Rand Paul

Rand Paul Is Right: Social Conservatives Should Embrace Libertarianism

The growing state, after all-not the atheist-is religion's biggest rival.

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David Gunter/Flickr

These days, to even suggest the possibility that a fiscally conservative economic outlook is compatible with faith is a matter of hypocrisy.

"I am afraid that (Rep. Paul) Ryan's budget reflects the values of his favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ," the Rev. Thomas Reese of Georgetown University told The Huffington Post not so long ago. "Survival of the fittest may be OK for social Darwinists, but not for followers of the gospel of compassion and love."

Surely, you recall this Bible passage: "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Smite the supply-sider. I will utterly blot out the memory of all who back block grants from under heaven.'"

So it's refreshing, then, to hear would-be fusionist Rand Paul point out the distinction libertarian critics will not. At Robert P. George's American Principles Project last week, Paul argued that a dose of libertarianism not only would help the GOP broaden its base but also would be philosophically compatible with socially conservative values.

"Libertarian and liberty doesn't mean libertine," he explained. Paul might have added that libertarianism isn't synonymous with "being uncharitable" or "selfishness" or "social Darwinism," either. He might have argued that libertarianism would do a lot more than just help orthodox Christians politically. It may even be the most conducive political philosophy for their thriving.

Obviously, for those who measure the nation's virtue by the size of the Department of Health and Human Services budget, Rand's proposition must seem absurd. Take Elizabeth Stoker, who believes that "Rand Paul's audacious new sham" is "a phony religious epiphany." She wrote in Salon:

"If what Paul intends to say here is that Christianity and libertarianism are amenable to one another because Christianity provides the moral compass libertarianism doesn't have … the question is: Why would someone with such a commitment to Christianity ever commit themselves to a political philosophy without a similar commitment?"

Why? Because these are two distinct and often nonconflicting ideas. Though votes are often informed by a person's faith, for many Americans, a political philosophy isn't a religion.

I'm no theological scholar, but I tend to believe that one can do good works without supporting a top marginal tax rate increase. Christians commit themselves to God, which, as far as I can tell, doesn't prohibit them from supporting a political philosophy that emphasizes free will over a state-ordained "morality." No doubt, most Christians appreciate that our collective national political decisions and their personal moral compasses will not always be synchronized. That's where the religious freedom comes into play.

Should social conservatives "commit themselves" to a political philosophy that not only strives for gay equality but also seeks to impel others to participate in these new norms despite religious objections? Should they commit to a philosophy that impels them to fund contraception coverage and abortions—through either direct funding or fungible dollars? A philosophy that continues to force them to send their kids to crappy public schools that often undermine their faith-based beliefs? A philosophy that attacks parents who seek alternative means of education, such as home schooling? Or should they be more interested in wedding themselves to a political philosophy that downgrades the importance of politics in everyday life and allows citizens to work together to structure their communities without interference?

The growing state, after all—not the atheist—is religion's biggest rival. And intentionally or not, government is crowding out parts of community life that have traditionally been taken care of by civil society. It's draining resources once used by communities to implement services and take care of their own. And even more destructive, perhaps, is that government is becoming a source of moral authority for so many.

Admittedly, it seems counterintuitive to suggest that social conservatives embrace a laissez-faire political philosophy. And I'm definitely not Pollyannaish about my fellow human beings. Paul is right to advocate sentencing reform and a more judicious foreign policy, but he's also right when he says that libertarianism doesn't mean: "Do whatever you want. There is a role for government; there's a role for family; there's a role for marriage; there's a role for the protection of life." (Abortion is a debate about when life is worth protecting. Despite the misconception by many in the media, there is no single libertarian position.) As is often pointed out, Adam Smith wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments before he wrote The Wealth of Nations. One does well with the other. There is no conflict between political freedom and faith.

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  1. Any second now Rand Paul will be labeled a crazy religious nut by the media.

  2. “Libertarian and liberty doesn’t mean libertine,”

    That is certainly true. But you do have to accept (or at least tolerate) that lots of people are going to be libertines to some extent or other and seek pleasure in ways you don’t approve of. Well, I suppose you don’t have to accept it, but you won’t be very happy if you don’t unless you just want to isolate yourself.

    1. Meh. Some people will be libertines for a while. Absent subsidy, you’d be surprised how quickly it dies off.

      1. ^ This.

        Social norms and taboos were there for a reason, and that was for society to function.

        No libertarian agrees that government should force societal norms, which is where we differ from conservatives, but what conservatives don’t seem to understand is that they can get their moral society without government interference.

        For example, what has happened to the taboo against children out of wedlock? It has almost vanished because government will pay for your babies.

        Same thing for marriage in general. Society operates on NEED.

        Government interference removes the need for societal norms. Libertines can’t exist within an libertarian society, they would simply be outcasts, separate from society as a whole, though treated no differently under the law.

        1. “Libertines can’t exist within an libertarian society”

          Absurd.

          1. Cant continue living a libertine existence because the government will not be a fat safety net at the bottom to catch them when they blow all their money on being stupid.
            FTFY

        2. But at least in the ideal libertarian society, they won’t have to fear getting arrested for what they do, as long as others are not harmed.

    2. “Admittedly, it seems counterintuitive to suggest that social conservatives embrace a laissez-faire political philosophy.”

      The problem with most organized religion is not so much that the individuals adhering to a particular faith wish to be left alone to worship in private; it’s that they wish to spread “the word” as far and wide as they possibly can and it’s much easier to do so with the backing of the state rather than privacy from the state.

      This is why a lot of social conservatives simply cannot bring themselves to jump on the laissez-faire bandwagon: they simply cannot abide by other people behaving in a way with which the conservatives disagree.

      From their perspective it is much more religiously expedient to band together and elect officials who will enact legislation agreeing with their world-view rather than politicians advocating “live and let live” policies.

  3. As a staunch social conservative, I wholeheartedly agree with the author’s sentiment. I am not naive enough to assume that I am going to agree or not struggle with every Libertarian position; what I do know is that when we disagree a Libertarian society is not going to drop some huge statist hammer on my head to force conformity.

    1. So why can’t your brethren understand that concept?

      1. Momentum. Changing one’s mind is hard.

      2. My impression is that a lot probably do, when they think it through. The left and the media (but I repeat myself), however, are bound and determined to highlight the social statists rather than the Zunalters of the world. It preserves the bogeyman of the Girlfriend’s Father from Footloose or the Preacher from Porkies to keep the impressionable minds from asking too many awkward questions.

    2. As a social conservative you must understand the hypocrisy of your last sentence.

      Social conservatives want to drop the statist hammer on the issues that they care about.

      Read my above post, though not very in depth, it may give you a taste of how misguided you are to even call yourself a social conservative.

      1. Haha, oh, well then, never mind. I guess I will just ignore what I believe and conform to the monolith you have constructed for me…

        Listen, I am a “hearts-and-minds” guy, I am not in favor of using the State to enforce my ideology – the State’s power is reserved for protecting the rights of the populace. Fascism is fascism, even if it agrees with my “ideology”.

  4. “The growing state, after all?not the atheist?is religion’s biggest rival.”

    But is a growing religion a libertarian’s biggest rival?

    1. No. Unless you’re talking about the religion of statism.

      1. Religion is very often a series of directives that YOU are to follow. As an example, there are 10 Commandments. The operative word is “commandments.” And they all begin with THOU, which means you as an individual. And they are things that you shall not do.

        And then things go on from there…directives against sexual preference, contraception, drinking, and more.

        You would have to explain to me how all that is not a big rival to libertarianism.

        1. Because if you decide not to follow the Bible, guys with guns don’t come to your house and make you.

          1. And you just saw in action an attempt at religious coercion in Arizona, did you not? And by the way, there are similar initiatives elsewhere.

            1. No, that AZ law wouldn’t have changed much. People are already able to privately discriminate against gays in that state. The state doesn’t force this coercion though.

              1. Good point.

          2. Because if you decide not to follow the Bible, guys with guns don’t come to your house and make you.

            Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachman and millions more … don’t have to come to your house to pass dictatorial laws … which our Founders sought to protect us from.

  5. I am a Christian Fundamentalist/Evangelical. I am also a libertarian.

    I was raised conservative. But through experience and a more careful reading of the Bible, I realized that conservatives make huge mistakes in their thinking.

    I firmly believe that “A” can be wrong, deadly even, but that it shouldn’t be illegal. I will stand on my belief that homosexual acts are wrong but shouldn’t be regulated by govt. Before anyone complains, I also recognize that adultery and non-marital sex is wrong but shouldn’t be illegal. Why are so many obsessed with the former but not the latter?

    (Atheists and Agnostics may not care about this paragraph.) Other than Christ’s teaching on what govt should do (very little, if anything), there are many other reasons a Christian should stand against govt interference in our lives. If following Christ really does change one’s life, then govt interference will mask that change and ruin part of our witness. If faith in Christ is the only way to save us, then why should we use govt to try to make people “good”? Isn’t this much of what Christ’s problem with the Pharisess was? Didn’t Paul teach, “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one”?

    In fact, I firmly believe that many conservatives violate the first 2 commandments when they trust govt to solve problems and ignore God’s work.

