or in accord with divine law. It's also essentially the view that all types of government ...
Thomas Shields's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did Rahab sin by hiding the Hebrew spies and lying to the leaders of Jericho? (Catholic/Protestant overview)

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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Did the midwives in Exodus 1 sin by disobeying and lying to Pharaoh? (Catholic/Protestant overview)

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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
350 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 ...
Kadalikatt Joseph Sibichan's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
423 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 ...
The Freemason's user avatar
4 votes
7 answers
2k views

Does Christianity provide the right elements for democracy? [closed]

I understand that Christianity does not enforce any way of governing. And that democracy was invented by the Greeks before Jesus. But my question is this: Does Christianity teach the values for ...
David Laberge's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
827 views

How should Christians participate in a democracy? [closed]

There is currently a debate in my country, Australia, about gay marriage. Amongst those who believe homosexual sex is wrong, there is a split with regards the correct approach. Some say that ...
Craig Schwarze's user avatar
14 votes
8 answers
5k views

Is there any biblical support for copyright law? [closed]

There are people and organisations that state that copyright is wrong, and that copyright law should be deprecated. I think the same way but as a Christian I want to be sure that such thought is not ...
Maksym Gontar's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
595 views

Distributism and Subsidiarity beyond the counsel of Jethro in the Bible

In chapter 18 of Exodus, Moses' father-in-law Jethro instructs him on how to set up a fairly ordered society where Moses doesn't have to burn himself out by answering everyone's questions all the time....
Peter Turner's user avatar
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13 votes
7 answers
6k views

Is there any biblical support for the Church to allow governments to close churches and prevent public worship?

There is a basic Bible principle for Christians to obey the laws of the authorities that govern them: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which ...
Lesley's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
16k views

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

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 ...
Logical Fallacy's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
480 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 ...
The Freemason's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
991 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 ...
ravn's user avatar
  • 447
10 votes
2 answers
435 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, ...
gaazkam's user avatar
  • 1,115
10 votes
2 answers
982 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 ...
Peter Turner's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
Ronnie's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
382 views

How does the trial of Jesus compare to the judicial standards of the epoch and of the modern times?

I wonder whether Jesus was given enough opportunities to defend himself, whether his trial was fair and whether the investigation was thorough. I want to know how it compares with typical criminal, ...
Anixx's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can a priest act on a confession of molestation?

What, if any, ability does a priest or bishop have in order to stop a brother priest who has confessed to molestation of minors, according to Canon Law? Very often I hear, and am personally aware of ...
shiningcartoonist's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is breaking copyright law a sin? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are Christians bound to the laws of their country? Making illegal copies of films, music, books and games Downloading and seeding torrents Using someone else's program code ...
Maksym Gontar's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why did John Wycliffe oppose papal authority in the 14th century?

He's been called the "Eosphoros of the Reformation", but how did he come to believe that the Bible opposes the idea that papal authority is above government authority?
the_midget_17's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Mr. Bultitude's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
154 views

What does Jehovah's Witnesses canon say about the United States, if anything?

Inspired by this other question on the LDS denomination. What I am curious on is if the Jehovah's Witnesses holy writings (whatever they consider "canon") say anything about the United ...
alec's user avatar
  • 637
4 votes
1 answer
221 views

Annulment: How do Catholic courts evaluate evidence admission? (Fruit of the poisonous tree)

Example: 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 (or balance of ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 368
2 votes
4 answers
166 views

Is money a consequence of Original Sin?

Kinsella, The Wife Desired p. 77 claims: It has been stated that money is the root of all evil. [1 Tim. 6:10: "the desire of money is the root of all evils"; cf. Summa Theologica I-II q. 84 ...
Geremia's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
217 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 ...
Peter Turner's user avatar
  • 34.4k
0 votes
1 answer
302 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 ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 33.2k