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You can’t legislate morality! Or can you?

The hypocritical notion of “you-can’t-legislate-morality” continues to rear its ugly head. Patheos blogger Brandan Robertson released an article yesterday entitled “Does the Bible Belong in Congress?” where he denies the U.S. was founded on Judeo-Christian values, criticizes a Republican Congressman for passing out Bibles to his colleagues (arguing it is “un-American” and “un-Christian”), and concludes morality cannot and should not be legislated.

The following are excerpts from his article:

Throughout much of America’s history, conservative Christians have worked hard to create legislation based on their interpretation of the Bible and have those values imposed upon every citizen…


Our politicians should not be looking to the Bible, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, or any other sacred text as a source for new legislation. They should not be trying to legislate any morality that is based on their own religious convictions. …


I firmly believe that when Christians in leadership try to legislate their faith that they are actually doing more harm to the Kingdom of God than good. …


May our focus be on transforming the world through love, justice, and the Gospel of peace and not through power, conquest, and legislation. For our hope is not in congress or the President, but in Jesus Christ and him alone.


Capitol BuildingRobertson doesn’t know his history. All legislators, politicians, judges are influenced by someone’s philosophy, whether it claims to be religious or not, including Plato, Socrates, Jesus Christ, Sir William Blackstone, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Alfred Kinsey, etc., which they attempt to impose on everyone via legislation or court rulings. So why discriminate against Christianity’s influence? The founders and early Presidents of the U.S. knew Christian principles were the best and highest standards any nation could attain to in their creation and preservation of the U.S. (see this link). Even Thomas Jefferson, who many claim was blatantly non-Christian, recognized nations can rise and fall on whether they embrace or reject the God of the Bible (see here).

We already legislate morality concerning murder, manslaughter, pedophilia, stealing, lying under oath, tort law, assault, and a whole host of other moral issues. Yet, people like Robertson are too blind to see the hypocrisy of their statements. He may fail to realize this, but all of those morality-based laws are in the Bible. When they are enforced, our nation is stronger. When they aren’t, we are weaker and more unjust.

Legislating Bible-based morals and preaching/living out the gospel need not be mutually exclusive endeavors, like Robertson falsely implies. If I live in a morality-legislated nation like the U.S., I can still see my need to confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, which many such as myself have done.

We have witnessed what happens when secularists legislate their morality in lieu of Judeo-Christian values. That’s how legalized murder of unborn humans came about and how our schools began to deteriorate in the 1960s when teacher/administrator-led prayer was kicked out and evolution became the prevailing scientific theory taught (see this link and this link).

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is chock full of God calling upon nations to legislate his morality (e.g. Noah’s flood, Egypt’s plagues, Israel’s captivity, the destruction of Assyrian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman Empires, the great tribulation, etc.). When they do, they are blessed. When they don’t, they get punished. One of Jesus’ final commands before he ascended were these words from Matthew 28–

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Romans 13:1-7 then confirms that God places people in power for the specific purpose of legislating his morality. Therefore, anyone who argues differently is resisting God and is deceived.

Harry A. Gaylord


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