From the Imaginative Conservative
In acknowledgement of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I wish to raise the question, based on Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” as to when, if ever, as well as to what extent, it is appropriate to defy the rule of law.
On The Imaginative Conservative Winston Elliott raised the question “When is a Change in Government a Duty”, asking whether the Declaration of Independence’s statement that society has a right, under certain circumstances, to abolish its form of government, would ever apply, despite the Constitution’s amendment provision.
In response, Stephen Masty appropriately suggested that preserving the rule of law may limit us to using the amendment provision in bringing about any changes in the form of our government. MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is relevant here because his letter, in part, was meant to allay the fears of his fellow Christian ministers who were concerned about MLK’s and his followers willingness to break laws.
Relying on St. Augustine and Aquinas, MLK makes a natural law argument to the effect that there are times when it is appropriate to break the laws.
In his letter,”… Read it all