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Reformed Libertarian Blog Posts

Thank You, Google

Google engineer James Damore wrote a ten-page memo (PDF), titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”  Google fired him.

You know all about the contents already.  To make a long story short, he suggests…

…that biological differences could help explain the gender gap in tech employment in Silicon Valley, and criticized Google’s policy of silencing discussion on the issue.

And wouldn’t you know it, Google attempted to silence discussion on the issue.

The ten-page memo is well written and well documented; based on my quick (and likely not perfect) count, he has thirty-four hyperlinks and eleven footnotes.

The reaction from the left is exactly what you would expect.  A typical example is offered by The Guardian.  They found an expert on the topic:

One former Harvard student, who was in the systems biology program at the same time as Damore, told the Guardian that it was not surprising to find out he was the author of the controversial manifesto, which was widely criticized for relying on shoddy science.

“His comments do not reflect the ability to read literature critically that a typical Harvard student develops over the course of actually completing a PhD,” the former classmate said.

A systems biology student.  What is systems biology?

Systems biology is based on the understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It has been responsible for some of the most important developments in the science of human health and environmental sustainability.

This doesn’t sound like someone qualified to pass judgement on the science in Mr. Damore’s memo.  Let’s find someone who is.  How about Jordan Peterson?  Who is Jordan Peterson?

With his students and colleagues, Dr. Peterson has published more than a hundred scientific papers, transforming the modern understanding of personality, and revolutionized the psychology of religion with his now-classic book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. As a Harvard professor, he was nominated for the prestigious Levinson Teaching Prize, and is regarded by his current University of Toronto students as one of three truly life-changing teachers.

He sounds qualified.  What does he have to say?  Interestingly, he has just done an interview with Mr. Damore; it can be seen here.  To summarize, the science cited by Mr. Damore is consistent with the current academic research.

Not enough for you?  The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond:

Lee Jussim is a professor of social psychology at Rutgers University and was a Fellow and Consulting Scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2013-15).

The author of the Google essay on issues related to diversity gets nearly all of the science and its implications exactly right.

Since earning his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan David P. Schmitt has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Alongside other evidence, the employee argued, in part, that this research indicates affirmative action policies based on biological sex are misguided. Maybe, maybe not.

Geoffrey Miller is an evolutionary psychology professor at University of New Mexico.

Among commentators who claim the memo’s empirical facts are wrong, I haven’t read a single one who understand sexual selection theory, animal behavior, and sex differences research.

For what it’s worth, I think that almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate. Moreover, they are stated quite carefully and dispassionately. Its key claims about sex differences are especially well-supported by large volumes of research across species, cultures, and history.

Debra W Soh is a Toronto based science writer who has a PhD in sexual neuroscience from the University of York.

As a woman who’s worked in academia and within STEM, I didn’t find the memo offensive or sexist in the least. I found it to be a well thought out document, asking for greater tolerance for differences in opinion, and treating people as individuals instead of based on group membership.

Within the field of neuroscience, sex differences between women and men—when it comes to brain structure and function and associated differences in personality and occupational preferences—are understood to be true, because the evidence for them (thousands of studies) is strong. This is not information that’s considered controversial or up for debate; if you tried to argue otherwise, or for purely social influences, you’d be laughed at.

Conclusion

Why do I thank Google?  Google, by firing Mr. Damore, might have done more to smash political correctness on this topic than anyone who came before him.  We will have to see how all of this progresses; let’s just say I have the same feeling I had during Trump’s campaign.

We have seen, with the Trump election, that there are things under the surface – taboo topics – that are only looking for an opportunity to break wide open.  Trump offered that opportunity to those who were previously not allowed to voice rejection of the progressive agenda.  Mr. Damore might have done the same thing here.  And he has the scientists of academia on his side – an advantage that the Trump supporters didn’t (and still don’t) enjoy.

Google has brought to the fore this discussion, out in the open.  The science is on the side of Mr. Damore and on the side of reason:  men and women are different.

Why is this controversial?

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The Intolerant Scam of Diversity

I stopped by my local library today to see that they have a table devoted to “diversity.”  I decided to browse the books they had on display, but I noticed nothing that suggested “diversity.”  To the contrary I noticed a theme of “unity” around various left-wing, liberal crusade-type issues.  For example, the “diversity” table had 6 or 8 books praising homosexuality.  There were 4 or 5 books bemoaning racism, and 3 or 4 books on Islam.  And maybe a book or two sprinkled in on “climate change” for good measure. My, how diverse!

Let me be frank.  I have no problem with these authors writing these books to express their viewpoint.  My problem is with the library, the political system, the governmental bureaucracies, indeed much of the country that uses the word “diversity” when their support for ACTUAL diversity is non-existent.  It is the height of hypocrisy to gather a cabal of books from one ideological camp and one camp ONLY and then braggadocios and smugly announce to the world that you are showcasing “diversity.”

If they REALLY wanted to highlight diversity, then there would be one book praising homosexuality and another book pointing out the dangers of such a lifestyle.  Maybe there would be one book by a gay person talking about why they like being gay.  Right next to a book by a straight person explaining why they enjoy being straight.  Instead of numerous books on white supremacy and how racist America is, maybe they could have one book on that topic and a more “diverse” book explaining how America managed to elect a black president in 2008, while rejecting his white opponent.  And then in 2012 re-electing the same black president (regardless of his many shortcomings), once again defeating a white opponent.  That doesn’t sound like a very racist country to me.  But I’m just trying to be “diverse.”

Perhaps instead of books devoted solely to “climate change.”  They could mix in a couple of books proving that this topic is one of the biggest political scams of our time.  Remember when “climate change” used to called “global warming”?  What happened?  The hucksters pushing this crusade found out that other people were finding out that the world was actually getting COLDER in some places.  So much for global warming.  So now they call it “climate change.”  And suckers by the truckloads still fall for the “sky is falling” environmental ruse coming from the self-proclaimed experts.  Don’t get me wrong, the climate change hucksters can write their books all they want.  It’s a free country.  But if we are truly going to be “diverse” then maybe the library should promote some different views.  Because there are many of them out there.