    1. Third paragraph, “is” should be “are”.

      1. Don’t sweat the typos. Most people don’t catch them.

        (I do the same thing though – I hate my errors)

      2. Please go fuck yourself in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

        1. How are you so unable to give civility and basic respect?

          What exactly did this guy do to you? Its like you are responding to an image of your past, not him.

          Obviously your thinking is FUBAR.

        2. I see you’re taking an open and thoughtful path through the discussion Paul.

        3. Hey PaulW.

          Maybe we should get the government to arrest this guy before he does more harm to society by posting his thoughts.

          Seriously. What a piece of shit you are for posting that.

          Exactly how did his posts harm you to that extent ?

    2. Follow the Golden Rule and things should turn out well.

      A very long book of rules is really unnecessary.

      1. Good thing then Christianity isn’t a long list of rules. Salvation by faith, not works.

        And yes, many conservatives forget this. Being moral and good works are a result of being changed by faith; it doesn’t work the other way around.

        1. I would add, too, that real charity is an act of love, and gives both parties the Grace of generosity and gratitude. Compulsion and entitlement are very poor substitutes.

      2. Follow the Golden Rule and things should turn out well.

        Ah the old faithful, mostly useless, fallback.

        “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” -do unto others, right?

        The long book(s) of rules are as much about people having lived the experience and set examples as they are about the rules.

        A lot like we have a Constitution, BOR, but still tell stories about Patrick Henry and Paul Revere and celebrate Washington’s birthday every year.

        1. You might do that. I think that the mythology is pretty much irrelevant.

    3. (Atheists and Agnostics may not care about this paragraph.)

      This atheist applauds that paragraph, and your entire comment. In His Sermon on the Mount,He sharply criticized those who make a public spectacle of their faith (my interpretation). Who tells Santorum?

      Most folks here may be too young to know the details about Reagan — a very devout and public Christian, wore it on his sleeve, but kept it private. In 1978, just as he was about to announce for the Presidency, he strongly opposed the Briggs Initiative which would have banned homosexuals from teaching in the public schools.

      His strongly worded op-ed was instrumental in the landslide defeat of Briggs, which had led in the polls all along.

      Gays are no threat to our children, he wrote, because homosexuality is not communicable like measles. And a bombshell — homosexuality is NOT a choice. KABOOM.

      1. wore it on his sleeve, but kept it private

        I think you’re using the metaphor non-standardly, then.

        homosexuality is NOT a choice

        Why’s that one so hard for people to fathom (assuming “homosexuality” refers to a desire)? Can they name any desire that’s chosen (other than those that are instrumental to other desires)? Can they name any person they sincerely chose to desire sexually?

        1. “Private” means a personal belief … not public law. I could have phrased that better.

          Can they name any person they sincerely chose to desire sexually?

          Nope. They even believe human sex is only for procreation … clearly defying the Will of God, who
          a) made it so enjoyable
          b) even when pregnancy is impossible (human females need not be in heat)

        2. identical twins have differing sexual orientations.

          You are NOT born gay. This is empirically false. If you have a scientific bone in your body you MUST concede this point. now and for all time.

          sexuality has a tiny instinctual kit, a learned psychology, and an acquired taste by choice.

          this last one is what experimenting is all about.

          1. I doubt that people are born with sexual preferences. I think there are very few preferences people are born with?mostly basics like sweet over bitter. We’re programmed to like genital stimul’n, but not how we get it.

            How we acquire the preferences we acquire, in some cases can be reduced to other preferences; so, for instance, we can tell you we like the Yankees because we liked the performance of a particular player. However, other more fundamental preferences we have no idea how we acquired. If we could make our own sexual preferences, why would we choose one so much opprobrium is directed against?

            But don’t fall into the fallacy of thinking that preferences must either be chosen or inherited.

            1. I appreciate your nuanced understanding. I fail to see why this issue is always seen as an either/or proposition. Perhaps for some, there is a very strong, inherent tendency toward a particular sexual preference, while for others it is life experience that is the stronger influence. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, and might well be wildly varying degrees of each type of influence from individual to individual.

              As to your question, “why would we choose one so much opprobrium is directed against?” I think that the answer to this may become more and more interesting. Perhaps in some subcultures there is far less of a stigma attached to homosexuality. And in fact, in some segments of our society today, we see that gay is “cool”. Today, we readily accept that some apparently heterosexual people are closeted, and only appear hetero (perhaps even to themselves) because of societal pressures. I would be surprised if we do not find that there are already some people who are, in essence, “closeted straights”, trying to gain social status in certain groups by being gay when that is, in fact, not their true preference.

              And as a Christian libertarian, I am perfectly comfortable saying that while this may be interesting, it’s really none of my business, either.

          2. You are NOT born gay. This is empirically false You are NOT born gay. This is empirically false

            Even Ronald Reagan disagreed with you. And “empirically” applies only to science and reason, not the claims of televangelists.

            1. “Even Ronald Reagan disagreed with you.”

              That’s called the Ronald Reagan fallacy.

              1. That’s called the Ronald Reagan fallacy.

                Only by ignorant bigots.
                Are you always so easily brainwashed?
                Or is that your own lie?

                Reagan was instrumental in defeating the 1978 anti-gay Briggs Initiative to ban gays teaching in public schools. This was the first defeat of the nationwide, anti-gay Anita Bryant Crusade, which then collapsed — brought down by Reagan.

                Reagan’s November 1 editorial stated, in part, “Whatever else it is, homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual’s sexuality is determined at a very early age .. — Ronald Reagan

                http://www.newsweek.com/ronald…..law-230282

                This from those leftwing socialists at Breitbart.com

                http://www.breitbart.com/Big-G…..an-history

                Shame on you.

          3. Ann N,

            identical twins have differing sexual orientations.

            And different dna. What’s your point?

          4. [citation needed]

            1. That was too Ann N.’s original post, btw.
              Reason really needs an ‘edit’ function.

    4. Count me in with M. Hihn. Great comment. And please don’t feel the need to apologize for your faith (“Before anyone complains…”). In a free society, you have a right to it. Even if others disagree.

    5. As a confirmed atheist (with a mid-line Christian upbringing which left me with a solid although not encyclopedic knowledge of Christianity), I think you, Harsanyi, Paul and Madison have pretty much hit the nail on the head: a limited government is the most conducive for developing a strong moral (religious / philosophical) sense in each individual.

      People of good will can always work together for a better society, and this does not require government coercion.

    6. Render those things that are Caesar’s unto Caesar, and those things that are God’s unto God.

      If you are religious you would understand that those things that God cares about are none of the state’s business. If you are a moral human being, you should understand the same, but replace those things that God cares about with morals in general.

      They haven’t a thing to do with the government, and when you allow the government to force morals on the populace, it is almost always counterproductive.

      1. Even NAP is an ethical principle and I’m pretty sure God wants us to do no harm to others.

    7. As an agnostic former Catholic I agree strongly.

    8. Fair enough, Ace. I have a question for you, though. I see you don’t think some of these things should be illegal. What did you think about the bill that was just vetoed in Arizona?

      1. You didn’t ask me of course but here is my attitude towards it anyway.

        If you don’t want a particular person for a customer for whatever reason but are forced to accommodate through force of law just do a bad job and charge too much.

        You probably won’t be asked to do do business with the offending party again anyway.

        If the baker who was the focus of the jihadist gays who used government to force him to bake a cake just substituted half salt for half of the sugar and made a crooked cake he would have no future problem.

        You are a remodeler but don’t want to work for gays, just overbid the job by two or three times.

        Why you would not want the business is beyond me but that should solve your problem without courts and lawyers.

        “They” might be able to force you to do the job but “they” can’t make you do it well.

        1. Well, I kind of agree with you. This seems to be one of those issues that should have been worked out between the two parties.

          But here is the thing…in Arizona, before the bill and actually right now, you don’t have to serve that customer. Maybe they would have sued, but there is no law protecting that gay couple in Arizona, and actually no federal law either. The courts would have been forced to decide. Right now in Arizona, you can be fired if you are gay.

          That law did nothing to provide protections that the religious already have there, in regard to serving those of different sexual preferences.

          It was pre-emptive. I was just curious if ace felt it was OK for religions to use the law to protect themselves, even pre-emptively. It almost seems from what he wrote that he would have been against that.

      2. Very late response, but I just saw this.

        People have the right to associate with whomever they wish; this is not govt’s business. People have the right to fire whomever they wish as their money is theirs (“mine. Do you understand the word?”).

        People who claim a religion have no more rights than those who don’t, though I would say that if the 1st amendment protects atheism or agnosticism (and it does), then these have to be classified as a “religion” by the text.

        At best the law seems to protect, again, a very small part of freedom of associate. But another commenter pointed out that it could be used to force a business owner to keep someone on the payroll. It seems to violate more of individual rights than it protects, so no. I can’t support a bill that violates someone’s rights.

    9. Absolutely tremendous comment!

  6. The trick here is, “Compared to what?” and compared how?

    Ideologies in general attract the philosophic. Religions attract the philosophic to their leadership, and attract the non-philosophic to fill the pews or call themselves nominally that religion. Is libertarianism especially good for philosophic Xtians or non-philosophic Xtians?

    It’s been pointed out that Jews are over-represented among radical libertarians (or libertarian activists). Not surprising, beccause Jews are over-represented as everything.

