“Compulsive Charity”: Christianity and Libertarianism Agree it’s an Oxymoron


Here’s the next in a series about why Christians who are both American patriots and students of the Scripture should look into the principles of libertarian political theory. You may have heard a Libertarian activist advocating anything from legalized prostitution and crack, to gay marriage, to military disarmament. Don’t be fooled. The principles that form the foundation of libertarianism also strongly influenced our founding documents.

See previous installments, by going here. The original essay from which these posts are taken, Seven Reasons Why Christian Patriots Should Give Libertarianism a 2nd Look,  is available from Amazon’s Kindle store here.

Reason #4: Libertarianism understands the difference between charity and coerced “aid.”

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Liberals and Democrats can cite Jesus all they want and no one seems to care. Let a conservative reference Him, and it’s Katie-bar-the-door. Funny how that works. Bill Maher has suggested (in one of his rarer, lucid moments) that the reason for this is because everybody knows the lefties who reference the Bible don’t really believe what they’re saying. In the last few years, President Obama has used Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (found in Matthew chapters 5 through 7) to bolster the righteousness of every policy action of his from socializing health care to endorsing gay marriage and seeking to shake down the rich.

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On the other hand every Bible-educated Christian should rejoice to hear this: there is a political theory out there that agrees completely that when the government forces you to “help” someone, that’s not what Jesus was advocating when He told us to love each other, and give to the poor.

If I come to your door and ask for $20 in order to help a friend of mine who finds himself in dire straits, that’s one thing. After talking with me about it, you are free to say yes or no to my plea for help.

If  I do the same thing, only I demand your $20 at gunpoint, I think we’d all agree that’s a very different matter.

If I do the same thing, but this time I bring 10 armed goons with me, does that make it any better? What if it’s 20 armed goons? 50? 100?

How many armed people would have to agree with me and join me to take your money, before it would become a good thing, instead of a bad thing.

Libertarianism agrees with you: The number wouldn’t matter. It would never be right.

And when you did hand over your money in that situation, it would merely be taunting you to thank you for your “charity.” And when you complained about it later, how arrogant it would be to scold you for your “greed.”

But neither the GOP nor the Democrats in Congress feel any compunction at all about passing bills that will send the government to you, with its implied threat of force, and demand your money to support whatever “good cause” they may be alternately advocating. The only difference might be the cause, as each party has its favorites. But they both agree that your money is really theirs. All they have to do is take it. Liberals in both parties are champions of charity, as long as they’re giving somebody else’s money.

(Read the original essay.)

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