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Skeptical of the 'Common Good'? Don't Be!

Libertarians think freedom creates the conditions that lead to human flourishing. The Catholic Church has a name for that.

This article originally appeared in the August 6 edition of America: The Jesuit Review.


School children in AfricaRobertoVi/pixabayI was sitting in a nondescript hotel ballroom, press credential strung around my neck, listening to the opening remarks at a conference in Washington, D.C. On stage, the cartoonishly villainous-sounding Wolf von Laer, the executive director of the group Students for Liberty, leaned into his microphone and announced something he knew would come as no surprise to the audience: Recently, for the first time, extreme poverty had fallen below 10 percent of the global population.

He was hoping to pump up the crowd, and he succeeded. Around me, people erupted into cheers.

A thousand or so college kids and recent grads had gathered for 2017's iteration of the largest meetup for young libertarians in the world. They would spend the next 48 hours socializing with fellow attendees, scouting job opportunities in the "liberty movement," and watching panel discussions with titles like "Got a Permit for That Bouquet? Why Occupational Licensing Laws Restrict Opportunity" and "How to Defund the Government and Help Your Community: The Arizona Model." Later, the libertarian activist Matt Kibbe would declare that "changing the world is not only possible, it's inevitable, if we all do this together."

One of the widespread misconceptions about libertarianism is that it denies the importance of community—assuming, in the words of the Notre Dame political scientist Patrick Deneen, that "the individual lives, or could live, in splendid isolation" from others. Another is that it preaches a selfish unconcern for the plight of one's fellow humans, especially the least among us. If these portrayals were correct, the libertarian philosophy would indisputably not be compatible with the Catholic Church's social doctrine—in particular with its teaching on the common good. But sneaking a peek into that Students for Liberty conference (or, for that matter, reading Reason) should make clear that, in fact, neither of those positions is integral to the libertarian worldview.

One way to think about libertarianism is that it is a political philosophy that prefers voluntary, nonviolent human interactions over coercion. Because government dictates are by nature coercive—we do not get to choose whether to pay taxes or comply with zoning restrictions—libertarians advocate relying on private solutions to problems whenever possible. Civil society institutions—family units and neighborhood groups, labor unions and trade associations, churches and charities—must do the heavy lifting. State interference in people's lives should be a last resort and then undertaken only for grave reasons.

Consistently applied, this idea has radical implications. As David Boaz of the Cato Institute has put it, libertarians generally believe "the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force—actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud." Everything else people should be free to work out organically, through trial and error, give and take, pressure and persuasion.

Treating People as Ends, Not Means

Ask a libertarian why we believe what we do and the answer may be rooted in abstract moral principles: We think people deserve to be treated as ends, not means—which is to say we think their autonomy should be respected as long as they are not infringing the rights of others. But very often, the explanation you get will be pragmatic. An honest assessment of reality tells us that maximizing the scope of freedom from government coercion creates the conditions for material progress and human flourishing.

That is not limited to progress and flourishing for a select few. Good-faith skeptics might be surprised to learn how active libertarians have been in the fight to end mass incarceration and advance criminal justice reform in the United States, for example, or how many libertarian groups filed amicus briefs siding with the Little Sisters of the Poor during their showdown over the Obamacare contraception mandate. When on a randomly chosen Saturday in June I visited the homepage of HumanProgress.org, a project of the Cato Institute, three of the featured stories were "Charitable Giving in U.S. tops $400 Billion for First Time," "Paraguay Declared Free of Malaria by World Health Organization," and "Zero Carbon Natural Gas: Is This the Solution We Have Been Searching For?"

I came to identify as a libertarian after studying economics in college. I was moved by the realization that market capitalism is the most efficient engine of economic growth the world has ever known. Both theory and empirical observation told me that government regulation is more likely to interfere with this process than it is to correct flaws in the system.

That reality is of great importance to libertarians, who are wont to share a graph depicting global per-capita gross domestic product over time. The curve looks like a hockey stick: It is nearly flat for centuries and then turns skyward suddenly around the time of the Industrial Revolution. As restrictions on trade among countries are loosened following World War II, the trend picks up speed.

When capitalism spreads to new corners of the world—especially as it begins to reach the 2.7* billion residents of India and China—it brings enormous prosperity along with it. In 2016, the World Bank reported that nearly 1.1 billion people moved out of extreme poverty between 1990 and 2013, and that the overall rate of poverty fell by half. As a result, we are living through a decline in global inequality. "This is the best story in the world today," the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in 2015. And it comes as middle-class citizens of more affluent countries are also gaining access to an ever-wider array of foods, medicines, communication technologies, and more.

Though libertarians do not usually speak in theological terms, this surely contributes to the common good—what the Church defines as "the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily."

A key aspect of the common good is that "it's there for us all if it's there at all," says David Hollenbach, a professor in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University who has written widely about this aspect of Catholic social teaching. "You can't take it and divide it up and give everybody a private piece of it—it's inherently shared."

Material well-being is part but not all of the story: "An increase in the gross national product is valuable for everybody," Fr. Hollenbach explains. "But it can get divided up into very definite pieces that some people get part of and some people get none of.... It's not enough to say the GDP grew and therefore the common good went up if half of the population is starving to death. So there's a distributive element as well."

But where are people actually more likely to starve to death, choke on pollution, contract malaria, or go without education—in industrialized countries with relatively unencumbered markets or in places that globalization has yet to reach?

"The proof of the pudding is always in the eating," says Robert Whaples, an economist at Wake Forest University and editor of Pope Francis and the Caring Society (Independent Institute). "In the systems where there are more economic freedoms, you see much more rapid economic growth. And if you don't think economic growth is important, you see a much more rapid drop-off in absolute poverty—and who's going to argue about that?"

'The Right Ordering of Economic Life'

All well and good, you may think—but man cannot live by bread alone. Papal teachings are rife with warnings about inequality ("the riches which are so abundantly produced...are not rightly distributed and equitably made available to the various classes of the people") and the rise of consumerism (we are "slaves of possessions" in a "throw-away culture"). As the Catholic writer Thomas Storck put it at The Distributist Review, "Do we recognize that the fall of our first parents has affected our appetites for external goods just as much as our appetite for sexual pleasure, and that a free-market...is much like free sex or free love, in that both regard the appetites of fallen mankind as fundamental axioms of human behavior"?

For more than a century, the church has held that "the right ordering of economic life cannot be left to a free competition of forces." Are good Catholics not required, then, to accept government wealth redistribution and other economic regulations—that is, to reject fundamental tenets of libertarianism?

I do not believe we are. The particular program of aggressive public intervention favored by many on the left is not the only answer to social ills. Individuals working creatively through private institutions provide an alternative, and people exercising their values in the market can also be a check on the market.

In the first great social encyclical, "Rerum Novarum," in 1891, Pope Leo XIII taught that men and women can solve most problems by forming "associations and organizations" and working together in goodwill. Public authorities should step in when suffering "can in no other way be met or prevented," but they "must not undertake more, nor proceed further, than is required for the remedy of the evil." Even almsgiving "is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity—a duty not enforced by human law."

It is true that the church sees state intervention as at least occasionally necessary. Many libertarians also think government has a (small) legitimate role to play—making sure contracts are enforced and assaults are punished, for example. But more to the point, the church has never tried to enumerate the precise conditions under which government institutions should take over. Official teachings are intentionally vague on this question, calling for "a wise provision on the part of public authority" (without fleshing out what would make an intervention unwise) and "a just and rational co-ordination of public and private initiative" (while leaving lay Christians to make prudential judgments about what such a system might actually look like).

In "Octagesima Adveniens," in 1971, Pope Paul VI wrote explicitly that "in concrete situations...one must recognize a legitimate variety of possible options. The same Christian faith can lead to different commitments." Or as Michael Novak and Paul Adams put it in Social Justice Isn't What You Think It Is (Encounter Books), Christians are impelled to give "a central place" to concern for the poor, but we do not have "a moral mandate to support any particular policy or party line on how best to help the poor."

While the church's authority on moral questions is the bedrock, it seems clear that some additional political theory is needed to help us know when government can, should, or must leave private individuals and groups to figure things out on their own. Libertarianism is such a theory—one that gives a presumption of liberty to virtually all peaceful behaviors.

The Moral Imperatives of Freedom

To be free is not necessarily to be consumed with oneself. On the contrary, libertarians understand that freedom can be morally, not just materially, empowering. A robust state makes complacency easy: Some far-away institution with billions of dollars at its disposal is responsible for solving that problem, not me. If instead we have a shared expectation that civil society is on the frontlines and that our choices have meaningful consequences, each of us is challenged to step up.

