Suppose there is a law that you believe is unjust (either due to moral reasons or because it is against your religious ideals). Are you supposed to follow it? This is a question that is highly debated, and for good reason – your answer to the question all depends on your beliefs (relating to the government, religion, and moral values). I believe we do have a moral obligation to follow the law. However, I also believe in the ability to protest in order to change the law.
As an aside, it is necessary to note that I am not religious. It is important for me to say this because I do not have other laws that I feel “obligated” to observe. An example of a law that is often tied to religion is abortion. I think it should be legal to have an abortion. If I were religious, my view could possibly change due to the definition of birth and when a baby is viewed as being alive.
While there are many reasons why we do have a standing obligation to follow the law, there is one reason that I believe stands above the rest – safety. A simple example of laws that are designed specifically for our own safety are the rules of the road (speed limits, stop signs, yield signs, etc.). These laws should be obeyed no matter what just so our safety is not jeopardized. Even if we may not be the ones getting hurt, as human beings, we should have a universal moral obligation to not hurt others – by not follow laws that are meant to keep us safe, we are not putting others at risk. An easily relatable example is by not following the speed limit or rolling through stop signs, we are putting others at danger.
Some will try to argue that there are laws that have nothing to do with our safety and well-being. I would disagree; I believe that all laws have been made for our protection. This includes laws that protect our assets, gun-laws, stealing of information (or property), and essentially every other kind of law. Therefore, it would be hard for even the ultra-religious to believe they do not have an obligation to follow the law. If all religions believe in the general safety of mankind (thou shall not kill, steal, etc.), laws should not be viewed as open to choice and, instead, we should believe that we have a standing moral obligation to follow the law.
Having the ability to protest laws is very important because it gives us the ability to have input on the laws being made. However, if you chose to do this, then the laws still must be followed until they are changed. If they are not, even though you may disagree with them, you are still breaking the law and putting people at danger.