Saturday, April 9, 2016
None of the libertarians I know go to church. . .
The preamble of the Libertarian Party begins: As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others. I fear it sounds too much like everyone doing what is right in their own eyes and this, according to Scripture, is not noble morality by the abyss of sin. The complaint I have is thoroughly theological. Individual sovereignty is a nice sounding idea but the results of this have left us mired in sin, captive to death, competing with the creation we were formed to exercise dominion over, and fighting over exactly where the line is drawn between freedom and responsibility to one another.
If I could find some hope that statistically libertarians were church going folk, I might be more encouraged. In fact, I find it more typically the opposite. None of the libertarians I know go to church. I certainly do not want to live under an omnipotent state but I fear the path of libertarians is one that ultimately minimizes both church affiliation and Christian piety. The cross is the supreme expression of the opposite of libertarian ideals -- the sacrifice of rights and self for the sake of those completely unworthy of Him and of His suffering. It seems that most of the libertarians I know, if they are religious at all, are Unitarians -- not Lutheran.
Libertarians insist upon the right of the individual over all other rights and such would inevitably lead to a pro-abortion society in which the individual is free to decide and to follow through with whatever is determined to be good, right, or salutary for his or her own life. Libertarians insist upon the right of privacy and in the protected legality of whatever consenting adults decide to do. Libertarians insist that definitions of family be left to the individuals who choose to make the family. Again, personal liberty is the sole sacred tenet of libertarian thought and the only caveat is where that personal liberty abridges the right of another perfectly sovereign and free individual.
Ultimately, my complaint is the libertarians are naive. If there were no speed limit we would of course all drive at a safe speed. If there were no drug laws, we would of course all consume drugs responsibly (just the way we have alcohol). If there were no abridgment of our individual freedom and liberty, we would of course use it to be as moral and noble and virtuous as possible. Like that has ever happened. No, I am not willing to make government my nanny but neither am I willing to cast off all constraints. I guess as a Lutheran I am left with the also unsatisfying idea of the two kingdoms.
For a pretty good Lutheran view of things, you might want to read this....