The beginning of American law, the concepts of independence and freedom, is rooted in the belief that moral absolutes exist within a universal standard of justice independent from political rulers. The Judeo-Christian faith is not separate from but foundational to just and fair public policies that encourage human flourishing.
More than 2,000 Bible verses teach civics, providing examples of good and evil rulers, judges, and political authorities. These instructions on civics are informed by approximately 500 verses on salvation, 400 on hell, and 250 on heaven—with the overall foundation that right living best leads to a peaceful, thriving society.
Six of the Ten Commandments specifically define civil law. The western concept and definition of murder, manslaughter, theft, assault, marriage, birth, and other civil and criminal matters are defined and ascribed judicial punishment under Mosaic law. Religious freedom and self-governance are defined in the First Commandment, family governance in the Second, private property rights in the Fifth, and a fair trial with witnesses in the Sixth.
The founding fathers knew this, recalling Exodus 18 and 21, Leviticus 18, Ezekiel 3, and Isaiah 33:22, among others, understanding the Judeo-Christian God, the Lord, as lawgiver, judge, and king. Following this model, they devised three branches of government. Congress, the legislative branch—represents the lawgiver; the judicial branch—the judge, and the executive branch—the king, primary ruler, head of government.
But the founding fathers also knew the danger of authoritarian rule that some Puritans had tried to implement in 17th century American colonies.
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