column, “There Ought Not to Be a Law” reveals many of the shortcomings when
it comes to Libertarian orthodoxy. Stossel begins by
proposing a false dichotomy. He declares that he is a libertarian because he
sees “a false choice offered by the political left
and right: government control of the economy -- or government control of our
Denigrating both the right
and the left, Stossel declares, “The left thinks
government can lessen income inequality. The right thinks government can make
Americans more virtuous. I say we’re best off if neither side attempts to
advance its agenda via government.”
A common charge leveled
against conservatives is that, through our “social agenda” we are “legislating
morality,” or attempting to “make Americans more virtuous” as Stossel puts it. While it is true that conservatives are
“legislating morality,”—because every
law is rooted in some morality—no sound-thinking conservative believes that we
can legislate our fellow citizens into a virtuous lifestyle. That has never
been the aim of conservatism.
However, what is a part of conservatism is the fact
that religion is an indispensible pillar of liberty. Of course, as far as
religions go, in the United
States of America, the Christian religion
has by far been the most influential. It has been this way from our founding.
Touring the young United
States to discover why the representative democracy present in America was so
successful here while failing in so many other places, French social
philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville declared that, “the religious aspect of the
country was the first thing that struck my attention.”
Noting the direct
influence of religion upon politics in America, de Tocqueville concluded that
“In the United States the sovereign authority is religious…there is no country
in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence
over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its
utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most
powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth…The
Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in
their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the
For most modern
conservatives, it is still impossible to “conceive the one without the other.” Most
of today’s conservatives also understand well that the influence Christianity
has had in America
is by no means an accident. America’s
“Schoolmaster” Noah Webster bears this out in his 1832 History of the United States when he wrote that “our citizens
should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican
principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian
religion.” Webster added, “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is
the religion of Christ and His apostles…to this we owe our free Constitutions
In other words, the
liberty that libertarians love in America is implicitly linked to
Christianity. Certainly our Constitution would not exist without it. Having
legislation that reflects Christian morality is no detriment to liberty.
The true threat to liberty
is the godlessness that is pervasive in today’s liberalism, which has, of
course, taken over the Democratic Party. With its devotion to killing children
in the womb, removing prayer, the Commandments, and the Bible from the public
arena, and its support of sexual immorality and the redefinition of marriage, I
always knew that the Democratic Party was the party of the godless. The recent
Democratic National Convention just confirmed this.
Revealing the true nature
of modern liberalism, the DNC removed a reference to God in the party platform,
along with a reference to Jerusalem as the
capital of Israel.
After conservatives pointed this out to Americans, embarrassed Democrat party
leaders were forced to take action. On Wednesday of their convention, an
amendment was proposed to reinsert God and Jerusalem into the platform. The ensuing
voice vote was an even greater embarrassment.
Amidst boos, jeers, and
raised fists, Los Angeles Mayor and convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa had to take three voice votes before he weakly
and deceptively declared that the two-thirds majority necessary was achieved.
After his pronouncement, the boos grew even louder.
Such is the state of today’s Democratic Party.
It is little wonder that a
party so hostile to God and His Word has become an anathema to liberty. True
liberty only exists in a society where God is revered. Our founding documents
made this clear when they Declared, “We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit
Only a culture that
operates under the premise that they are to be free because they were created
to be free by a God whose wisdom guides good government can enjoy true liberty.
Libertarians would do well to remember this as they weigh the “social agenda”
of the right against the Big Government agenda of the left.
Copyright 2012, Trevor
At the Intersection of
Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason