10/06/2005

Christians Should Be Libertarians

A few months ago, Channel 2 hosted a blogger meetup and I got the opportunity to meet several local bloggers in person. One of the people that I got to meet that day was the Pink Kitty. Not surprisingly, her and I got into a political discussion. When I told her that I considered myself to be a conservative, she told me that she considered herself to be a Christian Libertarian. It was a term that I had never heard before, but one that I would later use to describe myself.

For many different reasons, the so-called Christian Right does not lean toward libetarianism. I realize that conservatives and libertarians agree most of the time, but today's conservative movement, particularly the neo-conservatives, seem to have embraced big government. True conservatives (aka libertarians) though, despise big government because they realize that a large central government is a threat to individual freedom. We are also aware of the power of the federal courts.

Take education, for example. At one time, all of the schools in this country were church based. Then government began to run the school systems and guess what happened next? Government, by way of the federal court system began to exert its power over the curriculum and the subject matter taught. So by allowing government to expand and take over the schools, Christian Americans lost their freedom to decide what their children were being taught. Sure, there are still private schools. But how can a lower middle class family, who happens to be Christian, afford to send their children to a private school? The answer is that they can't. So basically, they have no choice but to send their children to government schools where they are indoctrinated into beliefs and values that they may not agree with.

That brings me to the points that I made back on May 17, in regards to the President's Faith Based Intitiative. In that post I pointed out how government uses the system of taxing, spending, and wealth redistribution to manipulate the behavior of it's citizens. Government uses money to control us and our behaviors. Uncle Sam gives tax cuts to encourage certain behaviors that he wants to encourage and then disperses or withholds federal money (our money) for that same purpose. Knowing this, why would Christians ever want a faith based group, or a church to become dependent on money from the federal government? Think about this scenario, the local church takes government money for its drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. This church is a fundamentalist congregation that believes that women should not preach and that homosexuality is sin. Suddenly a woman or a homosexual, who feels that that the church is discriminating against them, brings suit in a federal court. This person claims, perhaps rightly so, that since the church accepts government money, they should be forced to ordain women and homosexuals to preach. The judge rules in favor of this individual and since the church has become so dependent on federal money to operate this very necessary and helpful program, they abide by the court order and change their rules, thus violating their conscience.

This kind of thing almost happened yesterday. Brittney at Nashville Is Talking, linked to an article about a case brought against the Salvation Army, an organization that I am quite fond of. In that case, someone had brought suit against the hiring practices of the Salvation Army. They claimed that since the Salvation Army received federal money, they should not be allowed to discriminate by not hiring people who have different religious beliefs. That's right, this person wanted the government to make the Salvation Army alter their beliefs and force them to ordain and hire people with different religious ideas. You see, this is what happens when faith based groups take federal money. The Salvation Army won this case, but they may not be so fortunate next time.

Most people do not realize why the framers sought to separate government from religion. It wasn't because they feared that religion would harm government, as most liberals seem to think. The founders actually wanted to protect religion from government. Government is not the friend of religion.

Jesus never spoke about government, but some people on both sides like to claim that the teachings of Jesus validate their ideas. People on the left use the name of Jesus to push big government welfare programs, while people on the right use His name to deprive individuals of certain liberties. Who is right? The answer is neither, in my opinion. Of course, I do not claim to know what Jesus would say, but I do know that Christianity is about the individual (stress the word individual) becoming a better person and helping others. It is not about government. Jesus never stood in front of the Romans and demanded that they help the poor and punish people for sin. Also, Christianity is the religion of free will. Jesus tells us what we should do and then he says "Follow Me". He never said "Follow Me or I will have the Romans lock you up." We should stop prosecuting people for victimless crimes and let people make their own decisions about what is right or wrong.

As the title states, I firmly believe that Christians would be better served to steer clear of big government and become libertarians. That is the only way that churches will ever stay safe from government control and it is the surest way for them to maintain religious freedom.

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