Monday, August 29, 2016


 I renounced my Republicanism when Bush got us in the Iraq war, but I couldn't transfer my allegiance to the Libertarian party.

At the base of all Libertarian thought is the nominalist conviction that the only realities are particulars, or individuals. Libertarianism thus therefore replaces "community" with "collection," and cannot offer me a satisfying understanding of participation and the common good. Libertarians value autonomy and freedom as ultimate goods;

As Nathan Greeley explains in more detail,

For people who have accepted that autonomy is an unqualified good and a great truth, this view is difficult to conceive, much less tolerate, for it seems to bespeak sinister motives and a suspect character. This is because from the perspective of the true believer in autonomy, such people can only be regarded as being interested in controlling and limiting the rightful autonomy of others. And this is not just unfortunate or unhelpful in their eyes; rather, it is a perspective that constitutes a real threat to what is true and good. Christians, from this point of view, are either duped or dupers; in either case, they can hardly be regarded as a force for truth and goodness in the world.

So a rather stark conflict ensues. Advocates for autonomy and advocates for Jesus as Lord cannot ever truly make peace. They can, and ideally should, tolerate other views and even love each other as human beings, but any kind of genuine rapprochement between their perspectives is out of the question. A disconnect and incommensurability seems inevitable and intractable. Many people in our society are unaware of how deep this cleft goes, however, and many people who regard themselves as Christians give more credence to what is peddled under the banner of autonomy than they realize. As I said earlier, it promulgation is ubiquitous, perpetually inundating us in countless ways. For those who have come to revere autonomy, it really becomes a gospel, a source of good news, and such people will naturally want to share it with others, even if they are not fully aware of what they are doing. Sometimes, simply by telling people that they “need to be true to themselves,” for example, or by iterating similar statements which have taken on the character of axiomatic platitudes in our culture, is to proselytize the gospel of autonomy. The idea, though often not made explicit, is that each individual is the master of their fate, the captain of their soul, and this is an important reason why some ethicists still insist that any form of authoritative theistic ethic violates autonomy.>

As a Christian, I hold that while freedom is a good, it is not THE good: God is the greatest good, and the source and end of all goods.

Paul writes, in Phil. 2:2-4, 19-21,
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others….19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ."
This is why, as a Christian, I cannot be a Libertarian.

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