Give me Liberty, not Morality

I used to be convinced that the biggest problem was that the government was not conservative enough.  I thought, if we took the wrong people out of office and put the right people (no pun intended) in power, then the government would fix the problems of the world.  Maybe if we had Christians running the country, we’d get back to living correctly.

But as I read and study, particularly more from Libertarian writers like Frederic Bastiat, Henry Hazlitt, and Milton Friedman — I come to the inescapable conclusion that government IS the problem, no matter who is at the wheel.

Get this straight, people.  MORALITY cannot be legislated.  It is found in the hearts of the governed.  You can try to pass all of the laws you want prohibiting certain behaviors, lifestyles, or choices but unless you can get to the HEART condition of men, you are doomed to fail before you even begin.

What shall we do then?  Am I advocating anarchy?  Of course not.  Government has a very necessary and specific function with boundaries.  Bastiat wrote that “each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property.”  He further wrote that the proper role of government is to protect the individual’s right to these three things.  Period.  That’s it.  And in doing so, the government becomes the agent of Justice.

The problem with government is when it arbitrarily decides to sacrifice one of these three fundamental rights for the benefit of others.  Politicians from both parties jockey for more power, more budgets, more authority over individual rights.

Bastiat wrote: 

As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes.  They do not abolish legal plunder.  (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.

Ever notice that when there’s a shift in political power, the game is pretty much the same but the players have just switched seats?  Men are fallen and sinful beings.  The guy you think is so perfect and holy and selfless is exactly the person that, under the right stresses, will stab you in the back, run off with your wife, and drag your name through the dirt.  (With one exception being Jesus Christ.)

We have become a nation completely comfortable with the government telling us what to do, what to learn, what to read, how much we can have, and how to worship.  For generations, we’ve been taught that the government will solve all of our problems — whether they are financial, educational, sociological, or environmental.  If you’ve got a problem, the government wants to solve it for you.  Unfortunately, you might find that the solution the government has is not one you’ll like and will probably leave you worse off than when you started.

To this end, when you limit the government’s interference in our Liberty, the people will always be far better off.  Let people choose their own Morality and take responsibility for their choices.  Government should be limited to protecting Life, Liberty and Property without exception.


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