July 28, 2015

Will Privatizing Marriage Diminish Freedom?

Stella Morabito and Shikha Dalmia certainly think so (see recent articles here, here , and here). The argument boils down to this: the end of government-issued marriage licenses will provide an opening for opportunistic government busybodies to interfere in family relationships. According to Morabito, "Government must recognize marriage in order to leave it alone."

Morabito's claim, on its face, is obviously untrue. The state could simply leave marriage alone. In fact, the arguments presented in these articles—ostensibly arguments against the state leaving marriage alone—aren't really arguments against the state leaving marriage alone at all. This is because they are based on the assumption that the state won't actually leave marriage alone. This might be true, but it makes for a very poor argument. Pointing out all the negative effects of state interference in family relationships is supposed to be an argument against the privatization of marriage? Seriously?

That doesn't mean that Morabito and Dalmia aren't right in one sense. Opportunistic government busybodies will almost certainly try to turn the privatization of marriage to their advantage. That's no argument against privatizing marriage, though. That's an argument against opportunistic government busybodies.

Though the state may attempt to increase its intrusion into the family unit under the cover of so-called privatization (which is, again, not the same thing as an actual argument against privatization), there are good reasons to believe that it won't succeed. For example, there are, even now, quite a few unmarried couples with children. Are these couples in any danger of the state claiming ownership of their children? No. Also, state-issued marriage licenses are something of a historical novelty, relatively speaking (see this article). Were married couples in the days before state-issued marriage licenses subject to greater government intrusion in their personal lives? No. So, obviously the lack of a state-issued marriage license doesn't necessarily lead to greater intrusion into family life.

The state is going to take any route toward expansion that it can find. It always does. If state-issued marriage licenses are done away with, then one of the state's tentacles will be cut off. When the state begins to encroach on our liberties through another avenue, we will simply have to fight them there as well.


P. S.  

Robert P. Murphy has responded to the Shikha Dalmia article here.  The Tenth Amendment Center has posted a response here.

July 13, 2015

What Can't Russell Moore Get Away With?

Russ Moore is at it again. This headline says it all: Gay-Affirming Research Fellow at ERLC, Shocking Liberalism

Southern Baptists, can we please defund the ERLC? They do not represent us or our interests, so let's stop sending them our money. Makes sense to me.

July 08, 2015

Don't Blame Libertarianism

This recent post at The Federalist caught my attention. The author claims that "libertarianism has led [her] and [her] partner into polyamory."

No. No, it didn't.

First off, what is libertarianism? Well, that depends on who you ask. There are the more mainstream libertarians (basically classical liberals) like Charles Murray who believe in a limited government that protects the life, liberty, and property of its citizens while doing little else. There is also a more consistent and radical wing of libertarianism which follows in the tradition of Murray Rothbard. The mainstream libertarians tend to be more pragmatic while the Rothbardians are more principled. These more consistent libertarians advocate a strict application of the non-aggression principle (it is always wrong to initiate aggression). If you're wondering what any of this has to do with polyamory, so am I.

Libertarian political theory (in both forms) is not a comprehensive ethical system. Belief in limited government doesn't logically lead to sexual degeneracy. The non-aggression principle isn't prescriptive at all. It is proscriptive. It can only tell one what not to do. It cannot tell me, for instance, whether or not it is morally acceptable for one to smoke marijuana. It can only tell me that it is wrong to stop someone from doing so at gunpoint. Following the non-aggression principle certainly doesn't lead to the sort of sexual perversion described in the article above.

What led the author to polyamory was not libertarianism but rebellion against God. She gives herself away when she says
The first authority I came to see as illegitimate was government, shortly after discovering Ron Paul in 2008. I stumbled upon his campaign like a rabbit hole that led me to question all of society’s rules. Soon after, I started to question my religion—Christianity. How much of it had been made up, twisted, and contrived—in collusion with the government—to support the powers that be?
So Ron Paul led you to polyamory, eh? I find that hard to believe considering the fact that he, like me, is a Southern Baptist and is about as square as square can be. Ron Paul is a libertarian. He is also a Bible-believing Christian. He doesn't see any contradiction between the two. Neither do I. Maybe that's because there is no logical connection between libertarian political theory and sexual deviancy.

So, who's right about libertarianism? The author of this article seems to think that libertarianism, sexual deviancy, and rebellion against God all go hand in hand. The man who once ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket disagrees. Something makes me think Ron Paul understands libertarianism better than this sexually amorous atheist.

Polyamory may be next, but don't blame libertarianism.

July 07, 2015

Who Is Really Denigrating Marriage?

Over at Libertarian Christians, Laurence Vance asks, "Who denigrates marriage?" He answers:
  1. Heterosexual couples who live together before marriage denigrate marriage.
  2. Heterosexual couples in long-term relationships who enjoy the sexual benefits of marriage denigrate marriage.
  3. Heterosexual couples who cohabitate denigrate marriage.
  4. Heterosexual couples who engage in casual sexual encounters denigrate marriage.
  5. Heterosexual couples who have “open marriages” denigrate marriage.
  6. Heterosexual couples who are married and commit adultery denigrate marriage.
  7. Heterosexual couples who have children born out of wedlock denigrate marriage.
  8. Heterosexual couples who abort their unwanted children denigrate marriage.
  9. Heterosexual couples who are married but separated denigrate marriage.
  10. Heterosexual couples who promise to love and cherish till death do us part and then get divorced denigrate marriage.
Read the rest here.

Russell Moore Continues to Show His True Colors

The ERLC's latest hire is another politically progressive social-justice warrior. He should fit right in with Russ Moore and the rest of his cronies. Read all about it here

When are young, restless, and reformed types going to realize that not every one who holds to four or more of the points of Calvinism is one of the good guys? When are Southern Baptists going to learn that the good ol' boys who are spending our money don't believe they are accountable to those of us who are paying their (often ridiculously high) salaries? When are Christians going to learn that good intentions don't necessarily result in good public policy?

July 06, 2015

BOLO: Swords into Plowshares by Ron Paul

 Be on lookout for this new one from Ron Paul called Swords into Plowshares.


Here's the blurb:
In his latest book, Swords into Plowshares, Dr. Paul reveals an intensely personal side as he reflects on growing up during World War II. The book also provides a powerful critique of the corruption and corrosion produced by a 20th century full of war and killing. Ever the optimist, however, Paul leaves behind the ashes of a 20th century of war to finish with a stirring, liberating view of the future we may choose if we turn from war and violence.
 It's out on the 17th, but it's available for pre-order now. 



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July 03, 2015

The State: The Real American Idol

In many local churches, statism is an acceptable sin. This time each year, many American believers take a week off from worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ in order to sing praises to the American empire.

Here are several articles critiquing the favorite idol of American Evangelicals:

Who will you be worshiping this Sunday? Jesus . . . or Uncle Sam?

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