Because of my support of theonomy, it should come as no surprise that I have an interest in how men form their legal codes. It is frustrating to me that most Americans (including most lawyers) have no real understanding of how the United States arrived at their current catastrophe consisting of federal and state law codes. Government education is so inadequate in teaching this that it hardly bears mentioning, but it is sad beyond measure that private schools and Christian schools don't do it any better.
A brief summary of the history of American law goes something like this: The colonists brought the English Common Law with them when they settled here. The English Common Law draws much of its precepts from the abuses addressed by the Magna Carta as well as from what is often called "natural law" but was more directly drawn from the Ten Commandments. Law was not enshrined in the form of statutes until later. Instead, judges and juries applied the principles of the Common Law to cases, and if there were appeals, the opinions of the judges in those appeals became precedent for future cases, analyzing the specifics of the cases with the enduring principles of law.
Over time, individual colonies, and then states, began to collect their various ordinances and statutes into books. Legislatures became busy bees, drafting new laws as often as they met. This departure from the Common Law led to the birth of the idea that law evolves. Since law evolves, and man is constantly gaining new understanding of how men should relate, it becomes not only preferred, but necessary to revise the actions defined as criminal and punishments proscribed for their violations. Lawyers and legal scholars began to complain about the differences in laws from state to state. Not because there was something fundamentally wrong with creating new law (which there is) but because the legal elite wanted to be in charge of writing those laws, rather than leaving to mere legislators.
Enter The American Law Institute in 1923. ALI formed a committee to write the document which would become the Model Penal Code. This document was intended, as the name suggests, to be a model for all of the states to adopt as their own state statutes, thereby creating a more uniform set of laws across the several states. It became the new Ten Commandments for a justice system seeking to rid itself of all relations to religion. The result was a separation of the justice system from all justice.
Unfortunately, this abomination is widely praised, endorsed and nearly worshiped by Christians. People will accept all manner of injustice in order to avoid the Law of God. "Any law but God's!" is their cry. While God's so-called people will give lip service to the Ten Commandments and assert that all modern law flows from God's law, they are incapable of showing any connection when challenged. One of the most common "arguments" I hear is that God's command for people to be held responsible for the damages to persons resulting from a fall from their roof is justification for every modern law from building codes, to speeding tickets, to laws against spitting on the sidewalk. I have heard people argue that the Cities of Refuge are justification for keeping criminals in prison.
Show me any positive reference to prisons in the Scriptures. Show me any place in the Law of God where punishment for a crime involves incarceration. You won't find it because that is an abomination. Holding men, created in the image of God, in a cage without access to other humans, to sunshine, to productive work is the very definition of inhumane. The Law of God doesn't even distinguish between what we call "criminal law" and what is called "tort law" or "civil law." There was no difference because justice is focused on restoration and reconciliation, not punishment, isolation and life-long labels.
The subject is vast and can't really be covered in a blog post, but I needed to get this off my chest. I see that the ALI is now working to re-write the Model Penal Code where it touches sexual assault because man's understanding of this issue has allegedly evolved again. No doubt this new revision will further erode fundamental rights of due process and purposely weigh the law against men in favor of women's perceptions of truth.
The Model Penal Code is anti-marriage, anti-family and anti-Christ. It is injustice codified. It is an idolatrous and godless generation that seeks to make man better by increasing the reach of laws. Submit yourself to the perfect law of liberty and you will have no need for any other.
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