One final thought on our library’s glorious “diversity” table.  Why is it that Islam is the only religion represented under the umbrella of “diversity”?  Obviously, as a Christian, I have a “horse in the race” (so to speak).  But wouldn’t diversity…. REAL diversity mean you would have a book on Islam, and one on Christianity, and one on Judaism, and one on Hinduism, etc?  Let’s hear the “diverse” viewpoints, rather than having only one shoved down our throat.  And of course the irony here is to use the terms “diverse” and “Isalm” in the same sentence.  Muslims aren’t too big on diversity you know.  Except for maybe liberal Muslims, who once again, are the only ones who count for the diversity zealots.

The obvious conclusion is this.  The library considers diversity to only include gays, blacks, Muslims, and environmental extremists.  That’s not diversity, that is narrow-mindedness.  That’s not diversity.  That is liberalism.  And the whole “diversity” mantra that so many in this nation have fallen for is not diversity at all.  It’s liberal indoctrination that pushes one viewpoint; and if you offer a differing opinion you will be labeled, ridiculed, black-balled, and skewered for not being “diverse” enough.  What a joke.

I think my visit to the library made some people nervous.  Perhaps it was the amount of time I stood at the “diversity” table rolling my eyes and growling.  Perhaps it was my intimidating appearance.  After all, a nicely-dressed, bearded, white man is public enemy number one in a world of “diversity.”  Maybe I scared the staff when I took my cell phone out to take a few pics.  Whatever the cause, I noticed the security guard quickly made his way over to me and stood close by.  Maybe he expected trouble.  But I wasn’t there to make trouble.  I was there to learn about diversity, but all I learned is that diversity is a sham.  True diversity would be a mixture of viewpoints.  But the liberal gestapo won’t stand for that.  To them, diversity is whatever THEY SAY diversity is.  And if you have a view that “diverses” from their definition, then you are a bigot.

It’s a free country.  Believe what you want.  Read what you want.  Write what you want.  And do what you want.  But don’t hijack a word like “diversity.”  Then re-define in the most close-minded way possible; and then browbeat the world for not being “diverse” enough.  Many people fall for this “diversity” non-sense.  But it’s not a game I’m willing to play.  It’s a scam.  It’s a sham.  And it’s a shame.  And this concludes my rant for the day.  Thank you for your time.

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Libertarianism and Christian Strategy

Here is a quote from my most recent article:

Libertarianism exists in the world of ideas, it confronts man at the intellectual level– what the world needs is intellectual confrontation. To achieve a free society, the libertarian must primarily preach liberty, not put better people in power. The government will always be a reflection of the opinions held by society’s members and to cater to popularity is to protect, not overcome, modern man’s awe of the state.

Following this, a member of the Reformed Libertarian Facebook group asked:

How is this functionally different from dominionism? Let me demonstrate:

“Christianity exists in the world of ideas, it confronts man at the intellectual level– what the world needs is intellectual confrontation. To achieve a free society, the Christian must primarily preach repentance and the gospel, not put better people in power. The government will always be a reflection of the opinions held by society’s members and to cater to popularity is to protect, not overcome, modern man’s awe of the state.”

I guess what I’m asking is, what is the fundamental difference between a libertarian society and a Christian one? Or, perhaps more to the point, how could you possibly hope to sustain a libertarian society apart from the work of the gospel in the hearts of men?

Here is the response:

Your question is a little confused, I think. Firstly, I certainly agree, and have stated often, that Christianity, being an ideology, has the same strategy as libertarianism: persuasion and argumentation. It too confronts man at the intellectual level. This isn’t per se dominionism.

Second, the aim of the gospel is to save men eternally, not to create a free society. Preaching repentance has as its primary goal the eternal salvation of man, not the freedom from tyrants.

Libertarian societies are sustained when men adhere to property rights and free markets, regardless of whether many people are saved. As the history of Christianity shows, many men can be saved whilst contradicting the libertarian doctrine of political freedom. Adherence to the gospel does not promise a free society, unfortunately. Christian men still sin via statism.

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New Podcast Site– Link Herein

I’m publishing new podcasts over at the new podcast subdomain– just posted one now.

I’m going to make sure the feed worked to iTunes and other podcast platforms as well.

The URL for the new feed is this (it’s also linked at the top of the new podcast site): http://feeds.feedburner.com/ReformedLibertarianPodcast. Hoping that works, but I’ll be watching to make sure it does.

Once the new logo competition is over, I’ll update all the graphics.

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Need Help: New RL Logo Competition

I want a newer, more modern logo/icon for the site (I especially have the podcast in mind– for which I just recorded a new episode for release this week). So at the suggestion of a member of the Reformed Libertarian group, I’m having a little competition. I am looking for something sleek and simple, modern and flat. I like dark blues, I think, though other colors are welcome if you desire. It should have the words Reformed Libertarian featured prominently. You can include the subtitle if you desire: “Austrian Economics and Paleo-libertarianism.” The icon itself can be RL or it can be an image/artwork, whatever you think looks good. I want to convey liberty (so flames/torches can be included, though not necessary if you have better ideas), and studiousness (so books can be included too, if you think you can pull it off). If you have any further questions let me know. Submit them to me on Facebook or email them to cjay.engel90 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Deadline: I think this Saturday evening is reasonable. Sunday will be the vote.

I was playing with this one to the right earlier but it’s not quite there. Haven’t really decided whether I like the crest or not.Reformed (4)

You can submit as many as you’d like.

I will pick my top 5 or so and have the Reformed Libertarian Group vote on them.

Winner gets a copy of the yet-to-be released Murray Rothbard book of essays and articles on the Progressive Era, which the Mises Inst. is releasing in October.

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The Utility of Non-Christian Libertarians

In the Reformed Libertarian Facebook group, there was a commenter some time ago who indicated that he was trying to learn most of his libertarian theory from Christian sources, rather than from “secular” libertarians. The first mistake made here was the assumption that Reformed Libertarianism is somehow libertarianism of a different flavor than Rothbardian libertarianism. This one drives me crazy, though I suppose our phrase can be misleading. Our libertarianism is Rothbardianism, it’s just that we’re setting it within a broader philosophical context, as would a “Natural Law libertarian” or a “utilitarian libertarian.”

Besides this, I also want emphasize something I said a few months ago: as Christians, one of the kingdoms to which we belong is the secular kingdom, the earthly and temporary kingdom which allows us to share goals in common with non-Christians. We long for a better world for our children, for increased prosperity, for property-rights based justice. These things are worthy of banding together with people of all worldviews (so long as we don’t confuse this earthly kingdom work with the heavenly kingdom work, which should be exclusive and discriminatory in who we team up with).