    1. As both a radical and activist libertarian for over 30 years (and twice elected) … that’s simply not true about Jews.

      1. Hey, Mike Hihn, 2nd time I’ve seen your comment after yrs. of missing your posts! Glad to be part of where you’re commenting now.

        OK, so how about examples of things Jews are not over-represented in? I tried to think of some, came up dry, but maybe could take more time.

        1. Ironically, it was a Muslim Libertarian who showed me what the Koran really says — and the Old Testament is far more barbaric (a much earlier era).

          1. I’m pretty sure Muslims recognize the Torah (as well as the Injil, actually), just not its complete authenticity.

            The New Testament, and the Koran is a much better comparison, and while the New Testament is from a much earlier era, it is far less barbaric.

            And why would you need a Muslim to show you what the Koran really says when you can simply read it for yourself and understand that it is full of contradictions. Meanwhile, the religion has embraced the more barbaric side of those contradictions.

            It is a religion based on war, with a psychotic prophet. Christianity was perverted for war, most everyone agrees, but to read the teachings of Christianity without trying to contradict it with the Old Testament, it is easy to see that it is a religion of peace.

            1. You need to read the Old Testament!!!

              the Koran … is full of contradictions.

              Name one. Name ANYTHING as barbaric as slaughtering followers of a different prophet .. even if that means killing your brother, spouse, child or friend.

              Spew your bullshit at people who share your level of ignorance.

            2. To a Muslim, the Koran is the Third Testament — following the Old and New Testaments.

            3. while the New Testament is from a much earlier era, it is far less barbaric.

              There us no barbarity in the Koran, just as there are not all the contradictions that you claimed. And it’s not based on war either.

  7. Those who care about their religion should NOT be trying to force that religion’s beliefs onto others through government action. Government today may be your tool but it could very easily in the future work against you.

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  9. Ingrained in both the liberal and conservative mindset is the belief that without rules from the government people will not be able to control themselves, that they will be greedy and thoughtless towards others, or that they will let others suffer.
    I have much more confidence in people. They are smart enough to take care of themselves and make their own decisions. They are generous to others, but they want to decide when and with whom to be generous. They are charitable in the real sense, because true charity is a choice made by the giver, not a law made by others. They do not need the government to tell them right from wrong, good from bad.

    1. You don’t even have to take a positive view of humanity to oppose reforming it at the barrel of a gun. Being a self interested asshole shouldn’t be a crime.

    2. Please don’t confuse conservative ideology with the progressive politics of some of our supposed elected officials.

      1. I think what Lib-X was trying to get at was not that they’re exactly the same, but they have the same motive… power and control over the populace.

  10. Last week, Rand Paul argued that a dose of libertarianism not only would help the GOP broaden its base but also would be philosophically compatible with socially conservative values. “Libertarian and liberty doesn’t mean libertine,” he explained.

    Are those the same socially conservative values driving AZ republicans to seek Warrantless Searches of Abortion Clinics? There’s a reason they’re called conservatives instead of libertarians and it’s mostly because they aren’t libertarian.

    1. Neither are Ron and Rand Paul.

    2. You mean treating abortion clinics like all other health care providers? Why is protecting the conditions in which a woman chooses to terminate her pregnancy a social conservative or culture war issue? Is the “health” of the woman what is most important or not?

      1. If health care providers already subject to warrantless searches then…. why change the law? You should have checked his link.

        1. You should have actually read the linked article and the comments. Some health care providers are subject to warrantless searches. Abortion clinics (among others) are given an exception.

          The better solution would be to drop the warrantless searches for everybody.

          1. You should have read what I replied to. Also consider the meaning of “if.”

    3. I thought we all agreed to disagree on the abortion issue?

      Some of us believe it is an unwarranted, non reciprocal instigation of force, well, because it actually is. Others believe they get to chose when life actually begins and then extend that self righteous idea onwards to create an unnatural right for women “to choose”.

      But I digress, you are chosing an issue that probably half of us would think is a WARRANTED use of government force. Should a warrant be needed if you place a sign outside your door that you do illegal things? Because that is basically what Abortion clinic says to half of us. Sounds like probable cause enough to me.

      Either way, I’m happy to not discuss abortion. I just hate the fucking dipshit, logically inconsistent, libertarians who feel the need to bring it up all of the time. Guess the fuck what? Being a libertarian doesn’t mean you’re pro abortion.

      1. Libertarians bring it up, because many or most see it for what it is — a core issue of unalienable rights.

        I just hate the fucking dipshit, logically inconsistent, libertarians who feel the need to bring it up all of the time

        Well (laughing)
        1) when does a woman lose her right to Liberty, which your wackiness claims is only a right to choose?

        2) If our rights were endowed by a Creator, when did God repeal the woman’s right to Liberty, and what authority can you cite, and please list any other cases where our God-given rights are suspended or cancelled — also with sources.

        So … you essentially defy the Will of God,(presumably) in the name of God … but everyone else is a logically inconsistent dipshit???

        Learn the definition of unalienable and get back to us:
        http://legal-dictionary.thefre…..nalienable

        1. 1) when does a woman lose her right to Liberty, which your wackiness claims is only a right to choose?

          When she chooses to become a mother.

          If I invite you to sail the Atlantic with me, but suddenly discover I forgot to stock enough food for both of us to survive the journey, am I a “libertarian” when I shoot you, and use your rotting corpse as bait?

          1. When she chooses to become a mother

            You need to learn the meaning of “unalienable”

            http://www.thefreedictionary.com/unalienable

            If I invite you to sail the Atlantic with me, but suddenly discover I forgot to stock enough food for both of us to survive the journey, am I a “libertarian” when I shoot you, and use your rotting corpse as bait?

            No, but you’re a hopeless retard if you think that has anything to do with the issues … when you don’t even know what unalienable means!

            Your severe confusion will be remedied when you learn the meaning of unalienable … assuming you make it all the way to high school.

            Despite your wacky example, you’re denying a God-Given Right, (presumably) in the name of God. Kinda silly, eh?

          2. It’s not about the mother. It’s about the rights of the child. That is why abortion is wrong.

            1. (laughing). You’ve already been debunked. There are TWO individuals, BOTH have unalienable rights.

              Count them
              1) Fetal child — unalienable rights.
              2) Pregnant woman — unalienable rights.

              Since you refuse to learn the definition of “unalienable”, I shall provide it for you.

              un?alien?able adjective \??n-??l-y?-n?-b?l, -??-l?-?-\
              : impossible to take away or give up

              http://www.merriam-webster.com…..nalienable

              Most of us learned that in high school. Why didn’t you?

        2. It is only her Liberty if you can claim the authority to define when life begins. Self righteous and logically inconsistent.

          As far as God, I’m not interested in God, our rights are inherent with or without God. They are natural rights and I do not think they extend to pre-emptively snuffing out life.

          I’m well aware of the word unalienable, don’t you find that to be quite a ridiculous ad hominem attack?

          1. I’m well aware of the word unalienable, don’t you find that to be quite a ridiculous ad hominem attack?

            If you knew what it meant, you wouldn’t have said this:

            It is only her Liberty if you can claim the authority to define when life begins. Self righteous and logically inconsistent


            1) Proves you don’t know what unalienable (or logical) means.
            2) Or that the Court HAS defined when a protected life begins!! (viability)

            I’ll summarize. Slowly.

            1) No rights are absolute, because they can conflict with other rights.

            2) Have you never heard, “Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose?” Conflicting rights.

            3) Likewise, your right to free speech does not include the right to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. Ever hear THAT one?

            ONLY the Judiciary can resolve conflicting rights, because the legislature is forbidden to. (duh) The Judiciary draws the line, defines the boundaries, which best defends BOTH rights.

            On abortion, the zealots on both sides are wrong. One denies the fetal child’s right to Life. The other denies the woman’s right to Liberty.

            You words betray your REFUSAL to accept that BOTH individuals have unalienable rights.

            don’t you find that to be quite a ridiculous ad hominem attack?

            Speaking of ridiculous, you just proved total ignorance of unalienable. Shame on you.

  11. No surprise since Rand Paul is an extreme social conservative, not quite as bad as his dad but still way outside most Americans.

    As for libertarian Republicans, both Goldwater and Reagan were defending gays in the 1970s, long before it became fashionable on the left. Goldwater believed the Moral Majority could destroy his party, which may have already happened. Reagan defended gays as school teachers, causing the collapse of the nationwide anti-gay Anita Bryant Crusade.

    The majority of Americans has been “generic” libertarians for over 30 years (fiscally conservative and socially liberal/tolerant). Ron and Rand Paul are moving the movement away from itself, with Reason as the cheerleader. How can that possibly lead to what matters most – libertarian governance?

    1. Rand Paul is an extreme social conservative, not quite as bad as his dad but still way outside most Americans.

      I stopped reading right here.

      1. I know their positions; you obviously do not. Keep your eyes closed. Knowledge can be dangerous.

        1. A little knowledge especially.

        2. Try some relativity here, Michael.

          To call him an extreme social conservative as compared to his colleagues is disingenuous and people shouldn’t pay attention the rest of your drivel if that is how you’re going to start off.

          1. lol @ extreme social conservative

            this is the kind of thing i would expect rachel madow to say.

