Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to be a Libertarian and a Christian

Browsing the Internet a few days ago, I found a blog called I found that odd for a brief amount of time. I had always thought that there was at least some tension between the two things: after all, God set down very strict rules of behavior, while Libertarians tend to think as long as no one is harmed, all is fair. The prevailing opinions within the Church are that abortion and homosexuality are wrong; Libertarians disagree.

But then, a strange thought came to me. Prayer seems a beautifully non-interventionist way to strive for results. Who is truly harmed by a prayer that the rebels will succeed in Libya, or that the money an underprivileged family needs to buy food comes their way? No one. This is not any human government deciding it knows better than its citizens what they need and what must be done on their behalf. This is a petition to the One who truly does know better.

What, then, of the rules set down? Well, those who include the New Testament believe that large portions of that Mosaic law have since been rescinded, replaced by commandments to love your God and your neighbor, sentiments that do seem to jibe well with the belief that anything goes as long as picked pockets and broken legs do not result. In fact, one of my concerns with Libertarians -- the right to be selfish -- is assuaged by folding in those two commandments. As for abortion, that is more at the philosophical level: a question of the rights a fetus has. Those who say a fetus is a human being easily condemn abortion under the commandment saying thou shalt not kill. If a fetus has no such rights and is not a human being, then the commandment does not apply. Plenty of Libertarians are anti-abortion, because they fall on the former side, not the latter. And as for homosexuality, it may be as simple as God loves all, no matter. Maybe it's something like being an alcoholic or having a roving eye, just something to be controlled. Or maybe, it's a portion of the Law that was rolled back as well, and all the condemnations you find in the Word are cultural, not universal.

Just my thoughts. Whether they have merit, I leave to you.

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