GOVERNMENT 15 – Foundational Thoughts on Government

Landa Cope: God, the Bible & political justice

God tells us what we need to know
  • We all want justice. We all want peace. We all want love. We want everything God offers. But do we want Him?
  • He is who we are looking for. He is the dream fulfilled, the one who offers us our destiny. Bu will we allow Him to be Himself?
  • We want to be ourselves. Fair enough, God says, but first you must let Me be Me.
  • What does God say? There is only one book to turn to: the Bible.
  • In the Bible God doesn’t say what we want Him to say. He does not tell us how to take power and make our nations good and just. He doesn’t legislate sin out of our towns and streets. He does not give us a strategy.
  • Instead he tells us our story and His purpose > an unrelentingly tragic journey through the history of man.
  • We begin with an amazing, breathtaking vision of possibility for God’s human creation: The cosmos is made for our inheritance. We are co-regents with God in dominion. Perfection, regal authority and eternal comradeship with our maker is all ours.
  • From Genesis 3 its is a very different story. Humankind is in free fall from sin > fratricide, genocide a few pages on.
  • Yet God selected events in history he wants us to understand to be in the Bible. If we want his blessing we will have to understand His thinking. Do we want our idea of Him or do we want Him?
  • He tells us who we are, what we were made to be and what we have become.
  • He is telling us the cost, the painful unrelenting suffering of God, man and all creation because of humans misusing their authority.
  • He is telling us that we want the wrong king, that we are looking for the wrong kingdom and every time he tries to stir humanity in the right direction we refuse him.
  • To reject the OT means to reject this to be the truth about who we are.
  • We want Jesus rather. And he comes, but his very own don’t accept him. He is not the King we want. He dies, resurrects, ascends, the church explodes unto the map … but continued persecution from within and political domination through empires from without haunt the church. Why are we still here, on earth, suffering?
  • In order to answer we will have to walk through what God has walked through and see what he has seen. Only then will we understand what he understands about justice, on earth and in heaven.
Fall and plan of redemption
  • The one legitimate reason for building the Kingdom of God is to make Jesus known.
  • The only way to now Jesus in depth is by saturation in His revealed Word and radical application of his word through daily obedience to the Holy Spirit.
  • The only way to restore political justice to God’s design is be so hearing the heart of God and so seeing the perfection of His thoughts and ways in His Word that we see Him … and therefore know what me must do.
  • Genesis: God creates everything that exists in perfection. Humans sin, falling from perfection, taking the material universe with us. Humankind quickly devolves into a violent and inhumane species, threatening life itself, the very purpose of God’s creation.
  • Having allowed us to see what we can become, alone, he begins his plan of redemption: Abraham, through whom God raises up a nation. God gives his Law through Moses and the prophets to his nation.
  • A perfect law applied by an imperfect people produces historic greatness, but the chosen nation fails.
  • The second part of his plan was to send the One who could perfect a people through sacrifice, redemption and grace. They, in turn, would live such a radically different set of values for the world to see in their imperfect nations.
Genesis chapter 1-2: no dualism
  • We need to begin where God begins: Creation of the cosmos with everything in it.
  • Mysticism holds a magical view of reality and sees solutions in terms of invisible powers in unseen places
  • Materialism / Rationalism sees reality as a purely material manifestations and solutions as solely pragmatic and man made.
  • Without clear understanding of Genesis 1-2 we will begin to develop a duality between the seen and the unseen world.
  • We begin to define kingdom reality in terms of either miracles or science, heavenly or earthly, visible or invisible, secular or sacred, spiritual or un-spiritual, losing the powerful message of Christ as Creator and Lord of all. (Col 1:15-17)
  • Genesis 1-2 declared all realities, seen and unseen to be created by God and under his authority. God declares humans to be in dominion over both realms of earth.
  • Therefore to think like God and find his solutions and direction we must marry the seen and unseen reality, the individual and community, as part of the one and only Kingdom of God.
God gives away power
  • Genesis 1-2 also give us a summary of God’s foundational values and where He places authority and responsibility.
  • The delegation of power and authority in the Kingdom of God is the basis of every legal and justice issue … and therefore the value base for governance.
  • Our goal is to move towards God’s values and rightful authority by restoring His thinking in and through our lives, our families, our vocations and our communities.
  • God establishes rights and responsibilities, authority and power.
  • With rights comes the weight of responsibility. However no one has all rights and all responsibilities at all times, in all places or over all things.
