“There are no Ten Commandments out there,” he [Judge George Greer] said, pointing to his outer office. —William Levesque, St. Petersburg Times1
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Psalm 139:7–8
Is there any place where God’s laws do not apply?
George Greer, the Florida judge who ordered Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube removed, seemed to think so. As he explained to the St. Petersburg Times reporter, his only concern, as a judge, is to “apply the law.” Not God’s law, but man’s. And so a brain-damaged 41-year-old woman died of thirst and starvation while Greer resisted all pleas, all attempts to save her: resisted them for the fifteen days it took her to die.
Levesque’s article took pains to depict Greer as a conscientious, church-going Christian. The reporter did not ask the judge where, if anywhere, he thought the Ten Commandments did apply.
When God was painting the universe with His law, did He miss a spot? Was He so negligent as to overlook Judge Greer’s chambers; or did He purposely leave these as a Commandments-free zone?
“[C]ivil law cannot be separated from Biblical law, for the Biblical doctrine of law includes all law, civil, ecclesiastical, societal, familial, and all other forms of law. The social order which despises God’s law places itself on death row: it is marked for judgment.”2
Judge Greer is not the only jurist who seems to disagree with Rushdoony’s statement. The Colorado Supreme Court on March 28 voted 3-2 to overturn the death sentence of a convicted murderer because some of the jurors, in their deliberations, consulted the Bible. Apparently Colorado, too, is to be a Commandments-free zone.
If law is not handed down from God to man, is it truly law, or is it only someone’s opinion?
Where does Judge Greer think the law he applies ultimately comes from? Why does the U.S. Supreme Court display on its walls a mural of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments? Was it only put there for aesthetic reasons?
Secularists will say (if they concede even this much) that America’s interest in the Commandments is merely “historical.” Maybe their argument is winning the day, at least in the minds of America’s judges. Maybe the entire country is a Commandments-free zone. Maybe the only law we’ll have, from now on, is whatever we’re given by those who have the political muscle to make it stick.
But the Bible teaches that God’s law is in force everywhere, all the time. Jesus Christ said, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18). It seems God has not given us license to establish Commandments-free zones.
If the sleep of reason breeds monsters, surely the sleep of God’s law breeds death. Terri Schiavo is dead because a judge applied every law but God’s. A Colorado murderer, convicted and sentenced to death, is to be spared because judges ruled God’s law has no place in a worldly courtroom.
Have we, as a society, made our bed in hell?
If so, our sleep in it will be troubled.
1 “Quiet judge persists in Schiavo maelstrom” by William Levesque, St. Petersburg Times, March 6, 2005. For the full article, see http://www.sptimes.com/2005/03/06/Tampabay/Quiet_judge_persists_.shtml.
2 R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. I (Vallecito, CA, 1973), p. 4.
- Lee Duigon
Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.
Lee has his own blog at www.leeduigon.com.