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Your Religiosity Is Incompatible With Your Libertarianism

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Pro-Life Christian website LifeNews has published an opinion piece on the recent firing of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for comments denigrating homosexuality in an interview:

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/12/19/like-phil-robertson-its-time-for-christians-to-speak-up-against-sin/

Firstly and most importantly, in the author’s opinion Robertson absolutely has a right to free speech and should not have been terminated for his opinions, especially since they were expressed in a personal interview totally outside the production of the show. But in this case it was A&E’s decision, not the author’s and it is unknown what were the contents of Robertson’s contract with the network.

The subject of this post is the response to the incident. This article moves the frame of reference to a completely different context (homosexuality to abortion) and sounds self-serving. This article could have been all about free speech, an issue important and common to all human beings, but instead changes the frame of reference and brings out the Christian/Pro-Life flag to wave it high once again.

This is a problem for the liberty movement. Choosing sides in religious conflicts does not help unify different groups in an appreciation of human freedom; it helps perpetuate divides between them along the lines of scripture and dogma (both of which are open to vastly different interpretations and resulting conflict). With a proper understanding of the universal principle of non-aggression, one can leave behind the quagmire that is religious scripture and seek the real, natural, universal truth of the human condition. One becomes less inclined toward hateful speech about a non-violent practice like consensual homosexual relationships, and when one hears such speech one becomes less inclined to react by drawing battle lines and immediately entering intellectual conflict. Increasingly, thanks to technology, there is only one collective on the planet: the Human collective.

Put succinctly, it is disingenuous or even hypocritical when Libertarians/Voluntaryists practice collectivism in the form of organized religion. We don’t get a free society by continuing to take such universal issues of human freedom (of speech, of association, of sexuality) and making them into tribal conflicts. This dynamic has even been harnessed by governments and religious institutions throughout history to justify all manner of atrocity in the name of God or Yahweh or Allah or whatever you call the divine eternal. There are few things less productive for the liberty movement today. If one waves the flag of the either the state or of one’s particular God, one makes the same mistake. We should build bridges between different traditions, not draw battle lines.

Libertarians and Voluntaryists should be less like TV preachers and more like Rush’s Tom Sawyer:

No, his mind is not for rent
To any God or government.
Always hopeful, yet discontent,
He knows changes arent permanent,
But change is.

It Is Too Late For Partisanship

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It’s 2013 and we’re still having partisan arguments. We need to grow up. There is evil on both “ends” of our so-called political “spectrum”. Instead of sharing Facebook links about how corrupt the GOP is or how wrong the Democrats are, we should determine what is really truly a free human being and use this as our ideal toward which to strive.

Liberals get on their high horse of compassion and emotional reaction to events, pretending to be the champions of the weak and indigent- but they don’t realize that they propose an ineffective means of taxation and redistribution which in the end does not empower these communities, but instead ensures their dependence to the state. There is a giant blind spot in liberal compassion called “debt”.

Conservatives seem to be very sure of what is right, and determined to save people from themselves (no abortion, no drugs, no foreign government who won’t do what the US says, etc.). They forget that not everyone has the same idea of what is right or good or valuable as they do, and that we are all independent, unique human beings with our own lifestyles. We should do whatever we like as long as it does not infringe upon the well-being of others. There is a giant blind spot in conservative morality called “interventionism” (on a personal level all the way to national).

But there is a growing movement of those who realize that the American political spectrum is not linear, with a left and right end. It is now more like a circle, in which the left and right have curved around to meet. They are now hardly distinguishable:

  • Both Reps and Dems want to tax you to pay for centrally-planned meddling, they just disagree on the details
  • Both Reps and Dems seem to be okay with endless foreign deployments and military intervention abroad, they just disagree on the details.
  • Both Reps and Dems want legislation to protect corporate monopolies and eliminate true competition from the market, they just disagree on the details.
  • Both Reps and Dems take huge campaign contributions from corporations that do unacceptable things every day, and use their office to protect the corps from recourse for this behavior- they just take them from different corporations (and even that is changing).

The only way the dialog in America can move forward is if we all give up clinging to our long-help political dogmas and biases, honestly admit the faults of all aspects of our government, grow up and take real ownership of our own thoughts and ideas rather than parroting a party line or political buzzword. It is a meek man who defines himself only as part of a greater collective. The political parties would like nothing more that for the country to remain dogmatically divided, and working toward a goal of “compromise”, for this compromise almost always sees you becoming less free!

We must change the whole paradigm, give up the labels, and discuss how we can prevent and mitigate societal ills without resorting to force or violence of any scale, be it imprisonment or martial law. We must have an ideal which respects each and every human being and their individual, unique “pursuit of happiness” (a phrase which was considered important enough to enshrine in the Declaration of Independence).