            1. Ann,
              ummmm

              lol @ extreme social conservative

              Opposes gay marriage and would ban abortions at conception. Thank you for playing.

              this is the kind of thing i would expect rachel madow to say.

              Or any INFORMED libertarian.
              1) Have you REALLY never heard the definition “fiscally conservative and socially liberal?” REALLY?
              2) Is Rachel Maddow socially liberal? (snicker)
              3) Never heard of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz?

              You sound like Michelle Bachman. You know nothing of Rand Paul OR Michelle Bachman — not unlike the American Taliban.

              1. Actually, he’s a federalist on both of those issues, so unless he can get a constitutional amendment passed, he’ll let the states decide.

                1. Vincent Milburn, Nope.

                  Federalism cannot apply here. He ignores the Ninth Amendment like all the other Christian Taliban. No real libertarian would argue for repealing any part of the Bill of Rights. Hence, an extreme social conservative.

                  And it’s a con job, also known as a moral evasion, ducking the issue.

                  The Ninth Amendment, unenumerated rights, trumps the Tenth Amendment, unenumerated powers, because Rights trump Powers in any government of delegated powers. A core founding principle.

                  Elementary constitutionalism.

          2. Try some relativity here, Michael.

            Try some brains.

            To call him an extreme social conservative as compared to his colleagues is disingenuous

            Umm, I never compared him with his colleagues. He’s an extreme social conservative as an absolute.

            He opposes gay marriage and would ban abortion at conception. duh

            1. His moral opposition doesn’t extend to his political stance, again, he wants the states to decide. I doubt he even really has a moral opposition, though. He is a Senator from Kentucky, one has to say these things to remain elected.

              And being anti abortion is not a conservative view point, it is a humanistic one and it is also in line with many libertarians.

              1. His moral opposition doesn’t extend to his political stance.

                Wrong again. He sponsored the “Life at Conception Bill” in the Senate. The federal Senate, so he’s as big a fraud on this as his Dad. Both stalking horses for the Christian Taliban.

                http:// http://www.paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=739

                And being anti abortion is not a conservative view point, it is a humanistic one

                Only to those who reject the entire concept of equal and unalienable rights … and the Ninth Amendment in our Bill of Rights.

                I believe the Party platform is still absolutist on even very late-term abortions. I spent four years trying to change that on the Platform Committee.

                Because this is a conflict of rights, fetal child vs woman, the legislatures at all levels are banned from dealing with it .. just like all such conflicts for the past 200 years .. fire in a crowded theater, swing your fist vs tip of my nose, etc., etc., etc. ad infinitum

    2. Rand Paul is not quite as good as his father, but much better than that shitbird Reagan. Goldwater was one-of-a-kind.

      1. Another brainwashed libertarian.

    3. Lol

      Ron Paul is a dangerous SoCon but St. Reagan was a staunch libertarian

      I like Reagan an awful a lot, but a libertarian he wasn’t. And there’s no issue where he is less conservative than Ron Paul. You’re a fucking moron.

      1. When you get out of high school you’ll learn that the definition of libertarian has been “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” … for over 40 years now.

        Ron Paul supported DOMA and thinks it should be a state level issue … all at the same time! And it should be a state issue except when it’s a federal issue (if the state disobeys Ron Paul). So he also ignores the Ninth Amendment while claiming to be a strict constitutionalist!!

        Meanwhile, like I said, Reagan was DEFENDING gays in the 70s. Google “Briggs Initiative” and educate yourself.

        And there’s no issue where he is less conservative than Ron Paul.

        Don’t forget to teach yourself about the Briggs Initiative.

        Reagan also said,

        “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals?if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
        Ronald Reagan, 1975, Reason Magazine

        http://hihn.us/1d4Vesx

        Can you try going an entire week without me having to teach you the fundamentals? … and/or stalking me? Just askin’

        1. Rand Paul is a Senator from Kentucky. If that is not enough for you to figure it out, you’re a complete moron.

          Personally I’m glad we have a libertarian who understands politics. Ron Paul is a brilliant and principled man, but his principles are tied directly to his ego, and that is why he is an inept politician. Rand is capable of separating his principles from his ego, and he will do more for libertarianism than his father ever did.

          1. Rand Paul is a Senator from Kentucky.

            Nobody said otherwise.

            If that is not enough for you to figure it out, you’re a complete moron.

            Look to what I responded to. (snicker)

        2. Reagan was a raging statist. He ushered in our current era under the cover of public trust.

          1. (laughing) What are you smoking?? I had already proven you wrong.

            Any examples?

          2. The guy who said “the most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help'” was a raging statist? I think your derp is showing.

        3. When you get out of high school you’ll learn that the definition of libertarian has been “fiscally conservative and socially liberal”

          When you get out of your parent’s basement, you’ll learn that “socially liberal” trumps fiscal conservative every time, and that it has come to mean “intrusive government” as well.

          “Fiscally conservative and socially liberal” is what Big Government types like to say when they are embarrassed about being in favor of Big Government.

          Its not a synonym or definition of libertarian.

          1. Too much wiggle in the words “liberal” and “conservative” for ‘libertarian” to be defined in those terms. “Fiscal conservative” in some contexts can mean simply “opposing treasury deficits”, which sometimes can lead to favoring tax increases. “Social liberal” more often than not these days means taking a particular side in the culture war, irrespective of the amount of statism involved; they just want the particular complex of statism & freedom deployed oppositely to the “social conservative”.

          2. Another one!!!

            When you get out of your parent’s basement, you’ll learn that “socially liberal” trumps fiscal conservative every time, and that it has come to mean “intrusive government” as well.

            (laughing) You don’t know what socially liberal means!

            “Fiscally conservative and socially liberal” is what Big Government types like to say when they are embarrassed about being in favor of Big Government.

            Stop drooling. That’s been the definition of libertarian for over 40 years, sonny. (I was there)

            http://store.cato.org/libertar…..er-digital

            http:// en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Libertarianism

            http: //www.lp. org/blogs/donny-ferguson/your-monday-message-0

            I’ll just assume you are another Rick Santorum robot.

  12. Why is Mr. Harsanyi contributing articles to Reason. Please click over to The Federalist website and see some of the most un-libertarian writings on social issues. Posting after posting about telling fellow Americans how we should live. Mr. Harsanyi normally writes about economic issues for Reason but the column above is just another mixing of religion and government to the detriment of true liberty.

    1. Please click over to The Federalist website and see some of the most un-libertarian writings on social issues.

      Any of them written by this author, or did you actually have some point other than guilt by association?

      the column above is just another mixing of religion and government to the detriment of true liberty.

      Ahh, I see the problem. You’re illiterate.

      1. Yes the above article and many others on The Federalist are written by this author. He’s the Senior Editor and The Federalist is not libertarian.

        Your second comment – well anyone who calls someone else illiterate, tends to have trouble making literate arguments.

        1. Harsanyi also wrote “The Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children”. I own a copy, and read it. I think it’s safe to say he’s on our side.

          1. I actually have read Mr. Harsanyi’s book The Nanny State”. Good stuff, but written in 2007. I have enjoyed his columns in the past when he wrote for the Denver Post. Then he took a U-turn and went to Glen Beck’s site and now The Federalist. Definitely drifting away from liberty toward those who believe we should tell other consenting adults how to live.

            1. Glen Beck has been promoting libertarianism for several months, calls himself one, and recently issued a public apology for attacking instead of informing. He was converted by his friend, libertarian Penn Gillette.

              1. Love Penn Gillette; as far as Glen Beck, lets give it some time to see if the change is for real – remember Bob Barr.

                1. Not just Bob Barr — Ron Paul was even worse. After his Libertarian presidential campaign, he was asked if he’d head the LP ticket next time. He didn’t. Instead, Ron Paul became an aggressive supporter of Pat Buchanan!

        2. He’s the Senior Editor and The Federalist is not libertarian.

          Umm, he’s a Senior Editor. They have three Senior Editors. Shame on you.

          http://thefederalist.com/contributors/

          When Nick Gillespie is published at Time.com, does that mean he’s no longer libertarian?

          tends to have trouble making literate arguments.

          Pot Kettle Black

  13. So is Rand Paul calling himself a libertarian now?

    1. Yep. And Reason agrees, so they can claim a “libertarian era.”

      Reason spent most of last year claiming that we were in a libertarian moment, later upgraded to a libertarian era. Then, in early January, we were told that last year was one of the worst for libertarians, but THIS year will be our year. Hey, it sells magazines and pumps web traffic.

      If Rick Santorum announced a plan to balance the budget in NINE years, with spending cuts alone, would we proclaim him to be more “proof” of a “libertarian era?” Or would his extreme social conservatism disqualify him? And if that disqualifies Santorum … what about Ron and Rand Paul, Rick Santorums with spending cuts?

      1. Are you Tony? Because you seem just as retarded.

        1. (snicker) Which part has befuddled you?

          1. Mostly your conflation of Santorum and the Pauls.

          2. Mostly your conflation of Santorum and the Pauls.

            1. Then you’re a blithering fool, who’s also been brainwashed.

              Both Paul’s would ban abortion at conception, and both oppose gay marriage. Do you know who Rick Santorum even is? Michelle Bachman?

