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By Chuck Colson | Published Date: July 20, 2010 One of Chuck Colson's leading theological advisors and co-architect of the Manhattan Declaration , Dr. Timothy George, joins Mr. Colson in explaining the Christian duty of civil disobedience under certain circumstances. Mr. Colson also highly recommends you read T.M.
First published Thu Jan 4, 2007; substantive revision Wed Dec 23, 2009 What makes a breach of law an act of civil disobedience? When is civil disobedience morally justified? How should the law respond to people who engage in civil disobedience? Discussions of civil disobedience have tended to focus on the first two of these questions.
“There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal,” proclaimed Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he took a risk and spoke out forcefully against the War in Vietnam. About the Author George Goehl George Goehl is the Executive Director of National People’s Action, a network of metropolitan and statewide...
Civil Disobedience is the act of disobeying a law on grounds of moral or political principle. It is an attempt to influence society to accept a dissenting point of view. Although it usually uses tactics of nonviolence, it is more than mere passive resistance since it often takes active forms such as illegal street demonstrations or peaceful occupations of premises. The classic treatise on this topic is Henry David Thoreau's "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience," which states that when a person's conscience and the laws clash, that person must follow his or her conscience. The stress on personal conscience and on the need to act now rather than to wait for legal change are recurring elements in civil disobedience movements. The U.S.
Civil Disobedience Originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government" By Henry David Thoreau - 1849 - with annotated text Thoreau Reader: Home Desobediencia Civil - Spanish translation by Hernando Jiménez
Thoreau opens his essay with the motto "That government is best which governs least." His distrust of government stems from the tendency of the latter to be "perverted and abused" before the people can actually express their will through it. A case in point is the Mexican war (1846-1848, which extended slavery into new US territories), orchestrated by a small élite of individuals who have manipulated government to their advantage against popular will. Government inherently lends itself to oppressive and corrupt uses since it enables a few men to impose their moral will on the majority and to profit economically from their own position of authority.
Section I: Government and Democracy Summary Thoreau opens his essay with the motto "That government is best which governs least."
Section II: Resistance to Civil Government Summary In the American tradition, men have a recognized and cherished right of revolution.
Section III: A Night in Prison Summary After refusing to pay the poll tax for six years, Thoreau is thrown into jail for one night.
Section IV: Politicians and the People Summary Why submit other people to one's own moral standard? Thoreau meditates at length on this question.
The right to resistance Thoreau affirms the absolute right of individuals to withdraw their support from a government whose policies are immoral or unjust. He takes issue with the brand of moral philosophy that weighs the possible consequences of civil disobedience against the seriousness of the injustice. The methods of resistance Thoreau condones in his essay are pacifist and rely principally on economic pressure; for example, withholding taxes in order to drain the State of its resources and hence its ability to continue its unjust policies.