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Just Causes

Updated on April 23, 2012
The cell where Martin Luther King Jr. was incarcerated during the Civil Rights Movement.
The cell where Martin Luther King Jr. was incarcerated during the Civil Rights Movement. | Source

During our lives the importance of obeying the law is integrated in our consequence by our parents, teachers, presence of law officers, the local, state and federal government's. I have not always been a law abiding citizen, as a young child I would take a pack of gum or a candy bar from the local stores I passed going home from school. This is something I am not proud of and have asked God's forgiveness for those acts of injustice that I committed. As an adult and parent my behavior has changed, I've taught my children, punished them each at one time or another for making that same choices and hope that by doing so they will grow up to be law abiding citizen's.

In the same respect, I think back to times when the law's of our country and other countries were broken in the name of freedom, were disobeyed to save the lives of those being prosecuted because of their race, creed, color, sexual beliefs, mode of dress and religious beliefs. Those are laws that to many including myself are unjust and those who chose to disobey those laws did so with courage.

Where would our country be today with the courage of such women as Harriett Tubman, who saved the lives of thousands by being part of the Underground Railroad. Then we have Rosa Parks who took a stand against the ignorance caused by prejudice behavior. In the last 19th century women banned together unifying The Women's Suffrage Movement fighting against the laws that stated women weren't allowed to vote. Those brave women paved the way so all women received the right to vote right along withthem men. If these individuals hadn't gone against these laws our country woudn't have made the strides we have over the past 50 to 70 years. We still have a ways to go in some areas though without their courage to stand up for their beliefs our country wouldn't have come this far.

Not only in our country have their been brave men and women who stood against laws they didn't feel were just. During Hitler's reign many individuals took their lives in their hands by hiding the Jewish people who were unfairly treated by the Nazi regime. Unfortunately they couldn't save them all but they did save hundreds of lives. Oskar Schindler the subject of the movie Shindler's List, not only betrayed the law, he betrayed his own country by saving over 1000's of people from Polish and Jewish descent. His goodness won out of the evil that Hitler's regime tried to brainwash withtheir hatred. Schindler even changed the hearts of many SS solider's during that time.

During times of war, depression, poor economic times there have been children, men and women who have broken the law in order to feed the hungry, the starving and the sick. They either stole food or medicine, not to gain anything for themselves but to help those who were and sometimes are desperately in need. This has happened in our country and many other countries in the world.

Moment's such as those listed above were and may be considered unlawful however, the reasons they chose to save, feed or medicate all boils down to saving the life of another person. I can't imagine God would punish any of those individuals who made the conscious decision to disobey a law when the choice is to save a life or let someone die in a gas chamber, starve to death or die due to medical neglect.


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    • Catzgendron profile image

      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      Thank you very much.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 5 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks - you raise issues that are going to become more important as our economy falters and our society becomes less tolerant and civil. Childhood indiscretions and crimes of need are very different from crimes of selfishness and greed, no matter what any religion or legislation may say. Voted up and interesting.

    • Catzgendron profile image

      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      Thank You very much, I appreciate your comments and the vote up.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      You did a great job on this thought provoking hub.

      When I was a child I was taught that adults in authority including parents, teachers, law enforcement officers and judges must always be obeyed without question.

      But as I've grown older I've come to realize that not all laws or people who write the laws and enforce them are just.

      The situations you described are excellent examples of times when everyday citizens need to speak up and/or take action to get the law changed.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.