As I was researching this article, a controversy ignited within American politics: News broke that the Trump administration had begun separating immigrant children from parents caught entering the country in unauthorized places, sometimes holding them in detention centers thousands of miles apart. The ostensible purpose was to keep minors from getting caught up in prosecutions, which are being carried out under a "zero tolerance" policy for illegal entrants. But some Trump officials have acknowledged the real goal was to deter future crossings.

This development was a gut punch to me as a Catholic but also as a libertarian. Allowing goods and people to move freely is fundamental to my political worldview. The reasons for that are practical (trade and immigration allow resources of all kinds, from chewing gum to computer programming talent, to move to where they can be most productive) as well as philosophical (because I value liberty, I do not think the government should be able to prevent me from hiring, sharing my home with, buying things from, or selling things to another person just because he or she was born in a different country). I doubly oppose such restrictions when they impose human costs on an already suffering population—and if refugees fleeing humanitarian disasters do not qualify, it is hard to imagine who does. Yet the most powerful entity in the world was using force of arms in my name to tear foreigners' children away from them.

Until someone did something about it. "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news," Mr. Rogers famously said, "my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers.'" In this case, help came from Charlotte and Dave Willner and over 500,000 of their closest friends. That is the number of people who have donated to a fundraiser the couple set up on Facebook to support the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). They hoped to crowdfund $1,500, the minimum needed to post bail for someone detained at the border. To that end, the name of the page was "Reunite an immigrant parent with their child."

Eight days later, the couple had raised more than $20 million. By the time you read this article, the total will likely be much higher.

I tried to get in touch both with the Willners and with RAICES, but understandably—since it takes time and energy to process an outpouring on such a scale—I did not get a response. When the page had been active for less than 72 hours, however, the legal aid group posted an emotional message of gratitude: "We've been occasionally crying around the office all day when we check the fundraising totals," it read. "This is such a profound rejection of the cruel policies of this administration."

The incredible show of solidarity did more than provide money for a worthy nonprofit. With his executive order on June 20, President Trump partially backtracked on family separation. Parents are still being prosecuted, but they will now be held together with their children if possible. Though far from perfect, it is a start.

People often stare, eyebrows cocked skeptically, when libertarians say individual initiative and private generosity can be better than government largesse at solving collective problems. The doubters exhibit too little faith in the human capacity for miracles of caritas. Acts of kindness, small and large, are happening all the time for those with eyes to see. And they would happen more and perhaps in even grander ways if people were not frequently desensitized to injustice by the presumption that whatever can be done is already being done by the state.

'A Society of Liberty Under Law'

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "Every human person, created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized as a free and responsible being. All owe to each other this duty of respect. The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common good and public order."

Compare that to the following from the Cato Institute's Boaz: "Libertarian thought emphasizes the dignity of each individual, which entails both rights and responsibility....It is not a claim that 'people can do anything they want to, and nobody else can say anything.' Rather, libertarianism proposes a society of liberty under law, in which individuals are free to pursue their own lives so long as they respect the equal rights of others."

In fact, there is significant overlap between what the church proclaims and what libertarians believe—which is startling, given that only about one in 10 libertarians identifies as Catholic.

Richard D. Mohr, a professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, once wrote in Reason that "we believe that government exists for the sake of the individual, rather than that the individual is to be viewed as a resource for society." Is that really so different from Pope John XXIII's "one basic principle" articulated in "Mater et Magistra," that "the individual is prior to society and society must be ordered to the good of the individual"?

To be clear, I am not saying libertarianism provides a complete and accurate picture of human anthropology. As I define it, libertarianism is merely a philosophy of government. It tells us about the proper role of the state, that entity Max Weber defined as holding a monopoly on violence. It cannot answer the far more numerous and consequential questions about how to "live well" in the private sphere.

There are, admittedly, disagreements among libertarians on a number of important questions. Some think we should not just limit the size and scope of government but abolish it altogether. They are called "anarcho-capitalists." A few believe people are never morally obligated to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others. They are called "Objectivists." And so on. But these are all strains within a larger philosophical tradition. The common ground is a commitment to maximizing freedom from government coercion.

Critics sometimes aver that libertarians think interpersonal bonds "have to be cut" because they "limit freedom," to borrow Pope Francis' words. They think we deny that humans are social creatures who need each other in manifold ways. After nearly a decade in the liberty movement, I can say that this is simply not an accurate description. As Virginia Postrel, a former editor in chief of Reason, has put it: "The market is liberating. But it is not, as its critics charge, 'atomistic,' except in the sense that atoms have a tendency to form molecules, which in turn create larger structures."

Libertarians extol capitalism because it provides a framework for people to interact peacefully and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. (Have you ever noticed that after a commercial exchange, each party instinctively thanks the other?) As proud globalists, we want people who are struggling to escape desperate, backbreaking poverty to get the same material opportunities we are lucky enough to have. There is a thoroughly moral dimension to our worldview that is hard to miss when observed with an open mind.

In the final analysis, libertarians see the human person as worthy of respect. For the most part, they do not recognize the deeper truth: that this is so because we are made by God in His image and are incomparably valuable to Him. But in a real sense, without meaning to, libertarianism takes that idea more seriously than most other political philosophies.

In 1981, the free-market economist Julian Simon published The Ultimate Resource. His book challenged the notion, advanced over centuries by people like Thomas Malthus and Paul Ehrlich, that overpopulation would eventually deplete the planet and lead to mass starvation. Simon took a radically different view, writing that "population growth is likely to have a long-run beneficial impact on the natural-resource situation."

Though he was not Catholic, his reasoning has a remarkably Catholic quality to it. Simon believed in the immense potential of human ingenuity to address social problems. The bigger the challenge, the greater the incentive to find a creative solution. It follows that government attempts to curb fertility are deeply misguided if not immoral in themselves, the product of a "complete lack of imagination" on the part of lawmakers—because more people means more brains working away at making the world a better place.

"Our capacity to provide the good things of life for an ever-larger population is increasing as never before. Yet the conventional outlook—perhaps because of a similar lack of imagination—points in exactly the opposite direction," he wrote. The doomsayers "do not imagine the adjustments that individuals and communities," left to themselves, can make.

Libertarians believe that a program of freedom redounds to the benefit of us all. It fosters peace and prosperity while creating vast space for intellectual and moral pursuits. One might even say, in the words of the Catechism, that it helps produce the "conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily."

*CORRECTION: This piece originally misstated the number of people living in India and China.


Listen to me discuss this story on the Cato Daily Podcast yesterday and Sirius XM's Catholic Channel on Wednesday of this week.

Photo Credit: RobertoVi/Pixabay

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Good-faith skeptics might be surprised to learn...

    There are no good-faith skeptics.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There is no good faith. Faith is belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Everything is faith. People take on faith that scientific theories have been proven despite not having themselves personally collected and analyzed any data or replicated any experiments. People take on faith the earned credentials of those who have and people take on faith those who have are honest in those endeavors. Trust is faith, as much as people like to believe otherwise.

    Of course, "good-faith skeptics" is another matter altoghter. When was the last time any of you engaged in a debate with someone about libertarianism or any ideology where your opponent was sincere in his or her interest in the exchange?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Face to face, around the last election. One the internet, a month ago maybe. But I don't have these conversations one on one very often.

  • IceTrey||

    Faith is belief without evidence. Saying people take scientific theories on faith because they have not personally performed the experiments is retarded.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Saying people take scientific theories on faith because they have not personally performed the experiments is retarded.
    Maybe. Can you prove it?

    *runs away giggling*
  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You had me at retarded.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    So should we start calling you "Priest Hank Phillips"?

  • BigT||

    "Allowing goods and people to move freely is fundamental to my political worldview."

    Um...property rights?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    You think people freely moving goes against property rights? You must feel very lonely inside your little space under your bed.

    What is it about VOLUNTARY don't you understand?

  • TuIpa||

    Nowhere in there did you disprove or even address anything he said.

    How are you this stupid?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It beggars the imagination, doesn't it?

  • JFree||

    This is the biggest actual conflict with libertarianism.

    People being able to move freely is not only a natural right, it is a prerequisite to individual liberty. If you are not truly free to find a better circumstance for yourself, then all you can hope for is negotiating the terms of your serfdom with the deck stacked against you.

    The only property right that that irreconcilably conflicts with is that of land. Not self and not your production. It was only in the late 19th century that property (usus, fructus, abusus) in land really extended to abusus without anyone even realizing what that is. Before that Jefferson could assert I set out on this ground which I suppose to be self evident, "that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living;" that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it. and he was right. It was self-evident to everyone then. The phrase is incomprehensible to most now.

    Combine that with the 20th cent Austrian 'reinterpretation' of anarchism - where the discredited labor theory of value is resurrected - but applied ONLY to land. And you got yourself a political philosophy that is almost a FYTW defense of not liberty but establishment and status quo.