Thus, if property rights define the ideal social order, and there are libertarians who share this vision with us, they are allies with us. If they contribute to the logic of property rights and laissez faire market economics, they are to be promoted and praised. Equally, Christians, even those of the Reformed persuasion, who oppose the property rights order are not part of the liberty movement and we needn’t pretend that they are.

In my experience, most Christians are awful on political/economic concerns. They are not individualistic enough, they don’t think for themselves and, most importantly, they refuse to learn from so-called secularists. 

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Paul Gottfried on Insufferable Steve vs. Ron Paul

Paul Gottfried:

I’m also not surprised that CATO and Horwitz have been raging against Ron Paul as well as Jeff Deist. Why wouldn’t they? Unlike his left-libertarian critics, the former Texas Congressman harks back philosophically to the American Right before its Buckleyite reformulation in the 1950s. Paul not only favors free markets and the gold standard. He has no interest in waging crusades worldwide on behalf of the latest version of “American democratic values.” And unlike such current left libertarian heroes as Jamie Kirchik, Dr. Paul feels no yearning to export gay rights to Putin’s Russia or to impose gay marriage through federal courts on the entire country. It’s also been rumored that Dr. Paul attends a conservative Protestant church and still hasn’t conferred with Bibi.

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Steve the Insufferable

Impugning motives and ascribing sinister meaning to words is what Nancy MacLean does in her recent book. –Jeff Deist

The left-libertarian beltway “liberaltarian” vs. Mises Institute Rothbardian libertarian battle continues. It’s reflective not only in the definition of libertarianism employed by each, the former being far more vague and wishy-washy, but also in the cultural habits and tendencies as well. The leftists, being proponents of the disgraceful crusade on western cultural traditions and having a fixation on cultural diversity and internationalism for their own sake, lunge at the opportunity to smear their Rothbardian opponents with the tired cries of racism and bigotry. 2b78f2e25f06ed43f7dfe89c0ae9b1bf

Everything that offends them is “proof” of Nazism and fascism. Because the left has a difficult time engaging in rational discourse, they often dismiss everything they don’t like– anything with a remote characteristic of tradition and opposition to the god of diversity– as fascistic. It is the same disease that has infected everyone from the Southern Poverty Law Center to the Soros-funded protest movements to the rhetoric of Maxine Waters, Hillary Clinton, and Rachel Maddow. If someone’s opinion isn’t in line with their “melting pot” vision of Utopia, why, they must be Literally Hitler! It’s what the media says of Trump, it’s what leftist outlets like Salon and Slate say of conservatives in general, and sadly its what self-described libertarians like Roderick Long, David Boaz, Steve Horowitz, Jeffrey Tucker, and even key people at Students for Liberty, Reason Magazine, the Cato Institute, and Libertarianism.org say of the Rothbardians at the Mises Institute.

The greatest theorists of libertarianism and practitioners of libertarian strategies in our time are under constant attack for not towing the Progressive line on a litany of issues. Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul, Tom Woods, Walter Block, Justin Raimondo, Stephan Kinsella. See my Progressive Libertarians Against the Old Guard essay for more on this phenomenon and backdrop. The Mises Institute’s newer President, Jeff Deist, has now officially made the list with his recent speech at Mises University.

In the speech, which was a call to take libertarianism to the heart and soul of the American people, Deist pointed out that the despite the left’s conspiracy to eradicate traditions, social institutions, cultural habits, historical tendencies, religions from western civilization, there is still a strong grasp on these things among the population at large. Of course, they have been weakened by the impact of the State propaganda and media apparatus which includes the education cartel, Hollywood, and the despicable nature of democratic appeal. And yet, there is a growing tiredness of “taking it on the chin” amongst conservatives. They are tired of their skin-tone, their communities, their religion, being mocked by the pompous leftist “intellectuals.” Thus, there is a still a strain of commitment to these things they hold dear. As a Progressive and internationalist Washington DC stamps down on their throats, we must help them realize that family and culture is more important than the established state. In this sense then, Deist employed the historical phrase “blood and soil” to his own rhetorical use.

But for the insufferable Steve Horowitz, this was all he needed to place the pin of Fascism square on Deist’s chest. Of course, Horowitz has long been obnoxious– stating he’d rather libertarians read Marx than Hoppe, calling everyone who is too conservative for him a Nazi-sympathizer. Upon reading Deist’s final sentence in the speech, which included the Offensive Phrase, Horowitz tripped over himself to call out the Mises Institute’s fascism on Facebook. Yes, the Mises Institute and Murray Rothbard, critics of all central planning and totalitarian rule, are to be regarded as in the same camp as Mussolini himself! It was the Nazi troops which invaded Mises’ apartment in Vienna, burned his library and caused him to escape, barely, to the west. The idea that the Mises Institute employs fascist and nazi sympathizers is a ludicrous proposition, of course, but for Steve the Insufferable there is a certain addiction to being as pompously absurd as possible. He has taken a line of fantasy right out of the Salon notebook of laughable strategies against the right.

Now, a normal person would interpret Jeff Deist’s words as follows: “we need to realize that people in this country still care about their traditions and their kinfolk, their culture. And we need to appeal to that, rather than join the leftist brigade of tearing it down.”

How a leftist interpreted his words: “he’s appealing to Nazi phrases and signaling his support of Hitler.”

You can’t make this stuff up. Leftists are insane and left-libertarians are a cancer on the movement. And as Jeff Deist pointed out on his own Facebook page, this action of “impugning motives and ascribing sinister meaning to words is what Nancy MacLean does in her recent book,” which for those of you who don’t know, was a sloppy and sorry attempt to discredit small-government conservatism by echoing the typical leftist battlecry: conservatives all hate children, want poor people to starve, and long for the rise of the slave-holding south!

And yet, here is Steve the Insufferable doing exactly what MacLean does. Down with Horowitz!

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Ecclesiastes 8:2

I heard a sermon yesterday on Ecclesiastes 8:1-9. Verse 2 says

I say, “Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God. (NASB)

The sermon observed that this passage was about seeing wisdom in the world and that one primary effect of having wisdom is submission to authority.