              Of the two, Ron is by far the worst. He supported DOMA and says gay marriage should be a state-level issue. In other words, it should be a state-level issue, except when it’s a federal issue! (OMG)

              Anyhow, any REAL constitutionalist would never reject the Ninth Amendment like they both do, to evade their oppressive social positions.

  14. EXCELLENT article. I couldn’t agree more. As a practical matter if the social conservatives lost the social statists (e.g. R. Santorum), what you find is a group of people genuinely concerned about the prospect of the state imposing values on them that they find abhorrent. While libertarians may share some of the social predispositions of the left, they differ in that they have an abiding commitment not to impose those predispositions on others. The libertarians are a group committed to preserving a world where social conservatives are free to live their beliefs.

    Moreover, a libertarian society would probably pretty quickly converge on an equilibrium that would best be defined as socially conservative. Without subsidy a lot of vices start to look really stupid. Moreover, as Hirsanyi alludes, absent the role of the state, you wind up seeing civil society play a much greater role in people’s lives. And those organizations, out of self-preservation tend to be much more demanding on their beneficiaries.

    1. The libertarians are a group committed to preserving a world where social conservatives are free to live their beliefs.

      I was completely convinced of that until I started reading the comments here at Reason.

      1. Which is to say, theoretically, yes, a libertarian society if one magically appeared would accommodate a religious social conservative, a Marxist communist, and a secular libertine equally well. Building political coalitions within our current system is a lot tougher.

        1. That’s because we do it stupidly. We’ve created a utopian “libertopia” that is almost the exact opposite of a free society. We’ve been the majority for over 30 years … three decades of blowing it.

      2. i would say there is an animosity towards religion in general here.

        of all political groups libertarians have the highest percentage of atheists.

        which to me is quite interesting, seeing as to which group authored the constitution.

        1. Ann is ALSO confused about our Founders. The folks who created a wall of separation between church and state. And who unanimously ratified the Treaty of Tripoli in the 9th year of our Republic

          “…the United States was not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
          Treaty of Tripoli, 1797

          Now, why are you also confused on the matter of libertarian atheists and religious liberty? Do you imagine a conflict of some sort?

    2. Libertarians and lefists may share the same goals on certain issues, but the reason for those goals are completely and utterly different.

      They are not our allies, just sometimes useful idiots.

      1. You’re confused on liberals (including economic liberals) vs social liberals.

        Social liberals are civil libertarians, just like libertarians, and are the ones on the left who oppose Obama on drones and privacy, support Snowden’s actions, and oppose government interference in personal matters.

        If you’ve been brainwashed by Limbaugh into being an anti-liberal bigot,then you’re not even a useful idiot.

        You might learn what liberals really are. And libertarians. Have you never seen the World’s Smallest Political Quiz?

        1. No, I’m not confused at all. You can conflate what you idealize to be liberal all you want, but the fact is the vast majority who call themselves liberal are not actually liberal and definitely not libertarians. They stole the world liberal, and I concede it, as do most others. Who cares what they call themselves?

          Their stances on moral and civil issues do not come from the perspective of liberty, they come from an authoritarian stance just like the conservatives do, else they wouldn’t be making such a big deal out of things like a private business not selling a cake to a gay couple.

          So, bud, you can take your quizzes and you can keep living in the 80s and 90s, but I can see that I have a much better sense of what people who call themselves liberals today actually are.

          1. And if you must know, the last time I took a political quiz I agreed on about 95% of the issues with Gary Johnson.

            1. PaulW,

              And if you must know, the last time I took a political quiz I agreed on about 95% of the issues with Gary Johnson.

              How’d you miss the entire point of the quiz – fiscally conservative and socially liberal? You saw the Nolan Chart and STILL don’t know that “left and right” is obsolete, again the entire point of it all.

          2. You can conflate what you idealize to be liberal all you want, but the fact is the vast majority who call themselves liberal are not actually liberal

            Which proves your ignorance on social vs economic liberals. Social liberals are the only ones I mentioned. duh. Your confusion is further proven here:

            Their stances on moral and civil issues do not come from the perspective of liberty, they come from an authoritarian stance just like the conservatives do, else they wouldn’t be making such a big deal out of things like a private business not selling a cake to a gay couple.

            (sigh) Useless, most likely an economic liberal and social conservative.

            So, bud, you can take your quizzes and you can keep living in the 80s and 90s

            You seem determined to make a total ass of yourself. The Quiz is where we teach you folks that the narrow definitions of left and right are obsolete. And despite your childish hissy fit, that hasn’t changed since the 80s and 90s. There are various shades of these FOUR.

            1) Fiscally and socially conservative.
            2) Fiscally conservative and socially liberal.
            3) Fiscally and socially liberal.
            4) Fiscally liberal and socially conservative.

            Must I also DEFINE them for you?

            Since you have indeed been brainwashed by Rush Limbaugh, you may seek to educate yourself here.

            http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz/about-the-quiz/

            Or shall you throw another hissy fit?

  15. Does Reason think it’s going to attract conservative Christians with a good cop/bad cop approach? On the one hand there are Harsanyi’s articles urging religious conservatives to come in and be libertarian. Then Tuccile gets a tad off message and describes some of the same people Harsanyi is trying to court as “homophobic pricks.”

    http://thefederalist.com/2014/…..overnment/

    So the message Reason is sending is affected by a split personality disorder: “Come on, there’s room in our movement for you…loathsome, disgusting bigoted fascists…so come in under our big tent…once you’re finished burning witches and chaining women to the kitchen stove…Christianity and freedom are fully compatible, if you just stop and think about it…not that you retarded hicks ever think…so there’s no reason for us to be fighting, and that’s why…you should go and screw yourselves…”

    1. It couldn’t be something as simple as the idea that libertarians might have different views of social conservatives, could it?

      1. It is, however, very disheartening to hear the great concepts of man–liberty and freedom–defended using irrational, faith based arguments. For instance, since men are fallen and depraved creatures, they can’t be trusted to rule, rather men must make laws so society will be ruled by laws rather than men. In other words, man, in his depravity, is not worthy of dictatorship, he is only worthy of freedom. That is but one of the horrendous arguments religionists put forward in defense of liberty.

        Yes, of course, Christians should fight for their freedom to practice their religion, but for God’s sake, do not use religious arguments in defense of freedom and liberty. This does great harm to the cause of liberty. Liberty and freedom must be defended forthrightly based upon reason (e.g., man survives and flourishes by using his mind and acting upon his thoughts; thus, man requires the freedom to act based upon his thoughts in order to survive, flourish and pursue happiness.)

        1. Christianity brings some incredibly logical arguments for a libertarian state. Look at the bible from a scholarly perspective and you’d see it.

          No need to be as ignorant as the religious, now is there?

          1. I’d like to see you present a 3-4 paragraph exposition of your first sentence. Levity for the sake of discussion of course- hit a couple of the finer points and we’ll go from there.

            1. The arguments for submission to government are within Christianity, yes, but to me it is a religion that has been perverted by the state for the past 2k years. Hence my statement of being as ignorant as the religious.

              The interpretations for submission to the state are just that, interpretations, one needs only look at the man himself, Jesus, whom in Christianity all men and women try and emulate.

              Jesus never used force, his followers chose him of their own free will. Never does he claim that people should be forced to do good works, only that they should do good works in the name of God.

              Let he who cast the first stone, render those things that are Caesar’s, my kingdom is not of this earth, turn the other cheek, love your enemies,father forgive them for they know now what they do, etc, etc.

              The Christian God is one of mercy and forgiveness, it is one who asks of its followers to lead moral lives, it does not compel them, at least not on this earth, and definitely not through government. Jesus lived his life through the non aggression principle, and even gave his life by taking it to the extreme.

              One can argue that he was a strict pacifist, but from my limited knowledge I do not think he was against self defense, he does say that his followers should have a sword. I think his teachings really imply that we should only use violence if it is instigated against us and that said violence was not pointless in the end.

              1. But I digress, though Jesus asks of his followers to do good deeds, not once does he say that those good deeds should be done through the state, in fact, the Caesar quote seems to imply the opposite of such. Morality is the realm of God, not Ceasar.

                I’m sure there are other people that could make a better argument than myself. I am neither religious or a theologian. I simply have a respect for the teachings of Christianity.

              2. I think his teachings really imply that we should only use violence if it is instigated against us …

                Jesus opposed self defense rather strongly. One of several passages where He rejected the Old Testament.

                Matthew 5:38-40
                38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[a] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well”

                The modern version of self-defense was defined in the Koran, by Mohammed. All the violence in the Koran are examples of when violence is permissible … i.e. self defense. When the Christian Taliban screeches about “kill the infidel,” that’s only if the infidels are attacking the temple.

                Ironically, the entire western concept of self-defense came from Islam, including (by implication) the libertarian Non-Aggression Principle.

                1. You forgot the and part of sentence. And, basically, it is not senseless. What good does it do to slap a guy back? You guys just both have hand prints on your face. I think that is what Jesus was trying to teach.

                  Those who live by the sword, die by the sword, another seemingly pacifist quote, but I think he was trying his best to convey that violence breeds violence. He took it to the extreme to prove his point.