  • JFree||

    Oh - and I am NOT making some open borders argument. I really don't give a shit about applying that to everyone in the world until WAY after we can figure out how it can become an AMERICAN reality that works. That freedom to move and the whole frontier mindset of reinventing ourselves as a byproduct of mobility was prob the major contribution of America to the world. And imo we're losing that or have lost it.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Fine point. Americans can move from Alabama to Alaska because of a "fuck you, I'm a free man and I do what I want" built into the thinking at the time and memorialized in written law. Once we start thinking we can move from Alabama to Alaska because our government allows us to do so, the door opens to change all that.

  • JFree||

    Once we start thinking we can move from Alabama to Alaska because our government allows us to do so, the door opens to change all that.

    That door opened long ago. I'd just rephrase the 'because our government allows us to do so'. re freedom of movement, govt mostly acts at the behest/service of private owners of land - as their agent. The exceptions are monarchy (where the land is the monarchs) or communism (where the land is the state's). What our govt does now is subsidize immobility (thus distorting our markets from adjusting via mobility of labor) - and enforce a notion of land-in-property that is the most hostile to natural freedom of movement in the world.

    Everywhere else, land went from feudal/monarchy - to enclosure - to private. Each one of those steps was seen as an infringement on natural rights of others - eg the ignored part of the Magna Carta. So the property right in land was not made absolute (as here) but required access/etc to others. It remains that way there and it has a big effect even today. We otoh had the frontier itself as the escape - and when that ended, we legally swung to the opposite extreme but still with the frontier mindset.

  • Paloma||

    One can only hope the labor theory of value is discredited. Not discredited enough for my taste.

  • Azathoth!!||

    No form of life ANYWHERE, at ANY level moves into the territory of another freely.

    That is not an opinion. It is not an ideology. It is an observable scientific fact.

    This leftist idiocy of 'the free movement of people' is like every other leftist idiocy--utterly and completely wrong.

    That they have managed to attach it to something so intense on the support of property rights being central to one's liberty is simply astounding.

  • JFree||

    No form of life ANYWHERE, at ANY level moves into the territory of another freely.

    No form of life anywhere RECOGNIZES AS VALID a claim of 'the territory of another'. Yeah - you can try to pee on a tree to mark your territory but that doesn't mean you get it. Most species will completely ignore that mark and cross that at will. Others who DO recognize that pee as a territorial marking are PERFECTLY FREE to cross over and challenge you. If they beat you, then they get to pee on a tree. Those challenges will be perpetual. You will have zero opportunity between fights to improve the land for your benefit and will see no benefit in doing so since you only own anything until the next fight for it. Your kids will not inherit a damn thing that they don't have to fight for themselves - and there ain't no court they can go to to say 'well daddy peed on a tree so it's all mine'.

    Whatever property in land you own is your ONLY because a)the first US patent owner of that land received it from a govt that forcibly stole it from the previous claimant of 'territory of another' and b)govt promised to defend that owners post-death grant of land to his 'heirs and assigns' and c)govt defends it from any and all current encroachments of others. ALL of those govt actions are a diminishment of others natural freedom of movement - for the exclusive benefit of that owner of property in land.

  • BigT||

    "especially as it begins to reach the 7.2 billion residents of India and China"

    Um....a bit high, unless all of us are considered residents.

  • Stephanie Slade||

    Oh damnit. I thought I had corrected that. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  • ||

    The Catholic church has indeed played a constructive if not immeasurable role in the concept of liberty over the centuries.

    With regards to the Church, freedom of movement and immigration. Yeh, well, the bottom line is we're also nations of laws and if you don't protect (and enforce) those laws, you break the sanctity and trust between citizens and state.

    My view as a Catholic and classical liberal is we should put focus on the people who put their children in such positions at the border. I don't think it's moral or fair a country that doesn't protect its borders then turns around and makes moves to bestow upon people who break the law 'free stuff' paid for by legal citizens, the right to vote and driver's licenses. I don't see how one can square this with people who immigrated legally.

    If you're okay with that, then remove all immigration laws and declare yourself an open border society and get consent from the people you're taking tax dollars to give free education to non-citizens.

    At some point a nation needs to preserve its integrity, no?

  • mtrueman||

    "At some point a nation needs to preserve its integrity, no?"

    Not according to Jesus. Sounds more like Hitler, obsessing over blood and soil.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    [citation needed]

  • mtrueman||

    Try the new testament.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    Can you be more specific? I didn't think so.

    Deus Vult!

  • mtrueman||

    You can read about the thoughts and actions of Jesus in the new testament of the bible.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    Yes, indeed!. Remember when you say, "What Would Jesus Do?", the possibilities include cracking whips and throwing over tables.

  • mtrueman||

    Tribal, or even national integrity was never a part of the teachings of Jesus. That's more Hitler's bag.

  • TuIpa||

    So, you're not going to actually post anything that actually proves you weren't lying when you said "Not according to Jesus"

  • mtrueman||

    National, or even tribal integrity was never a part of Jesus' teaching. That is the bag of Hitler.

  • TuIpa||

    So, you're not going to actually post anything that actually proves you weren't lying when you said "Not according to Jesus"

  • TuIpa||

    listen we know you have only the most basic familiarity with the Bible and were obviously just trying to use it as a cudgel.

    But you got caught and now you can't admit it, or else 2 hours after you made your first proclamation you would have posted SOME evidence.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    Nor did he ever oppose it.

    The Catholic Church has been in existence for over 2000 years. If you think it's defined by the Hippie Catholicism that's been propagated for the last 50 years or so, you are seriously hallucinating.

    ""Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send [or bring] peace, but a sword.""
    --Mathew 10:34

  • Bubba Jones||

    Jesus gave no fucks about our political structures.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Jesus never existed. All references to the entity were invented 150 years after the entity is supposed to have walked the water and bootlegged loaves and fishes for altruism. Furthermore, court cases tried by Poncio Pilato survive with no mention of crucifixion of death-reversing mystics among them.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Hank Phillips: one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

  • mtrueman||

    Hitler was the nationalist. Jesus told us to love our neighbourhood.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

  • Paloma||

    There's also some advantages, like turning water to wine and multiplying loaves and fishes.

    That's what I'd do if I was hungry.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Hello, Federal Reserve!!!!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jesus usually spends his time traveling through time and space, stopping alien invasions and various calamities.

  • Rock Lobster||

    "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's." Mark 12:17

  • JonFrum||

    "The Catholic church has indeed played a constructive if not immeasurable role in the concept of liberty over the centuries."

    Bwahahaha! When they weren't slaughtering heretics, you mean.

  • TuIpa||

    or fucking kids.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    Ya sure, by golly!

    Jesus may have told us to love our enemies. But he never told us to forget that they *are* our enemies!

  • Kivlor||

    this is honestly a pathetic criticism. The Catholic Church persecuted very few heretics, and over the course of its history the total is insignificant compared the the number persecuted and killed under secular humanist movements in the 20th century alone.

    If you're going to tear down something make sure what you replace it with is actually better.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It's very chic for progtards to beat up on Christians. Since Christians generally won't hit back. For the same reason, progtards don't attack Muslims. Muslims will kill them for criticizing their faith.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Yeh, well, the bottom line is we're also nations of laws and if you don't protect (and enforce) those laws, you break the sanctity and trust between citizens and state.

    I guess we're at the point where no one even tries any more.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Hey MJ. Long time no see.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Skeptical of the 'Common Good'? Don't Be!
    Libertarians think freedom creates the conditions that lead to human flourishing. The Catholic Church has a name for that.

    Here's my two cents. The Catholic Church is an organization that has fostered some of the worse genocide/crimes against humanity in human history.

    It has also been a symbol of hope, charitable giving, and sense that there is something bigger than yourself.

    Catholics tend to be Sheeple, so individualism and doing good for your fellow man just because, seems selfish to them. If you're not doing it for the Pope or God, you're a heathen. As a Catholic, I can do almost anything I want and ask a priest for forgiveness and I will be 'right with God'.

    Organized religion and individualism dont really mesh well, as religion mostly requires Socialist principles to operate. Its all about the 'Common Good'.

    A Libertarian might realize that doing good for their fellow man is in their best interests, but following religious dogma just to 'fit in' is the opposite of individualism. Its being a Sheeple.

  • LynchPin1477||

    What about doing good because you think it's the right thing to do, even when not clearly in your individual self interest?

  • ||

    I feel compelled to push back a little. We owe a lot to Catholic theologians and scholars. They did a little more than just create charity.

    Also, what do you mean by genocide specifically out of curiosity?

  • Shirley Knott||

    I think we need to push back on the notion the Catholic Church created charity.
    The ancient Egyptians, the peoples of Asia, and the ancient Greeks would all be astonished at the notion that charity originated with or in Christianity.

