April 22, 2021

Limited Government and Accountability

By Glenn

The contrast between United States Constitutional Law and Biblical Law are striking.  The US Constitution places limits on government.  The Bible grants absolute power to kings and fathers.

Let’s look, for example, at one of the most famous stories in the Bible.  The Bible tells this story to illustrate the wisdom of Solomon. We, however, can also see the powers held by Biblical governments.

According to 1 Kings 3:16-28, two women got into an argument over a baby.  They lived in the same house and delivered sons days apart.  Then something went terribly wrong, and one mother accidentally killed one of the boys during the night. 

The death became a dispute when one women accused the other of swapping a dead baby for a live baby.  King Solomon had to decide which mother was telling the truth.  He ordered the live baby cut in half and distributed to each woman. 

The story ends dramatically when one mother pleads for the baby’s life and agrees to give up claim to her son. 

Judgment of Solomon. Pilgrimage church of Frauenberg in Styria (Austria)

“The other woman shouted, ‘Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.’ Solomon said, ‘Don’t kill the baby.’ Then he pointed to the first woman, ‘She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.’ Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.”

While everyone may have recognized the wisdom of Solomon, no one questioned the power of Solomon.  He literally order a baby cut in half.  God gave Solomon absolute power.

Thankfully, the American system of justice is based on real evidence and not theatrics. The Bill of Rights lays out the protections for a person accused of a crime. 

Police officers must collect evidence in a reasonable manner.  They must petition a court for a search warrant based on probable cause.  They are not allowed to compel, or torture, the accused to extract evidence.  Prosecutors must present that evidence to a Grand Jury for permission to go to trial.

The trial itself must be open to the public.  The accused must be able to confront their accuser and cross examine evidence.  A jury of citizens, not a judge or police officer, decides the fate of the accused.  If the jury finds the person guilty, the punishment can neither be cruel nor unusual. 

All of these protections are called due process.  The Constitution requires government officials to follow due process.  A judge or police officer who takes the law into their own hands is breaking the law.  They are not Biblical kings. 

I am proud to live in the United States of America.  To keep our pledge to the Republic and the flag, rouge government employees must be punished.  It is the American way.

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