In 1998, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention passed a wonderful resolution on “Moral Character of Public Officials.”

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Andrew K's picture

"But any law that does not contradict God’s commands or degrade another person is to be obeyed, even if we dislike it."

Relating to the above, here's an interesting thought-experiment:

Let's say someone works in a country that likes to keep tabs on all messaging and blocks social media websites popular in the US because it doesn't have direct access to the information on them.

Now let's say that a type of software--we'll call it a "VPN"--can encrypt data, restoring a measure privacy, as well as allowing access said websites--which our foreign national can use primarily for communication with family and friends.

Now, let's go one step further and say the govt has responded by calling the use of that particular software--downloaded outside the country, of course, because there is no access inside--illegal.

In this, of course, completely hypothetical situation, would it be wrong for a foreign individual living within said country to use that particular software? ;) 

Andrew K's picture

My point with the above is I used to think the matter was as simple as the quotation referenced here. But I've since become convinced through various life-experience that there are serious discussions to be had regarding the proper limits of governmental authority.

Not coincidentally, I think these were questions our nation's founders were working through as well.

Bert Perry's picture

Within a few limitations of the specifics, Andrew's country is China and perhaps others.  So not an academic question, really, and a fair number of companies are considering precisely the countermeasures he talks about so they can transact business there without being pillaged.

My take is that, given the horrendous history of the 20th century, where dozens of nations used such a Panoptikon to monitor, control, and murder their own people (hundreds of millions of them), I think using the workarounds is eminently morally acceptable.  The alternative is tyranny, really. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dmyers's picture

"And others of us voted third party."  Well, I guess we know what real Christians did last election.  Step-children like me, however, had the sense to realize that in a fallen world and a secular election, personal morality is important but not dispositive, particularly when the only viable candidates are both deeply flawed personally (albeit in distinct ways) but their policies (which are dispositive) are wildly divergent and the one candidate's policies clearly are superior morally (abortion), economically, nationally (borders), and judicially (Gorsuch and Kavanaugh rather than Ginsburg and Sotomayor), and are more liberty-supportive.  To compare Trump to Nebuchadnezzar is ridiculous.  Bergman sacrifices all credibility with this nonsense.

pvawter's picture

dmyers wrote:

 To compare Trump to Nebuchadnezzar is ridiculous.  Bergman sacrifices all credibility with this nonsense.

Fwiw, the Trump-Nebuchadnezzar and Trump-Cyrus comparisons were many during the 2016 campaign very often to respond to those who objected to his wicked lifestyle, speech, and public history. Imo, it's not unreasonable to respond to those characterizations.

dmyers's picture

If some Trump supporters initiated the stupid analogy, that's a shame.  But even if that's the case, it doesn't help Bergman's credibility that, while he didn't invent the moronic argument, he chose it as his straw man for demonstrating his spiritual superiority.