                  When Jesus rebukes Peter for using his sword to cut the man’s ear off, he rebuked him because Jesus had told him he was going to be arrested, so he acted in a manner that was not wise. Peter openly carried his sword always, Jesus did not tell him to throw it away, he only told him to put it back in its sheath.

                  Jesus wanted Christians to be the keepers of peace, and he showed the best way to do that, but never did he say “if a person cuts you with his sword, let him chop your head off”, nor did he say “if a man attacks your family, let him rape your wife, because violence wrong”. His examples for passivity were always in situations where violence would not help the situation.

              3. One can argue that he was a strict pacifist, but from my limited knowledge I do not think he was against self defense,

                Umm, you CITED “turn the other cheek which is as total a pacifism as you’ll ever see.

                Matthew 5 (emphasis added)

                38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

                Total capitulation? Our moral concept of self-defense came from the Koran, thus the libertarian Non-Aggression Principle traces to Islam, not Christianity.

                (Also note that Christ rejected “eye for an eye” — one of many Old Testament Laws He rejected.)

        2. At this point, states-rights federalism and following the constitution is being conflated with libertarianism because it is the best libertarians are going to do on the national scene. Who says libertarians can’t compromise?

          1. That’s quite recent, mostly by faux libertarians like the Pauls.

            Principled libertarians oppose the entire concept of federalism because it violates the Ninth Amendment (in most cases cited by faux libertarians).

            The Ninth Amendment is the primary libertarian portion in the Bill of Rights, because it incorporates the concept of “unalienable rights” to the Constitution itself, which is WHY it comes before the Tenth Amendment.

            No principled libertarian could claim that states have any power at all in abortion or gay marriage. Ninth Amendment.

    2. But libertarian voters and candidates have made clear that they are willing to accept more regulation, taxation, and government intrusion, in order to stick it to social conservatism.

      I think the guy you linked is a couple apostles short of a sermon.

    3. …Then Tuccile gets a tad off message and describes some of the same people Harsanyi is trying to court as “homophobic pricks.”

      Only to those who assume all religious conservatives as “homophobic pricks” … i.e. only to anti-religious bigots. (I’m an atheist, non-religious not anti-religious)

  16. Abortion is a huge sticky wicket. I think it’s important for people to know Libertarians are not monolithic on this issue. To that end, I honestly think it should be off the party’s official platform.

    1. Abortion is a woman’s individual right–(its her body, goddamn it) whether it is off the platform or not. Yes, L’s should take it off their platform if they are moral cowards.

      1. Abortion is a woman’s individual right–(its her body, goddamn it)

        Wow, that was so easy! How could anybody fail to see the self-evident argument in that premise? 5,000 years of philosophizing on when life begins and when a person has rights, and the whole time the answer was sitting in a sentence fragment on the internet.

      2. David’s mother called, and she is wondering if an abortion can be performed retroactively.

        In other words, fuck off, you sanctimonious piece of shit.

        1. (yawn) PaulW takes the Olympic Gold for trashmouth!

      3. Abortion is a woman’s individual right–(its her body, goddamn it)

        What does the “its” refer to here? The fetus/baby?

        1. What does the “its” refer to here? The fetus/baby

          It’s the contraction for “it is”

      4. Abortion is a woman’s individual right–(its her body, goddamn it)

        Ummm, only until the fetus is capable of living outside the womb. There can be no right to kill a viable fetus, and an abortionist should be banned if the fetus is viable.

        Her body says she always has a right to expel, but there cannot be any separate right to kill a viable fetus. Attempt a live birth. Period.

    2. Not bitching at you (Kevin), but just tired of the abortion being the great divider in our discourse. Are the vast majority so simpleminded that they can’t understand a duality that one may shudder at the thought of what an abortion really is but also recognize it is not their place to tell a woman in that position how to make a life altering decision? Many of these may be the same people who just the same claim to believe in a religious deity who is not just a duality but a trinity.

      1. The problem is that if you believe a fetus has human rights, killing it is as much a NAP violation as killing any other human being, and you can no more chalk it up to personal choice than you could murder. It’s an issue where the first principles make compromise impossible. It’s irrational to ever oppose abortion if a fetus has no human rights and it’s unethical to ever allow abortion if a fetus has human rights. It is necessarily a divisive issue that comes down entirely to when rights (or life, which is different way of saying the same thing) begin. Which is a question beyond the scope of libertarianism. Because of that, libertarianism can accommodate people of either viewpoint.

        1. ^This

          I say its an aggressive act, no matter what your ideas of the rights of a fetus. I also say that the “right” to abort a fetus is not a natural right, and is not conducive to libertarianism’s moral foundation.

          But I’m willing to disregard the subject because most pro abortion libertarians are no where near as retarded on all of the other issues.

          1. It’s not a right to abort, which is a convenient strawman fallacy, and a retarded concept. It’s a Right to Liberty, which cannot be denied legislatively.

            Since when does libertarianisms moral foundation reject the entire concept of equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights?

            1. It is a right to abort by definition. That is the very act that is being carried out. One does not go to the doctor to exercise their right to liberty.

              Mulligans are not a natural right. That is exactly what an abortion is.

              The greatest moral foundation that libertarianism stands on is the NAP. Abortion is an act of aggression, it is violent and brutal and said violence is not in self defense or justice (which are the only two instances where force is justified), only self interest.

              1. PaulW,

                It is a right to abort by definition.

                More of your wacky logic here ..

                That is the very act that is being carried out. One does not go to the doctor to exercise their right to liberty.

                She doesn’t go to the doctor to exercise her right to life either. So you claim she has no right to life? (Bad analogy)

                Mulligans are not a natural right.

                Liberty is the natural right (sigh)

                The greatest moral foundation that libertarianism stands on is the NAP.

                Which you don’t understand.

                Abortion is an act of aggression,

                (sigh) Only if you reject the woman’s right to Liberty. On what authority do you reject our founding concept of equal and unalienable rights?

                STILL no answer.

                it is violent and brutal and said violence is not in self defense or justice (which are the only two instances where force is justified), only self interest.

                Like the self interest of the woman? (lol)

                Typically, ignorance on this issue traces to an inability to grasp that there are TWO individuals with rights to be defended .. which is the seventh time on this page that I’ve called you out on that denial. … And a lengthy list of embarrassing questions that you keep running away from.

                I ask you again to learn the meaning on unalienable.

            2. its not ‘her body’. she is in an condition she voluntarily chose, and she carries the reproductive prospect of the 2 ppl involved in the sex act.

              abortion is a non-starter just on gender equality issues. it is a morality train wreck.

              what does that say about a movement that VEHEMENTLY promotes it?

              the best case for abortion is sandra fluke. the last thing we need is more of her. and im sure we have a willing army of (hypocratic oath) doctors to kill her devil spawn.

              1. Ummm, how does she lose her unalienable and/or God-given right to Liberty?

                the best case for abortion is sandra fluke.

                Ahh,the majesty of Christian love.

                abortion is a non-starter just on gender equality issues. it is a morality train wreck.

                The train wreck is YOU, who has NO power to deny unalienable and/or God-given rights to ANYONE. You need to memorize some new soundbites.

        2. It’s an issue where the first principles make compromise impossible.

          It’s an example of conflicting UNALIENABLE rights, and has nothing to do with compromise. Like “your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose.”

          No rights are absolute, or they could infringe on other rights. Abortion is a conflict between two unalienable rights — the fetal child’s right to Life, and the woman’s right to Liberty — which is rejected by zealots on both sides.

          When rights are in conflict, the Judiciary draws the lines, establishes the boundaries, that best defend BOTH competing rights. (High school civics)

          The current standard of viability means the fetal child has a defensible right to Life when it can live outside the womb.

          Two problems

          1) It MUST be a judicial matter, but both sides are political.

          2) Lifers have done a TERRIBLE job of defending viable babies (vs late term abortions), and they’re now wasting time on 20-week abortion bans.

          How many lives would be saved if they had simply sought to ban an abortionist once the fetal child is viable? To require an attempted live birth has been constitutional for decades.

          The sad fact: neither side wants a solution. It’s more profitable to keep the fight alive.

          And the 9th Amendment says this is NOT a legislative issue, state or federal.

          1. I choose the realist perspective:

            People are going to do it anyway, and there is no way to stop them. The most moral thing to do is to do your best to stop the want of abortion through contraception and education. That is really the best we can do.

            Most pro abortionists feel the same, and we can find common ground here.

            And by the way, there is one right that is absolute, and that is the right to life. Funny, huh?

            1. And by the way, there is one right that is absolute, and that is the right to life. Funny, huh?

              Yes, your abject ignorance is hysterical.
              Absolute rights include Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (among others)
              I again ask you to learn the meaning of unalienable (sigh)

          2. “The sad fact: neither side wants a solution. It’s more profitable to keep the fight alive.”

            Are you telling me most or all pro-lifers would rather see abortion continue because they somehow benefit from the debate?

            1. It’s the leaderships, not “most or all pro-lifers.”

              Like all things political, there are those who profit by keeping the battle going, scaring their followers and “I can save you from the menace; give me power and money.”

        3. Nonsense.
          It’s beyond the scope of legislatures at any level, not just libertarianism … and THAT is the only possible libertarian position. (See 9th Amendment)

      2. You are bitching at me, just to be clear.

        1. No, I’m discussing.

          One is to try to figure out a common ground, the other is to hear hear one’s self talk.

