Today, as we join in prayer with those Marching in Life for Washington, I thought I would offer these words from Carl A. Anderson, the leader of the Knights of Columbus. He quotes Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
In his famous 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail, he even relied upon the Catholic natural law tradition. King wrote: "One may well ask, 'How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?' The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: there are just and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'An unjust law is no law at all.'"
He continued, "Now what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law."
A law "that is out of harmony with the moral law" can never be regarded as "settled" as long as there are men of conscience, men of determination and men who understand that our nation will be judged by the respect we give to every person - even to "the least among us."