Christianity and Libertarianism, where freedom collides!
Christ invites followers, libertarians insist on their view of freedom. America is battling out this conflict between morality and amorality
by Mark Vogl
Friday, September 20, 2013
"It is when a people forget God, that tyrants forge their chains." Patrick Henry
Out of almost nowhere a small band of "thinkers" known as Libertarians have somehow risen within the Republican Party to be a major force. Ron Paul is seen as their most well-known modern orator. But Ron Paul did not even win his own Congressional District in the 2012 Presidential Primary contest. So his popularity and that of his ideology is questionable.
Yet, his inexperienced son, newly elected U.S. Senator Rand Paul is being pushed as a likely candidate for President in 2016. In a sense the Libertarians are a natural consequence of the liberal "diversity" movement which accompanied the neoconservatives’ globalism wave that struck the country as the Cold War ended. Libertarians claim that they support small, limited government. They claim that individual liberty is at the root of their movement. Yet, they do not outline how individual responsibility is to be implemented. For example, the Libertarians support legalization of drugs, but I have not heard their call for the elimination of Social Security Disability for Drug addicts! And which issue would they push first, legalization or program cuts?
On the social policy side, Libertarians are allies of the left. They say they oppose big government but endorse lifestyles that create a demand for programs that would support single parent families, and the results of an "anything goes life style." They anchor their philosophical neutrality on morality on a policy of a non-aggression principle. But they don't exactly explain how that principle justifies 55 million abortions ...killing the most innocent, and the most undefended. Not aggressive?
Libertarians claim that modern day Christians who want God invited to the governing table want a theocracy. Let's look at the definition of a theocracy:
1. literally, the rule of a state by God, or a god. 2. government by priests claiming to rule with divine authority.
Hummm, don't think I have heard one America say that they thought God would come down and rule our nation. (Although to be honest, if He would than things would instantly improve. And if we live in the last days He will.) And I have not heard one American call for some kind of church where priests take over Washington. So the claim of the Libertarians is the normal tactic of exaggeration, using a word that most people do not use in daily life, and don't really know what it means. So false and negative assumptions are made.
And when it comes to the role of Christianity in the forming and governing of the United States, the Libertarians again anchor on a false pylon. Many uneducated Libertarians assert separation of "Church and State" as original to the creation of the Constitution. The very inalienable rights provided by the Creator, the ones so dear to Libertarians, are not understood as a gift from God. Instead, there is a claim that the people asserted those rights independent of God. But history proves that assertion false. Patrick Henry's statement above is just one example of the thoughts of the Founders when it came the role of God in man's affairs.
I cannot speak for all Christians; in fact I probably can't speak for two Christians. But I can speak for myself.
When I write that I believe God should be invited to the governing table I have very specific meanings that have already been present in our government since its founding, and before.
First, the Bible, as the Word of God is the moral compass, defining right and wrong. Not all Christians see those rights and wrongs exactly the same. But the starting point is the same. And so in a representative republic where it is the will of the majority, restrained by the Constitution, that sets the direction of our society, Christianity should be the starting point. In America the Bible was that compass even before the nation's founding. And it still should be. Despite "diversity" and open borders, America is still a Christian nation when it comes to the people. A large super majority of Americans self-identify themselves as Christians.
Second, God should be acknowledged by elected officials. In times of crisis it happens without thought. Even President Obama in his most recent address to the nation on Syria called for God's blessings on each of us and the United States of America. I do admit to be taken aback a bit, given his own party's rejection of God three times at their national convention! But he did call on God, and I commend him.
Third, the religious beliefs of candidates and Supreme Court Justices are most definitely in the purview of the people. Whether you are an atheist, or a Roman Catholic, or Baptist, what and how you believe in God should shape the very foundations of your thinking. Now there are many politicians, especially in the northeast, who seem to be able to separate their faith from their politics. One has to question if they really believe in God when they can allow the slaughter of innocents? Is that what Jesus came for? Is that what salvation is about?
In one respect I could see Libertarians or others seeing God as a special interest. I could accept that. Treat God as you treat all other special interests! After all, most of what happens in Congress. and in Washington is because of special interests; not just their money, but their intellectual understanding of their area of expertise and their ability to cobble together political majorities. Well, should not God have that same degree of influence?
America is a natural for Christianity. It's founding was about new beginnings, about the release of human potential, about dreaming dreams and making them reality. God is in all those businesses. And in a nation where individual citizens can make such a difference, this is where God works. No one is calling for a theocracy, but this Christian is calling for recognition of the power of God to work through individuals to shape the course of history. People are free to choose Christianity, or deny it. That is essence of the teachings of Jesus. And freedom is supposed to be the heart of American exceptionalism.
Time for the Libertarians to accept the fact that the Bible Belt and Religious Right were here long before them and we are not going away. In the end, you Libertarians count your votes as decimals of point, while the Religious Right counts its votes in multiples of ten percent.
Let me close by saying there is room for both. The Libertarians have a very good take on foreign policy and on limiting U.S. involvement around the world. America is a nation, not an empire. Nor are we the leader of the world. Those days have passed. And the Libertarians have some good thoughts about money, about the financial crisis that faces our nation. And, Libertarians are normally self-iniitiated patriots who have given considerable thought to the issues that face us. Unlike most U.S. citizens, active Libertarians understand the role of the individual in the national dialogue.
There is room for a partnership here. But it is a three way partnership, Christians, LIbertarians and God.