  • Examples of rights defended in Scripture: rights of men and women, animal rights, the earth’s rights, workers’ rights, rights of immigrants, nations’ rights, border rights, community rights, individual rights, religious rights, parent’s rights, children’s rights, the right to speak, the right to communicate, the right to know, spousal rights, property rights, rights of ownership, sexual rights, the right to protest, the right of civil disobedience, the right to parental disobedience, the right to religious freedom, the right of religious disobedience, reproductive rights, prisoners rights, the rights of the poor, the right to reputation, tribal rights, victims’ rights, owners’ rights, the right to work, the right to live and more.
  • Civil governance is to sustain and secure these God-given rights. Impossible? Yes it is. But we are to work for the highest level of justice possible.
  • Our focus should not be on ourselves, but on those whose rights are most abused: the widow, orphan, alien and poor of Scripture.
Our call to governance
  • As God’s people we are called into civil governance for the glory of God and for the good of the people.
  • Our goal is not to perfect the world or nation, but to offer God’s perspective, a better way, and to allow society a choice.
  • We are not “Israel in the promised land”; we are “God’s people in Babylon”.
  • We have influence, but we are not in control.
  • We are not defending God’s Kingdom; his Kingdom is already established.
  • We are not here to “bring back the King,” the King is already coming.
  • We are “light”, helping to dispel darkness.
  • We are “salt” preserving, healing & changing the flavor of our communities’ choices.
  • We are an alternative choice to the lies of the “lawless one.”
  • And we are preparing to deliver God’s justice beyond the borders of this world & time.
  • As citizens, peacekeepers and governors of a nation our objective is to “win” our nations to the highest level of justice they will accept.
  • Having been loved into the Kingdom of God ourselves, do not think that we will beat the lost into understanding God’s values of political justice.
  • Rather we must win them over to God’s thinking by persuasion, revealing God’s far superior wisdom (and therefore blessing) and defending His laws and values.
  • To what end do we pursue this passion of the Kingdom? “That all may see the glory of the Lord, that some might be saved and all be blessed.”
What is God's original purpose for us humans?
  • Nothing in the kingdom of God will make sense unless we understand the purpose for which God created everything originally … including humans.
  • God conceived of replicating and multiplying his perfect Self, the love & fellowship of the Trinity by creating humans in his image.
  • God walked daily with men in the garden. God gave the human race dominion over all the creatures of the sea, air and ground and gave the mandate to multiply, fill the earth and cultivate it, including the creation of cultures, that were meant to reveal the character of God through how we live together as neighbors.
  • God gave to humans authority and power on the earth, inviting them to share in the governance of his kingdom, as a revelation of Himself and His human heirs.
  • Since God is a Trinity, the concepts of relationship, community, culture and diversity are anchored in the very nature of God.
  • God gave the human race the potential to multiply His nature and character of love through individuals, families, tribes, and nations … forever – for his glory.
  • And God declared all of this “very good”, so good, that he sets apart one day in seven to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of His productiveness, and ours.
  • We were not made for sin. Sin happened and we must deal with it. But, we do not have government, economy, science, education, communication, family, art and all of culture because we are fallen from God’s ideal.
  • We do not have nations and cultures because, – after sin – there was no other way we could exist. All of these arenas of society exist because we are created in the image of God and they all reveal Him.
  • We don’t bring God into our family, community or work. He was there all the time. Each domain is a means to know, reveal and worship God. We rediscover God in our life and work.
  • Civil governance and political process are not unfortunate results of the fall. They are God’s revelation of Himself as King who has authority & power over all things.
  • God – without fear – delegates real authority and power to those He governs. In fact, giving authority and power away is part of how He governs.
  • God conceived of autonomy, sovereignty, rights and freedoms; He seeks to redeem them, not destroy them, in human culture.
Boundaries and Limits
  • Of course, God has created boundaries to all authority and power, to all autonomy, sovereignty and every freedom. God is not naive! Nor does He desire us to be.
  • In His Word God details the proper use of – and limits to – all freedoms and tells us the consequences of overstepping those limits.
  • But he leaves us free to test those boundaries to see if we choose to agree with Him
  • What daring, what confidence, what love God must have to risk human failure rather than refuse us the opportunity to achieve our destiny!
  • God will not diminish the value of human life and the image-of-God-in-man with top-down control, – not because He cannot, but because he will not!
We Are Created To Govern
  • In spite of sinfulness, humans – in the image of God – are created by God to govern
