Christian Libertarianism

Christian Libertarianism
Vol: 125 Issue: 28 Tuesday, February 28, 2012

If you listen to Ron Paul for twenty minutes, you want to vote for him.  If you listen to him expound on the Federal Reserve, the Constitution, the IRS  or the size of government, you don’t just want to vote for him, you want to have him to your house for dinner.

You have to listen to Ron Paul carefully — especially on subjects like US foreign policy, and especially US foreign policy where Israel is concerned, or you are liable to believe his election might be a good thing for America.

Ron Paul is a libertarian.  Suddenly, being a libertarian seems to be a good thing — like being a Republican, only more conservative. 

One hears a lot about libertarianism; John Stossel over at the Fox Business Network is a libertarian — and his specials on panhandling, racial quotas, government regulations and the federal budget are all “must-see” TV.

Libertarianism sounds a lot like conservativism on steroids — it is amazing how many members of the Republican Party self-identify as “libertarian.” 

Or maybe it isn’t so amazing — among the more famous libertarians of history is the late Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and one of the great heroes of capitalism.

Other prominent Republicans that lean libertarian include Senator Rand Paul, Rep Jeff Flake of Arizona, former Georgia Rep Bob Barr, Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, former governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson and former President Calvin Coolidge.

These are all good guys — each one adheres to the basic tenets of conservative Republicanism, like personal responsibility, personal liberty and fiscal conservativism.   Especially fiscal conservativism.

Libertarians are advocates for lower taxes at every level of government.  They advocate reducing federal spending.  They oppose welfare-state giveaways. They oppose federal regulations on business. They are strong advocates for welfare reform.  They oppose budget deficits and deficit spending.

I am almost persuaded that I am a libertarian.  Almost. But not quite. 

The problem with being a libertarian is that I would have to compromise on almost everything that I believe as a Christian.

A libertarian believes in the concept of victimless crime.  To a libertarian, patronizing prostitutes is a victimless crime.  Buying drugs from a drug dealer is a victimless crime.  Gambling is a victimless crime.  Suicide is a victimless crime.  Drug abuse is a victimless crime. 

Generally speaking, libertarians would favor the abolishment of laws banning victimless crimes on the grounds they have no rational or moral reason for existing.

A libertarian would argue that the harm caused by the prevention or prosecution of these activities is often far greater than any harm caused by the activities themselves.

Applying that logic would justify repeal of these laws on the same harm reduction grounds that were originally used to justify them. 

To a libertarian it is all an issue of freedom.  Freedom.  We all want freedom.  Don’t we? 

According to this principle, individuals have the right to partake in any actions they choose, as long as these actions do not impede the rights of others, even if the actions could be considered detrimental to that person.

In such a scenario, the government should not be allowed to regulate the actions of people unless they affect other people as well. 

Libertarians want to see the War on Drugs eliminated on the grounds that the war on drugs violates the Law of Unintended Consequences.  

For example, it creates a huge profit margin for organized crimes and anyone else who is willing to break the law in order to get ahead financially. 

If these drugs were legal and sold in a fair competitive market it would drive the price of these drugs down which would result in less “secondary” crimes from drug addicts.

If the drugs were more affordable these people would not need to commit these “secondary” crimes such as burglary and theft, nor would it be as profitable for large criminal organizations.

Many criminal originations depend largely on their huge amounts of profit from selling illegal substances; putting these substances on a fair and regulated market could be a significant blow to the economics of these corrupt organizations.

So legalizing drugs would eliminate the profit margin, which would eliminate the market, which would eliminate organized drug cartels.  Wouldn’t it?

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

Assessment:

As noted, libertarianism sounds pretty reasonable.  Indeed, if one were to sum up libertarianism in few words, those few words would be “live and let live.”  It really, really sounds attractive:

“Libertarians believe that this combination of personal and economic liberty produces abundance, peace, harmony, creativity, order, and safety. Indeed, that is one of the central lessons of world history. Virtually all the progress the human race has enjoyed during the past few centuries is due to the increasing acceptance of these principles. But we are still far from a truly libertarian world. Libertarians believe we would see far more progress, abundance and happiness if the ideas of liberty were fully accepted and allowed to work their miracles.”