  • ||

    True. Depends on how it was defined and interpreted I suppose. E.G as a virtue it was Christian.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charity_(virtue)

    Modern charitable organizations are philosophically more along the lines of the Christian interpretation as far as I can tell. But I could be wrong.

    http://philanthrocapitalism.ne.....nt-giving/

  • TuIpa||

    "E.G as a virtue it was Christian. "

    But that is a function of Christianity not charity.

  • Paloma||

    For what it's worth, almsgiving was one of the six paramitas in ancient India. It definitely predates Christianity.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And failed.

    India is a 3rd world hell hole.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And shikha dalmia. She escaped to the USA with her man.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funny how charity and free market have flourished to the levels they have under protestantism or agnosticism.

    The chinese empires tried and failed. The english empires tried and failed. The Indian empires tried and failed.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Rufus: the inquisition, the papal wars (7th century to 19th century), the conquest of south America....

  • Vaelyn||

    Those aren't unique to Catholicism, Christianity in general, or any other religion. Genocide and plunder have been practiced by adherents of every creed under the sun. (Except MAYBE Libertarianism. MAYBE.)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    THOSE events and time periods of Catholic genocide are unique to Catholicism.

    Warfare, genocide, and murder are not unique to Catholicism.

  • Kivlor||

    The inquisition is a joke. Read some history. 4,000 people over 350 years. Many merely executed in effigy. It wasn't good, but honestly when put in perspective it is not anything particularly nasty.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You're lying again Kivlor.
    Inquisition
    Over 200 years, over 32,000 execution for heresy.

  • Kivlor||

    Those numbers are completely unsubstantiated. Read Henningsen's "Database of the Spanish Inquisition" The high estimate is less than 4,000. The low-bound number was ~1,500 with ~50% being executions in effigy.

    Amazingly, the Inquisiton kept records, because thethey were not ashamed of their work. Perhaps you should read up on the black legend of Spain.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They bragged and documented all the heretics they murdered.

    People were in fear for their lives to be labeled heretics and killed. People used the lables heretic to steal land after the person was hauled away.

    Its not some huge secret.

    Its like the salem witch trials. All documented because at the time, the government officials thought they had morality on their side. Its when murders dont have the moral authority that they hide their deeds.

  • Kivlor||

    Exaxtly. Now, just look at the records LC.

  • Paloma||

    Yeah, that's two cents alright.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Better than your worthless stanley nickles.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    There are, admittedly, disagreements among libertarians on a number of important questions. Some think we should not just limit the size and scope of government but abolish it altogether. They are called "anarcho-capitalists." A few believe people are never morally obligated to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others. They are called "Objectivists." And so on. But these are all strains within a larger philosophical tradition. The common ground is a commitment to maximizing freedom from government coercion.


    I don't understand how you can call it a disagreement when at the very end you clearly lay out the ultimate political and moral goal which is to maximize freedom over the need of the state to control each of us. And it's not "a few" who believe they are never morally obligated to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others. Sacrifice must ALWAYS be a voluntary action, not a moral imperative. Sacrifice by compulsion is called murder. The compulsory sacrifice of a population is called genocide.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I would broadly define libertarian (or classical liberal) as someone who believes liberty is the most important single value. I don't think that precludes liberty being outweighed in some cases by the sum of other moral or pragmatic concerns. That's why must libertarians and classical liberals accept some role for government.

    Ancaps seem to value liberty above of all other values full stop. There is no sum of other concerns that can outweigh that.

    That's where I see the disagreement.

  • TLBD||

    Yes, this is where the disagreement lies.

    Libertarians believe that the state exists as part of human nature, and it will always take some form. The purpose for libertarians is to minimize it to the most possible extent within the confines of human nature in order to maximize freedom.

    Ancaps reject human nature or at least our ideas of human nature while offering little to no evidence as to why we should believe their utopia is possible within the confines of human nature.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > Libertarians believe that the state exists as part of human nature, and it will always take some form.

    Incorrect. You are confusing the state with government and/or hierarchy. And your slander against ancaps shows it as well. AnCaps believe in "government", just not a monopolistic one, the more government(s), the better!!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nope.

  • TLBD||

    The state and government are interchangeable in reality so I felt no need to differentiate.

    It is not a slander against ancaps it is just an accurate observation. One that you still felt no need to expand on because you cant. Anarchists and ancaps have as much a problem with human nature as the marxists.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anarchists want a volunteer group and want to call it 'government', with no power of course.

    The word 'government' is already taken and it means something different than what you want it to.

    Libertarians want to take human nature; par it with very limited government of the people under supreme rules that even government must follow; maximize freedoms, rights, and Liberty under that rule of law; and prosper.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yes sir! Concise explanation of libertarianism.

  • IceTrey||

    I don't think there is a disagreement. We can have a government that values liberty above all it just has to be prohibited from initiating force.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    This. Let's have lots of governments, and expose them all to the free market. C'mon, y'all, it'll be fun .

  • LynchPin1477||

    Respectfully, I think this misses my point. An ancap looks at a government that *does* use coercion and decides that no amount of good can outweigh that violation of individual liberty. More moderate libertarians and classical liberals believe that there is *some* amount of good that can outweigh that infringement of liberty. Liberty is the most important single value for all, but for some there is a calculus that at least allows for the possibility that the sum off other values can outweigh it.

  • IceTrey||

    I disagree. A government limited to the retaliatory use of force CAN'T violate that liberty.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Again, not relevant to the point that I'm trying to make.

  • Vaelyn||

    Sure it can. Ask the family of the guy who was killed in that "SWATting" incident.

  • IceTrey||

    That was the government initiating force.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You want anarchy. Fuck you. Get your own ancap website.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Um, no I don't. I was making an observation, not discussing my preferences. And even if I did want anarchy, you aren't in a position to dictate who comments here and what they post.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And neither do you fuck face.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Which is why I try to thoughtfully engage with people instead of calling them names.

  • TLBD||

    I don't think libertarians ever believe Gov to be good, just a necessary evil. Why I said above that we seek to minimize it to the greatest reasonable extent within confines of human nature and other outside forces. The main difference is what is reasonable.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Agree TLBD.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Yeah, I think that's one of the differences between libertarians and classical liberals. Classical liberals seem to view government as a dangerous beast, but one that at least in principle can be tamed to do some genuine good.

  • Michael Cook||

    Spirited Catholic-bashing is the order of the day. I am not Catholic, but I do admire the church's social authoritarianism.) A good Catholic NFL commish, for instance, would have no problem requiring all players to stand for the national anthem. The first rule of social discipline is: gestures matter, and so do the formal manners (etiquette) we should display when stopped by the police, paying our taxes, or going to city hall to dispute a land use edict.

    The old American frontier was known for stilted politeness, a consequence of everyone being armed. People raised to be socially housebroken (churches did help at that) survived a little bit longer.

    So, to be polite and totally forthright, my real motive for posting today stems from a thought I woke up with this morning about Paul Manafort.

    This heinous and disgusting man (the jury is still out) when you think about it is really only the Republican, male version of Hillary Clinton. Now were Manafort actually Hillary, he could have skated by on every charge (not that he would have needed to, because he would never have been investigated and no one would have been strong-armed into denouncing him..)

    Were Manafort only Hillary C., his every business arrangement could be smothered in the appearance of impropriety and never would the media or snoopy prosecutors raise an alarm. He could collude to his heart's content with Russians. He could wear a jacket made of Ostrich skin and dance on top of the world's glass ceilings.

  • Michael Cook||

    Before anyone disputes this--Hillary's business matters have never really been investigated, except in the most pro-forma manner with all critical witnesses granted immunity instead of being direly threatened into spilling the goods on her. My, what a difference that makes!)

  • Cy||

    Openly admitted blatant felonies just get a pass because, go team blue!

  • IceTrey||

    Actually most western towns prohibited the carrying of firearms. That's what the OK Corral was about.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    NOt only were local bans on firearms unconstitutional, the ok corral was about cattle rustlers.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    By the standards of right-wing gun nuts, John Wayne was a gun-grabbing commie who never should have been glorified in a Rolling Stones song.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA!

  • LynchPin1477||

    But sneaking a peek into that Students for Liberty conference (or, for that matter, reading Reason)

    Well, maybe don't read the comments.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The idea that individuals and their ability to make choices for themselves are of fundamental importance flows quite naturally from basic Christian dogma. If you believe that Jesus died for every individual, then you need to treat others (and their rights) as if they're worthy of his sacrifice. If you believe that Jesus died so that we would be free to make choices for ourselves, then that doesn't simply dovetail nicely with libertarian ideas--"individuals making choices for themselves" is what libertarianism is all about. If you believe that Jesus suffered because God values freedom of choice so much that he'll let someone as perfectly innocent as Jesus suffer rather than force his own will on us, then you believe in a radically libertarian God--certainly more libertarian than I am.

