Waiving Away the Law: God, Obamacare, and Immigration

Waiving Away the Law: God, Obamacare, and Immigration June 17, 2012

President Obama once again this past week took action that raises a question that sounds like a child’s joke – but it’s no laughing matter. In fact, it reminds me of the fifth and final reason I believe God objects to the health care law commonly known as Obamacare.

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The question raised by how Obamacare has been enforced and by the President’s latest directive on immigration this past week is this: when is the law not the law? The answer: when it is ignored by those charged with its enforcement. When this happens, a culture – any culture – is left to drift into the moral equivalent of the Ancient Mariner’s deadly doldrums.

You can catch up on my first four protests here, but here is the fifth reason Obamacare fails to get God’s vote.

5. God hates the arbitrary enforcement of law.

Photo via http://www.bible-people.info

“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.” (Prov. 11:1)

We don’t see this imagary much in our culture anymore, but in the agrarian society of Solomon, products would be measured on a balancing scale using weights made to certain specification. Using this simple method, a buyer could be sure they were getting the same amount for their money as the next guy in line. Some crooks, however, found creative ways to shave off trace amounts of the weight to avoid having the same standard enforced equally to all. Or they might use one weight for their friends and another for strangers.

And God hates it. Not just a little. A lot. That’s the whole abomination thing. A big word with even bigger divine consequences.

Yet as Obamacare has been rolled out over the past two years, we’ve seen a seemingly endless list of waivers issued to permit some to avoid or delay complying with the law. Shouldn’t we be concerned with a law so bad that we have to break it immediately in order to look as if we’re keeping it? Perhaps we should have found out what was in it first before passing it. But I digress.

According to Scripture, God does not approve of rulers to arbitrarily decide who does or does not have to comply with laws. The Obamacare trend simply joins a growing train of other such abuses. We see the same problem with:

  • Friday’s announcement by the Obama Administration that they would not be enforcing our nation’s deportations laws as they apply to children of illegal immigrants. Although the law requires the executive branch to deport them, the Obama administration now says it refuses to do so. Just like that. We’ll use one weight for some and a different weight for others.
  • The Obama Administration’s public refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. Never mind that the law was duly passed by Congress (without budget reconciliation shenanigans) and signed by President Clinton. If you don’t agree, just don’t enforce it. Never mind that enforcement is your sworn duty as a leader in this nation before God.
  • The offering of waivers to states to avoid complying with No Child Left Behind — provided, of course, you do what they could not get Congress to approve. Forget whether or not you agree with the law. There is a procedure for changing laws in this country. It requires the consent of the governed. By offering a way for states to circumvent the NCLB requirements, the Obama Administration has altered the practice of these united states — against the expressed will of the people.

It’s as if the words of the law no longer have meaning. I have found that with people of low integrity, words are the first things to lose meaning. But not the last.

Rep. Lamar Smith has his take at Christianity Today. Hugh Hewitt succinctly captures the crippling implications:

If the president can do this vis-a-vis this category of immigrants he can do it vis-a-vis any category of immigrants. And if he can do it vis-a-vis immigration law, he can do it vis-a-vis other laws, whenever his standard of “justice” is satisfied. The president rightly said last year he could not do this.  Now, because his political fortunes are falling fast, he grabs for a power no other president in U.S. history has ever asserted.

I know, some readers will, by now, be mumbling about what they see as a double standard on my part. Here I am insisting that the Executive branch  — whose primary duty it is to enforce the laws – enforce the laws. Yet just last week, I argued for mercy on behalf of Heydi Mejia, the child of an illegal immigrant.

Yet the distinction is an important one. What is needed in the legal process is a set of standards within a system that permits merciful decisions in such difficult cases. Choosing to enforce the laws for some but not for others clearly does not get God’s vote. A false balance never could.

Change the laws properly, Mr. President. Or enforce them. But quit pretending they may be enforced at the whim of those who rule.  Work together to change the laws, Mr.President, if you have the political courage to do so. Don’t just ignore them. If Obamacare is what its fans claim it to be, let it stand on its own. If not, let’s scrap it and work on a more Biblical solution together. One that we won’t have to waive.

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