I was just listening to Glenn Beck. He's entertaining, but I don't always agree with him. This is one of those cases. He just made the statement that the founding fathers were libertarians - not by name, but that the current political view that most closely reflects that of the founding fathers is libertarianism.
Let me tell you why I disagree. The founding fathers created a representative republic. Our federal legislative representatives are chosen through a democratic process and they legislate through a similar democratic process. our other governmental leaders are chosen by various democratic means or are appointed. The reason we need representation is so that our collective interest is voiced and protected in an orderly manner.
From whom? Each other. Our collective interests conflict.
Why? Because we live in a fallen world.
The libertarian position is one that seeks to elevate the individual to autonomy. The liberal/socialist lie is similarly one that promises to elevate the individual to autonomy. The purpose of the libertarian is the autonomy. The ostensible purpose of liberalism is equity. The real reason for liberalism is so that politicians can take the money of people who are successful and buy the votes of people who feel disenfranchised. The result is virtual socialism. (There are enough socialists who realize this and who deign to take advantage of it that is problematic.) Both of these views ignore the fact that we live in a fallen world and need to be held accountable.
For this reason the founding fathers created a system of checks and balances so that no individual might assume unchecked power over his fellow human beings. It's a brilliant system, but it is neither liberal nor libertarian.
I am conservative because the purpose of conservatism is to hold people accountable to their fellow human beings, not for the purpose of enslaving them, but for the purpose of engendering a society perpetuated by personal responsibility. This method recognizes the fact that all is not well with the world and we are all inherently evil, but that this evil can be overcome and we can thrive. The Christians who founded this nation realized that we can influence sociological behavior with proper controls, but that the only true way to overcome evil is through Jesus Christ, but they realized that Christian liberty doesn't coerce or force people to be Christian.
Therefore, you can worship in these United States as you please. Not because you have personal liberty, which you do. But because it was recognized that people are evil and want to force you to worship according to their theology. Likewise, if your worship involves forcing others to worship according to your theology, you must be restrained. When we in the United States collectively fail to recognize evil, we will be conquered.
Labels: America, Christian, conservative, democracy, liberal, libertarian, politics, republic, United States