If you go to the New Testament, to Romans 13, the authorities that exist are appointed by… man? No, they’re appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God and those who resist bring judgment on themselves… Honor the king. The kings back in the New Testament, they were dirt bags. I don’t know how else to put it. They were killing Christians. They had no ethics whatsoever… Remember, those authorities placed over us are for our good… Wisdom respects authorities. It’s also a test of faith. Do you have faith or not?

The verse is not immediately clear. What is the “oath” referring to? Translations vary quite a bit. The ESV says “I say: Keep the king’s command, because of God’s oath to him.” This translation would seem to fit with the above exhortation and with the view of most Christians today. But the NASB seems to refer not to God’s oath to the ruler, but to some kind of oath of man before God. The sermon recognized this, but wasn’t entirely clear about its meaning.

What makes this verse so serious in regards to keeping the king’s commandment is that he says for the sake of your oath to God. He brings God into the mixture. If we were simply to obey those in authority over us because we were afraid we were to be guillotined, or electrocuted, well, that’s restraint, that’s good, but if there’s resentment in the heart, if there’s hatred towards those leaders that are over us, that could be a dangerous thing.

Now, granted, during the time that this sermon was preached, it was a theocracy. God was on the throne, so to speak. God spoke to the king. Kings were inspired at times and we had the Word of God given through kings. Hopefully they were not corrupt. A lot of them were. But it was a theocracy so the Jews there had a commitment to God. They made an oath to serve the king and therefore they were serving God. So Solomon is saying, “Just remember, you are to obey me, but not for the sake of me, but because of the fact that you made an oath. You made an oath that you would obey the king and therefore you would obey God.

Now, those of us that are born again – those of us that are Christians – we desire not to go the way of the broad path. We desire not to go the way that everyone else is going. Everyone else loves to slam the president… We are Christians now, we joined ourselves to the church. We joined ourselves to saints. And if you join this church, we make an oath, a vow to live a life worthy of a follower of Christ. It means we’re not going to be insurrectionists. We’re not going to be rebelling against the authorities…

Obey the king for the right reason, is what Solomon is saying here. It is because of your oath to God.

So the “oath” in question is interpreted as an oath to obey God. In the Old Covenant, this oath to obey God meant an oath to obey the king because the king spoke for God and it refers to a specific oath the Israelites took. In the New Covenant, this oath refers to the commitment of every Christian to obey God. Our obedience to God means we obey the commands of the president.

Again, this is a difficult verse, so I don’t mean to single out this sermon. I comment only to try to bring out some clarity. The above explanation does not seem to be consistent or clear. If the Israelite’s duty to obey the king was because the king was a prophet, then how can that apply to us today? Our oath to obey God would not translate into any requirement to obey our rulers, who are not prophets. The root of the confusion is a misunderstanding of what the “oath” in question refers to. It does not refer to an oath or vow to obey God. It does not refer to an oath to God, but an oath taken before God.

What, then, was the oath? First, note that for several generations God was the king of Israel. God was their earthly king who sat on his throne in the tabernacle making judgments and leading the Israelites in battle. But the Israelites lusted after the other nations and wanted a king like theirs (1 Sam 8:1-9; 19-22; 10:19). God knew this would happen, despite his warning not to (1 Sam 8:10-18), so in the Mosaic law, he provided direction for the establishment of a king.

When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. (Deut 17:14-5)

Note that it is the people who will be setting the king over themselves. God is said to choose the king, but the people set the king over themselves. God chose Saul by anointing him by the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 10:1). God’s choice was revealed to the people through the drawing of lots (1 Sam. 10:20-24). Once this occurred, the people accepted Saul as their king (1 Sam. 10:24). Saul disobeyed God, so God rejected him as king an chose David instead (1 Sam 16:12). But Saul remained king over Israel until the people anointed David king (which was many years after God anointed David).

And Abner conferred with the elders of Israel, saying, “For some time past you have been seeking David as king over you. Now then bring it about, for the Lord has promised David, saying, ‘By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and from the hand of all their enemies.’”

And Abner said to David, “I will arise and go and will gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your heart desires.”(2 Sam 3:17-18, 21)

So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.” (2 Sam. 5:3)

Solomon was made king in the same manner.

And they made Solomon the son of David king a second time, and they anointed him as ruler for the Lord and Zadok as priest. Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. All the officials, the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David pledged allegiance to King Solomon. (1 Chron 29:23-24)

Commenting on these passages, as well as Ecclesiastes 8:2, Samuel Rutherford said “There is an oath betwixt the king and his people, laying on, by reciprocation of bands, mutual civil obligation upon the king to the people, and the people to the king (2 Sam 5:3; 1 Chron 11:3; 2 Chron 23:2, 3; 2 Kings 11:17; Eccl. 8:2)” (Lex, Rex). The NET translates the verse “Obey the king’s command, because you took an oath before God to be loyal to him.” Matthew Henry notes

We must be subject because of the oath of God, the oath of allegiance which we have taken to be faithful to the government, the covenant between the king and the people, 2 Chron. 23:16. David made a covenant, or contract, with the elders of Israel, though he was king by divine designation, 1 Chron. 11:3. “Keep the king’s commandments, for he has sworn to rule thee in the fear of God, and thou hast sworn, in that fear, to be faithful to him.” It is called the oath of God because he is a witness to it and will avenge the violation of it.

The oath is a contract. It neither implies divine authority for the ruler, nor obligates the people beyond the terms of the contract. Solomon says you should obey the king for the same reason you should obey your boss: because you agreed to. Unlike your boss, the king might kill you if you don’t. The rest of the passage is Solomon’s wise reflection on how to act before an almighty king who can kill any who disagree (note v9). Henry says “In short, it is dangerous contending with sovereignty.”

Thus this passage does not obligate us to obey every command of a ruler from the heart as part of our obedience to God.

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Senate Passes Russia, Iran, North Korea Sanctions Bill, 98-2!

Writes Daniel McAdams at the LRC blog:

Minutes ago the US Senate passed HR 3364, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act by a massive 98 yeas to two nays. Opposing the bill were Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY). The bill passed in the House by 419-3 on Tuesday, with Reps Massie (R-KY), Amash (R-MI), and Duncan (R-TN) opposing.

The new sanctions bill ties President Trump’s hands on foreign policy, as he will be forced to ask Congress for permission to ease the measures.

Speaking in favor of the legislation, Sen. Bob Menendez (R-NJ) cited the need to send Russia a message that it cannot meddle in US elections, that it cannot annex Crimea, that it cannot invade Ukraine, and that it cannot indiscriminately kill women and children in Syria.

