Law verses law – JAM

This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess. When it comes to law, there are times when one law crosses swords with another law. For instance, we all believe in religious freedom but does that mean that some faith-healing church should be allowed to prevent children with treatable diseases like pneumonia or an infection from seeing a doctor? This was the issue in Oregon recently until the Oregon legislature finally answered “no” after three children died. It is not the only time laws have come into conflict. Early Mormons practiced polygamy because that is what church founder, Joseph Smith, both practiced and taught. Wikipedia lists 27 wives of Smith. But how far should religious freedom go? In 1878 the Supreme Court ruled that religious freedom did not include the practice of polygamy. In 1890 what is called the Great Accommodation was reached, Mormons surrendered polygamy and Utah was allowed statehood. We are “under law to Christ” but our law does not demand a rigid legalistic obedience. It is the “law of liberty”, which recognizes the highest principles, love God first and love one another second, are both the foundation and the fulfillment of God’s law. Thus, disallowing the prevention of health care and a multiplicity of wives overrule freedom of religion, because it fulfills a higher law: love your neighbor as yourself.

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