Therole of the government in controlling emotions has been a ratherdebatable issue with various schools of thoughts expressing divergentopinions. Individuals in a heterogeneous community are bound to livewith a certain degree of order that can only be enforced by the civilgovernment. Conversely, the state cannot compel persons to directtheir emotions in a given way. The presence of religion in a givensetting lays a framework for people’s existence. However, theinstitutions, for instance, Christianity, cannot survive in anenvironment devoid of civil control since their mandate in enforcingdesirable behaviors is limited. Antti J. Kauppinen, Hateand Punishment.30 JIV. 1719, 1725 (2015). The feelings that individuals have towardseach other have been a primary cause of conflicts in the society. Thequestion arises whether the duty to rid the society of suchmisdemeanor lies with the church or the state.
Thestate of Wisconsin through its legislature passed a law dubbed,Penalty for crimes committed against certain people of property. Thelegislation outlines that citizens are liable to a fine not exceeding$10,000 or an incarceration not exceeding one year if they are foundculpable of perpetrating hatred or damaged to other individuals onthe basis of their race, religion, color, disability, sexualorientation, and ancestry or physical condition. Wisconsin StateLegislature. Penaltycrimes committed against certain people or property.Wisconsin State Legislature. (Sept. 16, 2016, 12:17 p.m.),https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/939/IV/645.The law raises question over the appropriateness of civil governmentjurisdiction with reference to the biblical worldviews.
Itis worth noting that the religion that individuals profess can onlybe directed by reason and conviction and not through any form ofenforcement. Section 16 of the Bill of Rights is outright that noindividuals should be subject to torture, restraint or molesting forbeing a member of a given religion. Iain Currie & Johan De Waal.Thebill of rights handbook52 (2nded. 2013). In addition, section one of the Bill is clear that all menare equal in the eyes of the law. Consequently, the state does noterr in its efforts to enforce the right of to exist in a free andfair environment.
Inaddition to the Bill of Rights, the Bible outline that the governmenthas the mandate to punish evil conduct. Romans3:1-7 (NAB). It is noteworthy that subjective behaviors emanate fromevil desires. The nature of the civil legislation makes it impossiblefor the agents of law to discern the desires of an individual.However, when such intention gives rise to an array of dominant andpunctilious conducts, it becomes the role of the state to define thecorrect punishment.
Furthermore,Article 1, Section 16 VA of the constitution authoritatively clearsthe air to assert that religion is the duty that citizens owe totheir Creator. Sean A. Sheridan,The American Constitution and Religion by Richard J. Regan (review).74 The Jurist. 131, 132 (2014). It also outlines that all men areequal and are free to exercise religion according to the dictates oftheir conscience. With this in mind, it is factual that the churchhas limited authority over members who exude hatred and misconduct.It can only excommunicate them but cannot punish them beyond thedenunciation. The jurisdiction of the civil government that includesthe duty to protect health, safety, and morality has to be invoked.Should the dissenting believers perpetrate actions emanating fromtheir hatred towards other citizens, the civil law should beexercised to clip their intentions.
Inaddition to the limitation of the church in punishing offenders, itis worth pointing out that the states base their law making on thereligious teachings. The conception of the legislations has a base inthe scriptures that acknowledge God as the judge, lawgiver and king.Isaiah33:22(NAB). Therefore, the civil defining of crime does not override orcontradict the provision of the Bible. The Bible gives the stateauthority over wrongful actions Romans13:3-4 (NAB) The interpretation of the undesirable intentions thatamount to a crime under civil law focuses on the intention to causeharm. The Wisconsin rule, therefore, demonstrates a clearunderstanding of the jurisdiction given to the civil government bythe scriptures.
Itis also noteworthy that civil authority was instituted by God.Although there are contentious practices embraced by the stategovernments, it would be misinformed to insinuate that the church canexist with self-made rules without involving civil jurisdiction. Forexample, the Bible is against the hatred among brethren and itprovides a framework for resolving such shortcomings. However, thechurch council cannot exercise the duties of the civil government.Excommunication may not deter individuals from perpetuating theircrime. Since it the duty of the civil authority to safeguard moralsand safety of the citizens, such individuals must be subject toanother law other than the Biblical provisions. When considering thevalidity of a given law, it would be prudent to consider the partygiven the mandate to exercise it. The government of Wisconsin hasthe duty to protect the citizens since it is not a terror to goodworks but evil.
Inconclusion, the state demonstrated a proper exercise of the civilgovernment jurisdiction by passing a law to criminalize action ofhatred on individuals on the basis of their religion, color,ethnicity and sexual orientation. The mandate of the church to punisherrant followers is limited since it can only amount toexcommunication. The state has the role of enforcing the safety ofall citizens. Both the state and the Bible advocate for equality ofall people. The actions of hatred that people exercise elevate theirdominance that cannot be admitted to both institutions. Finally, theregulation is effective and acceptable since the conception of suchlaws and the definition of crime inclines to the biblical teachings.
AnttiJ. Kauppinen, Hate and Punishment. 30Journal of interpersonal violence.1719-1737, (2015).
IainCurrie & Johan De Waal. Thebill of rights handbook.(2nd ed. 2013)
SeanA. Sheridan, The American Constitution and Religion by Richard J.Regan (review). TheJurist.131, 132, (2014).
WisconsinState Legislature. (Sept. 16, 2016),https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/939/IV/645