July 8, 2010
“Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.” http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz_result?e=80&i=80_80.gif&p=80 (at the bottom of the page is a summary of 6 political views as expressed by lp.org and advocates for limited government)
“We declare the platform of the Constitution Party to be predicated on the principles of The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States and The Bill of Rights According to the original intent of the Founding Fathers, these founding documents are the foundation of our Liberty and the Supreme Law of the Land. The sole purpose of government, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, is to secure our unalienable rights given us by our Creator. When Government grows beyond this scope, it is usurpation, and liberty is compromised.” http://www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php
Warning: This post will be a departure from my typical foray into little life lessons of faith. Instead, I want to speak about politics and how they impact the daily lives of believers and non-believers alike.
I am not well-acquainted with the Libertarian political stance. In America, we are raised with 3 options when it comes to political views: Democratic (progressive), Republican (conservative), and abstaining from political involvement all together. For many, these options simply are not enough any longer. Though I am religious, and conservative, and traditional, I do not always agree with the legislation doled out by those claiming to be conservative Republicans. My desire for less social rule may seem contrary to my core beliefs as a Christian, but stem from a deep-rooted belief in the greatness of our country and its founding documents which do not favor the feds legislating how citizens conduct the most personal of matters.
In short, I am increasingly coming to favor those parties which tell the federal government to back off. The Libertarians and Constitutionalists are two emerging parties with views similar to mine in certain areas.
Here are some things you must know about me before we proceed. First, I am an avid, almost obsessive reader. I have been accused more than once in my life of being legalistic because of this. When I read something from a firm, fast document like the Constitution, Declaration or Bible–that is it. That’s what it says, that’s what it means, and it’s then my job to do my utmost to uphold the dictates discovered therein. (I fail remarkably well at the follow-through sometimes, but at least I can flip to a particular passage and say, ‘See this is what the standard is. This is where I went wrong.’)
Keeping all of that in mind I would like to present this radical view: Back off. All of you.
Here’s what I mean; I have encountered many religious/political advocates who push legislation through based on their personal morality. While I am not opposed to voting or advocating religiously motivated laws, I see a double-standard. Many times those same people will complain about the laws which restrict them from donating to campaigns or prevent their children from learning about creationism or saying the pledge in school.
By contrast, Libertarians on the fringe who are all for people’s right to smoke what they want, where they want and live how they want will NOT apply those same standards to the church communities across the nation. Here’s the thing kids: If you, as an individual citizen or private organization, have the right to get high or marry a same-sex partner, then I, as an individual citizen, have the right to disagree publically. I even have the right to attempt to talk you out of your beliefs and (gasp) evangelize and share my own. According to the founding documents, the only thing I don’t have a right to do is mandate federally how you behave. That is reserved for your state legislative process.
You see, people who scream, “Separation of Church and State!” don’t often follow through on the logic. If we are separate then let us be separate. Don’t dictate where churches can be planted. Don’t interfere when a bunch of believers weird you out by dressing as prescribed in the Bible. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%202:9,10;%201%20Peter%203:3, http://www.biblegateway.com/topical/Dress/Nave). I won’t force your child to pray before their meal at school as long as you don’t prevent my child from doing so.
Here is my proposed solution:
1.) Let’s all return to the Constitution.
-Daunting task I know. It means some people will actually have to READ the Constitution. But, it isn’t long. I promise. Heck, while they’re at it, they could throw in the Declaration and still have it done in a day!
2.) Let the states have their power back.
-If Vermont wants to allow gay marriage, adopt universal health care, employ illegals, and dance at every White House ball whatever.
-BUT if Texas wants to allow every citizen to openly holster a Smith & Wesson, ban gay marriage, shuttle all illegals out of their state, and allow a prayer and the pledge to start every school day then let them.
3.) Raise awareness for the hypocrisy.
-The next time you start to complain about your kid having to sit uncomfortably while another child prays remember that there is at least one child sitting uncomfortably because they cannot.
This is why federally legislating social matters does not work. For every one who avoids insult or injury there is one who is limited, insulted, and injured by the legislation. Leave it to the states; at least citizens are then given an option–Move.
If Cali’s increasing debt, lack of natural resources, and legislating themselves out of power isn’t working out for you, head east. Better yet, if you aren’t identifying with the
“extreme” ways of Texas, leave. I assure you that they won’t miss you.
I’ll make you a deal: Even though I disagree, I’ll stop complaining about your recreational, in-home drug use if you let me pray with other believers at my sons’ graduations.