Daniel Peterson has posted a perceptive article on his blog here, discussing the issue of ‘higher loyalties’, which is well worth reading. A really key point is:
But it appears plain to me that this principle applies far beyond Christianity, and even far beyond religion itself.
There should be an absolute moral basis, an ethical fundamental, something bedrock, by which we make our decisions and on which we carry out our actions. But that absolute cannot simply be the State — even if the particular state in question happens to be, on the whole, a pretty good one.
In other words, I cannot say “My country, right or wrong.” (For the interesting history of that phrase, and some needed nuance, see here.) It’s conceivable, though I hope very unlikely, that my country could someday go so grossly wrong that it would cease to be my country, that I would be unable to remain loyal to it.
For Christians in general (and Latter-day Saints in particular), I really feel that when we read the counsel to obey legal authorities in Paul and Peter (and in the 12th Article of Faith), we really should also remember the 3rd and 6th chapters of Daniel, or the example in Acts that Daniel Peterson cites. Yes, we should seek to obey the law of the land, but if it crosses a line it can’t – morally or theologically – continue to command our uncritical obedience.