When (as they do in America) they say they are a nation of laws and not men what they mean is authority trumps honor, that the leader's claim to power is with respect to some objective which resides outside of, and even in opposition to, his person.
When we move from personal to group decision-making, especially when we move to large groups such as armies and nations and international relations, we need ways to manage the carnal issues. We need both to preserve the carnal sensibility while at the same time removing or tempering the atavistic impulses.
Language is one way to effect that temperance. That is the path of reason and deliberation, the role of parliaments, all of which belongs to the domain of the state. There are however other ways, ways which apply to the church.
It is in the religions that those tempering media are in crisis today. They have stopped functioning well. Those are the pain points where the religious systems need refurbishing.