Sunday, September 25, 2011

Belief, Liberty, and Libertarianism

I believe in liberty. I also believe in natural rights. It is wrong to harm others in order to improve one’s situation in this life.

I have deep reservations about helping people take control of their own lives. Whether every human being is willing to admit it or not, we will end up serving someone. We cannot live radically on our own. Just as I cannot make a pencil, I cannot function without the spontaneous mechanisms of the community. However, it is important to recognize that the community as an organic force does not exist, either.

I cannot take control of my life. It does not belong to me. I do that which I do not want to do, as Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, and I do not do those things that I want to do. There is a fundamental naivete among many political thinkers that they can do the right thing, or that being permitted to do the wrong thing is acceptable.

Nevertheless, Jesus, you are the master persuader. You do not force anyone to come to You. Every person has the choice to refuse your grace. By accepting your grace, however, we have to admit that we are not free on our own, that each one of us is sold into slavery. We want to define our own experience, order our own circumstance, yet those hopes cannot be realized.

We must permit people to sin. Love means letting people hurt themselves. We can no longer play mini-Providences for others. The gravest mistake, no SIN, of the Progressives is that human beings are perfectible, that enough coercion in the name of “Education” will renovate the soul of each person. Government has a role to play in our lives: to ensure that the life, liberty, and property of each person is protected from encroachments by another.

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