  • Humans are given the decision how and by whom we will be governed.
  • Humans will need to delegate authority to someone, somehow, somewhere, or perish in anarchy. The only governance more deadly than bad governance(tyranny) is no governance (anarchy).
  • Humans will have to get to some level of consensus because no one single individual has power enough to rule the many.
  • We are given, by God, the freedom to experiment, make choices, create – and rebel.
Distortion of our view of governance
  • When sinning, humans – now alienated from the God who knows – will govern themselves in much ignorance.
  • The view of government is distorted into “top down” systems, few ruling over many.
  • Authority to govern is wrongly understood as right to rule because …
    • I have a powerful army                                              > I can force you to obey
    • I have most money > can hire a powerful army    > I can force you to obey
    • My father ruled you who had most power             > he could force you to obey
    • God who has most power told me to rule you      > I can force you to obey
    • I am god                                                                      > I can force you to obey
    • I represent you                                                           > I can force you to obey
  • In all of man’s designs, the power is at the top, controlling the masses at the bottom.
God Reveals His Template for Governance
  • Finally God speaks, choosing Abraham, revealing his template for building a nation to Israel.
  • They are not perfect but He will use this one nation to teach all nations His ways, through the Law, through the Messiah and finally, through the Spirit and the Church.
  • Through Moses God shakes the human idea of top-down concepts of governance: God says in effect: “I won’t force you to obey, I want to convince you of my perfect ways, to that you to choose it.”
  • God says: “You choose over what and by whom you will be governed.”
  • God says: “I will tell you what is right, but you are free to accept or change the law.”
  • Then God records centuries of Israel’s choices and what came of them in history … to asks you, the reader, to evaluate, draw conclusions and choose for yourself.
What our job as believers is and is not
  • We need to discover, what is best for our communities. God’s perspective is knowable and good. We need to be convinced of that, and live it out.
  • Then we need to convince, – not by force but by persuasion -, enough people of the goodness of what we suggest, to have the power to bring change in our nation.
  • We to offer people the best choices, work to convince them of the value of these choices and help them institutionalize these choices into law and enforcement.
  • As citizens we are called to raise our voice, not on God’s behalf (God is fine), but on behalf of what justice demands for the people from God’s perspective.
  • We believers do not win or lose in the political process, our blessings are eternally assured. God does not win or lose; he is eternally blessed.
  • But the people we seek to serve with justice and freedom will win or lose based on the decisions they make. Our concern is for them, not ourselves. We have lost nothing; we agree with God and we have the blessing of our choices. When thwarted, we regroup. We recommit. We rededicate ourselves to the cause of the people and the highest levels of justice with which they will allow us to serve them.
  • God wants to raise up a generation of “William Wilberforces” ready to take on the legal issues of our day: modern slavery, human trafficking, undefended masses, threats of violence, crippling poverty, insufferable treatment of prisoners, poor use of resources, blatant tyranny and denial of human rights.
  • But first we must see what God sees, feel what God feels, value what God values.
Building Blocks of the Kingdom: 4 Sovereignties or Institutional authorities
  • To understand any culture of nation, ask: where within community does it place authority and power?
  • From Genesis God creates 4 vessels of authority: first two directly – 1 individual and 2 family – and by multiplication this will lead to two more: 3 government and 4 church.
  • These are four separate and limited sovereignties, each with a designated purpose in the kingdom of God and defined boundaries of jurisdictions.
  • Power            = ability, capability, option      (naturally, inherently, actual)
  • Authority      = right to use power                 (legitimate, given by someone)
  • It is possible to have legitimate authority without the power to act (elected leader deposed by coup). It is also possible to have power and no authority (coup leader).
  • Justice = right order = right individuals and right institutions have God-ordained authority & power to execute it.
  • Kingdom building means to give and to use legitimate authority and power
  • Ask: authority from where? Authority over whom? Authority to do what?
  • Ask: what authority do I have? Who gave it to me? Whom do I have authority over? Who has authority to stop me? What responsibility comes with that authority?
Building Blocks of the Kingdom: 3 Beings
  • Scripture also makes it clear that there are three beings in the kingdom that have some level of authority and power: God himself, humans and angels.
  • Seen or unseen, these beings affect institutional authority and power on earth and therefore need to be understood.


