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Time for civil disobedience fast approaching?

July 8, 2009
As a Christian I am called to obey the law of the land, regardless of whether or not I agree with it or the government in charge (1 Peter 2:13-17). While I don’t always follow this, I ought to. But clearly there comes a time when the government is in such opposition to “natural law”, that disobedience becomes necessary. Where is that line?

Local pharmacies and pharmacists, may soon be forced to answer that question. Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an injunction by a lower court against new rules by the Washington State Board of Pharmacy, requiring pharmacists to dispense all legal prescriptions. (Whew! I know that was a confusing sentence, let me try again…) In other words, pharmacies in Washington may soon be required to stock and dispense any legal prescription, regardless of moral or religious objections. The drugs in question are those that can sometimes cause early-term abortions, particularly Plan B, the Pill, the Patch, etc., and those used to commit suicide under the so called “Death with Dignity” law.

A provision in the law does allow individual pharmacists to opt out, so long as another pharmacist is available whowill fill the prescription. If you are the pharmacy owner, you have no legal choice to opt out. Some pharmacists may feel comfortable with this arrangement, but many will not. By including this so called “provision” the Washington State Board of Pharmacy is insulting the depth of our convictions.

This law goes far beyond the restricting the rights of pharmacists: the freedom of conscience is trampled by the whims of special interest groups and the right to private ownership is superseded by government micromanagment. Most tragic, the God-given obligation to protect human life is replaced by the government created “right” to easy access of medication.

If this law is put into effect and enforced, what will our response be? Will we stand with and support pharmacies and pharmacists who obey their God-inspired conscience instead of the laws of man? I’ll admit, part of me wants to see a showdown. But that is not the right attitude. Instead of delighting in dissension, I ought to be grieving that our God-ordained government has abandoned it’s duties to administer justice and protect the innocent.

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