  • Ken Shultz||

    H/T to Dostoevsky

    "The Inquisitor founds his denunciation of Jesus on the three questions that Satan asked Jesus during the temptation of Christ in the desert. These three are the temptation to turn stones into bread, the temptation to cast Himself from the Temple and be saved by the angels, and the temptation to rule over all the kingdoms of the world. The Inquisitor states that Jesus rejected these three temptations in favor of freedom, but the Inquisitor thinks that Jesus has misjudged human nature. He does not believe that the vast majority of humanity can handle the freedom which Jesus has given them. The Inquisitor thus implies that Jesus, in giving humans freedom to choose, has excluded the majority of humanity from redemption and doomed it to suffer."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....sitor#Poem

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You cant have a god that demands obedience and individual liberty.

  • Ken Shultz||

  • Brian||

    The way I see it, government is essentially controlling people with the threat of violence.

    And there are two kinds of people in this world:

    "We should be really careful with that!"

    and

    "Fuck me, that's effective, let's go crazy with that!"

    Libertarians are basically the first type.

  • IceTrey||

    But the type of violence is key. Initiating force bad. Retaliating with force good.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    i.e., stealing via fraud bad, recovering with violence if necessary good.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Government is the militia. Its a group to enforce rules.

    This is what anarchists like sarcasmic never will admit. They think they can change human nature to bond and provide for common security. You will never change the family dynamic. In the case of America, its the American family of individualism vs socialism.

  • Ken Shultz||

    As a general observation, I've found it easier to persuade believers that creation didn't necessarily require a central planner than it is to persuade progressives that the economy doesn't necessarily require a central planner. And yet is seems to me that if one idea is more plausible than the other, it's that the universe is so large and complicated that it must have been initiated by an extreme intelligence--more so than the idea that Bernie Sanders has the supreme intelligence necessary to make the economic choices necessary to optimize the quality of each of our lives.

    I am not a Catholic, but from a Catholic perspective, I suspect it's easier to believe in both things. Once you assume that there was a creator God and that he has a representative here on earth in the form of the pope to help order society according to his will, then getting to the position of central planning of the economy is probably a small jump.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    This. There's a physicist who said, when asked about faith and science, that if one studies physics deep enough, one sees the face of God. I can find evidence for intelligent design, and yet not an intelligent designer who doesn't follow the Prime Directive - which is arguably moral bullshit.

  • TLBD||

    The entire universe is built to be as efficient as possible with information... to the point where at it's most basic level it begins to break down logically. Even with basic concepts such as the speed limit of light seems designed to ensure that information cannot reach past a certain threshold.

    Everything about it screams that the universe has finite informational resources, even if those resources are mind boggling.

    What this means is interesting and why the idea that we are in a simulation has gained traction.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why assume their is a god to explain all.

    It humans are but a fly speck in the universe and there is no god unless you can prove it.

    Humans might the prison population dropped here by ancient relatives, like Australia.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I don't assume. I see no evidence for a good and just God, but I try to remain open to all possibilities.

    Ooh. Ooh, I have a theory about prison planets. Thanks for bringing that up. So, escape velocity is really fucking expensive, right. And getting a crew, craft, supplies and sundries to escape velocity even more so.

    Economies work best cooperatively, and poorly - if at all - under coercive circumstances.

    Maaaaybe... there's no way to achieve true space-faring species status until the species learns to get along well enough to afford the effort to leave.

  • Ken Shultz||

    One of the ideas I find challenging to get across to believers and atheists alike is the observation that altruism emerged from the natural world--that it doesn't require a central planning God. Atheists seem to resist it on the pretense of religion itself emerging from evolutionary forces--they instinctively cling to the idea that religion is useless. Christians want to resist it because they see altruism itself emerging from the state of nature as being a miraculous vindication of their faith. No need for libertarians to be distracted by any of that--Adam Smith aptly described altruism emerging from self-interested systems as early as "Theory of Moral Sentiments" in 1759.

    Perhaps this is a way to approach Catholics. Bonobos and prairie dogs exhibit altruism. If benevolence arises naturally from God's world, then maybe its existence doesn't require any input from the Vatican either.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I am not an atheist. I do not believe religion to be useless.

    Religion provides comfort and enjoyment to many people. It inclines some people toward good works (enough that, being charitable, I would accept as reasonable the assertion that organized religion has caused roughly as much good as harm).

  • TLBD||

    Holy shit a thoughtful comment from Kirkland.

    *applause*

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its part 2 in a series of trolling by Kirkland.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    This is a curious -- or, more accurate, daft -- time to be praising Catholic social doctrine.

    The Catholic Church engaged in a systematic, longstanding program that facilitated and concealed the sexual abuse of children. It did this for selfish reasons, including protecting its own criminals and preserving its reputation and great wealth. It has fought stridently to silence victims and to deny them civil justice. It has employed sharp-elbowed tactics, first-rate lobbyists, and huge corporate law firms to abuse the already victimized and to try to defend the morally indefensible.

    Were this organization a chain of day care centers, it would have been bankrupted and closed long ago, with a string of criminal convictions involved. Instead, the church deftly uses its connections and influence -- a moral blind spot among many, built on superstition and childhood indoctrination -- to avoid accountability.

    The Catholic Church is not an emperor lacking clothes. Its men have ornate frocks, million-dollar residences, towering bank accounts, and 10-dollars-per-minute Jones Day lawyers, all derived tax-free from the gullible.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    People are and should be entitled to believe as they wish, but a website named "reason" should be first place that recognizes that sensible, competent people neither advance nor accept supernatural-based arguments in reasoned debate among adults with respect to civic affairs.

    While the most recent recounting of Catholic Church criminality and depravity is still being litigated -- the church continues to oppose disclosure and accountability -- and in the era of Donald Trump, Roy Moore, and Paul Ryan, however, Stephanie Slade would have us turn to the Catholic Church and right-leaning libertarianism for pointers on morality and justice.

    What's next? Is she a Penn State fan with a Jerry Sandusky autograph tucked in her Bible?

  • Rich||

    sensible, competent people neither advance nor accept supernatural-based arguments in reasoned debate

    E.g.

  • Brian||

    Oh, calm down, Mrs. Lavender.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Credit where credit's due. The Rev makes a good point.

    This is an excellent time for Catholicism to remove the beam from it's own eye rather than stand as an example of the godly and good.

  • Eddy||

    I'd think that if the crooked and corrupt bishops actually believed in their religion, they wouldn't have been crooked and corrupt.

    These things are worse when done by Church authorities than when done by (say) public schools or Hollywood types - who expects better of the latter two?

    But the bishops claim their authority stems from a good and wise Creator who said let the children come to Him.

    Yet they did wrong, and even when the bishops did the right thing it was because laypersons (cops, media, etc.) pressured them into it.

    The crooked bishops should all be laicized at the very least (plus whatever other punishments are allowed by the various statutes of limitations).

    The Church's whole ecclesiology is based on the assumption the bishops wouldn't behave like this - and that they would do the right thing for its own sake, not under lay pressure.

    Now "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of" them - and it looks like the current Pope is more interested in his dubious PC causes than in getting rid of these bishops.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Eddie, I have respect for you as a man of God - far more than those who actually list it as a credential. This is one of the reasons why. Sound answer, and it's my view that this is pretty much all that can save the Church if disclosures keep coming - and I am certain there are more out there.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Let me also add that this may be a trying time for you, and my thoughts are with you. I hope this is resolved in a way that helps.

    * No, I don't think you were molested, Catholics can still feel hurt and betrayed without that.

  • Eddy||

    Thank you, though I wouldn't call myself a man of God.

    I wasn't molested, but the framework of my beliefs has been metaphorically molested.

    I thought I was inoculated against scandals, having done some dabbling in Catholic history and been familiar with how to counteract the exaggerations of outsiders. But how does one exaggerate a scandal where they coddle priests who have their victims wash their mouths out with holy water, etc.?

    I am am thinking of those who are a bit more faithful than I, and whose outrage seems to have reached a tipping point.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Choose reason. Every time.

    Especially over sacred ignorance and dogmatic intolerance.

    Most especially if you are older than 12 or so. By then childhood indoctrination fades as an excuse for backwardness, gullibility, ignorance, bigotry, and superstition.

    By ostensible adulthood it is no excuse. Not even in Alabama.

    Choose reason. And science, tolerance, modernity, inclusivity, education, and progress.

    Avoid intolerance, ignorance, insularity, and institutions that engage in the systematic facilitation and concealment of sexual abuse of children.

    Choose reason. Be an adult. Or, at least, try.

  • Eddy||

    Thank you, Arthur, you've strengthened my faith in the Church, it can't be all bad if it sets you off so much.