Those of us living in the actual real world recognize that the first count remains unproven and the remaining counts are simply fatuous, fact-free bluster by Washington’s uninformed, group-thinking, foreign policy elites. Fueled by the millions coming in to the military-industrial complex.

The House and Senate passed “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” now goes to President Trump’s desk, where he faces a damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t scenario. A veto would certainly be over-ridden, handing the president a bitter bi-partisan blow that would likely end whatever aspirations he may retain to keep his campaign promises to get along better with Russia. Similarly, signing the bill signs a death warrant for any foreign policy different than the one served up by the neocons for decades: create enemies; push war propaganda; collect massive checks from military industrial complex; demonize any American refusing to go along; repeat, adding bombs as necessary.

Checkmate, President Trump.

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Trump vs. the Transexuals

Since everyone’s talking about Trump and transexuals in the military (a topic which exposes the sheer degradation of classical western civilization), here is Rothbard commenting on Clinton’s decision regarding gays in the military back in ’93:
“This brings us to the first controversial move of the Clinton-elect pre-administration: eliminating the ban on gays in the military. The military should be considered like any other business, organization, or service; its decisions should be based on what’s best for the military, and “rights” have nothing to do with such decisions. The military’s long-standing ban on gays in the military has nothing to do with “rights” or even “homophobia”; rather it is the result of long experience as well as common sense.
Finally, [left]-libertarians will fall back on their standard argument that while all these strictures do apply to private organizations, and that “rights” do not apply to such organizations, egalitarian rights do apply to such governmental outfits as the military. But, as I have written in the case of whether someone has “the right” to stink up a public library just because it is public, this sort of nihilism has to be abandoned. I’m in favor of privatizing everything, but short of that glorious day, existing government services should be operated as efficiently as possible. Surely, the postal service should be privatized, but, pending that happy day, should we advocate allowing postal workers to toss all the mail into the dumpster, in the name of making that service as terrible as possible? Apart from the horrors such a position would impose upon the poor consumers (that’s us), there is another grave error to this standard libertarian position (which I confess I once held), that it besmirches and confuses the fair concept of “rights,” and transmutes it from a strict defense of an individual’s person and property, to a confused, egalitarian mishmash. Hence, “anti-discrimination” or even affirmative action “rights” in public services sets the conditions for their admittedly monstrous expansion into the private realm.”
Besides the fact that there is no libertarian reason to embrace affirmative action (there’s no inherent “right” to a job in the military) in government agencies, there’s also the hilarious irony of Progressives everywhere dismayed that their precious victim class will not be allowed to join the Slaughtering Class
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The Five Best Books I’ve Ever Read

This summer has been one of book buying. During my move, I took the opportunity to purify my bookshelves, opening up tons of space for better quality. In getting my office setup, it was fun to look back over everything I own. Here are the five best (defined in terms of their impact on my thought) books I’ve ever read:

Five: Power and Market by Murray Rothbard

Four: Betrayal of the American Right by Murray Rothbard

Three: Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray Rothbard by Justin Raimondo

Two: Democracy: The God that Failed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

One: Religion, Reason, and Revelation by Gordon H. Clark

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Romans 13 – Where is the Exception?

The following is from Douglas Moo’s NIV Application Commentary on Romans.

Where is the exception?

As we noted above, the key question most of us ask when we come to Romans 13 is not “What does it mean?” but “Where is the exception?” Since it is taught so consistently in Scripture, we do not have much difficulty coming to grips with the idea that God has ordained all governing authorities and that we must recognize that we stand under them. But we do have difficulty with the apparent demand of Romans 13 that we always do whatever any governmental authority tells us to do. We know there are exceptions in Scripture itself, and we believe deeply that it was contrary to God’s will for Germans to obey their rulers and help the Nazis kill millions of Jews, Poles, Russians, and so on. But how can we justify any exceptions in Romans 13? On what basis can we allow exceptions without doing violence to these verses? Seven possibilities deserve to be mentioned – listed here in order of least probable to most probable.

[…]

(6) In our interpretation of verses 3-4, we suggested Paul admits only of the possibility that states will reward good and punish evil because he is implicitly thinking of the ideal state – the state when it operates as God intends it to. Paul may, therefore, be calling on Christians to submit to governing authorities only as long as they are fulfilling their mission, under God, to restrain evil and encourage good. When a state ceases to do so, Christian are free to disobey its mandates.

The problem with this view is that Paul does not explicitly qualify his command with any such restriction. Yet this idea has merit, for it is difficult otherwise to explain why Paul ignores the possibility that the state may punish good and reward evil. He is describing how the state is supposed to function under God and is calling believers to submit to states that function in that way. Perhaps there is room in what he says to allow believers to turn against the state when it turns against God – as it does, for example, in Revelation.

[Compare with Hodge “It was his object to lay down the simple principle, that magistrates are to be obeyed. The extent of this obedience is to be determined from the nature of the case. They are to be obeyed as magistrates, in the exercise of their lawful authority. When Paul commands wives to obey their husbands, they are required to obey them as husbands, not as masters, nor as kings; children are to obey their parents as parents, not as sovereigns; and so in every other case.”]

(7) In demanding “submission” to the state, Paul is not necessarily demanding obedience to every mandate of the state. Key to this restriction is the recognition that the word “submit” (hypotasso) in Paul is not a simple equivalent to “obey” (hypakouo). To be sure, they overlap, and in some contexts, perhaps, they cannot be distinguished (cf. 1 Peter 3:1, 6). Moreover, submission is usually expressed through obedience.

Nevertheless, submission is broader and more basic than obedience. To submit is to recognize one’s subordinate place in a hierarchy established by God. It is acknowledged that certain institutions or people have been placed over us and have the right to our respect and deference. In addition to rulers (see also Titus 3:1), Paul also calls on believers to submit to their spiritual leaders (1 Cor. 16:16) and even to one another (Eph. 5:21; i.e., in the ways Paul outlines in 5:22-6:9). Christian slaves are to submit to their masters (Titus 2:9), Christian prophets to other prophets (1 Cor. 14:32), and Christian wives to their husbands (1 Cor. 14:45 [?]; Eph. 5:24; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5). In each case, one person is to recognize the rightful leadership role that another human being has in his or her life.

