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Old 12-22-2005, 12:02 PM
coffeecrazy1 coffeecrazy1 is offline
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Default Is libertarianism at odds with Christianity?

I am a libertarian. I am also a Christian. I read the following in the Dallas Morning News Letters today:

I am outraged at the hypocrisy of the Christian right. Christmas is about doing good things for others and remembering and caring for those in our society who have less. Who did Christ first witness to in his mission on earth? The rich? No. It was the poor, the outcasts and unwanted in society.

Is the Christian right concerned about those people in our society? Obviously not, according to their stand on affordable health care for all Americans, education and Social Security. This is what Christ would have been preaching about if he came today, not whether retailers and Christmas cards say "Happy holidays."

Have we embraced and cared for those in our society who can't speak for themselves? Health care, education, affordable housing and decent wages these are the moral, social issues of our time that will show Christ that we have kept his name in Christmas.


Now...I find myself at a bit of a juxtaposition. I don't agree with the leftist bent of the letter. I think it's pretty much boiler-plate liberaltalk. But, it made me wonder: would Christ, if He were walking around today, be a liberal? Would He really support social programs, caring for the poor, national healthcare, etc.?

To take it a step further, is my campaigning against these things at odds with my faith? I am not a member of the Christian right by any means, so I don't have the "balancing" notions of protecting morality and decency(like the Parents Television Council crowd, or Jerry Falwell). So, am I acting against my creed in standing up for reduced aid to the poor, privatization of healthcare, and the abolition of welfare and Social Security?

I apologize if this is shading into the philosophy forum area, but I trust you guys for even-keeled responses more than those folks... [img]/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 12-22-2005, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Is libertarianism at odds with Christianity?

[ QUOTE ]
But, it made me wonder: would Christ, if He were walking around today, be a liberal? Would He really support social programs, caring for the poor, national healthcare, etc.?

[/ QUOTE ]

I think He would.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2005, 12:15 PM
Kurn, son of Mogh Kurn, son of Mogh is offline
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Default Re: Is libertarianism at odds with Christianity?

would Christ, if He were walking around today, be a liberal? Would He really support social programs, caring for the poor, national healthcare, etc.?


As a non-religious libertarian who has studied religion, while its easy for me to make a flip remark equating Jesus' message as socialism, I don't necessarily think that the concept of "Christian Charity" presupposes government involvement.

I think you can be in favor of helping the less fortunate and still be opposed to the government forcing everyone to do so.

I see no contradiction.
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  #4  
Old 12-22-2005, 12:43 PM
DVaut1 DVaut1 is offline
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Default Re: Is libertarianism at odds with Christianity?

[ QUOTE ]
I am a libertarian. I am also a Christian. I read the following in the Dallas Morning News Letters today:

I am outraged at the hypocrisy of the Christian right. Christmas is about doing good things for others and remembering and caring for those in our society who have less. Who did Christ first witness to in his mission on earth? The rich? No. It was the poor, the outcasts and unwanted in society.

Is the Christian right concerned about those people in our society? Obviously not, according to their stand on affordable health care for all Americans, education and Social Security. This is what Christ would have been preaching about if he came today, not whether retailers and Christmas cards say "Happy holidays."

Have we embraced and cared for those in our society who can't speak for themselves? Health care, education, affordable housing and decent wages these are the moral, social issues of our time that will show Christ that we have kept his name in Christmas.


Now...I find myself at a bit of a juxtaposition. I don't agree with the leftist bent of the letter. I think it's pretty much boiler-plate liberaltalk. But, it made me wonder: would Christ, if He were walking around today, be a liberal? Would He really support social programs, caring for the poor, national healthcare, etc.?

To take it a step further, is my campaigning against these things at odds with my faith? I am not a member of the Christian right by any means, so I don't have the "balancing" notions of protecting morality and decency(like the Parents Television Council crowd, or Jerry Falwell). So, am I acting against my creed in standing up for reduced aid to the poor, privatization of healthcare, and the abolition of welfare and Social Security?

I apologize if this is shading into the philosophy forum area, but I trust you guys for even-keeled responses more than those folks... [img]/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]

An article that may help explain why organized religion competes with the welfare state

I'll attempt to summarize as succinctly as possible:

1) economic insecurity/life unpredictability = robust and widespread appeal of organized/traditional religion
2) the welfare state attempts to curb economic insecurity/life unpredictability that is, the welfare state (inadvertently and indirectly) secularizes modern society
3) ergo, the welfare state weakens the influence of religious institutions -- in some way placing organized religion in direct competition with the modern welfare state...and hence why organized religions like Christianity and polticial philosophies like libertarianism share similar ends and interests, and are therefore not incongruent.

However, as the article also mentions: rigid, predictable rules are an almost universal characteristic of all organized religions, which may explain why there is some inherent conflict between libertarians and religions like Christianity -- a conflict you seem to have an intuitive sense of.

In other words, as you note: there are some ways in which libertarianism (that is, more correctly, an anti-welfare state position) is entirely consistent with the interests of Christianity; yet in other ways, libertarianism lies in conflict with the unyielding ethical paradigms of most organized and traditional religions.

I'm sure I wasn't particularly clear here, but it's the best I could do while 4-tabling/trying to buy last-minute Christmas gifts online; but I hope I was able to capture why you might feel conflicted about being both a libertarian and a Christian, as there seems to be some amount of empirical evidence that validates the notion that the modern welfare state (seemingly anathama to libertarians) conflicts with organized religion.

---------------------------------------------

For those curious about the methodology behind the survey results cited in the article
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2005, 01:35 PM
MMMMMM MMMMMM is offline
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Default Re: Is libertarianism at odds with Christianity?

Jesus advocated giving to the poor, but Jesus did not advocate forcing others to give to the poor.

Jesus told the rich man what he could do if he truly wanted to follow him. When instead the rich man walked away (rather than give all his treasures to the poor), Jesus let him.

From this, it appears that Jesus regarded the giving of charity as something each person is to decide for himself.
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2005, 01:50 PM
peritonlogon peritonlogon is offline
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Default Re: Is libertarianism at odds with Christianity?

Let's not confuse Jesus with Christianity.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2005, 01:56 PM
DVaut1 DVaut1 is offline
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Default Re: Is libertarianism at odds with Christianity?

[ QUOTE ]
Let's not confuse Jesus with Christianity.

[/ QUOTE ]

lol. zing
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2005, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Is libertarianism at odds with Christianity?

Lets say all welfare programs were ended with the idea that Christian Churches would pick up the slack.

Would non-Christians be eligible for foodstamps and other aid?
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2005, 02:18 PM
DVaut1 DVaut1 is offline
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Default Re: Is libertarianism at odds with Christianity?

[ QUOTE ]
Lets say all welfare programs were ended with the idea that Christian Churches would pick up the slack.

Would non-Christians be eligible for foodstamps and other aid?

[/ QUOTE ]

If you're directing this question at me...

How the hell should I know? [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]




...but seriously, who could answer this?
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2005, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Is libertarianism at odds with Christianity?

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Lets say all welfare programs were ended with the idea that Christian Churches would pick up the slack.

Would non-Christians be eligible for foodstamps and other aid?

[/ QUOTE ]

If you're directing this question at me...

How the hell should I know? [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

...but seriously, who could answer this?

[/ QUOTE ]

I direct it at anyone who wants to read peoples thoughts.

My point is all the wonderful christian aid that third world contries recieve comes with a religious lecture and a bible. Not to disparage anyone's future saints, but Mother Teresa actually encouraged poverty in the places she worked. (dont make me look it up, i dont have enough time today)
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