Friday, December 9, 2011
The Greatest Libertarian Ever
When one considers what it means to believe in liberty we are left with a pretty simple, but powerful, idea that people are born with the right to do anything peaceful. That is to say that as long as our actions do not violate the life, liberty or property rights of another, we are free, or should be free to pursue those acts that we believe will make us happy, prosperous, content, fulfilled, or whatever other word we choose to use.
When Republicans ask me why I am a Libertarian I tell them because Republicans only believe in economic liberty (Goldwater/Reagan/Ron Paul/Paul Ryan Republicans I should say...), but do not seem too thrilled with the idea of social liberty - the rights we have to do things to ourselves, or do things with other consenting adults that do not create negative externalities that are clear and measurable.
Democrats say, "Well, we believe in social liberty, so why not become a Democrat?" That is easy to answer. Democrats, by and large, do not believe in economic liberty. They are mistrustful of mankind's ability to pursue our self interest in a productive manner. They believe in taking from one to provide a living for another. They advocate rules and regulations that prevent people from entering into consensual contracts and on and on and on....
So, as a Libertarian I choose to advocate social and economic liberty - even when people use their liberty to do things of which I disapprove. That is the hard part - and it is why so few people are Libertarians. If I, for example, find it to be morally reprehensible for people to engage in homosexual relationships, I must - if I truly believe in freedom - never support any law restricting the non-violent, consensual acts of homosexuals. In essence, gay people have the same rights I have to marry and have lasting relationships without the tyranny of the majority trampling their rights.
That is why, if we seriously consider which person was the greatest advocate of Libertarian philosophy, we are left with only one true choice....
When you pour through the New Testament you will find multitudinous verses and parables where Jesus supports economic liberty. He never once said government should take away the earnings of one person to give to another. Rather, he clearly said that we have "free will" to give or not give to those in need.
He supported the idea of property, contracts, compensation based on the agreements between labor demanders and labor suppliers, and working for a living.
In the realm of social liberty we are told that "all things are permissible, but not all things are wise." We see in his teachings that people should "pull the plank out of your own eye before you pull a splinter out of a brother's eye" and that people who are without sin should feel free to stone those who do sin.
He never supported homosexuality, drug use or prostitution. He led people by his teachings to repent for our sins and stay away from sin. He warns us about what will happen if we use our free will to keep sinning but he never supports manmade laws to regulate the lives of sinners.
Christians should pray for people who engage in economic greed or moral depravity, but as long as greed and depravity does not involve a forced taking or some other violation of our rights, Christians cannot turn to government to make rich people give or make drug users put down the needle.
Thus, as Christmas approaches, I would like to invite all of you to consider the difference between forced will and free will - and consider what our world would be like if Jesus had never arrived to show us how to use our free will for good.