October 11, 2013

When Laws Are Unjust

In this morning's paper there is a story about a 6 year-old who is being sent to live with his biological parents. According to the article, the mother was a teen when she gave birth and signed the legal documents giving up custody. She has never seen or supported the child. The biological father never signed anything, but he did file suit for custody about 5 years ago, but never acted on it until now. He has never seen the child at all nor offered any support. The child has been living with his "parents" since he was 4 days old and considers them his Mom and Dad. Up until this point, he has been a well adjusted and happy kid living a normal life with people he loves and who love him.

Enter the judge and the court system. The judge believes he is upholding the law, no doubt, but sending the child to live with his biological parents. But in this case, what is in the best interest for the child? Is this a case where the law and strict adherence to it is unjust and immoral? While we might question what is happening with this child, there is no doubt that he will be traumatized and injured as a result of living 6 of his formative years with loving people only to be sent to live with strangers who may or may not love him. He is bonded to his currently family, and psychology suggests that he will never completely bond with these other people. It's been too long and he is too old now.

We in the church can turn to what Paul says about the Law. Paul was speaking of religious law and tradition, but what he says also applies to civil law. In the church we must be careful to make sure that the form of our laws and traditions fit with the spirit of Christ, who is the fulfillment of the Law. And when we see laws that are unjust or immoral, we, as citizens, must speak up and act to change things.

When we say we want to transform the world, this is one way the world needs Christ's transformation.

Grace, Kathy

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