One week from today on June 15th 2015, the world will celebrate the 800 year anniversary of the Magna Charta, the “Great Charter of Liberties” which the Archbishop of Canterbury and the medieval Barons of England famously forced King John to sign in the fields at Runnymede, June 15, 1215 near Windsor (which castle still houses the British monarchy). Importantly, the first priority of this venerable charter was the recognition of the sovereignty of the Christian church:
“ In the first place we grant to God and confirm by this our present charter for ourselves and our heirs in perpetuity that the English Church is to be free and to have all its rights fully and its liberties entirely. We furthermore grant and give to all the freemen of our realm for ourselves and our heirs in perpetuity the liberties written below to have and to hold to them and their heirs from us and our heirs in perpetuity.”
As I wrote previously in my essay The Death of Human Rights, that first principle of the Magna Charta survived nearly eight centuries — until it was effectively neutralized and superseded by so-called “gay rights” in the body of UK laws known collectively as “Sexual Orientation Regulations” (SORs) http://www.scottlively.net/2012/12/10/the-death-of-human-rights/
These SORs are indeed like open sores on the body politic, and are increasingly used to punish and suppress public expressions of Biblical truth about homosexuality and related perversions, as in the case of preacher Dale McAlpine:
The Magna Charta (or Carta, both spellings are correct), is heralded as the cornerstone of modern human rights law, and indeed was a legal milestone of enormous significance. But there is a much greater foundation-stone beneath the Magna Charta, the Holy Bible, upon which all human rights ultimately rest.
It was no accident that King John was called to account by the Archbishop of Canterbury, for while it was the English Barons whose grievances forced the issue, it was the church which held the independent legal power to force the change. That’s because from the earliest days of western legal history there has always been a “Separation of Church and State,” meaning that the king and the church occupy separate and independent spheres of power and authority within the larger society.
When the legitimate grievances of English Barons were disregarded by the Court of Law (the realm of King John), they appealed to the Court of Equity (the realm of the church)
This separation of powers goes all the way back to the time of Moses and the Biblical “Cities of Refuge,” under the control of the Levitical Priests, where an accused murderer could flee for sanctuary pending a trial to determine his guilt or innocence (Numbers 35:9-28).
The concept of law vs. equity was central to common law jurisprudence and survives even to this day in the U.S. courts, though few understand its roots. Here’s a simple explanation of it http://patch.com/florida/templeterrace/court-of-law-vs-court-of-equity-why-it-matters-to-you-9. Here is a more substantial treatise
Classic film buffs will recognize this church/state separation in the story of Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, safe only so long as he remained in the cathedral, but subjected to the lash and pillory under the King’s law when he ventured out of his “city of sanctuary” for the distressed damsel, Esmeralda.
And, of course, the concept of “sanctuary cities” has been recently misapplied by the ever lawless Obama administration and co-conspirator Democrat city mayors to shield illegal aliens from deportation. But I digress…
Importantly, like the Magna Charta, the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution also sets as its first principle the sovereignty of the Christian church (as indeed “religion“ was largely synonymous with “Christian denomination“ to the drafters):
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” states the First Amendment.
And importantly, here in the United States as in Europe, it is the redefinition of various sexual perversions as “human rights” that threatens true human rights as understood from the earliest beginnings of human rights jurisprudence. I summarized this history in 2006 in the Riga Declaration on Religious Freedom, Family Values and Human Rights here:
I am writing this article to remind all of us that the church is and has always been legally free from the control of Kings and Presidents and remains so today. There has been lots of talk lately from the reprobate left to the effect that churches should “lose their tax exempt status” if they refuse to “marry” homosexuals after the Supreme Court rules such unions to be constitutionally protected later this month (as many, including this writer, assume will occur).
However, neither King Obama, nor Congress, nor the United States Supreme Court, nor the UK, nor the EU, nor any human government, has the legal authority to strip the church of its rights and liberties. She is a separate sovereign subject to the Law of God, not the rule of man. The government did not “give” tax exemption to the church, it was and is hers by right, as is the power and duty to reject the redefinition of God’s institution of marriage.
And as a sovereign, these rights are for her inalienable wherever she operates under the legitimate unction of God on behalf of His Kingdom anywhere in this world. This was true before the Magna Charta acknowledged it in 1215 and it is true today and tomorrow irrespective of the opinion of any earthly ruler.