          The standoff doesn’t work. How do we find common ground between two well founded absolute rights?

          1. We focus on our common ground.

            Limit the number of abortions through use of contraception and education.

            This allows us libertarians to come to grips with each other.

            However, we still have the leftists to deal with when they would like to use government for said contraception and education.

          2. How do we find common ground between two well founded absolute rights?

            There is no common ground between zealots on both sides, because neither is well-founded. There are two individuals involved, both with unalienable rights, and each extreme denies all rights to one of the two.

            This is actually quite common, a conflict of fundamental rights, like not yelling fire in a crowded theater … thus it’s a purely judicial matter, like all such conflicts, because legislatures at all levels are explicitly denied any power.

            But both sides use the issue for political power and manipulation.

  17. As someone that isn’t very religious, but definitely not an atheist, could Christians be, to some degree, correct about their belief in the “Antichrist”? Could the Bible actually be telling us that the Antichrist is in fact government and those effects that materialize themselves later via the unintended consequences of public policy/legislative/laws? Is the “Mark of the Beast” actually those that are on welfare or suck on the tit of government?

    1. Regardless of whether they are correct, the scriptures very clearly paint the anti-Christ as a government power. From a Christian perspective, waiting for some sort of video game mini-boss to come up and destroy us is about as absurd as God’s chosen people expecting the earth to shatter when their prophet would arrive.

      Fortunately (for those who believe the scriptures, and who are also Libertarian) Jesus is going to come back, swords blazing.

  18. And even more destructive, perhaps, is that government is becoming a source of moral authority for so many.

    PERHAPS?

    Fucking a right, it is more destructive than anything.

    It is the most destructive force on the planet. Always has been.

  19. Christians are going to have to realize that when they become the minority (and they are heading that way), they are going to need a libertarian state to allow them to live according to their values.

    See: gay wedding cakes and contraception.

    In a libertarian society, you can’t be forced to shoot photos of a gay marriage, you can’t be forced to pay for someone else’s contraception.

    It’s a lesson they ought to have learned sooner.

  20. The SoCons will never embrace legal abortion, prostitution and drugs. SoCons are just a different stripe of authoritartians than the standard commies.

    1. There’s a lot of authoritarianism in the pro-choice stance as well. Hal a billion dollars a year goes to Planned Parenthood in direct violation of libertarian principles. In addition, overturning Roe v. Wade (the focus of many pro-life causes) would return the decision to the states. Hardly a statist position.

      1. As far as I am concerned, the government, state or federal, has no business interfering with any economic activity, so long as no individuals rights are violated, and even then, there are better ways to protect one’s rights thasn the use of state coercion.

      2. Half a billion dollars a year goes to Planned Parenthood in direct violation of libertarian principles.

        Bullshit. (No more than any other organization receiving Title X funding. The Christian Taliban wants to INCREASE abortions!)

        In addition, overturning Roe v. Wade (the focus of many pro-life causes) would return the decision to the states. Hardly a statist position.

        It’s a TOTALLY statist decision because states are denied such power in the Ninth Amendment, as is federal (Congress). It is, by definition, a judicial matter, until we repeal the Bill of Rights (hardly libertarian)

        Inalienable rights are well outside the power of ANY legislature, by definition.

        1. Half a billion dollars a year goes to Planned Parenthood in direct violation of libertarian principles.
          Bullshit. (No more than any other organization receiving Title X funding. The Christian Taliban wants to INCREASE abortions!)

          So it’s actually not bullshit. It’s just that there’s lots of other bullshit out there receiving government money. Got it. Way to refute nothing I said.

          In addition, overturning Roe v. Wade (the focus of many pro-life causes) would return the decision to the states. Hardly a statist position.

          It’s a TOTALLY statist decision because states are denied such power in the Ninth Amendment, as is federal (Congress). It is, by definition, a judicial matter, until we repeal the Bill of Rights (hardly libertarian)

          No, abortion is an act of violence and all other acts of violence are handled on the state level, not the federal level. In addition, the actual decision in Roe created a loophole by which the federal government could overturn the decision if it were ever made clear when life begins because the Supreme Court admitted that it had no knowledge of this at the time.

          1. MSD6: Half a billion dollars a year goes to Planned Parenthood in direct violation of libertarian principles.

            MH: Bullshit. (No more than any other organization receiving Title X funding. The Christian Taliban wants to INCREASE abortions!)

            MSD6 “So it’s actually not bullshit.”

            No, it’s bullshit. TOTAL Title 10 funding is roughly $300 million, of which PP receives less than $3 billion.

            MSD: Way to refute nothing I said.

            Your half billion is bullshit. And your reference to libertarian principles was dishonest

            MSD6: No, abortion is an act of violence and all other acts of violence are handled on the state level, not the federal level.

            (laughing) You’re STILL denying the woman’s unalienable rights …and our Bill of Rights!!

            MSD6 “In addition, the actual decision in Roe created a loophole by which the federal government could overturn the decision if it were ever made clear when life begins because the Supreme Court admitted that it had no knowledge of this at the time.

            That’s even worse bullshit.
            Roe was replaced with Casey
            I’m laughing at your ignorance, and terrified by your rejection of unalienable rights.

            On what authority do you deny equal and unalienable rights to anybody?

  21. You often hear the narrative that in the Republican Party, its the Libertarians vs. the Social Conservatives. But often times the problems with these Social Conservatives doesn’t have to do with their Social Conservatism, but their Fiscal Conservatism. If Libertarians were to list their problems with the Senatorial legacy of Rick Santorum (for example), their problems with him wouldn’t include his being pro-life (as many libertarians are pro-life). The problems would be that he was a rubber stamp for the Bush Administration’s big government policies. Social Conservatives like Santorum like to use their Social Conservatism to make up for their severe lack of Fiscal Conservatism.

    In addition, it’s not as if Social Conservatives are the only opposition to libertarianism in the Republican Party. Pro-Choice Republicans like former Senators Scott Brown and Olympia Snowe and current Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are not libertarian in the slightest. But you never hear about the inter-party feuding between libertarians and pro-choice statists do you?

    1. Libertarians, by definition, cannot be for passing laws that infinge upon the right of a woman to do as she pleases with her body. If they do, then they are not libertarians.

      1. Unless by definition you are defending the greatest and most important right of them all, which is life.

        I could say just as easily that you are not a libertarian if you refuse to defend that right.

        But I don’t say that to you because it is pointless and we probably agree on far more than we disagree on. Try to not be an asshole to the pro-life crowd. It is a well documented stance among libertarians that fits nicely within the ideology. The only difference is where one defines life.

        I admit if life starts at birth, you are correct that abortion should be allowed. If it starts at conception, you are obviously wrong from a libertarian perspective, because then the act of abortion becomes an unjustified act of aggression on another human being.

        1. PaulW,

          Unless by definition you are defending the greatest and most important right of them all, which is life.

          On what authority do you reject the entire concept of unalienable rights?

          Constitutionally, every fundamental right is of equal importance. The fetal right to Life is no greater than the woman’s right to Liberty. This issue is new, but the principle has existed since our founding.

          I admit if life starts at birth, you are correct that abortion should be allowed. If it starts at conception, you are obviously wrong from a libertarian perspective, because then the act of abortion becomes an unjustified act of aggression on another human being.

          Umm, it starts at viability which excludes both of your examples, both of which reject unalienable rights.

          When life begins is a bullshit issue anyhow, It’s when a constitutionally protected life begins, which must be weighed against the woman’s right to Liberty. A principle ignored by extremists on both sides of abortion.

          Even crazier, the notion that each state can decide on its own when life begins!!

          I could say just as easily that you are not a libertarian if you refuse to defend that righ

          1. Oops. The final sentence is goofy but not mine. I should have deleted it.

          2. The fetal right to Life is no greater than the woman’s right to Liberty.

            Then why is the woman’s right to liberty given preference to the point of being able to kill her unborn child?

            Umm, it starts at viability which excludes both of your examples, both of which reject unalienable rights.

            Thanks for deciding that for all of us. Way to go.

            Even crazier, the notion that each state can decide on its own when life begins!!

            So instead 9 unelected judges should decide it? You do know that states decided their own abortion laws before 1973, right?

            1. HIHN: “The fetal right to Life is no greater than the woman’s right to Liberty.”

              MSD “Then why is the woman’s right to liberty given preference to the point of being able to kill her unborn child?”

              Can you read? The woman’s right to Liberty is precisely equal to the fetal child’s right to life. NEITHER can take preference, which is what “unalienable rights” means.

              And there is no baby being killed if it’s not viable. By definition.

              HIHN: Umm, it starts at viability which excludes both of your examples, both of which reject unalienable rights.

              MSD: “Thanks for deciding that for all of us. Way to go.

              Uhhhh, the Supreme Court decided that. It’s their job!

              HIHN: Even crazier, the notion that each state can decide on its own when life begins!!

              MSD: So instead 9 unelected judges should decide it?

              Yes, that is their function within our constitution .. because legislatures (both state and federal) are explicitly denied such a power.

              You do know that states decided their own abortion laws before 1973, right?

              You know that states decided slavery on their own until the 13th Amendment, right?

