DEVISING EVIL BY LAW
By Jim Jordal
"Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, have fellowship with You?"
Psalm 94:20 NKJV
"Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees…to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless."
Isaiah 10:1-2 NKJV
Due to the imbalance in our national and state legislative processes between the welfare of the people and the controlling power of the existing corporate/financial power bloc, we have a continuing problem with laws that can only be described as "unrighteous decrees" or "evil devised by law."
What is an unjust, or unrighteous law? It’s a law passed by a legislative or regulatory body or court favoring one selected, powerful group of people to the exclusion and expense of all others. It’s a law discriminating against powerless groups that had no part in its formulation. It’s a law violating the timeless natural or moral law of God. It’s a law that demeans human personality and innate dignity. It’s a law allowing shameless degradation of the earth in the name of profit. And it’s a law that exploits for profit any vulnerable human group, especially widows, orphans, immigrants, and the poor.
I know that if you try you can probably think of exceptions to my analysis. But exceptions do not disprove basic general principles, especially those relating to justice. So try to think of these definitions, not as absolutes, but as generalities.
One example of an unjust law is the "carried interest" regulation so beneficial to private equity group managers and hedge fund operators. Principals of these financial entities gain rewards in the form of a percentage of growth and profits of their firm, even though they may never have risked their own money, risking instead the deposits of their high-rolling members. Since they have not invested themselves, their gains ought to be taxed as regular income. Instead, the law and supporting regulations allow them to pay tax at the much lower capital gains rate. So this unjust law favors already-wealthy hedge fund managers at the expense of regular taxpayers.
Another egregious example is the Trans Pacific Partners (TPP) trade agreement now struggling in Congress. This legislation is on a fast track through Congress, meaning it can avoid regular debate over its merits so as to more quickly become law. Fortunately, it is meeting opposition because of its hidden provisions allowing its corporate giants to assume powers of national sovereignty formerly reserved for nations. One of these is that should a member nation pass laws protecting its citizens against pollution by a large extractive corporation, the business can sue the member nation for attempting to protect their own people. They call the attempt by a sovereign nation to protect its own people "restraint of trade," something that used to be done to curb business monopoly, but now threatens national sovereignty.
Hundreds of examples exist of "devising evil by law." Many face exposure by public interest groups and aware, awakened citizens. But they still continue because the root cause of most unjust law is greed for money and the power it provides. As the apostle Paul said, "The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil." It was true then, and is especially true today in our crazed, profit mad thirst for more, more, and more.
What can you do? You can educate yourself on some of these issues, and you can vote accordingly. You cab agitate for justice whenever and wherever possible. You can pray, but don’t lose hope, because God is still in control. And remember what famous anthropologist Margaret Mead once said: "Never doubt that a small group of dedicated persons can change the world. In fact, nothing else ever has."
Dedicated praying Christians might just be that small group.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1978, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.