The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports here that a man who commandeered a boat to save many New Orleans residents from Hurricane Katrina has been sued by the boat owner.
This illustrates the point made by Christianity Today in this recent editorial about immigration, stating that the law is not everything:
"This is nothing less than a biblical principle, as witnessed in Daniel's determination to worship his God despite 'the laws of the Medes and Persians,' in Rahab's betrayal of her people to help Israeli spies, in Jesus' unwillingness to submit to Sabbath laws when they harmed people, in the early apostles' refusal to cease preaching despite the authorities' command. As Peter put it to them, 'Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God' (Acts 4:19). In each instance, the law of man was superceded by the law of love—of God and of neighbor."
"It is arguably the case with our current immigration laws, and especially with some of the more draconian bills recently introduced (but now apparently abandoned) in the House of Representatives. Since 9/11, U.S. law has made it so onerous and expensive to gain entry into this country, immigrants whose lives are being destroyed by economic and/or political oppression, have determined to pursue life and liberty regardless. Before 9/11 there were some 8 million undocumented workers in the U.S. Now there are 12 million—a 50 percent increase in a mere five years—despite increased surveillance and enforcement. Clearly the current immigration law not only fails to address the needs of desperate people, it is for all purposes unenforceable."
"The question is: Under what circumstances is it appropriate to disobey a law? And the particular question facing us now is: If a person from another land is suffering economic and political hardship, and if the immigration policies of the U.S. make it nearly impossible for some immigrants to enter this nation, is it legitimate (albeit regrettable) for an immigrant to enter this nation clandestinely to gain those freedoms?"
"About this particular concern, Christians will disagree. Some will argue that compassion for the suffering should take precedence over strict adherence to law."
This New Orleans lawsuit highlights that same struggle between law and compassion.