But implicit always in the idea of submission is the need to recognize that God is at the pinnacle of any hierarchy. While not always explicit, Paul assumes that one’s ultimate submission must be to God and that no human being can ever stand as the ultimate authority for a believer.

The parallel between a Christian’s submitting to government and a wife’s submitting to her husband is particularly helpful. The wife is to recognize that God has ordained her husband to be her “head,” that is, her leader and guide. Thus, she must follow his leadership. But Paul would never think that a wife must always do whatever her husband demanded.

I once counseled a Christian woman who took her need to submit to her husband so seriously that she felt obliged to obey him by engaging in sex with him and another woman at the same time. I urged her to recognize that her ultimate allegiance was to God, the authority standing over her husband. She needed to follow the higher authority in this case and disobey her husband. But this did not mean that she was simply to dismiss her husband or to renounce his general authority over her.

In a similar way, it seems to me, we can also, as believers, continue to submit to governing authorities even as, in certain specific instances, we find that we cannot obey them.

[In other words, Paul tells us not to overthrow the rulers, but to be subject to them. He does not tell us they have divine authority that must be obeyed in whatever they command.]

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Mises on Immigration and Nation

Joe Salerno has written an excellent essay, describing the perspective of Ludwig von Mises on the inter-related subjects of political borders, immigration, and nation.  Further, Salerno offers clarity on Mises’s view of liberalism – and it isn’t classical liberalism as generally described.  The entire piece is worth at least two reads; I will here offer only an overview.

Salerno offers:

My purpose in this short essay is to set forth Mises’s views on immigration as he developed them as an integral part of the classical liberal program he elaborated. I shall not attempt to criticize or evaluate his views.

Salerno is the consummate professional; courteous, scholarly, respectful. As I am, on the other hand, a mosquito…I will handle this topic a little differently; not regarding Mises’s views but the views of some in the audience.

Beginning his piece, Salerno offers that many advocates of free immigration point to Mises as a fellow traveler.  But…not so fast:

However, Mises’s views on the free migration of labor across existing political borders were carefully nuanced and informed by political considerations based on his first-hand knowledge of the deep and abiding conflicts between nationalities in the polyglot states of Central and Eastern Europe leading up to World War One and during the subsequent interwar period.

Conflicts between nationalities within the same political boundaries; Mises certainly would know, having lived it.  This leads directly to Mises’s view of “liberalism”:

[Liberalism’s] two fundamental principles were freedom or, more concretely, “the right of self-determination of peoples” and national unity or the “nationality principle.” The two principles were indissolubly linked.

For Mises, self-determination was an individual right; for Mises, the freedom offered by liberalism could not be separated from (or perhaps could not survive without) “national unity.”  There is no “liberalism” without “national unity” (as Salerno describes it: “national unity based on a common language, culture, and modes of thinking and acting”).  If you can remain patient for about 160 words, this seeming contradiction will be explained.

I know some in the audience choke whenever they see me (and now Mises) using the word “nation,” conflating this idea with “state.”  Mises is not confused (but it would be silly to think he was):

…the nation has a fundamental and relatively permanent being independent of the transient state (or states) which may govern it at any given time.

Read again what Salerno offers for clarification of “national unity” and how this differs from the concept of “state.”  Consider that national unity offers the possibility of a significantly less coercive state.  For Mises, political borders that do not evolve with the nation offered a certainty of internal conflict; political borders that do not respect the nation within it offer conflict as well.

Consider also that this came about naturally – inherent in man’s nature.  Citing Mises:

The formation of [liberal democratic] states comprising all the members of a national group was the result of the exercise of the right of self determination, not its purpose.

Human beings are not atomistic beings; human beings hold emotional and spiritual bonds with other select human beings.  Call these select human beings family, kin, and nation.  In other words, humans are…human.  Salerno offers Rothbard on this point as well:

Contemporary libertarians often assume, mistakenly, that individuals are bound to each other only by the nexus of market exchange. They forget that everyone is necessarily born into a family, a language, and a culture.

Salerno goes on to describe Mises view of similarities of colonialism and minorities within a political boundary.  In many ways, the treatment by the overlords / majorities of these two groups is similar.

Mises maintains that two or more “nations” cannot peacefully coexist under a unitary democratic government.

And with this, a clue is offered as to why national movements sprung forth at the same time that the state moved toward liberalism and democracy.  Mises, I think, would have expected nothing else.

Conclusion

Thus, concludes Mises, even if the member of the minority nation, “according to the letter of the law, be a citizen with full rights . . . in truth he is politically without rights, a second class citizen, a pariah.”

It is easy to be for open borders, unchecked immigration, and the dismissal of culture when one is a part of the political majority.  Try being the minority for a while; see how thatfeels.

Don’t yell at me, take it up with Mises.

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The relationship between the State and Christianity is a three-pronged issue

One deficiency I have observed among Evangelical Christian comments on political theory, especially from the Reformed perspective (because the Reformed tradition is 85% of the Christian material I read), is that there are basically two categories of questions that are addressed in seeking answers regarding the relationship between Christianity and the State.  Evangelical commentary on political theory blur the categories in an unhelpful matter and don’t recognize the significance of a clear cut “three pronged” approach to Christian analysis of the State.

What I am saying is that there are three categories that need to be addressed by the Christian political theorist, but many Christian thinkers only address two.  Not only does this render the analysis greatly incomplete, but it also contributes to the lack of understanding regarding the proper position on a variety of so-called “policy” issues.

The first category that needs to be addressed is whether God has ordained the State in history.  That is to say, the question is, is the existence of the State contrary to God’s ordaining will?  The answer is that God has surely ordained the State to exist in history.  Nebuchadnezzar was referred to as God’s servant (Jer 43:10, 27:6) and since God ordains the existence of every atom and the life and death of every person, so he also ordains the States that exist around the world –yes, even Nero, Hitler, Bush, and Obama.  God is the grand controller of the universe and nothing is unless he has determined it to be.

The second category that needs to be addressed is whether God commands the Christian to subject himself to the StateAgain, the answer is very clearly yes (Romans 13, 1 Peter 2).  The reason that the Bible gives this command to Christians, I am convinced, is because the early Christians were to live at peace with everybody and not stir up trouble so as to attract unwarranted attention from an imperial state that was systematically opposed to the small Christian church during the first century.  Of course, this command is still applicable today, as we must be reminded that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world and it is in vain that we seek to overthrow and take over earthly thrones.  A general admonition to be subject to the State does not mean that we ought to obey the State when it commands us to do what God prohibits (subsidize abortions), nor should we obey the State when it prohibits us from doing that which God has commanded (preaching the Gospel).

