Christianity,  Politics

Chuck Colson Calls Christians to Civil Disobedience against U. S. Government

Many reports have identified President Obama’s recent HHS decision as a problem only for Roman Catholics. This is an error. The new healthcare law requires a violation of conscience for all pro-life Christians since some of the “birth control” methods included in it cause abortions. It’s not just Roman Catholic hospitals and universities that are affected, it’s all Christian hospitals and universities.

Chuck Colson rightly calls on Evangelicals to stand with Roman Catholics in civil disobedience to this law for as long as it stands. That’s right. He’s calling on Christians to risk fines, prison, or other penalties in faithfulness to our convictions about protecting the unborn. In Colson’s own words:

We have come to the point—I say this very soberly—when if there isn’t a dramatic change is circumstances, we as Christians may well be called upon to stand in civil disobedience against the actions of our own government. That would break my heart as a former Marine Captain loving my country, but I love my God more… I’ve made up my mind—sober as that decision would have to be—that I will stand for the Lord regardless of what my state tells me.

You can view Colson’s full statement in the video below.

(HT: Jim Smith)


  • Paula

    I am feeling more and more that we are coming to a time when Christians will have to live off the grid. By that I don’t mean in an Amish, non-electric sort of way, but in a cutting-ties-with the-government-way. The whole reason for this dust up is that Catholic charities and hospitals are taking money from the federal government. The same is true for Catholic schools. Once you’ve taken the federal government’s carrots, they can exercise control over you. How long before they start trying to dictate what churches can and cannot preach by threatening to yank their tax exempt status and tax benefits for pastors?

    In the 80’s Grove City College and Hillsdale College tried to assert their right to avoid the federal government’s intrusive Title IX gender requirements. The courts ruled that they could not be exempt as long as one student received one dime of a Pell grant or a federally subsidized student loan. Both schools pulled out of those programs and are better for it. They don’t take a dime of federal aid and they’ve been able to maintain their independence in a time of increasing federal meddling in higher education.

    I think churches and parachurch organizations should begin planning now for a time when they need to go off the federal grid. I just don’t see this going in a trajectory that favors Christians.

    • Paul

      Hold the phone here…I always knew that Hillsdale was the college of choice for the Hitler youth (sorry, people keep putting me on their mailing list, so I’ve seen their propaganda for well over a decade), but what in the world did they have against title IX? Especially because Hillsdale isn’t exactly known for its athletic programs.

      • Paula

        Paul, I think you might want to do a little background research before you pronounce my son a member of the Hitler Youth.

        First, FYI, three Hillsdale College football players have signed with the NFL in the past two years. Jared Veldheer is currently playing for the Oakland Raiders, so I wouldn’t completely write off their athletic programs.

        Second, Title IX was an add-on to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was designed to end gender discrimination in education. The statute made no mention whatsoever of athletics, though it has been radically interpreted to be all about college athletics and has decimated many men’s collegiate athletic programs.

        Third, Hillsdale objected to Title IX on the principal that the school had never discriminated on the basis of either race or gender and didn’t want the federal government forcing them to comply with burdensome regulations proving that they didn’t. Their original charter, created before the Civil War, forbid discrimination. It was the first American college to prohibit discrimination based on race, religion or sex, and became an early force for the abolition of slavery. It was also only the second college in the nation to grant four-year liberal arts degrees to women. You can read the background and history of that decision here if you care to educate yourself on the matter.

        FWIW, I think you might be surprised at what you found if you visited the campus. Although it definitely leans conservative, debate is encouraged – political correctness is discouraged. A person who cannot defend his or her beliefs (whatever they may be) with rational arguments will be challenged to study and think more critically. There is a vocal libertarian (though not generally libertine) element on campus (and among the professors as well), and a mix of Christians, Catholics and non-religious students who want a good education in the Greco-Roman tradition. If that’s what’s you consider Hitler Youth, then all I can say is you are probably an extremely closed-minded and intolerant individual.

        • Paul

          So, they objected to something that would have had no problem complying with? Sounds like someone’s either not telling or not getting the whole story.

