Are you good at following the law? Or are you an evil, law-breakin’ good-fer-nuthin’ lout?
You land in the beautiful, French island of Martinique and proceed to immigration. They stamp your international driver permit, but tell you that you’ll also need to get a local permit for €5.00, as well a read a short list of rules for driving on the island.
The rules are simple and nothing that you haven’t seen before. Stop at stop signs, give way to the vehicle on the right at uncontrolled intersections, etc. Easy! With your permits in hand, you get in your rental and start driving from lush Fort-de-France to the beautiful bay of Anse Noire. It’s a beautiful day out, so you roll down the window of your Chevy Trax to let in some fresh air.
Suddenly a cop is behind you pulling you over. You’ve been following all the traffic laws! What have you possibly done wrong?
“Do you know why I stopped you?” the cop asks.
“No sir! I was following all the laws. What did I do?”
“Well I saw you roll down your window. That’s a distraction, you know, from the proper focus on driving. In fact, it’s an addition to driving, not an aid to the task.”
“But there is no law against it! I read the book to get my local permit. How can you say that it’s illegal?”
“Ahh,” the officer replies. “Good question. You violated the Law of Silence. Our rules tell you what you are allowed to do. They don’t have to specify what you aren’t allowed to do. By adding this distraction, you’ve violated the Law of Silence. Anything not specifically authorized, you see, is condemned. Rolling down your window is just one of those things.”
“But I was just doing it to enjoy the beautiful air,” you protest.
“Even worse,” the cop remarks. “You just admitted that you were adding to our Law just so that you could appease your fleshly desires. The penalty for this is a life sentence, I’m afraid.”
My heritage, the churches of Christ, has mostly concluded that certain “acts of worship” are allowed on Sundays. We’ve also concluded that anything outside of this (additions) are evil, though we can have “expedients” (aids) to these acts and be fine.
We have determined that there is such a thing as the “Law of Silence,” wherein if something is not specifically authorized, it is condemned.
My above example is not totally parallel, but I was thinking about it, so I’ve written it down for later review.
What do you think?
With love, always,