disobedience

Law professor David Skeel in the WSJ:

“I do think sim­ple dis­obe­di­ence may sometimes be the wiser course — de­clin­ing to fol­low the law and ac­cept­ing the le­gal pun­ish­ment for break­ing the law. One of the most com­pelling features of the civil-rights move­ment was Mar­tin Luther King’s will­ing­ness to bear the pun­ish­ment for the laws he vi­o­lated, even when he be­lieved the law was un­just. This made a pow­er­ful state­ment, both about respect for law and about his com­mit­ment to civil rights. There are costs for any­body who takes that route, ob­vi­ously. But I do think those who have religious objections to a law should ask them­selves if it’s im­por­tant enough to bear the con­se­quences for vi­o­lat­ing the law.”

This would be a good way for American Christians — myself very much included — to find out whether there’s a genuine fit between what we say we care about and what we actually care about. The results of the experiment might not be very comforting.