, , , , , , ,

Acts 5:29 (New Testament) says in part: “We must obey God rather than human beings.” In other words, Christian auctioneers can disobey [human] laws they feel are unjust?

If so, given a Governor’s order (or other law) which an auctioneer feels is unjust can be ignored? Is this how it works in the United States? Any law that is deemed “unjust?”

We are all governed by laws, and one such law (the First Amendment to the Constitution) denotes a “separation of church and state.” Commonly that means that the government cannot sponsor a particular religion nor prohibit you from practicing the religion of your choice.

Here’s an article by Neal Hardin where he writes about what “separation of church and state” means, and doesn’t mean: https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/what-does-separation-of-church-and-state-actually-mean.

What if a Christian (or other) auctioneer feels auctioneer licensing is unjust? What about having to enter into a written contract? Absolute auctions with minimum bids citing a religious exemption?

Generally what I’ve seen occur all across the United States is many auctioneers ignoring any laws they feel are unjust — because of their religion or not. This seems to me to be a very unwise strategy.

If an auctioneer cited essentially a “religious exemption” to some law, could the state or federal government take retaliatory action? I feel sure they would, leaving the auctioneer to hire an attorney to argue this issue in court.

We wrote about religious exemptions and auctioneers in 2015 here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/auctioneers-and-religious-freedom/ where we suggested practically speaking, it would be unwise to even consider religion in regard to auction-related business decisions.

Some “unjust laws” have been challenged, including by some famous people including Homer Plessy, Linda Brown, and Martin Luther King Jr. to name a few. However, none of these people were debating that they wanted to have a live auction and not an online auction …

The likely success of a “religious exemption” argument regarding an auction issue seems remote. This could cause costly and unnecessary liability for the auctioneer as well as his or her client.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.