True or False Obedience to the King
by Kennedy Hall
An Unjust Law Is No Law At All
In the first part of this article, we learned that the virtue of obedience is grouped as one of the virtues which falls under the cardinal virtue of justice. In fact, St. Thomas quoting St. Augustine famously stated, lex injusta non est lex (an unjust law is no law at all).
We also explained how there are some situations in which one is not obligated to obey his superior. This, of course, includes unjust laws which do not carry the moral force of true law. Furthermore, there are some situations in which one is obligated not to obey a superior. The most obvious case is when the superior commands something sinful. No one may ever justly command another person to disobey God. And one may never justify his sin before God by claiming ‘I was just being obedient.’