Obeying Civil Laws
#1
Do all civil laws, no matter what, bind under pain of sin, unless they are contrary to the Faith?  I'm not talking about civil laws based on natural law, but those which are arbitrary and prohibit things/acts that are morally indifferent (i.e. speed limits, underage drinking, trespassing, etc.) when done safely and without intention to cause problems.

I felt for a long time that it was obvious such things wouldn't bind under pain of sin, but I'm not as sure after reading Aquinas's arguments that disobedience is a mortal sin, and that all just civil laws should be obeyed.  I still think there has to be something that excuses these things, because I know plenty of honest, devout Catholics who see nothing wrong with them.  If anyone could show me what I'm missing, or provide me with a good article explaining how civil laws work in Catholic theology, I'd really appreciate it.  Thanks.
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#2
no they do not bind under sin. u can j walk all u want and u wont go to hell.
speed limit is tricky because now u are in a vehicle and have a social responsibility not to kill someone. but use the brain God has given u> u can speed at times without putting someone at risk.
trespassing well no not a sin. but u might get blown away depending on who's land u do it.
drinking under age is not a sin either.
neither is profanity
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#3
Alice von Hildebrand said that If you're stopped at a red light and you look around, no ones is anywhere in sight, it's not a sin to go through it.



Oh my Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.--Fr Dolindo Ruotolo

Persevere..Eucharist, Holy Rosary, Brown Scapular, Confession. You will win.
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#4
I go back and forth on this one, so I'm not sure.  But I do think that if it is NOT a sin to break a civil law, then you would be at least morally obligated to pay the penalty, i.e., pay the fine if you were given a ticket for jaywalking.
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#5
Obviously if you're wife is about to deliver a baby and you "safely" speed to the hospital, it's not a sin....But the laws are there for a reason.  We are obliged by the 4th commandment to obey all rightful authority.  Once we start arbitrarily deciding that it's OK to do this or that because I'm not hurting anyone, we get into sticky territory. 

Christina
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#6
All authority comes from God. Breaking the law without a serious reason, IMO, is a sin.

Underrage drinking, outside of sacramental usage, would be a sin.

Running a red light without an emergency reason would be a sin.
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#7
(08-01-2009, 10:06 AM)devotedknuckles Wrote: no they do not bind under sin. u can j walk all u want and u wont go to hell.
speed limit is tricky because now u are in a vehicle and have a social responsibility not to kill someone. but use the brain God has given u> u can speed at times without putting someone at risk.
trespassing well no not a sin. but u might get blown away depending on who's land u do it.
drinking under age is not a sin either.
neither is profanity
There are laws against profanity?
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#8
(08-01-2009, 09:58 AM)StabatMater Wrote: Do all civil laws, no matter what, bind under pain of sin, unless they are contrary to the Faith?  I'm not talking about civil laws based on natural law, but those which are arbitrary and prohibit things/acts that are morally indifferent (i.e. speed limits, underage drinking, trespassing, etc.) when done safely and without intention to cause problems.

I felt for a long time that it was obvious such things wouldn't bind under pain of sin, but I'm not as sure after reading Aquinas's arguments that disobedience is a mortal sin, and that all just civil laws should be obeyed.  I still think there has to be something that excuses these things, because I know plenty of honest, devout Catholics who see nothing wrong with them.  If anyone could show me what I'm missing, or provide me with a good article explaining how civil laws work in Catholic theology, I'd really appreciate it.  Thanks.

According to Noldin, who lived and wrote under the Third Reich the Government has right to

- collect taxes

- enlist troops for defend the country

- enforce laws based on the 10 commandments to defend the safety of the citizens

This is in accordance with Thomas Aquinas, because other laws are abuses of the governmental power and thus not just Laws. Deportation of people for internal exile or Concentration Camps due to their beliefs, conscript troops for unjust war, laws defending unjust privileges of a small minority against other people natural rights etc shall not be disobeyed. Noldin lef out the problem whether unjust lawas should be disobeyed or not.

laszlo

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#9
"Lex malla, lex nulla." St Thomas Aquinas.

"A Bad law is no law."
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#10
(08-01-2009, 11:54 AM)actiofidei Wrote: "Lex malla, lex nulla." St Thomas Aquinas.

"A Bad law is no law."

And who judges it so? DK seems to judge anything as unjust if it's inconvenient to him.
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