  • Eddy||

    I tell you what, Artie, maybe you can convince me that I'm wiser and more learned than Erasmus of Rotterdam. You may have heard of him, he denounced a lot of the abuses in the Churches, and he was urged to join Team Protestant. Yet he never defected from the Church - but maybe you know something he didn't? What with your superior learning?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Among the freedoms we enjoy are the freedom to be gullible, dumb, reckless, and immoral.

    You consequently are entitled to be gullible and morally deficient enough to continue to respect, trust, and support the Catholic Church and those who participate in it.

    You also are entitled to be dumb and reckless enough to permit your children with 100 yards of any Catholic institution.

    You are free to help the Catholic Church continue to attempt to dodge accountability for its criminal and depraved conduct.

    You are welcome to arrange to have your child serve as an altar boy. Plenty of children have substandard parents and pay for that misfortune in severe ways.

    All of these points are entirely consistent with your conservatism and faux libertarianism. Why should anyone expect different with respect to your relationship with a discredited, corrupt church?

  • Eddy||

    "You are free to help the Catholic Church continue to attempt to dodge accountability for its criminal and depraved conduct."

    Shorter rev - "I am a moron who doesn't know how to read."

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Eddy, that's a totally incorrect reading of Kirkland's post. Everybody knows that an accurate translation acknowledges he shits his pants at the end of every post.

    More accurate Kirkland summary: "I am a moron who doesn't know how to read. *shits pants*"

  • Kivlor||

    Couple of thoughts here Eddy, from another Catholic--albeit one out of communion w/ the Church.
    1. Although it is especially heinous that the Bishops--including the Pope himself--have failed here, it should be quite forseeable. Priests are men, and like all of us they sin, even bishops and popes. The clergy are not more holy or less sinful than the laity, they are more trained than the laity. They are men, not angels.

    2.It is up to good men like yourself to help lead the church out of this crisis. Through faith and action.

    On that note, have you read this.

  • Eddy||

    At present, I don't think my character is up to your standards - at least the way you put it.

    To paraphrase the linked article, "not angels" is too much of an understatement - it's not normal to have to rely on outside authorities to make the bishops do their jobs. Nor is it normal for me to have to sit and listen to the triumphal brayings of the Kirklands.

    If the ecclesiology of the Church is to be preserved - if the bishops are to be recognized and respected in what the Church proclaims their God-given authority - then we should recognize that the bishops themselves are the worst obstacles to making that happen. Maybe we could go back to the old method of having the laity elect bishops (with certain safeguards) - so at the very least the laity aren't limited to sitting around waiting to hear what's going to happen next.

  • Eddy||

    St. Ambrose was a popular Roman official (how common was *that*?), who went to supervise a turbulent episcopal election and ended up getting elected himself. Unlike modern candidates, he really didn't want to be elected, and tried to run away (perhaps setting a tradition by which bishops at least *pretend* not to want the job, even if they're drooling all over themselves at the prospect). Then the supporters of his election got various obstacles out of the way (like getting him baptized, which he hadn't been before), and he served well enough that...well, he's recognized as a saint.

  • Kivlor||

    Eddy, my standards of character are sadly a little low. I dont know you, but you sound like the kind of man who is desperately needed amongst the faithful today.

    This is a terrible time for the Church. Horrible men have been allowed to not only fill the role of shepherds but they have been allowed to run amok with impunity. But we can root it out, if good men like yourself can the find courage to do so.

  • Kivlor||

    I want to say that I wholeheartedly agree that the bishops themselves are the greatest obstacle to restoring the Church.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It is up to good men like yourself to help lead the church out of this crisis. Through faith and action.

    False. It is up to better men -- unbiased by affiliation with the church, their minds not clouded by superstition and childhood indoctrination -- to (1) impose accountability on the church for its depraved crimes, (2) rearrange the law in an effort to diminish the next, predictable scandal precipitated by foolish policies and unearned privilege, and (3) steer gullible, substandard parents and a stubborn church away from conditions that facilitate abuse of children.

  • Eddy||

    Here is Kirkland listing hatred of Catholics as an example of right-wing bigotry.

    And no wonder you feel that way, Artie, because the American Bishops agree with you on #Resisting Trump on immigration, and on retarded lefty economics.

    I don't know how you excuse your ingratitude to your episcopal allies, except for the fact that some of your other allies are against the Church. But these same allies are the people who excuse Roman Polanski and other abusers.

    So you agree with the lefty silliness of the bishops, and on cultural issues, you're with the crowd that doesn't think "intergenerational sex" is too bad.

    You are a random talking-point generator.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I still cannot figure out if you are a troll or some pathetic excuse for a human.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Kirkland is both.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    One of the widespread misconceptions about libertarianism is that it denies the importance of community—assuming, in the words of the Notre Dame political scientist Patrick Deneen, that "the individual lives, or could live, in splendid isolation" from others. Another is that it preaches a selfish unconcern for the plight of one's fellow humans, especially the least among us.

    I have run into this many times, and it always astonishes me that people can conflate government-mandated theft, redistribution, and welfare with true charity.

    It is socialists who hate people and individualists who care about each other. The evidence is in plain sight: socialist governments murder their own people, starve them, build walls to keep out foreign ideas.

    All Bernie and Lizzie and the latest darling, Occasional-Cortex, can think of is how to steal more property, force everybody into government housing, government schools, government jobs. They deny people have agency or conduct business which benefits the entire world. They are incapable of stringing together any coherent thoughts about what individualism is.

    One of my personal tests is whether I can articulate contrary views properly. I have fooled a couple of Bernie-acolytes for a few seconds by parroting their rants on the evils of society, but I just can't keep a straight face; it's too inherently inconsistent and pessimistic. I suppose that means I don't really understand their ideology well enough.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    And as an individualist, I believe in people before Christ too. I believe they cared about each other just as much as we do now. The idea that the Catholic church invented charity is contemptible. About the only difference between the Catholic church times and earlier times is that agriculture had improved enough that there was more scope for individuals to help each other, and more scope for governments to steal that improved prosperity and redistribute it. The Catholic church was a government in all but name, just another bunch of thieving redistributing control freaks, who perhaps had better propaganda to cloak themselves in. They had a pretty good monopoly going for a good long time.

  • IceTrey||

    Neanderthal burials show that they took care of the aged and infirmed.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Excellent point -- thanks!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Is that because of chariy or because their culture assumed they would be taken care of if they took care of the elderly?

    Its barely charity if its quid pro quo.

  • Kivlor||

    A thought on charity: "Charity is the power of defending that which we know to be indefensible...It is true that there is a thing crudely called charity, which means charity to the deserving poor; but charity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice. It is the undeserving who require it, and the ideal either does not exist at all, or exists wholly for them."
    --Chesterton

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Chesterton sounds like a dope.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Kirkland wants the state to steal from you and redistribute your wealth as 'charity'.

  • Kivlor||

    Amusing, because you would think that many socialists would actually agree with what I posted. The logical response should sound something like "yes, that isn't charity, its justice. And the government is ensuring justice, not engaging in charity"

  • mtrueman||

    "One might even say, in the words of the Catechism, that it helps produce the "conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily."

    Nietzsche must be rolling in his grave, reading these words. "what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger" were his watch words. He believed we gain through adversity. and thought Christianity was slave-morality.

  • Brian||

    I'm which case, his life after death makes him totally wrong about religion.

    That's why he's rolling in his grave after reading, right?

  • mtrueman||

    figure of speech

  • TuIpa||

    ""what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger" were his watch words"

    That's because he was an idiot who never had scarlet fever.

  • perlchpr||

    +1 polio

  • mtrueman||

    He believed that we grow through adversity. The peace and comfort so hristians was anathema to him.

  • See Double You||

    You don't know much about Christianity, then, if you think growth-through-adversity isn't an ingrained teaching. Ever heard of St. Augustine?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Technically you would not be alive if it werent for relatives that survived horrible diseases like scarlet fever, polio, plague....

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    "the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force—actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud."

    Why do people continually throw fraud into the mix? Fraud itself is not harmful. We all lie about silly things -- Santa and the Easter bunny, what we're planning for Christmas or someone's birthday, how fast a car is. Fraud as part of harm is only evidence of intent and prior planning. If someone lies to get your password, or forges a court document, the harm itself is the result and actionable by itself.

    Why do people always throw fraud into the list of harmful acts?

  • Rich||

    Because they're being fraudulent about their list of crimes?

    Seriously, yours is a decent question. It does seem in some ways more like a means to an end or a "hate crime" than, say, murder. But compare fraud to robbery. Both are attempts to get something for "nothing". (Of course, one might argue that is the essence of many crimes ....)

  • Tony||

    Lying to children about the existence of magical holiday creatures is about making sure those children don't tell the truth to other children who've been told the same lies. It's for the service of not being bitched at by other parents, and the payment is disappointing and enraging your children in a few years. Funny how some things work.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Lying to children about the existence of magical holiday creatures is about making sure those children don't tell the truth to other children who've been told the same lies."

