Quotulatiousness

December 31, 2011

The Christian Post: No, you can’t be a Christian and a libertarian

Filed under: Liberty, Religion — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 11:27

The executive editor of The Christian Post explains why liberty is incompatible with the teachings of Christianity:

Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and executive editor of The Christian Post, said that “of course libertarians can be Christians — but so can racists.”

“If you are a Christian and a libertarian, you would have to basically ignore all of Romans 13 where God lays down a specific role that the government is divinely ordained to play which is to reward those who are right and punish those who are evil.”

“Libertarians are not being consistent in applying the Bible to their thought process,” Land contended The government not only has a right, he said, but is called upon by God to regulate societal morality.

“Slavery was outlawed by the government. Is that not a moral issue? There are laws against rape, murder, theft … all of these are moral issues that the government has and must regulate.”

The evangelical leader argues that libertarians compartmentalize their faith when their Christian faith must be first and foremost in every aspect of their life — even in politics and government.

Many Christian libertarians, for instance, argue that sin that is “victimless” — such as drug use — should not be made illegal because users knowingly chose to use the substance on their own accord, and by exercising their free will poorly, they will also have to suffer the consequences.

Conservative Christians, however, do not see any sin as “victimless” and argue that Christianity by its very nature affirms the idea of corporate solidarity. Therefore, every action, or lack of, has a ripple effect on society, which impacts the lives of others.

According to the Christian Right, libertarians put too much emphasis on individual liberties and not enough on the consequences those liberties could have on society.

2 Comments

  1. “If you are a Christian and a libertarian, you would have to basically ignore all of Romans 13 where God lays down a specific role that the government is divinely ordained to play which is to reward those who are right and punish those who are evil.”

    I don’t see _government_ in Romans 13 but ‘higher powers’ (KJV) or ‘governing authorities’ (NIV). Might be the mayor. Or governor. Or the guy in charge at the commune.

    A literal interpretation of Romans 13 would also lead one to see that any rebellion against any government is a big-time sin. Got a communist government in charge of your life? Suffer, buddy: God loves you, praise the Lord.

    But not too loud, the commissar might be listening.

    Comment by Brian Dunbar — December 31, 2011 @ 19:55

  2. But as a religion for keeping the unwashed from questioning the actions of their social betters, Christianity (as interpreted by Dr. Land) is a useful palliative. To think any other way makes you a bitter clinger, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Nicholas — December 31, 2011 @ 20:44

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