What a great philosophy — “Do no harm.”  (That sounds familiar, somehow. Oh yeah . . . it is the principle doctrinal statement of the Church of Wicca.)

At Libertarianism.com, one can examine the various political positions of libertarianism.  For example the entry on Foreign Policy and National Security reads as follows:

“A non-aggressive, isolationist stance (as outlined by George Washington) is the appropriate role of the state.  This includes not engaging and participating with international bodies like the UN that threaten our national sovereignty.  People should be allowed to make any contracts with any other actor as long as their agreements aren’t imposed on others who haven’t consented.”

This sounds good.  Let’s apply it to the situation with Iran and see how it sounds.  Whether or not Iran gets the Bomb is none of our business.  

What about Israel?  Again, that is none of our business.  Israel is its own country.  Let them figure it out.

What about libertarianism and religion?  Again, it sounds pretty mainstream to me:

“All people should have the right to worship any religion they want, as long as their religious standards are not imposed on others.  In order to ensure this freedom of and from religion, we must have a complete separation of church and state.”

Libertarians view privacy as a sacred right.

Privacy is a fundamental right defined and enforced by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution.  Free people are innocent until proven guilty and the government doesn’t have a right to wiretap, surveil, or search a person or their property without a judicially sanctioned warrant, supported by probable cause.

These protections must not be removed simply for the presence of external threats.  The PATRIOT Act must be repealed.  Law enforcement must exercise restraint and apply due process before searching private property or making an arrest.  The government does not have legitimate power to collect an individual’s personal data, including medical records, gun ownership, or banking information.  There should be no national I.D. card.

Ron Paul opposes the existence of the Federal Reserve.  He believes the Federal Reserve Act should be repealed.  He opposes the existence of the CIA, believes that the United States should withdraw all support for Israel and sees no problem with constructing a mosque at Ground Zero.

Another thing about libertarianism is that it is a ‘big tent’ philosophy.  In addition to conservative Republicans, there is also room in the libertarian tent for anarchists, pedophiles, pimps, drug dealers, Satanists, gay activists, euthanasia activists, atheists . . . pretty much anybody. 

Except Christians.  Well, sort of.  I found this listing of qualifications for one to be a “Christian libertarian.”   And so, if you are a Christian who. . .

  • Believes social conservatives are often intolerant;
  • Believes the Christian Coalition often gives Christians a bad name;
  • Understands that, historically, theocracies have been some of the most brutal forms of government;
  • Believes that, “Thou shalt not have any other gods before me,” has no place hanging in a United States court of law;
  • Understands why John Adams wrote (in the Treaty of Libya under the Washington Administration and ratified by Congress) that the United States government is in no way based upon the Christian religion;
  • Understands there is no law that prohibits a child from praying in school;
  • Realizes that the push for sanctioned school prayer is actually about zealots using the force of government to indoctrinate other children in their religious principles;
  • Realizes that a national agenda at federal, state, and local levels to Christianize America is not going to lower taxes or reduce the size of government;
  • Practices the humble and sublime morality of the preacher of the Sermon on the Mount without government participation, regulation, and enforcement;
  • Understands that statism threatens traditional religious values;
  • Understands that responsibility is something that cannot be understood with government programs like welfare;
  • Understands that charity will eventually disappear because of the increased taxation burden;
  • … then you may be a Christian Libertarian.

Or, you might be something else.  Here is another list that I found that sounds a lot like “Christian” libertarianism.

  • I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
  • So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.
  • Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
  • I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Of course, the above list isn’t taken from Christian libertarianism website.  It is the Lord’s description of the last days’ Church of Laodicea, (Greek: “the Church of the People’s Rights”) as outlined in Revelation 3:15-18.

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)

It looks like I am quoting the same verse from Proverbs twice.  Look again.   The first quote is Proverbs 14:12.  The second quote is Proverbs 16:25.   They are identical in wording for a reason.  

When God really wants to us to ‘get’ something, He says it more than once.

This entry was posted in Briefings by Pete Garcia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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