    Tony doesn't believe in God, and he doesn't think religion is an evolutionary adaptation or part of culture either?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture

    I guess Tony thinks it's a miracle that we evolved a culture at all without parents having him around to tell them what they should and shouldn't teach their children.

    I'd say it's amazing he can talk so authoritatively about anthropology--without knowing the first thing about it--but that's par for the course with Tony. His ignorance of history, economics, politics, and the hard sciences doesn't keep him from speaking authoritatively on those topics. Why should anthropology be any different?

    Imagine a world where people are only allowed to teach their children things that Tony says are okay.

    Hell on earth, isn't it?

  • Tony||

    This is all very unhinged, but I think this is Ken admitting that he believes in Santa?

  • TuIpa||

    No, it 's you proving you can't read.

  • Azathoth!!||

    "believes in"

    Hahahahahaha!

  • TLBD||

    Bastiat had a lot to say about fraud. He argued that it is more dangerous to liberty than force, and I tend to agree with him.

    In fact, I believe this (fraud) is a huge blind spot of libertarians and our inability to deal with it in a philosophical way is one of the downfalls of our ideology.

  • IceTrey||

    Fraud is deception intended to result in financial gain. It's a form of theft.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Fraud is no more a form of theft than a gun. It is a tool used in theft, shows pre-meditated intent, and leaves a trail of evidence which makes it harder to wiggle out of the theft charge.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I'm not skeptical of the common good. I'm skeptical of the humans so full of pride, they think they can determine and deliver it on behalf of all.

  • Tony||

    How does that not include libertarians? Do you not have a social program you expect everyone to abide by?

    It's even worse in your case than most, because there are very few people who actually want the small-government program you're trying to sell, so you'd have to impose it. For the common good, of course.

  • Brian||

    I really don't have a problem with the idea that thI most authoritarian thing about libertarians is the extent to which they want to allow people to make their own individual choices.

    If that's as tyrannical as they get, then I don't think anyone should care about your thoughts of tyranny.

  • TLBD||

    Almost all ideologies tend to get more extreme as they gain power. Humans are never satisfied, they always want more. As ideologies get more extreme, they conflict with more and more people's interests increases, whether it is between people in the government or individuals vs government, and this always eventually leads to violence.

    The beauty of libertarianism is that the more "extreme" we get, the more people get left alone to satisfy their own interests. It is one of the only non-murderous ideologies at its logical conclusion.

  • TLBD||

    *the conflict, not they conflict*

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yes! Please post more.

    The more libertarianism, the more tiny government peace loving free market nations would exists.

  • Tony||

    Wordplay doesn't change the fact that it's a society-wide program with an entire set of policy choices that would have to be imposed on people, largely against their will.

  • Brian||

    Actually, we're not really constrained to live in your counterfactual hypotheticals, so thanks for playing.

  • Tony||

    It's a fundamentally devastating critique of your program, and the fact that it's a mind-numbingly simple one doesn't mean it's wrong.

    Few people want to live without the comforts provided by collective undertakings like the welfare state, and thus the taxes that pay for them, yet you would force everyone to go without because of some silly deontological absolutes you've convinced yourself of, same as any authoritarian.

  • Brian||

    So when do libertarians plan to start their hostile military takeover of society, imposing their personal freedom upon everyone?

    Oh, that's right: they're not, because you're talking out of your ass, pretending it's an awesome argument.

    Truly devastating, if you do say so yourself. Yawn.

  • Tony||

    So your plan is to wait around for people to choose it democratically? Fair enough, but then lay off telling everyone that choosing collectivism is immoral. Freedom means we get to decide that for ourselves.

  • Brian||

    Nobody said cooperation is immoral, you devastating straw man slayer.

  • Tony||

    But you want cooperation with an opt-out provision whenever someone doesn't like what the collective chooses. And that just won't work very well, as any kindergarten class could tell you.

  • TuIpa||

    "as any kindergarten class"

    no one is surprised that you actually thnk this is a model for a functional society.

  • Brian||

    I do? Silly me.

    You do realize that people often can and do whatever they want, and deal with the consequences, right?

    Every decision isn't some generalized moralistic system.

    Personally, I think people should be generally tolerant of people's individual choices, and trying voluntary cooperation over violent coercion as much as possible.

    As such, I have some maneuvers to make dealing with a world of assholes.

    If you think that makes me authoritarian, then again, no one should care what you think about authoritarianism. Or assholes.

  • TuIpa||

    tony like to assign the thoughts of one individual to everyone who claims membership in that group, becausd he doesn't have the intellect to deal with disparate opinions.

  • IceTrey||

    No you can't vote to violate the liberty of another. That's called slavery.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Guys, I think he makes a fair point. We are not free until we are free to be wrong. She Guevara gets to be a socialist. There can be no universal liberty in a world where socialists aren't allowed to choose socialism.

    If she *has to* subsume her own beliefs and live under libertarianism/whatever, then it isn't freedom.

  • TuIpa||

    "Guys, I think he makes a fair point. We are not free until we are free to be wrong"

    If that was the point he was making I'd agree. But it wasn't.

  • Tony||

    You're right. I think my program results in more freedom than your program, and that's why I want mine in place and not yours. We aren't free unless we are free of libertarians being in charge (among others).

  • TuIpa||

    "I think my program results in more freedom than your program, and that's why I want mine in place and not yours. We aren't free unless we are free of libertarians being in charge "

    See this is why Tony gets made fun of so much. He literally cannot grasp that the way a libertarian society functions isn't the way he understands society to function, so he has to graft his understanding onto what he thinks a libertarian society would look like.

    He cannot grasp that in a libertarian society, HE would be in charge.

  • Tony||

    More nonsense wordplay serving no purpose but to pat yourself on the back for saying your plan is superior while not actually being superior. Would a libertarian society permit Social Security? Universal healthcare? Yes or no? It's rather important to individual freedom.

  • TuIpa||

    "Would a libertarian society permit Social Security? Universal healthcare? Yes or no? It's rather important to individual freedom."

    Word salad diguising that you know my statement was true.

    You can't even discuss the fundamental concepts of libertarianism without demonstrating that you have no grasp of them. So you retreat to canned talking points and misdirection.

  • Tony||

    It's a yes or no question.

  • perlchpr||

    Would a libertarian society permit Social Security? Universal healthcare? Yes or no? It's rather important to individual freedom.

    Well, of course. Anyone who wanted to participate in those programs would be perfectly free to.

    Of course, what you really mean is that you can't be free unless you get to enslave everyone. So, fuck off, slaver.

  • Tony||

    So do I get to opt out of our collective property rights regime and come and take what you claim is your stuff from you, or is that different somehow?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony hates libertarians. Which is wh6 he is here to derail every libertarian position at all times.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Entirely possible, I don't actually know the man. Let's go with, its the point I'm making. Less mind-read-y that way.

  • TLBD||

    In a libertarian society you're as free to be a socialist as you want. In a socialist society you are not as free to be as libertarian as you want.

    Tony is making the argument that a libertarian society forces people to live a certain way, however a libertarian society is devoid of force. His argument is illogical. Now if he were to say that people suck and the only way for a society to function is through coercion, he'd be a little closer to logical. However, if people suck and governments are made of people, the only true logical conclusion for Tony is to remove himself from society.

  • TLBD||

    In other words, Tony holds onto the belief that when people gain power the words "we are government" magically bestow benevolence. Why this mass delusion exists is beyond me. There is simply no evidence for it.

  • ||

    "There is simply no evidence for it." True, all the evidence is against it. But you are talking about a superstition. Superstitions are irrational. They ignore evidence, or misinterpret it or use it out of context.

    It is our task as the 2% who are not political zombies to wake them up. How? Larken Rose has a seminar called "Candle in the Dark" which instructs in this.

  • IceTrey||

    There is force in Libertopia it's just retaliatory in nature.

  • TuIpa||

    "It's a fundamentally devastating critique of your program, "

    it might be if it had any basis in reality, but it is a fabrication of your mind so...yeah.

    you don't have the intellect to see another way /= another way doesn't exist.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Oh, Tony. You've just delivered the most marvelous segue, you adorable man.

    I'm not a libertarian. I'm a voluntaryist, for pretty much the reasons you outline. I don't believe it's possible to build a sustainable civilization by one power group imposing it's will on the rest of humanity for the greater good.

    The beaut deal is that I don't need to insert voluntaryism as a coercive power. We already have it. People are voluntarily exerting their fiat and social capital to voluntarily make the shit world with shit results we see around us. I just have to persuade folks, one at a time, that we can voluntarily choose to behave differently for better results.

    People seem to have gotten the belief stuck in their head that it's the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest. Strength and power are what make us a success; individually, and as a species. What crap.