Now, here is where the common deficiency exists among Christian thinkers. They stop here and then confuse the second category with the third and final one.  They assume that because we ought to be generally subject to the State, this means that there is no moral (or economic) problem with the State’s activities whenever it doesn’t prohibit that which God commands or command that which God prohibits.  In this way, things like Social Security (a retirement scheme which exists by government coercion), because saving for retirement in itself is not contradictory to God’s precepts, are far too often completely ignored by the Christian political thinker.  But what they don’t realize is that there is a third category that we must consider; namely whether the individuals who run the State have the moral authority to act contrary to God’s transcendent and binding moral law.

It is in this category, that we find the intellectual ammunition to oppose the whole of the modern state, kit and caboodle.  For just because one is a member of the government does not give him moral permission to take money out of the citizen’s paycheck and call it the income tax, take men from their families and call it conscription, enact a special round of taxes and say it is for “Medicare,” force businesses to comply with absurd regulations for “health and safety reasons,” take control over the education system, monopolize the money and banking sector by banning market competition, engage in fraud and currency devaluation by allowing fractional reserve banking, ban the use of alcohol and certain drugs (while subsidizing others), determine by law where certain prices should be (such as wages, gasoline, interest rates, and housing rents), and a whole plethora of other things.  In short, the individuals in the government itself are bound to obey the Ten Commandments as is every other individual in the nation. No person may steal and none may murder.  No person shall order by threat of violence the actions of peaceful men.  No person may initiate aggression against thy neighbor and governments too will be held to account for the deeds that they do.

Beyond the second category, which addresses whether Christians should obey the State that reigns over them, there exists the oft-ignored third category, which is political theory proper (as distinct from practical political theory —see here).  It is here that we must ask ourselves: is a given action of this agency consistent or inconsistent with the ethical stipulations of God?  Yes, we will subject ourselves to its deeds and turn the other cheek when it wrongs us. For in this we portray to the world that Christ, not the world, is our treasure.  But if we ignore this third category altogether, we are failing to apply the law of God to every institution that arises.  As Murray Rothbard once stated, our chief motivation for being libertarians is because we care about justice (see my comments on Rothbard’s statement here). But where the Christian has an advantage over Rothbard is we have a divine lawgiver who provides for us in clear terms the moral standard by which to compare the State.

1.  Know where the State acts wrongly.

2. Subject yourself to it, for Christ will have his vengeance in due time.

3. All things exist for the praise of this glorious name.

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John Robbins on “Christian” Statists in Power

He calls the Bush era effort to subsidize “Christian” groups one of “faith based fascism.” And he ends with the following screed:

End the student loans; they are funded by money stolen from taxpayers; they have driven the cost of a college education out of sight; and they are used to put young people deeply into debt at the start of their lives.

End the child care vouchers; they are funded by money stolen from taxpayers, and they are used to put children into 9-to-5 orphanages.

End the subsidies for medical care; they are funded with money stolen from taxpayers; they have raised the price of medical care to exorbitant levels; they have encouraged people not to provide for their own; and they have made government an idol.

End the subsidies to Catholic Charities and World Vision; they are funded with money stolen from taxpayers. If those charities were half as wonderful as they tell us, their efforts would attract adequate voluntary contributions. The fact that these charities must rely on funds obtained by force suggests that their programs are less than worthwhile, less than efficient, or less than beneficial.

And let’s be clear about charity. Charity is not compelling someone else to give his money to the poor. It is giving one’s own money away; it is freely contributing one’s own time. Government charity is a contradiction in terms, for government has no money except what it collects by force from others. What President Bush proposes is not greater charity, but aggravated theft and increased compulsion. There is nothing Christian or charitable about it. It is a violation of the Ten Commandments.

This writer has heard no “Christian” leader give the correct answers to the President’s questions. They have already agreed in principle with the President’s faith-based fascism. Long ago they abandoned the whole counsel of God, choosing which Biblical doctrines they would believe and teach, and which they would ignore. Many of them have abandoned the Gospel of the substitutionary death of Christ for his people and justification by faith alone. Now they have denied what the Scriptures teach on private property, the role of government, and the social order.

The salt has lost its savor; it has become worthless; and it deserves to be trodden underfoot by men.

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Diversity in Law, But not in Morals

Because all humans, regardless of whether they are elect, are in the Noahic Covenant, things like civil laws and the role of governance in society are for everyone’s benefit. The goal of civil laws are not to make men right with God, but to keep the world progressing until every elect person is saved. God promised not to flood the earth again because he doesn’t want it destroyed until everyone who has been elected has been justified. Thus, civil laws and governance are temporarily concerned and can be crafted and initiated together with believers and unbelievers in the common kingdom. As Calvin said after noting the Judicial laws had been “taken away:”

“surely every nation is left free to make such laws as it foresees to be profitable for itself.”

Of course, Calvin made major mistakes in the area of jurisprudence, but his words are in the right direction, even if not all that close to a pure libertarian formulation. But the point is that because God’s people are not a single physical nationality, as was arranged under the Old Covenant framework, he no longer has a strict blueprint set of laws for post-Christ governments.

There are moral principles indeed (Calvin refers to the principle of love— and we libertarians define this more specifically to relate to non-aggression), which ought to guide the specifics of a code, but there is not single list of divine-granted codified stipulations for civil engagement as there was under the Old Covenant.

The divine purpose of civil law is to promote peace among men, to deal with the problem of conflict (per Hoppe), and to keep things moving forward until the full number of elect have been saved. And property owners ought to take this concept of civil law and craft the appropriate rules and regulations about the use of their property. Unfortunately, the State has swept in to monopolize and make artificial the entire purpose of the law.

While there can be diversity in positive laws, there is one moral code applicable to everyone. And we use this moral code to judge the wrongdoing of the state and it’s bastardization of the purpose of law: conflict avoidance in accordance with property ownership rules.

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Gary North versus Bionic Mosquito

Well this is juicy.

I republish many Bionic Mosquito articles. I’ve enjoyed correspondence with him over the years. His real name is Jonathan Goodwin and he has been around the libertarian movement for some time.

