And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. (KJV)
It is both a political right and an epistemic duty to change one’s mind. Well, I’ve been thinking. And I’ve changed my mind. I no longer think that Romans 13 is libertarianism’s last bastion against the unrule of the godless. Nor do I any longer think that anarchy is the unrule of the godless. That’s not anarchy, that’s totalitarian chaos. Anarchy is libertopian order and the only moral system of government.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (KJV)
Here’s the first question for conservative Christians. Do you think that the Founding Fathers of the United States received to themselves damnation?
And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him. (KJV)
Note that to render means to give back.
Here’s the second question for conservative Christians. What belongings of Caesar’s did those whom Jesus addressed have in their possession that they could return?
I hereby declare that I am a governing authority. Send me your money.
14 thoughts on “A couple of quick questions for conservative Christians”
A question for you. Without Government, who protects your property rights?
Your answer (I suspect) is ‘I do’.
Or framed another way, those with the most guns determine property rights.
This is the problem you face when you do away with Government. You do away with the rule of law and the means to justly enforce it. Government is a legitimate institution. Our problem in the west is not the fact of Government, but of Government over reach.
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 these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
> A question for you. Without Government, who protects your property rights?
Brendan, I’ll let you answer my couple of quick questions first. 🙂
I’m actually not clear what you’re asking. Suppose that my property rights are unalienable, like my rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness (I don’t think property rights are unalienable, but just suppose) … then they don’t need protecting, because they’re unalienable! What I need protecting is my *property* not my *property rights*. The best way for me to protect my property is to lock the house when I go out and perhaps to install a home security system. The state should absolutely not get itself involved in any such arrangements.
> those with the most guns determine property rights.
> This is the problem you face when you do away with Government.
But “those with the most guns” *is* the government! As Ayn Rand succinctly put it
> The fundamental difference between private action and governmental action—a difference thoroughly ignored and evaded today—lies in the fact that a government holds a monopoly on the legal use of physical force. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/government.html
There’s no escaping government. Anarchy is an ideal state of society where each individual is his/her own self-governing ruler. A society with no criminals (no aggressors internally or externally) has no need of guns (the state). It’s a utopian dream but one worth striving for. Why settle for less?
> Our problem in the west is not the fact of Government, but of Government over reach.
I’d be happy enough living in a minarchist state. But minarchy, like anarchy, is a utopian dream. And, like anarchy, it’s unstable. Jefferson again
> The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.
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 these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal Salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: So, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God’s Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the Devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wrethchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.
> Pick one.
Desperation or wrethchlessness of most unclean living? Not sure what wrethchlessness is but it sounds fun. 😉
AT, the second passage is not “gospel truth”. It’s one of the 39 Articles of Anglicanism.
Also, I don’t agree that the US Declaration of Independence is “liberal heresy”. I’d say the first passage is Biblical paraphrase.
There is no way anyone can know if the founding fathers received damnation because nobody knows what they did behind closed doors. From what I understand, George Washington used to keep a list of less than perfect things that he did today so that he could improve on them tomorrow. He had the right idea and he was honest, he did not cling to power and retreated when his second term was up, even though Congress wanted to make him a King. Someone who does not give into that kind of power is more likely to make it into heaven.
As far as your reference to giving unto Caesar, The English started the fight. We did not want to become slaves to King George and he was playing with us. Our Founding Fathers exhausted every avenue until the King sent more troops and they began arresting, killing and confiscating firearms. An unarmed populace become slaves to those who have arms and that was the last straw. They struck down evil when they saw it.
> The English started the fight. We did not want to become slaves to King George and he was playing with us.
Yes. But King George was a higher power ordained of God. Regardless of the fact that he started it.
> Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
As far as Anarchy goes, when lawlessness rules the day, nobody can leave their home because someone will take it. Anarchy leads to Dictatorship, which leads to Oligarchy. When people get tired of lawlessness, they look for a savior (nazi Germany, Hitler) that promises the world and to punish those who cause pain and suffering (even though they are the worst violators). Every scenario that has ever played out proves this. Anarchy does not work. Anarchy is Baltimore and Ferguson. Look what happens when police are sidelined and everyone knows it. Cities burn.
> As far as Anarchy goes, when lawlessness rules the day, nobody can leave their home because someone will take it.
But anarchy is not lawlessness. Anarchy is the perfect state of society and the only moral system of government. It is *rules without rulers*.
Anarchy is *guns without criminals*. In a perfect state of society, you could leave your home unlocked all day because no one would enter it without your prior permission.
> Anarchy leads to Dictatorship, which leads to Oligarchy.
Which leads to democracy, which is what we have now (if we’re lucky).
> Anarchy does not work.
Democracy doesn’t work, either. And for the same basic reason. People ain’t no good.
Richard – I remember asking you question two back on SOLO some time ago. Your answer: [Caesar]’s iPod. Have you been giving it some thought since then?
Right answer, Callum! Even though you cheated. 😛
What is *absurd* about Anarchy is that it forbids Free and independent peoples voluntarily forming a peace compact with a singular impartial executive… a government!
Thus for all it’s bluster about liberty, It denies the liberty of forming a government by consent.
Of course a Free society does not demand everyone to sign up to the compact… and as long as they are respectful of other peoples rights, they need never have any dealings with the government…
When I speak of government, I am of course speaking about a Libertarian
government, which is already of itself a government of greatly reduced spheres of operation.
*It’s laws conform to Natural Justice…
> What is *absurd* about Anarchy is that it forbids Free and independent peoples voluntarily forming a peace compact with a singular impartial executive… a government!
You couldn’t be more wrong, Tim.
The whole point of anarchy is that it *doesn’t* forbid free and independent peoples voluntarily to form a peace compact with a singular impartial executive … a government!
> Thus for all it’s bluster about liberty, It denies the liberty of forming a government by consent.
> Of course a Free society does not demand everyone to sign up to the compact…
You just contradicted yourself, Tim.
If not everyone signs up then it isn’t a government by consent!