Christian and Libertarian

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, May 24, 2008.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Christian and Libertarian


    By Vox Day

    Every week, someone asks me what it means to be a Christian Libertarian. Almost as often, I hear from Republicans disgusted with their party's abandonment of its purported principles of small government, social conservatism and adherence to the Constitution, who are nevertheless afraid of switching their allegiance to the godless Libertarians.

    It has been said that a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged. In like manner, a libertarian is a conservative who's been mugged by the government. There is no criminal gang or collection of scam artists who perpetrate even a small fraction of the crimes that the commits and abets – from the forgeries and inflationary confiscations of the U.S. Treasury to the cowardly corruption of the judiciary, from the extra-Constitutional executive orders of the president to the treasonous signings-away of national sovereignty by Congress.

    One need not be an atheist or a devotee of Shub-Niggurath to oppose these things. Indeed, I suspect the problem many Christians and conservative Republicans have with making the leap to Libertarianism is that they still see a connection between the concepts of legality and morality. But there is no inherent relationship between the two; indeed, it is becoming increasingly obvious that it is not possible to honor both in many aspects of American life.

    "It's the law!" is not a moral argument. It is an argument based on the threat of force. Yesterday the law required one to return an escaped slave to his owner; tomorrow it will require one to have an implanted Social Security number when one simply wants to buy Cheerios at the supermarket. The law is not only "an ass," but in a secular society, its moral neutrality is the best for which one can hope. And the law is impossible to obey, even for the most servile citizen – no one truly knows the laws because no one reads them, not even the politicians who pass them!

    Then there are those conservatives who simply do not have a real commitment to individual freedom. They believe that government power is like a light switch, to be switched on to enforce policies they favor – such as banning private development on scenic lands – but switched off in the case of policies they do not. This is optimistic lunacy, since the argument for limited government does not rest upon the notion that the government always does undesirable things, but on the idea that if it can, it eventually will.

    The same government that has the power to ban a private house on the beach also has the power to sell the beach to Wal-Mart or build a nuclear power plant on it. Since the Founding Fathers understood that a Marcus Aurelius was always followed by a Commodus, they tried to construct a system that would prevent either. Good central government, even when it exists, is a short-lived beast.

    And Libertarianism is not inherently godless. In fact, it is the only political philosophy that is truly in accordance with Christianity. The Christian religion posits an all-powerful God who nevertheless permits humanity to turn its back on Him. This shows an extreme respect for free will and for the very sort of individual choice that is banned by Democrats and Republicans alike as they attempt to enforce their will upon the people through the power of government.

    The basic principle of Libertarianism is not anarchic. There are real limits. My free will ends where yours begins. Neither the community nor I have any claim whatsoever on your property or your life, and a libertarian legal system would be structured around that principle. Do not be misled by the false "pro-choice" rhetoric of the infanticidal abortionettes; when one individual decides the fate of another, it is nothing more than the ancient law of tooth and claw. Still, their very terminology is the homage vice pays to virtue.

    And what of the Christian element? Christianity is integral to the philosophy, as without the spiritual core of its demand for free will responsibility, libertarianism has a tendency to devolve into simple utilitarianism, which eventually leads to the very collectivism it was conceived to oppose. The occasional perversions of princes of the various churches notwithstanding, Christianity is timeless and so provides the inexhaustible spring of moral refreshment that is necessary to any political ideology that hopes to resist corruption over time.

    To love Jesus Christ and individual freedom; that is what it means to be a Christian Libertarian.

    - www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34361
     
    #1 KenH, May 24, 2008
    Last edited: May 24, 2008
  2. Andre

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    I have read the OP and have the following initial thoughts. I am operating from the assumption that the Scriptures are the most authoritative source that should inform all our actions, including how we should structure our government. Jesus is Lord of all - including human governments.

    I think that the Jubilee Law, with its legal prescription of how property is to be treated conflicts with the libertarian position that the government should not restrict the freedom of the individual to do what he wants with, say, his property:

    'If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold. 26 If, however, a man has no one to redeem it for him but he himself prospers and acquires sufficient means to redeem it, 27 he is to determine the value for the years since he sold it and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it; he can then go back to his own property. 28 But if he does not acquire the means to repay him, what he sold will remain in the possession of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee. It will be returned in the Jubilee, and he can then go back to his property

    The landowner is obliged to return the property in the year of the Jubilee, even if the original owner cannot repay. This is not a suggestion, it is the law of the land as instituted by God.

