After Hitler was defeated, war crime trials were held in Nuremberg to judge the guilt of Hitler’s henchmen. But a dispute arose as to what laws should be used to try the accused, after all, Hitler’s cronies argued, quite plausibly, that they had not broken any laws; their actions were carried out within the protection of their own legal system. They could not be accused of murder because personhood had been redefined to exclude Jews and other undesirables. These men were simply following the laws handed down by the courts of their day. As Eichmann protested before his execution, “I was simply following the laws of war and my flag!” . . . Moral relativists who believe that laws are nothing more than the result of social conditioning, subject to the whim of leaders and nations, would have to agree with Goering, Hitler’s designated successor, when at Nuremberg he insisted, “This court has no jurisdiction over me, I am a German!” By what laws then, should the Nazis be tried? And what would [be] the basis of such laws? . . . If all laws are relative, and each country has its own idea of what laws they should enact, there is no universal standard by which laws can be judged. . . . Several years ago a group of pro-life protesters who picketed an abortion clinic were sued for slander for calling abortionists murderers. The abortionists argued, just as Hitler’s emissaries had done, that they could not be murderers because they were not breaking any laws! The experience of Nuremberg and the silent holocaust in our abortion clinics bear eloquent witness to the fact that when a state is accountable to no one except itself, it simply assumes whatever is legal is moral. The law is simply whatever the courts or a dictator say it is. Show me your laws and I will show you your God.
- Erwin Lutzer