  • God’s authority and power is total, inherent, independent. He is the source of all authority and power. So far most agree.
  • Disagreement comes over questions like: Has God delegated authority and power? To whom? For what? How much? Is this delegation revokable?


  • Humans are made second only to God in creation, given authority, called co-heirs, co-regents, – not over each other but over creation.
  • Humans are created in God’s image > given limited freedom and authority from God to make choices. Therefore there needs to be a choice to make > tree in the garden.
  • A human is sovereign over himself. God is sovereign over all else.


  • Angels are third in God’s hierarchy, emissaries in both seem and unseen, given authority & power to do certain tasks.
  • But angels do not have sovereign authority like humans, they wait for God’s command, they do not self-initiate, they are not co-heirs or co-regents, rather highly valued servants.
  • When angels usurp authority for themselves and engage in self-rule they fall. Fall from what? God’s service. They may retain a measure of power (capacity), but no authority, as they are no longer sent by God.
  • If fallen angels (demons) seem to have power today, where do they get it from? > From humans who choose to give it to them (individually & collectively over culture), no other possible source.

In more detail: the 4 Sovereignties or Institutional authorities

  • God created institutions as an extension of human’s individual delegated authority and power.
  • Institutions help mediate the impact of individual choices on the human community.
  • As a Person, God created the individual. As a Father, he created family. As a King, he created governance. As a Priest he created religion.
  • These institutions are universally found in communities, and though flawed, are still better than nothing at all.
  • The only thing worse than bad governance is no governance (anarchy). The only thing worse than parents is no parents. The only thing more violent than ‘religious extremists’ are those who ‘claim there is not God’ (20th century genocides).
  • The more institutions are built on and agree with God’s perspective and purpose, the less flawed they are.
  • Justice = proper order = institutions kept in tension, boundaries to abuse in place.
1 The Sovereignty of the Individual
  • Humans are created in the image of God, free and sovereign over ourselves.
  • Humans are not controlled but empowered to make choices.
  • Within the limits of human power, humans chose how they respond to things beyond their control. There is the importance of nature and nurture, but God emphasizes also the third: the reality of choice.
  • The border of human sovereignty falls where that of another free individual begins.
  • Any society must set limits on the rights and the abuse of the few over the many.
  • Human societies fall on a spectrum between anarchy and tyranny.
2 The Sovereignty of the family
  • Genesis 1-2 lays the foundations: After establishing that ‘no animal will do’ (Gen 2:20) for an image-of-God human, out of one human two are differentiated.
  • They now may join together again as one, if they so choose, and create an institution called marriage.
  • Who joins them? Who marries them? What ceremony? No government and no priest present. No family to give permission. Where does the authority of the marriage come from? > from the two of them.
  • They choose each other. They choose to limit their God-given sovereignty over their individual lives and freely commit themselves to each other, mutually and exclusively. God is their witness.
  • God’s definition of family: two co-equals as individuals freely choose each other, – and children that may be born into this circle.
  • God very purposefully then clarifies what family is by differentiating it from ‘extended family’: Gen 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
  • Marriage does not get its authority from parental endorsement. The new family is not an extension of the parents’ authority, it is a new sovereign entity within itself with rights and responsibilities.
  • Clearly God seeks to strengthen the rights of the spouses while diminishing the rights of the extended family.
  • And this is before the fall! That is: not needed because of sin, but needed principally.
  • This clarification is especially significant as Adam and Eve don’t even have parents, so this is not an issue yet, but God makes sure this is clear.
  • The authority of parents over children and husbands over wives is the authority of “love”. God defines love as “laying down your life to serve the other” (Eph 5:25, 29)
  • So if there is tyranny in the family, or abuse, the authority is broken down. Legal boundaries need to be created to reduce the abuse of the individual within that family, and of the family within that society.
3 The Sovereignty of government
  • Families will dominate earliest human history and are the basis for social development. Multiplication then slowly creates from families a community of families (= tribes), and from tribes a community of tribes (= nations).
  • Human sinful perspective will create top-down models of governance. But when God speaks (Deu 1:9-18) He turns governance around: bottom up.
  • He declares the authority of governance to be in the people governed.
  • In that God emphasizes yet again the importance of the individual, family and nation.
  • God declares government to be the institution that has the responsibility to negotiate conflicting freedoms and rights within the community.
  • Government has to define and defend rights, and set limits to those rights.
  • Because the people governed are created free, God gives the people their right to choose how, by whom and over what they will be governed.
  • God in the Law instructs what just authority is and what its limitations are, but humans (or nations) can choose for themselves what they will call just … and will live with the consequences of those choices.
  • God’s blessing can come to the degree a nation applies God’s definitions and limits.
  • Israel’s history is a showcase of the dynamic relationship between Law, the choices of a nation and God’s blessing.
4 The Sovereignty of Religion
  • Humans will develop institutions committed to the worship of God / gods. Even though separated from God humans retain an understanding of ‘something beyond them’ that influences all of life and seek that ‘god’s’ blessing.
  • When God forms the priesthood, he declared his right to ‘speak for himself’ through this institution.
  • The priesthood get its authority not from people but from God and has the right and responsibility to represent God, though not the right to impose that belief on anyone.
  • We as individuals have the right to believe what we like, therefore societies will have many religions.
  • Like individuals, religions have the right to exist, though not the right to violate the freedoms of other individuals, families, religions and nations.
  • God creates a system of checks and balances to authority and power. He created all these authorities, and though they are corrupted by sin, they are still God’s design.
  • In disciplining a nation we need His content of the Law, but also his system of law: we must seek to leave God’s delegated authorities in place.
  • We need to seek through civil law to ensure those rights, and limit those rights (= proper order, = justice) … not by political control but by persuasion.
  • So individual, family, government and religion each are God-ordained authorities with rights … that all are to be in tension with each other.
  • Ask not only: What would be right to do? But also: Who would be the right one to decide what is done … and how will we secure that right?
  • The challenge of civil governance is to ensure the rights of the right people to make the decisions God has ordained are theirs (whether we agree with their decisions or not) … and to ensure appropriate limits to those choices.

