The biggest issue in the 2016 Presidential race will be whether the forces of smaller government can unite behind a single candidate to run against the candidate of the forces of bigger government.
"The forces of smaller government" are:
- Conservative Christians, a.k.a. "the religious right."
- Believe abortion and homosexuality (etc.) must be eradicated.
- Secular libertarians -- I'll call them "anarcho-capitalists"
- Don't care about, or even endorse, abortion and homosexuality (etc.).
Christian conservatives say they want smaller government, but they want a government big enough to fight abortionists, homosexuals, and Muslims.
Secular libertarians want smaller government, but they don't seem to care if mothers kill their own children, two (or more?) people of the same sex get "married," and don't realize that their secular worldview is no match for Islam.
Can these two groups agree on a candidate to run against the Big Government candidate?
If they don't, then the Republican candidate will either displease conservative Christians, who will stay at home rather than vote for another Mitt Romney who does not oppose abortion and homosexuality, or the Republican candidate will please social conservatives, but neo-conservatives (who despise conservative Christian morality) will vote for a hawk like Hillary, and secular libertarians will vote for Gary Johnson. Hillary will be crowned.
As it stands right now, I don't think Christians and libertarians can agree, and the reason is that conservatives -- even "Christian" conservatives -- do not really support smaller government.
Socially conservative Christians must become libertarians on the social issues: abortion, homosexuality, drugs, divorce, you name the "hot-button" issue. Only by moving toward the "anarchist" side of the political spectrum can these sins be eradicated.
In every case, Christian conservatives look to the government for solutions, forgetting that the government caused the problems in the first place, and will only make the problems worse.
Abortion is an interesting example. Millions of dollars have been spent by conservative Christians seeking government solutions to abortion. There is good reason to believe that the decline in abortion over the last decade does not represent an upsurge of Christian morality, but a decline in the "stigma" attached to out-of-wedlock births (which are now nearly "fashionable"), allowing single mothers to get support for the children they might otherwise have killed for convenience. This in turn suggests that Christians -- instead of giving loving support to unwed mothers -- gave them "stigma," and directed massive resources (which they might have employed in supporting unwed mothers and giving a Christian upbringing to their illegitimate children) to political lobbyists, to get laws passed which would, I suppose, put in prison mothers who kill their kids, or maybe have them executed. After they kill their kid.
Why is it that the mothers of 55 million babies since 1973 found the greedy, bloodthirsty abortion industry more attractive than Christians opening their heart, homes and wallets to support those children?
Christian conservatives also tend to support the "war on terror," which is really a Big Government Program to suppress Islam -- unless the "war on terror" has nothing whatsoever to do with Islamic terrorists, but is solely about expanding U.S. corporate hegemony and propping up the Dollar as an international reserve currency. The size of our military and its anti-Christian character would have astounded America's Founders. Even if the architects of U.S. foreign policy are concerned about the spread of false religions, using government to aid in "The Great Commission" is unChristian. And destroying the true religion using the military is even worse. If the Biblical prophets spoke truth, we should expect God to do to us what we did to Iraq.judgment on Christians, who have failed to carry out the "works of mercy" which are supposed to characterize Christians. Hospitals were built by Christians with Christian money. Modern Christians wanted government Medicare subsidies for their aging parents. Christians have given liberals an excuse to step in and give glory to the State. Christians alone could eliminate all health and welfare problems -- not only for other Americans, but for all the poor of the world. Prof. Ronald J. Sider notes;
“If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education to all the poor of the earth. And we would still have an extra $60-70 billion left over for evangelism around the world.”
Book Review: The Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience - Acton Institute PowerBlog
But American Christians prefer a Frappuccino® and comfortable entertainment in their mega-churches. Let the government take care of the poor folks and the old folks.
Again, had Christians taken their responsibilities (and their financial power) seriously, advocates of "Obamacare" could never have gotten a foothold.
Further, the importance of providing education for all the poor of the earth should not be overlooked. Education is the foundation of Christian civilization. Global Christian education has staggering foreign policy implications. See the concept outlined on our Iraq page. Some Muslims understand this better than most Christians. See this extraordinary admission by Muslim leaders:
Sure, it's not easy to assume the financial responsibilities that come with obeying Christ when Caesar is working 24/7 to empty your pockets of everything you worked to earn. But the Bible says God sends Caesar and Pharaoh and Bush-Obama against the people that will not put God and His commandments first.
In every case, the institution we call "the State" or "civil government" eventually destroys Christian civilization.
- The State has destroyed education (which was originally created to make sure everyone could read the Bible),
- and healthcare,
- the Military is at war with the family (causing divorce and suicide)
- and tears the fabric of life at home and abroad
- 675,000 veterans of these wars have been granted disability
- More than 2 million American children have coped with a parent going to these wars
- As many as one half million of those children may have become clinically depressed
- The VA only began tracking war veteran suicides in 2008 even though rates now appear significantly higher than among comparable civilians
- Unemployment rates have been two percentage points higher among war veterans than civilians
- The military has increasingly off-loaded the burden of care for service members’ health onto their families, and mainly onto women
- Sex crimes by active duty soldiers have tripled since 2003
- The Army’s use of the determination that a soldier has a “pre-existing condition” has saved it over $12.5 billion
- Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are 75 percent more likely to die in car crashes than comparable civilians
- The United States destroyed the largest Christian community in the Arab world, overthrew a government that permitted open, public evangelism by Christians, and replaced it with an Islamic theocracy under Shariah law, and left millions of dollars in military hardware for ISIS.
- The State is at war against Christian virtues.
- Washington D.C. promotes and imposes abortion and homosexuality around the world.
- The government is a model of violence as a solution to personal and social problems.
- Christians err grievously by voting for the "lesser of two evils," which is each and every candidate who does not trumpet the truth that "power corrupts," and legalized violence is the cause of every problem and the solution to none.
From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
- -- President Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address
In no case is the government a better solution to social problems than Christians families, businesses, charities, and an army of voluntary associations, working outside the State, and sometimes against the State.
Christians need to realize that Radical libertarianism is the best way to advance socially conservative morality.
If you give the State an inch to do the work of the People of God, you give the State a mile to undercut it. Libertarians who do not oppose abortion and homosexuality -- but who actually oppose bigger government in practice -- do more to help Christians be "salt" and "light" and a "City upon a Hill," and therefore do more to end abortion and homosexuality than neo-conservative Republicans who solicit funds from the Christian Right with empty talk about "values." Christians should be libertarian with respect to political power; willing to endure accusations of trying to "impose a Theocracy" because we uphold a strong and clear moral standard. And above all, characterized by self-sacrificing love, which trusts in the Holy Spirit to change hearts.
Without a commitment to personal obedience and responsibility, it is all too likely that Christians in 2016 will once again vote for an Establishment Republican who promises government solutions to problems that can only be cured by Christians.
Please leave a comment if you can think of a social problem which is better solved (and was never caused in the first place) by the State, rather than by "the Church," that is, by Christians of every denomination who function as the Body of Christ.
We are not Christian anarchists because we do not want to obey God's Commandments. We are Christian anarchists because "archists" invented "the State" to evade God's Commandments.
The Conscience of an Anarchist [pdf] | Gary Chartier
Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life | Edward Peter Stringham | anarchist blueprint newly published by Oxford University Press.