06 October, 2005

Keep Yo' Laws Offa My Jesus

Glen Dean says it best. Fifteen years ago I thought all Libertarians just wanted to sit around and get high without running the risk of the Federal Government seizing their property. Ah. Times have changed. Now the Federal Government is seizing everyone's property if they think a personal home would be of better use as an Orange Julius outlet in the newest mini-mall. Over the last 15 years I've watched my formerly beloved Republican party slide headlong into the greedy trough of big government. And so I've become a Libertarian.

Aren't Libertarians anti-Christian? Not at all. Many of us are openly Christian Libertarians. In short, we (as I often say here) render unto Caeser what is Caeser's and render unto God what is God's. We strongly believe that the best legal refuge of the Church is in smaller government. (You can keep your government-funded Faith Based Initatives, George.)

We believe that the best way to help those in need is through the charity of individuals because too much gets lost in the bureaucracy. And after all, that's what Jesus asks us to do. If you have two coats and the other guy has none--give him one of your coats. That makes much more sense than "if you have two coats and the other guy has none, the government will forcibly take half of one of your coats. By the time it assembles a new coat from all the halves of coats it's taken, it will take approximately 9 coat halves to make one whole new coat for the needy guy. That way everyone gets a coat and the government can live off the choice pieces of fabric it carves from each forcible contribution."

So, yeah. Sorry, Ronald Reagan. I wouldn't have left the party if it hadn't already left me.

18 Comments:

At 12:26 PM, October 06, 2005, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Do you ever wonder if Joseph (Jesus' step-dad) still built crosses after the Crucifiction?

He's a bandit and a heartbreaker
Oh but Jesus was a crossmaker

 
At 1:55 PM, October 06, 2005, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Libertarianism makes a lot of sense to me, but I guess my worry about it all, is whether or not private charities would actually get the job done.

If the government dropped the food stamps program tomorrow, in theory the food banks could take up the slack, but have you ever seen the sort of food handed out by the food banks? She got the strangest stuff, some individual packs of cereal, a bag of candy (wtf?), a bag of potato chips, some cans of green beans, and some other odd stuff like that. At least, with food stamps, you could get healthy, whole foods that you know how to prepare. Of course, that's not what I generally see people buying when I've seen people use food stamps at the store. :/ I hate to judge, though.

On an unrelated note, I know libertarians are against big government, does that generally include stuff like a big military? Is there a Big Libertarian Manifesto I could read somewhere? ;)

 
At 2:04 PM, October 06, 2005, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

http://www.libertarianism.org/

It's the website for the book "Libertarianism: A Primer" by David Boaz, available at Amazon and other fine booksellers.

 
At 2:27 PM, October 06, 2005, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Thanks, Sarcastro. I went and checked out the website, it's given me a lot to think about. I'm going to see if my bro can get me that book. :)

 
At 3:48 PM, October 06, 2005, Blogger Patrick said...

tgapo,

I think it would be a very interesting experiment indeed... to see if man would support his fellow man without government intervention, and whether those who depend on the government would then be subjected to make realistic decisions.

(is that too unrealistic?)

 
At 4:01 PM, October 06, 2005, Blogger Lee said...

I guess, after the initial shock (3-6) years, most if not all of society's basic welfare needs would be taken care of by private citizens. The only need for government would be disaster relief.

And I remember working as a cashier in a gas station, having a young couple come in, both obviously not disabled, spend over $10 on Pringles, Hostess cakes, Mountain Dew and the like, and then use food stamps. Then they paid for ciggarettes with cash.

 
At 4:17 PM, October 06, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Is it too unrealistic? Maybe. There will always be people who have extraordinary needs that they can't meet on their own. Christ Himself said so (The poor you will always have with you...) That's probably why he beat "unto the least of these" into our heads.

The problem with the current system is that we've defined down "extraordinary circumstances" to cut long term checks with no expectations attached. It's not healthy. What do we do when our same Bible gives us not only "unto the least of these" but also 2 Thessalonians 3:10?

Yes, I know that is heavy prooftexting, but I do think there is some truth to it. No, not everyone can work all the time. Christ understands that, Paul understood it and the Church should understand as well.

But the Church has failed charity, because we've allowed Government to do our work for us. So, not only do we have to push government back out--we have to pull the Church back in.

That would be easier to do, by the way, if parishoners weren't so heavily taxed.

 
At 5:34 PM, October 06, 2005, Blogger Lexie said...

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At 6:26 PM, October 06, 2005, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

I think you are all right, that charity would step in to fill in, if the government gave up wefare in its entirety. The only problem I see, is it's much easier for the government to step in and give people some freedom of choice.

Like, with food stamps. Charities could be like food banks and hand out food to people, but it might be the wrong sorts of food- stuff they couldn't easily prepare, for example, or it could be a lot of crap like what my friend got from the food bank. So then maybe the charity decides to give gift cards for Kroger, or whatever. But then the abuser types go and take their gift cards and buy nothing but beer.

The government is able to step in and give people cards that are less-easily abused but still gives them some freedom of choice.

With the food stamp program, anyway, it seems like the best of both worlds. Of course, it's still abused, what I'd really like to see is programs before you can get the food stamps on nutrition and food prep/storage. Kind of like WIC, but more informative and you get more stuff than milk, eggs, and cheese.

Of course, that's adding MORE people to the government, than less, but I dunno, that's what makes me the pink-o leftist that I am. ;)

 
At 8:51 PM, October 06, 2005, Blogger Aunt B said...

Here's something I wonder, too, which is not just a wonder I have about some Libertarian utopia, but worry about right now:

I'm doing this thing that involves me being very aware of the finances of a lot of community organizations that depend on public support. After 9/11, the monetary support for those groups dwindled. Just when they were about back up to normal, Katrina hit.

Do we just accept that we lose good programming because people have a finite amount of money to give and will divert their charitable donations towards what appears to be the biggest need?

In case it's not obvious, I have no idea what the right solution for this is, even if there is a right solution. I'm honestly asking your opinion, because I'm kind of at a loss.

If we move much social service from the government to charities, how do we ensure that these charities stay consistantly funded?

 
At 8:52 PM, October 06, 2005, Blogger Aunt B said...

Sorry, obviously, those are two different questions: what do we do now and what would we do if we moved towards smaller government intervention.

 
At 10:19 PM, October 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My concern with Charities vs. Government is the Red Cross. The organization is a blessing, to be sure, but it's a behemouth of beaurocracy.

There are 181 individual national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. A charity that big can handle disasters, but it seems more or less the same as a government.

 
At 11:51 PM, October 06, 2005, Blogger Glen Dean said...

I agree that the GOP has left us, but I am not ready to become a "large L" libertarian just yet. I will stick to bein a "small L" libertarian. I agree with the guys at Q and O blog on this issue. Not ready to join the Libertarian Party.

 
At 9:15 AM, October 07, 2005, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

I think that because so much of the emphasis of libertarianism is on the individual, it makes it almost anathema for libertarians to join the Libertarian Party.

 
At 9:33 AM, October 07, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I would tend to agree with that.

 
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