On Being a Libertarian

The page has had a lot of “libertarian” talk lately. Jake made an excellent (and funny, I actually laughed out loud when I read it) point in one of the comments about the seeming hypocrisy of a “Catholic Libertarian.” It is a great point because on the face of it, the two seem so divergent as to no way ever get along. This is and isn’t true. Let me ‘splain.

On the libertarian side, we are looked at as somewhat anarchist. That’s not the case. What we believe is that if what you do does not interfere with my rights, I have no business telling you what you can and can not do. It is about regulation, government interference, manifest destiny. Being a Libertarian does not preclude you from holding any belief, just that you understand that belief works for you, and should not be forced on anyone else. For example, I can be a vegetarian, and loathe the idea of killing animals for food. This would be my personal belief. It still follows my libertarian belief as long as I don’t try to pass a law banning the eating of meat. I can try and influence people, convey, converse, cajole all I want. I can put forth my personal belief as much as I want. But if it becomes a law, then people are being forced to my belief, without their own choice. That is against our beliefs.

To take this example back to the point of Shane’s post – If I, the vegetarian, start a Vegan Club and see one of the members eating a cheeseburger, it is not hypocritical to call him out and state he is not a member of the club anymore. His actions are against the tenants of the club, he has proven himself unworthy of membership. As a private club, I can do this without betraying my libertarianism. The right of association, without restriction means I can invite who I want in the club, and bar who I want. It is one of the most important aspects of libertarianism. To call out John Kerry’s hypocrisy about Catholicism follows the grandest of traditions.

As for the catholics, we believe in the same thing. When you ask a priest, “Why does God let people hurt each other? Why are there evil people in the world?” He will answer because God gave us free will. We take our God given free will and apply it to everyone.

To get back to the above point ”…seem so divergent as to no way ever get along. This is and isn’t true.” It depends on what level you take your religion to. If you follow the true basic nature of the morality and rules of the church, you should in no way come in conflict with libertarians. If you take it much more literally, or feel that you need to “save” people from themselves, then you will have a problem. It is like stated above, you can try to influence as much as you want. Talk to people, read them the bible, tell them ‘bout Jesus. But when you try to pass a law that bans homosexuality because the bible says it is wrong, you have run afoul of everything I believe in.

And just for the record, I am what you would call a “Fallen Catholic.” I don’t go to church, don’t have faith in the bureaucracies of the church, and really don’t care what they have to say. I try to lead a good life not hurting others. I think that’s what Jesus was really after. And if I am ever in a discussion and someone starts quoting the bible at me, I stop listening and walk away. The bible is great, but it is so filled with contradictions, you can bend the words to make it support any argument. Love thy neighbor. If a man lays with another man as he would a woman, stone him. Hmmmmm. Oh yeah, one other thing, it was not handed down from God himself/herself, but was indeed written by man.

I’ll do what I want, you can do what you want. Just don’t interfere with my rights, and I will try not to interfere with yours.

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~ by kinshay on 2004-04-29.

No Responses Yet to “On Being a Libertarian”

  1. actually, the bible was inspired by the holy spirit.

    love the sinner, hate the sin.

    this is a fantastic post, shay. very well thought out and articulately scribed. kudos.

  2. Ed pointed out that church attendance my also be down because of the priests touching lil boys. He might have a point.

  3. Naked basketball RULES!!!!

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