Idaho Citizens for

Good Government

The Limits of Law

I recently had a friend call me and wanted to discuss how the IFF is rating anti-fentanyl bills as bad.  He is desperately trying to find a solution, as are some of our state representatives, over how to protect us from these evil things.

There is a philosophical divide causing division among our good people that I wish to address here in the hopes of unity and a solution being found.

The Freedom Caucus and like minded legislators have been trying to protect our children from porn in the school libraries as well and my friend seems to feel this is the same thing as passing a law that would outlaw the advertisement of illegal items within this state. (Idaho)


Our founding fathers emphasized that our republic is not equipped to deal with an immoral populace.  By immoral, they didn’t necessarily mean non-Christian, but those that do not have a love for their neighbor as Jesus commanded.  Back at our founding, the principle of “love thy neighbor” was clear and widely accepted. 


This very idea is what enables self-government.


The state, any state, can only control physical things and in a republic like ours, the main purpose of its existence, as clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence, is to prevent people from doing real harm to each other (life, property and rights) and to protect us from foreign enemies while at the same time maximizing individual liberty and happiness.

So, fast forwarding to today, we now have a generally immoral populace.  A significant percentage of people in this country do not love their neighbor as themselves.  It is, by our founder’s definition, no longer a moral populace – though I would confess that our media magnifies the evil over the good, and thus we may not be as immoral as it appears, yet we are facing the problems that come with a fallen culture.

Trying to pass a law to outlaw, for example, a harmful substance, was the first error which was soundly beaten when prohibition failed; yet we were left with regulation and taxation of alcoholic substances and the precedent of criminalizing a substance instead of a person.

Virtually all x-drug pushers I have seen on YouTube say that the only way to stop the drug wars is to make the substances legal.

Even in totalitarian states, black markets exist and function.  Where there is demand, supply will find a way to meet it.  Whether it is fentanyl to addicts or cigarettes to prisoners or porn to victims of lust, free enterprise will find a way.

One way to see what law can do in these situations is to understand lawful jurisdiction.  When someone says it is illegal to sell a given substance or unwanted product (guns, porn, etc), this is not proper law.  It is pre-crime “color of law” which is an attempt to regulate human behavior before it causes harm.

This seems right at first but is an extension beyond lawful law that, unfortunately, leads to a totalitarian state.


This is, in fact, the beginning of regulated slavery.


It needs to be distinguished that a person that does harm to ones-self is doing a sin against God whereas a person that does actual harm to another is committing a crime against men.

The state, at whatever level, only has the ability to identify and enforce laws against men.  Trying to enforce a law against God can get down to a “thought crime” which George Orwell’s book, 1984 clearly showed does not lead to “Happiness” or “Justice” or “Liberty”.


This is precisely why we have a freedom of religion right enumerated in our Bill of Rights.


The state can, however, create institutions that can offer services which the state can control, because it created them.  Public school and public school libraries fall into this category.

The state has the right to cast porn out of public school libraries, not because porn is bad, but because it controls the public school system because it created that institution.

If I, as a parent, cannot get the public schools to enforce the morality I wish my children to have, my only alternative is to educate my children myself or via another institution.  The fact that I am forced to pay for that public institution, whether or not I use it, is another problem we will not address here.

On the other hand, if a state wishes to make it a crime to “advertise” an “illegal substance or product” it is trying to regulate that which it did not create – free speech or a particular substance or a product created by individuals or corporations or other nations, which were not created by, nor under the control of, the state.

This kind of law is outside of the powers we granted to the state via our constitution and it is outside the simple mandate of upholding justice – which is the punishment or enforcement of restitution, against criminals – those people guilty of purposely doing harm to others, yet perhaps unknowingly.

Our system of government has not been doing the job of upholding justice and finally, over time, the culture has devolved into routine criminal activity to the point of not even recognizing its own guilt.

For example, our state is guilty of stealing from every citizen when it uses a fiat currency, but at the same time, every citizen that takes advantage of financial incentives from government, such as tax breaks, grants, or welfare, is stealing from everyone else as well.

Libertarianism recognizes the right of freedom of choice for individuals; however, it does not generally recognize the authority of God or the requirement to love truth, justice, mercy and perfection, which are the attributes of any “true” god. 


The idea that men are created in the image of God is the source of the idea that we must love each other. 


Libertarians sometimes make the mistake of honoring their own rights over the requirement that we love others as we should love the all-good attributes of a perfect God.


There is no “sin against God” for an atheist, even a freedom-loving one.


The religious, on the other hand, often do not recognize the necessity of the sword of government, and if necessary, the church and even the individual, to punish evil and uphold justice.

We have relegated our personal responsibility to use manly force, if necessary, to right what is clearly wrong in front of us and have delegated this to state authorities at various levels.  And this delegation has made it almost a crime to punish or restrain or even kill others in the interest of justice, love, and righteousness.


There is such a thing as a righteous act of violence when absolutely necessary.


In a moral/loving culture, we prevent needless violence and what is demonized as “vigilantism” because we govern ourselves. But in an immoral/unloving culture where both individuals and institutions are no longer doing their job, force becomes required, even at a mob level, or innocent life, property and rights will be lost.

This judgment our world is under is both natural and justified.  One can only ignore truth so long before the repercussions of that error meet us head on and today we are there.

The enemy is here – and they is us.


The mandates of God’s law, love, truth, justice, mercy, and righteousness almost convince me that even self-defense may not be a sufficient argument for violence – Jesus never did it, but then again, why would the God of life need to? 


The soul that sins shall die.


So what are we to do?

I would have to say that we each have to fall on our faces and confess our sins against God and Man and beg God to restore our nation to a moral culture or we will cease to exist.  True repentance may include defending and honoring what is right to our own hurt and even death.

When the foundations are fallen, the righteous and wise can do nothing… but pray, fast, and hope that, like Nineveh, we shall, as a people, be given the time to truly repent and return to our first love.  The Love that is Truth, Rightousness, Mercy, Justice and Perfection.


  • When we repent, we agree.
  • When we agree, we unite.
  • When we unite, we are strong and the enemy runs out of ammo.


And if we yet humble ourselves and wait upon providence, as it came to our rescue in the days  of George Washington, we may yet live to see the blessings of liberty again.


Meanwhile, let’s not try to use government to correct problems that are not within it’s proper domain and at the same time, take upon ourselves the responsibility of being self-governing free men and women as much as possible and let the chips fall where they may.