I was a registered Libertarian for twelve years. While I probably still agree with much of what the party stands for, I left the Libertarians for the same reason I grow weary of the Republican Party: its philosophy, to the extent it has one, is sterile. By sterile, I mean its lack of appeal to higher law and our nobler passions. For instance, the libertarian assertion that my rights only go so far as to not impinge on those of others is all well and good. However, without at least introducing why this is so, that our rights are gifts from God, is to limit our spiritual understanding and ultimate happiness. I suspect the lack of spirituality is responsible for the LP’s slow growth.
As for the GOP, it was around long before it largely ceased to lift our hearts higher in love of nation and God.
Man has two natures: the material and the spiritual. Neither can be ignored.
The Left works to destroy our essence. It strives to “degrade human thought or reason to the pragmatic level of an instrument of material interests,” as if each of us were animals in search of nothing more than food and shelter.1 Happiness isn’t a Section 8 voucher plus an EBT card. We are to be merely members of a class, and our thoughts and actions can only serve class interests. This strips men of their dignity and honor.
This isn’t to say the Left is without dogma. The Left entices our base, material motives through an unnatural secularism that is incapable of fulfilling spiritual needs. They guard abortion more fiercely than Christians defend the Trinity. They replace love of God with vacuous adoration of Gaia. The emptiness of the soulless Left is manifest in thousands of ways large and small. White privilege, black lives matter, disparate impact and ethnic diversity deny our individuality. You are just a member of a group, an insensible cog. Your group determines not just who you are, but whether or not you are a criminal opponent to a just society. Are you white? You are of course guilty of racism. Obama said so. Who are you to dispute His Word? Are you black? You cannot be a bigot.
On the other hand, which school teachers do we remember and admire, the boring ones who handed out an easy “A” or those who challenged us with difficult material we thought we could never learn? The first delivered reward without effort. The second and respected teacher enriched our souls.
As for the GOP, its approach is sometimes more uplifting and spiritual, yet it typically falls short. While the occasional candidate calls to our past culture, traditions, and first principles, their voices are overwhelmed in a congress that always subordinates the spiritual to the political.
A common GOP theme is “to cut the deficit and reduce the size of government.” By itself, that is a sterile, material plea. Sure, we know from the lessons of history that unlimited spending, fiat currency and expansive government are dangerous precursors to economic collapse and tyranny, but alone it isn’t an appeal to our better nature. For instance, a heartfelt argument would address deficit spending without intent to repay as a form of fraud and theft – a violation of the Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not steal.
Conservatives rightfully oppose our destructive administrative state. However, these agencies provide hundreds of thousands of jobs. Its employees defend their work as doing “good” for the environment, housing, education, etc. Administrative diktats are usurpations of the Declaration’s “all men are created equal,” because administrators write, enforce, and adjudicate their regulations without our consent. We are slaves to these unknown, untouchable masters. “Slave” is a powerful term that should be used far more often to describe our relationship to executive branch agencies.
Republican Governor Nathan Deal recently vetoed a religious freedom bill. As dozens of corporations threatened to leave Georgia, he admonished the bill’s supporters to “take a deep breath and realize that the world is changing around us.” Once again, the spiritual yields to the political as transient material interests trump the timeless 1st Amendment and Natural Law.
Free republican government is ill-protected and likely to fail without the widespread spirituality of Christianity. It is why the Left has worked so diligently to destroy Christianity to the point of embracing an evil known as Islam. Can America rise above the forces of totalitarianism? Only if she awakens love of God-given liberty and its creative spiritual dynamism.
As recognized by our Founders, God is the source of Natural Law, civil society and authority among men. Our society is linked to Christianity not in the form of theocratic government, but in cooperation with Christianity by respecting the rights and liberties of each of us. Government should cooperate with Christian groups constituting civil society to promote virtue and the common good. Good Christians make good republican citizens.
The great American experiment was founded on Christian principles. If we want civilization to survive, free men must be imbued with courage by a genuine and living Christianity.2 Government policy that rejects God as the prime source of civil society is destructive and sure to end in tyranny.
These and more are the concepts fit for American government. They aren’t difficult to understand and they are there to once again unite our nation in the common cause of liberty.
1. Eidelberg, Paul. On the Silence of the Declaration of Independence. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1976. pg 82.
2. Maritain, Jacques. Christianity, Democracy, and the American Idea . Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2004. pg 24.