From the September, 2004 issue of Touchstone
The Objections of Conscience by Patrick Henry Reardon

The Objections of Conscience

Patrick Henry Reardon on Civil Disobedience

A recent editorial in Touchstone drew attention to the Pauline thesis that the authority of the state is a conscientious authority. That is to say, the Christian is obliged to submit to civil authority, “not only because civil authority has the power to exact that submission, but also ‘for the sake of conscience’ (Romans 13:5).”

If this is so, obedience to the authority of the state is not morally neutral, and the resolve to resist that authority is a most serious and potentially perilous decision. Caesar, after all, is called “God’s servant,” and whoever resis . . .


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