There’s a place for civil disobedience but yesterday’s protests did not qualify

There’s a place for civil disobedience but yesterday’s protests did not qualify

Christians are called to be good citizens and to obey those in authority.

We are also to pray for them so we can live quiet and peaceable lives.

In a Western democracy, thanks to our Christian heritage, we are, however, free to disagree with the decisions of our rulers.

We are free to argue for alternative policy positions, something the Christian Democratic Party has done.

We argued for a different strategy to lockdowns because of the mental, physical and economic harm they are causing to so many.

The risk versus reward quotient is out of whack, in our view.

We were free to do this because the democratic idea of rulers gaining their legitimacy from the consent of the governed uniquely comes from the Jewish and Christian scriptures.

(Sure, the Greeks invented a form of democracy but anyone who thinks Alexander the Great rampaged through the known world spreading democratic utopia is kidding themselves).

I would never say there is no place for civil disobedience – no one doubts the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and Rosa Parks were wrong to break the law in pursuit of racial justice, the idea that all people were created equal.

But circumstances, such as an egregious breach of God’s natural law, must warrant it.

Despite the pain it is causing, Sydney’s Covid lockdown is no Selma.

While some health bureaucrats may be relishing their new-found control over our lives, there is no serious suggestion that most politicians want the diminution of freedom to be permanent.

Sure, Klause Schwab and his fellow globalists at the World Economic Forum see Covid as their “great reset” moment to usher in a new order, but common-sense Australians won’t have a bar of it.

While-ever the Christian Democratic Party has a seat in parliament, we will oppose this as will most politicians on the centre right.

Whether you agree or not with Scott Morrison’s and Gladys Berejiklian’s strategy for getting us out of the pandemic, I don’t believe they are involved in some nefarious conspiracy to take away our freedoms.

Morrison again reiterated this week that vaccination is a personal free choice, something the CDP also believes.

The minority who resorted to violence against the police and animal cruelty deserve to be punished.

Again, whether we agree with the strategy that has given rise to the lockdown rules, laws are in place which all citizens, including and especially Christians, should respect and obey.

One final observation.

While I don’t condone yesterday’s protest, it is clear double standards have been applied.

The radical Marxist-inspired Black Lives Matter protest last year was given a leave pass when it occurred at the height of the pandemic.

Those protestors should have been met with the same police resolve as yesterday.

In the meantime, we all need to be patient and united as possible as we work our way through this crisis.

We must not let this divide us.

Everyone who wants to be vaccinated should do so as quickly as possible. Those who don’t should not be pressured or judged. They in turn should not judge those who choose to be vaccinated.

Then we need to open Australia up, knowing we will continue to live with and manage the health challenges that come with Covid.

Lyle Shelton is Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Christian Democratic Party. The Reverend Honourable Fred Nile MLC has nominated Lyle to succeed him in the NSW Parliament when he retires in November. To keep in touch with Lyle and the CDP, sign up here.