              Abortion was never challenged or ruled upon until then– do you really have no idea how our constitution works?

              How can any action be unconstitutional before the Court says it is?

              1. Michael Hihn: Can you read? The woman’s right to Liberty is precisely equal to the fetal child’s right to life. NEITHER can take preference, which is what “unalienable rights” means.

                But if a woman is then able to kill her unborn child, then those rights would not be equal. You are trying to take a position by not taking a position. And no, it’s not working.

                Michael Hihn: And there is no baby being killed if it’s not viable. By definition.

                And of course, this definition is wrong. If a baby is left without care after birth, it cannot survive. The “viability” argument is not valid.

                Michael Hihn: Uhhhh, the Supreme Court decided that. It’s their job!

                The also decided the fugitive Slave Act. Was that legitimate?

                Michael Hihn: Yes, that is their function within our constitution .. because legislatures (both state and federal) are explicitly denied such a power.

                Again, the Roe v. Wade decision left an out that if it ever were established when life began, then the Roe case would collapse.

                Michael Hihn: You know that states decided slavery on their own until the 13th Amendment, right?

                Only pro-choice people have more in common with supporters of slavery since it is they who have decided that a specific class of citizens (the unborn) is not deserving of rights.

                Michael Hihn: Abortion was never challenged or ruled upon until then– do you really have no idea how our constitution works?

                It’s pretty clear that I have an accurate understanding of how the constitution works.

                1. MH: The woman’s right to Liberty is precisely equal to the fetal child’s right to life. NEITHER can take preference, which is what “unalienable rights” means.

                  MSD6: But if a woman is then able to kill her unborn child, then those rights would not be equal.

                  (lol) You’re STILL denying the woman’s rights.

                  MSD6 “You are trying to take a position by not taking a position. ”

                  (laughing) Unalienable rights.

                  MH: And there is no baby being killed if it’s not viable. By definition.

                  MSD6: And of course, this definition is wrong.

                  (lol)The Constitution requires the Court to decide that.

                  MH: Uhhhh, the Supreme Court decided that. It’s their job!

                  The also decided the fugitive Slave Act. Was that legitimate?

                  (sigh) It was a legitimate application of Constitutional power.

                  Again, the Roe v. Wade decision left an out that if it ever were established when life began, then the Roe case would collapse.

                  Again? That’s the most God-awful stupid statement I’ve ever heard.
                  Roe was superseded by Casey.

                  Only pro-choice people have more in common with supporters of slavery since it is they who have decided that a specific class of citizens (the unborn) is not deserving of rights.

                  I’m pro-life and I’ve never denied a fetal child’s right to Life, while you repeatedly deny the woman’s right to Liberty, so cut the bullshit.

                  On what authority do you deny a woman’s unalienable rights?

      2. Only it is actually not her body. It is her child’s body. You can only make the “it’s my body” claim when there is no victim. With abortion, there is clearly a victim, so this point is mute.

        1. Only it is actually not her body. It is her child’s body.

          It’s BOTH of their bodies! TWO people. EACH with unalienable rights.

          You can only make the “it’s my body” claim when there is no victim. With abortion, there is clearly a victim, so this point is mute.

          Wrong again. Learn what unalienable rights means. NOBODY ON EARTH MAY DENY ANYONE’S UNALIENABLE RIGHTS.

          1. It’s BOTH of their bodies! TWO people. EACH with unalienable rights.

            So what are you in favor of. You can’t decide in favor of either a woman having the right to an abortion or a child having the right to life and not favor one of those groups. You are trying to have it both ways.

            Wrong again. Learn what unalienable rights means. NOBODY ON EARTH MAY DENY ANYONE’S UNALIENABLE RIGHTS.

            Which would mean that the right to life would be protected for an unborn child. To decide he/she can be killed would clearly violate these unalienable rights.

            1. You can’t decide in favor of either a woman having the right to an abortion or a child having the right to life and not favor one of those groups. You are trying to have it both ways.

              (sigh) One more time, they BOTH have unalienable rights. Under our Constitution, conflicting rights are settled by the Supreme Court, which MUST define the boundaries between conflicting rights in a way that best defends BOTH rights.

              It’s like “your right to swing your fist ends at the top of my nose.” …. which is common knowledge among high school graduates. ONLY the court is allowed to decide the matter, because the Ninth Amendment denies such power to BOTH the state and federal legislatures. Do you know our Bill of Rights?

              HIHN: Learn what unalienable rights means. NOBODY ON EARTH MAY DENY ANYONE’S UNALIENABLE RIGHTS.

              Shoulda checked before screwing up again

              Which would mean that the right to life would be protected for an unborn child.

              Equally with the woman’s right to Liberty. (lol)

              To decide he/she can be killed would clearly violate these unalienable rights.

              Only if we deny the woman’s unalienable rights. Repeat: TWO people. EACH with unalienable rights.Learn the meaning of “unalienable rights”.

              SOME Christians actually deny the Will of God … in the name of God! Which is REALLY wacky.

      3. Huh. Guess someone forgot to tell Lawrence Vance.

        http://archive.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance297.html

    2. MSD6

      But you never hear about the inter-party feuding between libertarians and pro-choice statists do you?

      Non-libertarian is not the same as anti-libertarian. But never let facts interrupt your rants.

      Equally wrong, your notion that libertarians don’t oppose Rick Santorum’s pro-life position. We oppose his (and your) Christian Taliban, which is the parent issue. Connect the dots.

      Like when Santorum said that President Kennedy’s praise of church/state separation made him (Santorum) want to puke. Apparently, he’s never read the Constitution … or the Treaty of Tripoli.

  22. Yeah read the comments here:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..e/page/0/1

    The amount of BS is incredible. Apparently, large swaths of the religious right think that if you don’t believe in God, then there is no basis for a belief in individual rights, and that you are automatically a liberal, communist, or socialist.

    1. It’s actually fewer than you think. I’ve had 35 years as a political activist and an atheist. Christian conservatives were almost always my biggest supporters, and they didn’t give a shit about my atheism.

      They’ll stand with the Santorums only because they don’t see anyone else defending their values. Most of them are even comfortable with Separation. The best reason I heard, “I believe in Separation because most Christian denominations have been persecuted, by other Christians.” I’d never heard that before, but it’s obviously true.

      1. You mean separation of church and state? Who do you think popularized the notion, but the Baptists, and other dissenting churches?

        1. Reports differ, but many say the Danbury Baptists approached Jefferson — for his historic “Wall of Separation” letter — because they feared persecution, which was quite common at the time in much of New England.

          The Treaty of Tripoli was unanimously ratified in 1797, “… the United States was not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”

          It’s not widely appreciated these days, but the (un)Holy Inquisition was still committing barbarities in Europe, almost until our Civil War. And our Founders had seen the Salem Witch trials on our side of the pond.

          But then we have the Westboro Baptists. 🙂

  23. So Christians cant be compatible with Libertarianism
    Jesus Christ is who taught me to be a libertarian
    because he…
    Hates taxes
    Likes helping others rather than waiting on the government to do it

    Enjoyed freedom of speech, and would talk about how rights were inherit in us and not granted by the government

    Stood up for a prostitute even though he did not agree with her choice, he defended her right to make that choice with her life.

    Stood up for his beliefs when the police state came for him

    Do unto others, is the moral philosophy

    Talked about creating a constantly improving world by working together and bringing tolerance and love into it.

    Sounds like a libertarian idealist to me but I’m sure the socialist whose never read the bible probably knows best…..

    1. … the socialist whose never read the bible probably knows best…..

      You’re a socialist?

  24. “These days, to even suggest the possibility that a fiscally conservative economic outlook is compatible with faith is a matter of hypocrisy.”

    That may be true for some, but I’m surprised that Reason.com would not recognize the diversity of opinion among American Christians.

    In an era when Christians are so often pigeon-holed as being in lock-step with the GOP, maybe Reason is just being contrarian by suggesting that we are supporters of social welfare spending. In any case, I can at least report on the (conservative) Christians I’ve shared pews with over the past decades. Their views (for good or ill) tend to run the gamut between the Tea Party and the rank-and-file Republican. Not much support for the welfare state that I’ve seen.

    I would agree that libertarianism holds many attractions for people of faith. Unfortunately, it seems that both sides tend to poison the dialogue with counter-productive assumptions and suspicions about one another.

  25. A better question might be if Libertarians can accept Christians into their ranks. The amount of hostility on this forum doesn’t give me much hope.

    1. It’s not Christian hostility. It’s those few Christians in the American Taliban.

      It’s not hostility to religion per se. It’s hostility to anyone who seeks to impose their values on everyone else through the power of the state — using religion, or anything else, as their excuse.

      There are two competing purposes claimed for government.
      1) Defend individual liberty.
      2) Impose one’s values by force of law.

      The imposed values can be religious, but they can also be “racist” (KKK, Hitler)

      1. American Taliban, hyperbole much?

        1. Do you suffer severe denial anywhere else?

          Taliban supports a theocratic government.
          Christian who support a theocracy are the Christian Taliban. duh.

          And the Christian Taliban violates our Constitution and Bill of Rights. See First and Ninth Amendments, Treaty of Tripoli.

          Are you American? If so, you’ll learn all this in high school.

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