God's Laws; Man's Laws
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Heading out of Niagara Falls last Sunday morning after attending a gathering of fellow faithless the previous evening, I passed a church on Lundy's Lane with the sign outside saying:
GOD DOES NOT FORBID U-TURNS
I could have interpreted the message metaphorically as a suggestion to turn my life around to one of faith. But as the message was out there on the street aimed at everyone, then true believers could also interpret it as a message to turn towards disbelief.
Rather than a metaphor, I think the sign was intended as a literal message, inviting those who drove past that church to turn back and attend the Sunday service.
But still... A U-turn? It was not as if there were no legal maneuvers available to reach that church, albeit a minute or two later.
I suspect that if I had made a U-turn there and then on Lundy's Lane, and if I had been caught in the act by the police, pointing at the church sign would not have saved me from a ticket. Nor would the judge been have impressed with the argument a U-turn wasn't contrary to God's law as she sentenced me to pay the fine specified in the statute.
The fact that traffic laws are not in the bible is not an excuse for disobeying them, though it is perhaps surprising that an all-knowing deity did not think to include them when he supposedly inspired Leviticus. But that god seems more interested in women's monthly cycles than the circulation of traffic.
I'm not against civil disobedience to protest against unjust laws. I think it is right that religious organizations as well as secular ones support those who engage in justified civil disobedience.
But to suggest something like a U-turn? That trivializes the entire concept.