Five basic Biblical Assumptions

  • Basic assumptions is what we usually un-examinedly and deeply believe and act on, though that may not necessarily match with what we say.
  • Example: If I say “God is Almighty” yet can’t trust him, then my real belief is exposed.
  • There are five non-negotiable assumptions expressed in the Bible. Four of them are in Genesis 1-3, the fifth is implied:
    • 1 God is … and he is who he says he is
    • 2 God is the Creator of the material universe, seen and unseen, and it is good
    • 3 Humans are created in the image of God and are central to his purpose for all creation
    • 4 Everything that God has created is damaged by the fall of man and sin.
    • 5 Everything that is damaged is redeemable through the blood of Christ
  • If our deeply held assumptions are not true, our view of reality may be distorted and we will find that our well-intended solutions may produced undesired outcomes, or even worsen things.
  • If we are blind to where authority should be and what authority should be given to whom and what values should be upheld by which authority, our solutions are doomed, if not dangerous.
  • But God has not left us to our understanding. He is the objective, real, infinite source of reality & wisdom, and has revealed what we need to know so we can ‘see right’.
Assumption 1: God is … and he is who he says he is
  • Scripture doesn’t prove this, but works from this basis: God is, and then reveals his nature, character, ways and purposes.
  • Scripture reveals these unchangeable truths and then shows how they work themselves out in history through humans, tribes, nations and finally the church.
  • People may or may not agree, but if we are to think biblical, this is the basis we need to build our every thought on: “God is and he always is who He says He is.”
  • This is the basis of guilt or innocence.
Assumption 2: God created the material world, seen & unseen and it is good
  • God is the Maker, source and origin of Creation and declared creation good.
  • Creation is an objective reality apart from God. Creation is not real because humans experience it, it is real because it is real. Humans also are real.
  • God made creation to run by laws that are discoverable by humans. God longs for humans to discover them and use them for the benefit of all.
  • This is the basis for evidence.
Assumption 3: Humans are created in the image of God and are central to God's purpose for all creation.
  • Humans are created in God’s likeness, are given choice, authority and the command to multiply, migrate and fill the earth. Humans are told to steward, to cultivate, to work, to plan, to develop.
  • This is the basis for personal responsibility.
Assumption 4: Everything God has made is damaged or fallen.
  • Since humans were given a choice, they can act independently and use or abuse the authority given.
  • For God to ‘take back’ choice after sin would be to reduce humans to animals, to cancel the image of God in man. And God will not do it. The risk of giving authority was real and God took the risk.
  • There is no sin in the garden. But there is choice. God did not create evil. But he did not make it impossible.
  • This is the basis for crime, correction and punishment.
Assumption 5: Everything that is fallen is redeemable by the blood of Christ.
  • Col 1:18-20     “And he is the head of the body, the church, he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and though him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
  • After the fall God helps humans understand what they have lost and prepare them to receive His ultimate solution, Jesus. Sin will lead to shame, fear, blaming, corruption, murder and genocide.
  • God sends his perfect antidote, his Son, the Messiah promised since Genesis 3. God is giving his ‘saving inoculation’.
  • We do not have to take it, but if we choose to, the powerful destructive reality of sin in and through us are neutralized and we become a vessel of the antidote. We are salt and light. We are restored to our lost authority and destiny.
  • God’s restoration is to first grant humans a righteousness they cannot earn. Then the Holy Spirit reveals and removes more and more false thinking to renew our minds with his truth and perspective. > We become agents of hope and healing, continuing with our original mandate from Genesis 1, to cultivate the earth, disciple all nations and reveal the glory of the Kingdom of God.
  • This is the basis for restitution and rehabilitation.

