According to royalty, at least British royalty, European royalty, well, King James anyway, God delegates his own divine authority to the king. God made everything, God owns everything, God has a right to do what he wants, and you, scum, have to obey, or at least get out of the way.
But somehow law got mixed in with this Papa is bigger than you sort of authority. Now there’s an abstraction, law, that must be adhered to. The king too is supposed to obey the law. The law doesn’t just come from God. There are non-monotheist societies that nevertheless have law. The law can derive from tradition as well as from some alpha ape.
In American democracy, the US is itself supposed to obey the law. The law is still supposed to come from God, but it’s not at all clear because the US founding documents were written by atheist/agnostics, trying to substitute themselves and their own joke of Reason, for God. So: the Constitution is supposed to be law, but this and that layer of authority can also write laws, just make them up: from congress, to the local municipality, to my landlord.
Trouble is: what does the law mean? What does the Constitution mean? How come we need lawyers to read it for us? Why doesn’t it just “say what it means”?
How long does it take a case to get to the Supreme Court? If the Supreme Court hasn’t already been transparenty clear on every possible issue, unless there are NO challenges to the government’s authority, how can the government be the government?
If there’s doubt about the electorate’s ability to cast votes or this or that committee’s ability to count the votes, then how can Bush be president? How can the IRS collect 1¢ in revenues?
If the IRS owes me $10 refund, but I haven’t gotten it yet, what possible right does the toll booth have to charge me 25¢ to cross the bridge?
If the universe is just the universe, then we ought to be able to live however we can. Copulating with out mothers might be unappealing but not illegal. Murder should be fine: unless someone wants to murder you.
If Columbus stepped onto a New World beach without a passport, why should anyone need a passport? to go anywhere?
Whether Genghis Khan will unstring my hams the second I set foot on his turf is a question distinct from whether Genghis should have a bureaucracy checking my passport.
Notice: if the King wants your 25¢ without an argument, then the king and his bureaucracy had damn better shove hierarchical monotheism down your throat.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I love the god of order, I love the god of gravity, of Fibonacci numbers. I love the god that I obey automatically, no understanding required. It’s the alpa monkey I can’t stand. Him I want to niggle and hair-split to infinity: what do you mean you made the world? what do you mean you own it? what do you ean I owe you obedience?
I’ll obey the god of magic as enthusiastically as i obey the god of inertia once every sentience in the cosmos, including every AI, has been satisfied, no doubt, no remaining questions, no abstentions, that God is everything he claims.
(Ah, but what about God being everything that his priests claim?)