Recently, he wrote a fictional post, found here. It was a hypothetical about a nearly ideal “propertarian” community and how they solved a property rights situation in a peaceful way. He wrote it in the first person.

Gary North read it. He thought it was a true story. He wrote up an article about it and put it on his site.

Then he found out, per BM’s follow-up post, that it was a fictional account.

Now North is angry, and likely embarrassed– the former because of the latter.

North writes:

The anonymous editor of the Bionic Mosquito has crossed the line. I will never trust him again.

He made up a story about his community. In my summary of it, I said it sounded amazing. I had never read anything like it before. Well, there was a reason for that: the article was a hoax.

I suppose he thought he was clever. He is not clever. He is a willful deceiver. He betrayed his readers without qualms. He also betrayed the people who gave him publicity and helped him build his site.

Now he finds that his hoax has multiplied. This seems to come as a surprise to him. It shouldn’t. He was trusted.

Bionic Mosquito is open about his name– Jonathan Goodwin. He’s not trying to deceive anyone, those who read him consistently recognize his writing style. At any rate, it seems petty of North to get so worked up about it. He doesn’t know Goodwin, as he admits, and there’s no reason to assume Goodwin was planning a hoax. It was a parable.

Kinda humorous, if you ask me.

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VanDrunen’s Argument for Religious Liberty

Though I believe VanDrunen’s epistemology and understanding of natural law have significant problems, I believe his covenantal perspective as it relates to political philosophy is basically correct. At the end of Divine Covenants and Moral Order, he tries to apply his general framework to more practical conclusions, including the question of religious liberty.

[C]ivil government [is] the natural institution most prone to usurp authority and to exercise raw power… The promotion of justice… is the very basis for civil government’s legitimacy. Thus its authority is inherently limited by the obligation to do what is just. Any injustice is usurpation… [J]ustice grounded in the natural law should be proportionate, retributive, restorative, and forbearing (and therefore flexible in application)…

To defend this claim [of religious liberty] I turn again to Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his image.” Of the many significant things about this verse, perhaps most profound is the fact that God, the supreme governor and judge of the world, has delegated aspects of the administration of justice to human beings… Though dispensing retributive justice against fellow humans would have been unnecessary in an unfallen world, in a fallen world imposing just punishment upon wrongdoers becomes a necessary aspect of human rule. To rule a sinful world means, in part, ensuring that those who injure another human person receive appropriate and proportionate retribution.

What God delegates to human beings here is the administration of intrahuman justice. To put it another way, God ordains that human beings should impose punishments for injuries inflicted upon each other. God does not delegate authority to impose just punishment upon wrongs that a human being commits against God himself. From one perspective, of course, any injury inflicted upon a human being is a wrong against God whose image that person bears, so I will modify my claim in this way: God delegates to human beings the authority to impose punishments for wrongs insofar as they are injuries inflicted upon each other, but not for wrongs insofar as they are inflicted upon God.

Thus to return to the question at hand: Does the Noahic covenant shed any light on whether human society might prohibit or penalize the worship or instruction of a particular religion? Yes, and it indicates that human beings do not have such authority. According to the Noahic covenant, human beings have the authority to use force against one another in order to impose proportionate penalties for intrahuman wrongs. For intrahuman crimes such as murder or theft, there are concrete and definable injuries, and just legislators and judges can design penalties that match their severity. But acts of improper religious worship are offenses against God. In such cases human beings are inherently incapable of imposing a proportionate penalty. What sort of human punishment is proportionate to a wrong done against an infinite and eternal God? Even if one were to claim that a teacher of false religion is corrupting the religious sensibilities of the youth, for example, and thus is guilty of an intrahuman injury, it is difficult to perceive how any human court could objectively determine the character and extent of this injury so as to impose a proportionate penalty.

First, VanDrunen’s distinction between crimes against man and crimes against God (which he applies to the Mosaic Covenant) is precisely how I have explained lex talionis’ function in the Mosaic Covenant.

Second, VanDrunen is correct that religious persecution is a violation of lex talionis and is not an administration of retributive justice. Therefore no one may use force against anyone else for practicing a (non-violent) false religion. To do so is usurpation. This is the only non-contradictory way to argue for religious liberty. Every other attempt to justify religious liberty undermines itself by inconsistencies.

Third, if humans may only use force against other humans to administer retributive justice for physical harm done to humans (that is – if “public utility” is no justification for the use of force), then the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of what the United States and other nations currently do is usurpation not backed by any God-given authority.

In other words, the non-aggression principle is biblical and it is the only consistent defense of religious liberty.

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The State as a Contradiction in Terms

Ethically, we have in the State, as defined above, a contradiction in terms.  For if the State is the means by which private property is supposed to be ultimately defended, and yet the State declares, independent of the will of the property owner, what the property owner must pay him or be recipient of violent expropriation, then the private property itself, rather than being defended, is threatened.  As Hoppe notes: “However, a tax-funded life-and-property protection agency is a contradiction in terms: an expropriating property protector.”

Moreover, if the State claims unto itself the right to act as the sole provider of its services and actively seeks the elimination of any competitors, then in driving other competitors out of business, here too it contradicts its very intended role.  Any State that allows its citizens to choose another criminal punishment corporation if they desire, that is, any State that does not consider itself as the sole provider of its “services,” cannot last as a State any longer than the citizens allow it. And thus, being essentially a voluntary organization, it loses its status as a State; for States are force, not cooperation.  Therefore, a State must, to retain its label, actively seek the eradication of all jurisdictional competitors; and in doing so, it contradicts its role of defender of private property.  For it must violate the private property of its competitor in order to eliminate it.

[…]

The private-law society is one in which all individuals are bound by the same law and there is none who is legally allowed to exempt himself. There is no “public property,” and every owner of property is the ultimate decision maker over the use and restrictions of his property.  There are no public officials who can for “the public interest,” expropriate wealth from the property owner, restrict by force the entrepreneurial activity of the owner in the form of regulations, or create tax-funded bureaucracies, for whatever purpose he has in mind.  No one is allowed to acquire property except by way of original appropriation or voluntary trade; neither is anyone allowed to “prohibit anyone else from using his property in order to enter any line of production he wishes and compete against whomever he pleases.” (Hoppe).

Taken from: http://reformedlibertarian.com/articles/history/the-civil-magistrate-vs-the-state/

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