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Why Christians Should Be Libertarians

For almost forty years the Christian coalition has been an important part of the vast right-wing conspiracy. Lately, they have come under attack for having stances on marriage, drug use, etc. that are claimed to be unpalatable to a large electorate. Such accusations are far too broad an assumption and Christians would be both politically foolish and untrue to their beliefs if they we're to succumb to such outside pressures. What Christians should do instead is realize that they really belong in the libertarian faction of the right wing.

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A move into the libertarian camp would create a policy shift that says that the ultimate decider in a matter such as marriage should not be the state, but the individual. This policy shift would allow Christians to focus their time and efforts on convincing individual voters why Christianity is right on such matters using theological motives. It creates a free marketplace of ideas and, if christian ideas are superior in both concept and delivery, then the people will follow. This allows for a palatable policy position that will lead to winning campaigns, but also allow the churches to maintain their moral beliefs.

Beyond the political expediency of such a shift, Christians should realize that they ought to always have been libertarians. By nature, religion should fear government who has abused religion over the centuries either though acquisition or oppression. More than the motive of fear, Christians should be libertarians out of a positive moral motive. In 2 Corinthians chapter nine Paul and Timothy tell the church that if you give a gift grudgingly it is not counted as moral. You don't get any brownie points with God for a gift you wish you had not given. Along those same lines, if we live morally as a society only because we fear the government or feel compelled by authority, we are not living morally. If you don't smoke marijuana because it's illegal but you wish you did, you are not moral. You might as well light up at that point. Morality doesn't just dictate that we do the right things, but that we do the right things for the right reasons and because we chose to do so. At the epicenter of morality is agency. If we do not have the agency to choose good and evil, we can never be moral. This is why the libertarian belief in legalized drugs, marriage, and all manner of living is not immoral, but the gateway to the most moral of all societies. That's not to say that legalizing lascivious and immoral lifestyles will instantly lead to a more moral society, (the opposite should be assumed) but it is to say that giving individuals agency to choose is a more moral platform. With that agency in place, Christians can then make the case for a moral society not on an aggregate government level, but in the intimate setting of the individual heart, which is where real morality should always begin and end.

We cannot cure the ills of poverty if we do not ourselves seek to help the poor. We can't treat others fairly if we don't treat our friends and neighbors that way ourselves. Society will be best served when individuals are put in charge of their lives and their surroundings. They must be exposed to the free marketplace of ideas and allowed to learn for themselves. That's a position advocated for by many christian theologians throughout the centuries and there's no reason the humanists should dominate it now. Christians can and ought to embrace the libertarian wing of the right wing movement and help get engaged in changing our society for the better as evangelists of a life well lived.

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Posted in Churches/Faith/Religion Post Date 04/19/2017


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