Is Libertarianism Compatible With Christianity?



A friend sent me a link to a newspaper column celebrating the supposed ascendance of libertarianism among the hoi polloi.

“It is clear,” the author wrote, “that there are certain areas where an increasing portion of Americans are adapting more libertarian views and simply want the government to leave them alone and allow them to freely live their lives.”

He cited as examples same-sex marriage and drug legalization.

“People have generally come to the conclusion,” he asserted, “that they don’t really care to whom one is attracted or what consenting adults do behind closed doors.”

He also predicted that “the next libertarian wave to wash across the national consciousness will be drug legalization.”

Where “the prohibitionist” errs, he asserted, is in “the failure to recognize that since one owns the right to his own life, his body is as much his property, if not more so, than the clothes he wears or the change in his pocket, and he is free to utilize it as he sees fit.”

Well, I do no dispute that support has increased in recent years for both homosexual marriage and decriminalization of drug use. The polls suggests as much.

But that doesn’t make it right.

For the Word of God declares: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”

Indeed, there is a libertarian argument to be made for seemingly every evil under the sun.

Take pedophilia: The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) group thinks there nothing wrong with a grown man being sexual attracted to a pre-pubescent boy.

In fact, the main goal of the pedophile rights group, which was headed for years by libertarian Joe Powers, is to “repeal age of consent laws that make it a crime for adults to have sex with minors.”

We see a similar move to “normalize” polygamy; to confer upon such multi-spouse unions the same right to marry as homosexual couples. The movement was given a huge boost last year by a federal district court judge in Utah who ruled that the state’s law banning polygamous households violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The legal challenge was brought by the polygamous “family” featured on the TLC reality show “Sister Wives.” Parents magazine, which should not be mistaken as pro-family, finds the show “very redeeming.” Perhaps the best part of the show, according to Parents, is “its subtle Libertarian message.”

Not even incest is out of bounds for libertarians. Just last year, in fact, the German Ethics Council, a government body, recommended that the country’s laws banning incest between adult brothers and sisters should be abolished.

“The fundamental right of adult siblings to sexual self-determination,” trumps “the abstract idea of protection of the family,” the council declared. That line of reasoning expressed “a libertarian ideal of sexual autonomy,” noted The Week magazine.

The same kind of unGodly reasoning informs prevailing libertarian views on such issues as abortion, euthanasia, drugs and prostitution – that our bodies are our property and we can do with them what we will.

Indeed, Murray Rothbard, who according to the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought played a leading intellectual role in the development of modern libertarianism, said that if a mother-to-be decides she doesn’t want the human life growing in her womb, “then the fetus becomes a parasitic ‘invader’ of her person, and the mother has the perfect right to expel this invader from her domain.”

Jack Kevorkian, the proponent of physician-assisted suicide who sent more than 100 souls to an early grave, never pronounced himself a “libertarian,” but he certainly was embraced by the libertarian community.

That included Mary J. Ruwart, a leading candidate for the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential nomination, who actually contacted Kevorkian in 1993 to assist her sister Martie to take her life. “Martie was a person for whom Dr. Kevorkian really was the only option,” said sister Mary.

The libertarian Cato Institute is one of the foremost advocates of drug legalization, not just for marijuana, but any every and every drug.

Indeed, in 1999 testimony to Congress, Cato’s David Boaz argued that “(t)he long federal experiment in prohibition of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs has given us unprecedented crime and corruption combined with a manifest failure to stop the use of drugs or reduce their availability to crime.”

But libertarian Boaz and other drug-legalization advocates don’t get it. “Drugs like marijuana and cocaine are not dangerous because they are illegal,” as Joe Califano, the one time chairman of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, explained. “They are illegal because they are dangerous.”

That is borne out by data from the Centers for Disease Control, which indicates that deaths from drug overdoses have risen steadily over the past two decades. Among people 25 to 64 years old, drug overdoses actually cause more deaths than motor vehicle crashes.

The libertarian case for legal prostitution also is morally bankrupt. It is based on the notion that sex for money is a “victimless crime;” that a woman should be free to sell her body without government meddling.

Never mind a study from the Netherlands, where prostitution is legal, which reported that 60 percent of women in legal prostitution had been physically assaulted and 40 percent had been coerced into legal prostitution.

Kill our unborn babies. Take our own lives. Enslave ourselves to drugs. Sell and buy sex. All that is okay under tenets of libertarianism.

But the Word of God says different.

“Do you not know,” the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christian faithful in Corinth, “that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

Indeed, we were all, everyone, bought at a price. And, therefore, we are to glorify God in body and spirit.

This entry was published on March 22, 2015 at 7:44 AM. It’s filed under LIBERTARIANISM and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Is Libertarianism Compatible With Christianity?

  1. Russell Haskett on said:

    As a libertarian, I agree with you. These extreme points of views are not compatible with Christianity, however this is not libertarianism. Libertarianism is about not forcing things on other people. Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Give to God what is God’s. Morality, only in the extreme cases of murder, rape, etc…., can not be legislated.

  2. Libertarianism is about the proper use of force in a society. It does not make judgement calls on what is moral and what isn’t. Advocating for drug legalization does not mean that libertarians believe drug use is moral. It means that drug legalization is a colossal failure and as we learned from alcohol prohibition does more harm than good (your example of drug overdoses actually proves the point. People overdose on drugs because when drugs are illegal they become more potent, people don’t know what’s in them and sellers have no liability. Not to mention that drug users typically hide their use and don’t seek out help because it’s a criminal instead of a social issue). The same arguments can be made for just about every example you’ve provided with the exception of abortion and even then there are different views. While you are correct that Rothbard was pro-abortion, Ron Paul, along with Tom Woods, Lew Rockwell and many, many other prominent figures in libertarian circles are staunchly anti-abortion.

    The bottom line is that Libertarianism is absolutely compatible with Christianity. Christian libertarians can absolutely believe that drug use, prostitution, euthanasia, etc are amoral but at the same time believe that individuals who do those things shouldn’t be thrown in jail and have their life taken away by the gov’t.

    The real question that should be asked is “Should Christians believe that everything that is amoral be illegal”?

  3. pastorjackwilson on said:

    One might take the position that God gave us free will so we can make our own decisions however God gave us free will to choose the right way. There is a penalty for not following his ways. Sometimes it is physical as in the case of drugs and sex and immorality. Sometimes it is Spiritual as we move away from God we realize a disconnect from Him. All our bad choices are punishable by God. Additionally, God uses civilized society to punish the evil doer. Those in power has been appointed by Him to rule and to make laws according to His laws. I don’t believe we can belong to any party that embraces evil so I could not be a liberal or a Democrat for many of the same reasons posted.Additionally, Republican Conservatives are changing for the worse each year. Perhaps you might consider me of the Christian party and leave it as that.

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