In the book The Four Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris teaches how to use the letter of the law to get what you want. His incredible examples are how he used the system at the time to cheat the wrestling weight classifications and compete in a wrestling weight class that was below where he should have been. He had a decided advantage over his lighter weight opponents. His argument was that he met the letter of the law, and it is true that he did. He even brags about teaching others how to do the same thing. But what is more disheartening to me is that he went to China, a country that puts honor above all else to the point of having a whole set of rituals around killing yourself when you have been or brought dishonor, and proceeded to use a rule to dishonor every single one of his opponents, all to win a bet. He gloried in this victory of shame because he followed the letter of the law and thereby got what he wanted, regardless of what it cost others.
So, if Americans are embracing and being taught to embrace this letter of the law philosophy, why am I saying that we are following Jesus' rule about the intent of the law? I'm saying this because of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. After the financial market collapse, which was blamed on the greedy manipulations of individuals in the financial industry, President Obama pushed through a financial watchdog agency that was supposed to help make better rules to guard the people of the United States. In reality, this agency proceeded to rule by action and has created regulations by disciplinary action. In other words, no matter what the law says, if the CFPB believes that you have acted outside the intent of the law, they will sue you and hold you financially accountable. So, while Tim Ferris and so many others herald using the letter of the law to circumvent the intent of the law, our government is using the intent of the law to punish those it feels have stepped outside of that intent.