All sin is immoral, what should be illegal?

  • Every nation must decided on the form of governance they want.
  • Every nation must decide on the content of the law & consequences of breaking law
  • Every nation or culture has two value sets:
    • 1 Morality     what one should do     what is morally right
    • 2 Legality      what one must do       what we will prosecute if it is broken
  • Example: “The government can’t tell me to love my wife, but it can tell me not to beat her.” There is the moral obligation to love one’s wife, but government cannot enforce that. But to beat your wife is illegal and the government has to prosecute trespass.
  • Sin cannot be outlawed. Morality cannot be made into legality fully. Otherwise all people would constantly be in jail. And who would the jailer be anyway?
  • We will never be able to create ‘perfect societies’, but we need to improve the society we have towards better justice, not worse.
Individual and Community
  • A dilemma of the justice system: maintain the rights of the individual and those of the community, both being biblical values.
  • Do not ‘choose between the two’, rather uphold institutional tension between the two. Ask: whose rights are more violated right now?
Goal of judicial system?
  • Every nation must answer the question: What to do with the convicted? Are the imposed consequences of a crime to be punitive? Corrective? Restorative? What do you want your judicial system to accomplish? What values should the judicial system base on?
  • God will judge nations by the way they judge or treat their fellow humans, especially the most vulnerable (poor, oppressed, foreigner, imprisoned, …)
Basic values and application of these values
  • At the time of Moses: no prisons. Later Israel had prisons. ‘Prison’ is the application of a value. Death penalty is the application of a value.
  • If we understand God’s values behind God’s thinking then we then can ask what application would be most appropriate (= upholding the same values as God in Scripture) for our nation and age.
Natural consequences and legal consequences
  • Every action has consequences. Every bad action will bring on natural, unavoidable, negative consequences (= curse), not so much God’s special intervention but the natural outcome in a cause-and-effect world and a real universe. This is God’s primary way of dealing with human choice.
  • Government asks: What is declared criminal by the law? What are the legal consequences for this crime? > adding to natural consequences.
  • All sin destroys the sinner, but some sins destroys individuals, families, the community or a nation as a whole and must be curbed by judicial boundaries.
  • Example: Lying is a sin, morally wrong and separating from God just as much as murder is. But the effect of murder on others and on society as a whole is much, much severer.
  • Most verses in the Law of Moses addresses the individual how: how he should choose to live and what consequence of blessing he will experience. But some law mandates the community to take direct judicial action.
  • Israel was free to change these laws, and they did over the centuries, but God is warning that some things can only be ignored at your own peril.
  • Law has two categories: injunctions that deserve the death penalty & injunctions that are assigned other consequences. First category: see GOV 14 – Capital Punishment.
  • Basically: the most lethal of actions with the most destructive consequences on the community get the severest penalties.