          In my dealings with them (as I said, I’ve never been able to get off of their mailing list for more than a month or two, no matter how hard I’ve tried), I haven’t seen the shining lights of conservatism speaking on their behalf. I have, however, seen far too much of the neo-con brand of conservatism that made me want to vomit pretty much non-stop from 2001-early 2009.

          As for their on campus set up, I’ll take your word for it. And, just so you know, as liberal as I am (Stalin’s ghost once complained that I was too far to the left), I fully agree with the idea that my kids should get the most conservative education possible, because school should be a place to learn, not a place to make up your own grades and other such educational experiments.

          • Paula

            It’s not that they objected to complying with the spirit of the law. There was a fundamental moral objection to counting students by race and skin color when they had never discriminated on that basis (and had never been accused of doing so). Furthermore, the compliance requirements are burdensome and costly and don’t contribute one iota to the education of a single student.

            Worth a read: Hillsdale Drops Teacher Accreditation. The combination of vague standards and high administrative costs for the mandatory reporting were excessively burdensome for a school of 1300. Most of it has nothing to do with whether the schools are producing quality teachers. This is what happens when the government starts prescribing one-size-fits-all solutions in education (and healthcare…see original topic of this thread). It necessarily becomes more complicated year by year.

            And I agree with you on education. I liked Denny’s post about David Brooks’s article the other day about protesting without having a viewpoint rooted in history (and I would add, Biblical truth) being shallow & ineffective. We have a rich history to draw from (good and bad) and every child should be taught about those things. Those (like myself) who weren’t should avail themselves of them as adults.

  • PuritanD71

    Though I disagree with a few things Colson has done with ECT, I totally understand and agree that defending life must be done at all cost.

    I am thankful that my denomination has aligned themselves with RCC through NEA in suing the gov’t over our 1st Amendment rights.

  • yankeegospelgirl

    It’s still a little misleading to say that the hospitals will be “forced to perform abortions.” Yes, there is a small chance that certain drugs might prevent implantation and thereby take a human life (and as I’ve already discussed, I oppose administering such drugs when there’s no concrete evidence that one can do so safely), but… it’s not the same thing as an abortion. It’s a risk—an unwise risk in most cases, but still a risk and not a direct, knowing action against human life.

      • yankeegospelgirl

        No, but that was the meaning I took from this sentence, “The new healthcare law requires a violation of conscience for all pro-life Christians since some of the ‘birth control’ methods included in it cause abortions.” I know you didn’t use the same wording, but it’s just that here and elsewhere you’ve said that’s what it ends up boiling down to because of the abortifacients.

  • donsands

    You go Chuck! He really knows how to stand for our Freedom in the right way. Lord bless him, and help us to stand for the blessings we have from our Lord in a way that brings glory to His name, and help to others. Amen.

  • Nate

    This is what happens when we connect healthcare to employers. It started with the unions and spread to essentially all employers. And what it has wrought is that the government can now dictate terms on who has to cover this or who has to have this type of coverage.

    The American people need to wake up and realize that employers SHOULDN’T have to provide anyone with health-care coverage any more than they should have to provide Auto-Insurance, Life-Insurance, or Homeowner’s Insurance.

    And the reason that buying individual health insurance is more expensive and more difficult is because health-insurance has been tied to the hip with employers and corporations. And corporations have to play “fair” by offering all employees certain coverages and they buy lots of insurance. If each individual had to buy their own insurance this would all disappear and most of this “big-brother” stuff would disappear as well.

    The dirty little secret of the health-insurance providers is that they actually like the government impositions, even if they push against them.

  • Jeff P.

    There is an even more fundemental issue at stake here and that is the state should not be able to divide the ministries of the church. For example, if a church has a school, it is a ministry of the church and therefore must be protected.

    Even the so-called accommodation by the Obama government does not address the undderlying issue. Consider this: The gov’t decides that all schools, Christian or not, must teach alternative lifestyles as acceptable. Those that do not (including homeschoolers) would be ineligible for Financial Aid when they reach college.

    Farfetched? I think not. If all in Christendom do not sound off with one clear voice on this issue, we fail to do so at our own peril.

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