John Locke believed that Natural law was part of a moral code that agrees with the laws of God and that natural laws are only discoverable by reason and acknowledgment of the existence of God. Governments can change or deteriorate over time along with their laws whereas natural laws and inalienable rights don’t change because they are based on the infinite and unchanging source which is God.
For instance, if just one of the principles found in the Ten Commandments were adhered to, crime would significantly decrease. Imagine if that principle was “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20 (KJV), n.d.). Violence and aggression would end. Deceit and evil combinations would have no way to cover their tracks, and war would not devour the world.
Acknowledging higher power and natural law creates an expectation that goes beyond the mortal world and has eternal consequences. The government’s perception of what is right, wrong, fair, or unfair is purely subjective to the morality of the people in that government. James Madison wrote it very well in one of his essays from the Federalist Papers
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” (51)
But men are not angels, so what should governments be based on so they may prevail against the mortal man? They must be based on unchangeable truths, or else it is one man’s word against another. For example, state governments have control in part, of what is taught in public schools and universities because it subsidizes them. In colleges, the age range is generally 18 and older. However, through dual credit, and other programs, some students are minors that can attend classes in college alongside adults. Recently, for my English class, I was asked and required to watch an old, unrated film. The film was described as adult, and according to my professor, anyone who had signed up for her class was expected to be “Adult” enough to view it. I have the basis of religion and scripture to direct me when it comes to what I should let into my mind. My professor did not. The film was salacious at best and included numerous examples of sex, nudity, and rape. It was a required source that there would be a discussion board on, and I would be sure to lose points if I didn’t participate. As a minor and a child still living in my parent’s home, it was a perplexing dilemma to solve. If there was a standard moral code in effect in my class, this incident would have been avoided, however, in a class where diversity is boasted, there is a definite bias against religion and morality based on God.
However, required source or not, it is against the law to distribute or show that kind of material anywhere, especially to minors. Idaho state code is obvious on this subject, and there isn’t room for misinterpretation (Section 23-614 – Idaho State Legislature, n.d.) I took it up with the professor and she refused to offer an exception for me. In the end, I refused to compromise and I dropped the class. Needless to say, this is not the end of this story.
Another example of public institutions introducing sexually explicit materials was the issue raised last year in the Idaho state legislature in response to parents opposing certain books that had been introduced into public libraries all over the valley. Libraries are a public service, and it is against the law to knowingly distribute sexually explicit books. After lengthy battles with numerous bills intended to remedy the problem, not much progress was made. Governor Little ultimately vetoed the bill that did make it through both the House and the Senate, and by one vote the veto was not overridden. (Kerndl, 2023).
There is such a thing as right and wrong, and there have been common beliefs set forth by scripture that have been accepted widely by the world for centuries, but not as widely anymore. The lack of common ground whereupon people stand is shattering. The morality of people is no longer based on fundamental truths and therefore, agreeing as to what is morally correct is becoming more and more unachievable. Confusion prevails in politics because of the broad range of morals today. Only by turning to God, and adhering to His principles set by force in Natural law, may we live peaceably and prosperously.
Exodus 20 (KJV). (n.d.). Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2020&version=KJV
Kerndl, A. (2023, April 6). Idaho House fails to override veto of “library porn” bill. Legislature adjourns sine die. KBOI. https://idahonews.com/news/local/idaho-house-fails-to-override-veto-of-library-porn-bill-legislature-adjourns-sine-die
Madison, J. (1788). Federalist Papers No. 51. Bill of Rights Institute. https://billofrightsinstitute.org/primary-sources/federalist-no-51
Section 23-614 – Idaho State Legislature. (n.d.). https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/title23/t23ch6/sect23-614/