Should the law be obeyed more than religion

Christians and Muslims in Germany : Do the Bible and the Koran take precedence over human laws?

In Germany law and order prevail. All immigrants have to adhere to the rules and values. No book, however holy, whether it be the Bible or the Koran, stands above the man-made set of rules. A corresponding declaration of values ​​should be required from all asylum seekers and asylum seekers.
Such sentences are often heard at the moment. And not just in the refugee debate. The reaction to the election manifesto of the American Republicans ranged from shaking the head to outrage. For they also appeal to God. The man-made laws must be consistent with God-given human rights, it says. Governments are there to protect these inalienable rights.
In fact, the preamble to the United States' Declaration of Independence, passed on July 4, 1776, later national holiday, says: “We consider these truths to have been established, that all human beings were created equal, that they were endowed with certain inalienable rights by their Creator , including life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. That governments were introduced to protect these rights, which derive their power from the consent of the governed. ”In other words: If a government should violate the legal and value system created by the Creator, it may be overthrown by the people. God's order takes precedence over the works of law issued by men.

The subject can already be found in Greek mythology

Abraham Lincoln, the most popular US president of all time, also appealed to God when he abolished slavery. Shortly before he was murdered by a fanatical slavery supporter, he visited the conquered southern capital of Richmond. He was recognized by black people who cheered him, got on their knees and shouted, “God be praised! The great Messiah! ”Lincoln replied,“ Get up! You just have to kneel before God and thank him for your freedom. "
The dichotomy between law and higher justice is old. The subject can already be found in Greek mythology. Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus and the Iocaste, wants to bury her slain brother Polynices. King Creon forbids her. But she puts her conscience above the law, obeys the gods more than the authorities - and burying Polynices. Thereupon she is sentenced and escapes starvation in the dungeon by suicide.
The dangers that threaten man-made law can be seen every day in the Schöneberg district of Berlin. There are around eighty panels hanging on lampposts at a height of three meters. “Jews are no longer allowed to keep pets. February 15, 1942 “, it says on one. Or “Jews are no longer allowed cigarettes or cigars. June 11, 1942 ". The plaques point to the creeping, legally prescribed anti-Semitic discrimination process that finally ended in Auschwitz.

"Falling into the spokes of the wheel itself"

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Protestant pastor and most prominent representative of the Confessing Church, opposed the new order. The Christian's duty of obedience to the state binds him only so long "until the authorities directly compel him to violate the divine commandment". Then the church could come into the position of having to "fall into the spokes of the wheel itself". The six theses of the Barmen Theological Declaration of 1934 breathe the same spirit. And already in the "Augsburg Confession" from 1530 it says: "If the command of the authorities cannot be obeyed without sin, one should obey God more than men."
For believing Christians and Muslims, the word of God is the ultimate guideline. That doesn't mean they can break the law. The rule of law must punish all crimes, including those committed for religious reasons. Christians are of course lucky that their canon of values ​​roughly coincides with that of the Basic Law.
And Muslims? As long as they adhere to the laws in Germany, they are primarily allowed to be bound by God's word and the Koran. “The thoughts are free,” is the German's favorite song. What is represented on a mental-ideological level can be in tension with actual practice. To want to ban this “reservatio mentalis” would be totalitarian. “The free state cannot and should not require a declaration of values ​​as a condition for citizenship”, says the great European, Catholic legal scholar Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde.

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