    I am, I will admit, very skeptical that libertarianism can really be reconciled with the gospel. I think that the OP tries to get too much leverage out of the "free will" dimension of things in its efforts to connect libertarianism to Christianity. Sure we have free will, but the Scriptures are full of God providing people with laws, not suggestions, as to how they are to structure their society.

    There are other things in the Jubilee laws that prescribe a much more collectivist approach to organizing society than seems to be supported by libertarianism.

    Besides, when Paul declared the gospel message, he was declaring that Jesus was replacing Ceasar as the Lord of the world. And Jesus declares that all authority has been given to Him on earth. I cannot see how this does not mean that we are called to enshrine His values in human governments. We are not to leave government to secular forces in the gospel imperative.

    And though we may not like it, when we start to enact Jesus' kingdom values in our government, we are going to have our freedoms limited. For example, we will be more heavily taxed as we take seriously the imperative to care for "the least of these". People will argue that this is the task of the church, not the goverment. I am happy to debate that, but would cite, again, that the Jubilee Law was indeed a Law - God is very much interested in having His values "forced" on people.

    And even apart from all the above, I think that there is really no such thing (or almost no such thing) as a "private" act - an act that I am free to take without affecting you. So I suspect that libertarianism appeals to an overly simplified view of the world and suggests that I can have all these freedoms and yet not violate the freedoms of others. I suggest this is, in large measure, a myth.
     
    #2 Andre, May 26, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2008
  3. Revmitchell

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    Ken, did you really site WND as a resource?
     
  4. KenH

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    Yes, as a source for an opinion piece. :)
     
  5. ajg1959

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    The idea of free will that the Libertarian Party advocates sounds great on the surface, but after watching the debate the other night, I am not so sure free will is a good idea for our society.

    Wouldnt the 'Me" attitude of our modern culture naturally take advantage of too much freedom? Such as, they advocated repealing all drug laws, making all drugs legal. Isnt that opening up a can of worms by letting immoral folks have too much freedom? They will surely abuse it and create a huge social burden by losing the ability or the will to be self sufficient.

    They also advocate gay marriage by abolishing state liscensed marriage and allowing anyone to enter into a "partnership" regardless of gender.

    They want to abolish the FCC and let broadcasters broadcast what they want with no censorship at all.

    They also advocate abortion on demand.

    Even though God gave us as humans the right to a free will, dont you think we have to use that right in a godly manner, and not give freedoms to addicts that cant handle them, and not pass legislation in the name of freedom that violates the scriptures?

    I honestly see the Libertarians as more liberal than the far left dems.....oh except for gun control, they are conservative there.

    Sorry Ken, I respect your right to have your views, but I have a hard time reconciling your political views with your christian testimony.

    AJ
     
  6. KenH

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    Thank you for your response, ajg1959.

    1) We know from history that Prohiibition diddn't work. We know from history that the "War on Drugs" has been a failure for over thirty years. This is an issue that would greatly benefit by being treated as a health issue instead of as a criminal issue.

    2) There should be separation of marriage and state. In most areas, especially on the federal level, the separation of government and "whatever the issue" is the best policy.

    3) The airwaves should be sold. The last time I checked television sets and radios have on/off buttons and channel/station tuners.

    4) No. The platform position is that the government shouldn't be involved in this issue. Lots of we Libertarians are pro-life, as is our 2008 presidential candidate, Bob Barr - www.l4l.org.

    5) If you and I are going to have liberty that means anything then we must be willing to advocate liberty even for those who do things that twist our stomach into knots. We are not a theocracy in the United States.
     
  7. ajg1959

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    I am starting to understand where you are coming from, but I still would have a hard time justifying this platform with scripture. And even though idealistically some of it sounds good in a secular sense, I dont think it would actually work in our society. People are too greedy, and will take advantage of any liberties given to them.

    AJ
     
  8. KenH

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    Libertarianism is the philosophy upon which our federal government was set up. It wasn't until the 20th century that our nation began a massive, ongoing movement toward socialism.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    Puzzling:confused:
     

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