MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Voting for Evil – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 18, 2021

William Anderson has summed it up nicely: “Most conservative Christians abhor libertarianism because they see it as promoting a permissive lifestyle from abortion to taking drugs. Yet, what they fail to understand is that the restrictive, prohibition-oriented state that they are trying to create (and also preserve) is much more likely to take away all liberties than a state that gives people permission to live as they wish (within the boundaries of not doing harm to others and engaging in peaceful exchange).”

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/08/laurence-m-vance/voting-for-evil/

According to most conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist Christians, Democrats are evil, and voting for Democrats means voting for evil.

I certainly can’t disagree with this. After all, the Democratic Party is the party of socialism, collectivism, paternalism, statism, abortion on demand (at taxpayer expense if they can get away with it), LGBTQ “rights,” social justice, economic egalitarianism, feminism, environmentalism, climate change, green energy, universal healthcare, affirmative action, government regulations, higher taxes, welfare, organized labor, public education, anti-discrimination laws, defunding the police, and alternative lifestyles.

What these Christians fail to see—ignorantly or willingly—is that the Republican Party is not just the stupid party, it is likewise evil, and voting for Republicans means—in most cases—voting for evil. Don’t believe me? See the scores of articles I have written over the past seventeen years about the Republican Party. But enough about what some Christians see as God’s Own Party.

There is another way that these Christians say that people vote for evil. This is when elected officials or voters in a state vote against what can be described as moral values or family values.

Now, we are not talking about abortion, which is certainly a great evil. I am referring to what libertarians call victimless crimes.

Thus, if elected officials in the legislature or on a city council or county commission vote to legalize or decriminalize the medical or recreational use of marijuana, legalize or relax laws against prostitution, make it easier for strip clubs and massage parlors to open, or expand legal gambling, then they are said to be voting for evil instead of what they are actually doing—voting for more freedom. The same negative things are said of voters who approve ballot initiatives to let any of these things take place.

In other words, anyone who votes for the government to allow people to have the freedom to commit sin or vice, engage in immoral or unhealthy actions, practice a deviant lifestyle, engage in risky or financially ruinous activity, use addictive or mind-altering substances, or harm themselves—even though in doing so they are not violating the personal or property rights of others—is voting for evil.

The Christian’s ultimate rule of faith is the New Testament—not canon law, church tradition, church councils, papal decrees, the Church Fathers, the writings of the Saints, the Reformers, Reformation creeds and confessions, denominational pronouncements, or even the Old Testament, although “whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

There is no support in the New Testament for the idea that Christians should seek legislation that would criminalize victimless crimes—whether they are sins or not. Voting against such legislation is not voting for evil.

It is not the purpose of Christianity to change society as a whole outwardly; it is the purpose of Christianity to change men as individuals inwardly. The Christian is in the world but not of the world. He is to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11), not legislate against them. The Christian is to “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). Christians are to pray for those in authority that they, Christians, “may lead a quiet and peaceable life” (1 Timothy 2:2). The attitude of the Christian should be to mind his “own business” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) and not be “a busybody in other men’s matters” (1 Timothy 4:15).

Christians should be seeking to change hearts and minds, not look to the government to regulate behavior that doesn’t violate the personal or property rights of people. Christians are making a grave mistake by looking to the state to legislate morality. It is not the purpose of Christianity to use force or the threat of force to keep people from sinning.

William Anderson has summed it up nicely: “Most conservative Christians abhor libertarianism because they see it as promoting a permissive lifestyle from abortion to taking drugs. Yet, what they fail to understand is that the restrictive, prohibition-oriented state that they are trying to create (and also preserve) is much more likely to take away all liberties than a state that gives people permission to live as they wish (within the boundaries of not doing harm to others and engaging in peaceful exchange).”

Voting for men to have the freedom to do as they will (and suffer any negative consequences for doing so) as long as they don’t violate the personal or property rights of others is not voting for evil. It is voting to punish them for doing so that is voting for evil.

Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom; War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism; War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy; King James, His Bible, and Its Translators, and many other books. His newest books are Free Trade or Protectionism? and The Free Society.

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