    It's adaptation, not strength. Adaptation is the mark of long-term success. Voluntarily identifying where the equation went wrong and correcting ourselves and only ourselves , since that is the only human over which we truly have control - that's what I believe in.

    Thanks for the question.

  • Tony||

    But the world, relatively, is far less shitty than ever before, at least from the perspective of the human species. In fact the only thing that threatens to return it to maximum shittiness is too much weakness in collective action and institutions (refer to the threat from climate change). And a strong argument can be made that the most important contributing factor to increased global prosperity is large, complex institutions that individuals have very little power over, including institutions of commerce and government.

  • TuIpa||

    "the only thing that threatens to return it to maximum shittiness is too much weakness in collective action"

    THE!

    ONLY!

    THING!

    Yes folks, he went full Tony.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Suffice to say that I disagree with all of that, but will defend to the death your right to believe it.

  • TLBD||

    "a strong argument can be made that the most important contributing factor to increased global prosperity is large, complex institutions that individuals have very little power over, including institutions of commerce and government."

    I think the most fascinating thing about Tony is that he almost gets it excepting a few extremely ignorant mental blocks.

  • TLBD||

    Here is a hint, Tony:

    Your dollar is relatively far more powerful than your vote.

  • Tony||

    Which is the same as saying that a person with a lot of dollars is a lot more powerful than a person with few dollars. Why eliminating institutions that mitigate that inequality is a good thing to you is beyond me.

  • TuIpa||

    I think the truth is Tony completely gets it, but hates it, and will engage in any cognitive dissonance necessary to avoid accepting it.

  • TLBD||

    I think Tony, deep down, hates and distrusts people. Perhaps it is a function of growing up gay, I dont know.

    Tony spends a lot of his time here because he wants to destroy the concept of people being inherently good, even if only in his own mind. Cognitive dissonance does describe his actions very well, but it almost seems like something more. Maybe deep down he wants us to convince him, but he just cant let go of his hate.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I think if we're really curious, we should ask Tony.

    He might lie to us, he might lie to himself, and yet he is the most reliable source of information on the subject.

    Now that I mention it, I am curious. Oi, Tony - why do you hang out with us?

  • Tony||

    Because it gets boring chatting with people who agree with me about everything, and you're the only rightwingers on the internet who don't spend all your time talking about how black people are monkeys.

  • TuIpa||

    See? This is what you get even when you try to have a real conversation with him.

    He lies. Obviously.

    And so why bother.

  • TLBD||

    I'm pretty sure my theory is correct.

  • Nardz||

    "I'm pretty sure my theory is correct."

    Absolutely.
    But Tony is just the perfect example of progressivism. His lies are so damn honest.

  • Brian||

    I'd get bored talking to democrats all day, too.

  • Brian||

    Really, it's a bunch of people sitting around, patting themselves on the back for coming to agreement on who's racist and who isn't.

    How long is that entertaining?

  • Tony||

    Not long. I'm glad you understand.

    But really, the other team pretty much spends all its time talking about the collective animal-like qualities of black people and Mexicans, and sometimes they like to ruminate on how gays are abominations. Just read literally any comments section on any right-wing website, or any comments section with a link from Drudge. I don't know why they don't get bored talking about how black people are monkeys, but I do know that it's rather frightening to me, and I don't know why you guys pretend it doesn't exist. Even when it creeps onto these very boards. As if that's just cousin Cletus playing with himself in public, he's harmless, even if he does endorse racial genocide. Now lets get back to the real enemy: thoughtful liberals!

  • Brian||

    Sigh. Do we really have to start spending time here, in this interesting place, coming to agreement that, yes, racism/sexism, etc, is bad?

    Ok.

    "Gee: those racists. Bad. I dislike them."

    All better?

    BTW, I support gay rights, too, and really don't mind them.

    Still, you're a fag.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    That makes sense in a way.

    Like video games. It's not fun if it's easy.

    I know what you're referring to. I've been reading Timebomb2k, for example, for almost two decades. I wouldn't wade into the comments if'n I were paid. It's a source of perspective, so I still read, and that's all.

    This is about the only place I can get a conversation. It's a highly competitive, challenging free market - a conversation isn't guaranteed, except at least it's one of the options and some of the weaker tribalism options know better than to try.

  • TLBD||

    Libertarians don't spend a ton of time restating the obvious unless we are trying to educate.

    This comments section is one of the only truly free speech platforms on the internet, and yet, the racists don't come here.

    We make them feel as small as they are, consistently. Sometimes you do that by ignoring them, sometimes by mercilessly crushing their ego, sometimes by reasoning with them.

    But sure, Tony, if it makes you feel better: Racists and bigots are dum-dums.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    and yet, the racists don't come here.

    That is one aggressively silly assertion.

    Perhaps it makes bigots feet better about themselves and their political playmates. Perhaps it reflects a staggering lack of self-awareness.

  • TLBD||

    Funny how only you can hear the dog whistles, isn't it?

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Know what? FUCK YOU. Like you've been told *many* times, just because your tiny mind only operates on "us vs. them" mode doesn't make me or almost anyone here "right-winger".

    Jerk.

  • Nardz||

    "I think Tony, deep down, hates and distrusts people. Perhaps it is a function of growing up gay, I dont know.

    Tony spends a lot of his time here because he wants to destroy the concept of people being inherently good, even if only in his own mind. Cognitive dissonance does describe his actions very well, but it almost seems like something more. Maybe deep down he wants us to convince him, but he just cant let go of his hate."

    This is exactly why Tony is the perfect example of the progressive.
    He several times daily confirms conclusions I'd come to years ago, but lacked the clear embodiment of in one location.
    Then along came Tony

  • Hank Phillips||

    Tonybot fails to appreciate the law-changing power of small-but-flourishing party spoiler votes. Before Hitler and Stalin much of humanity believed in the same Altruria Stephanie believes papism pushes. Now that necessarily coercive altruism has revealed its true death-mask, we read in Friedman that the Socialist platform of 1928 is today the law of the land. But the socialist candidates LOST, ergo, it was the socialist SPOILER VOTES that made it possible for Herbert Hoover (who won in 1928) to help Germany rearm and--as in his 1929 inaugural speech--build "a new race."

  • TuIpa||

    "How does that not include libertarians? Do you not have a social program you expect everyone to abide by? "

    Yes, we want to take over the world and leave everyone alone.

    I realize you think that is awful.

  • Tony||

    I do think that's awful, because in practice it means no help for the starving, no infrastructure for modern commerce, rampant ignorance because we can't educate the masses, and a thousand other qualities of pre-modern society that would be horrific for everyone.

  • IceTrey||

    No one would stop you from helping the starving. Ever heard of toll roads? Private schools? Modern society is horrific BECAUSE people aren't left alone. Just look at the War on Drugs.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Sounds like today. Wouldn't even need a change-of-address form.

  • Nardz||

    Tony,

    The lack of armed men forcing one to do something does not prohibit one from doing something.

  • Tony||

    You people don't honestly believe this is an adequate response. It's just a sort of placeholder as you try to figure out something better, or until the conversation moves on.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA!

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    You don't want to help people, you just want to put on those shiny jackboots and snazzy black uniform and kick down doors. (Well, not you, but someone you control, because we all know you're a sniveling coward.)

  • Hank Phillips||

    Germany elected a Catholic leader--painter of Madonnas and Churches--and adopted his Party´s mottos: Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz (The Common Good Before the Individual Good) and Gott Mitt Uns (God is on Our Side). Nobody can claim the resulting government left a stone unturned in its efforts to make the world safe for Christian mystical altruism. For photos of Catholic popes, nuncios, cardinals, bishops and priests hobnobbing with nationalsocialist honchos, visit nobeliefs.com

  • Bubba Jones||

    The Catholic Church is an organized hierarchy that coincidentally believes in a strong central organization.

    Go figure.

  • Jerryskids||

    Somewhere along the line, "the common good" stopped being "what's good for everybody in general" and became "what's good for the commoners too stupid to know what's for their own good." The larger and more diverse a group becomes, the less they have in common and the harder it becomes to find what it is they have in common. It's not hard to figure out what to make the family for dinner, you know these people and you know what they like and don't like and you can always fall back on the idea that if they don't like it they're perfectly free to go get a job and buy their own groceries and fix their own dinner. At a community level, you have to depend on an assortment of restaurants offering different kinds of food at different price points to make sure everybody gets what they want for dinner and you don't have to know or care what each one likes and dislikes. It's absurd to think there's anybody who's qualified to say what's for dinner for the whole country. If the government stuck to the common good as defined by what everybody (or almost everybody) wants or needs rather than what 50%+1 decides everybody's going to get whether they like it or not, we'd have much less national government and maybe a lot more local. You pay more attention to what's going on in your own town and you're more likely to get involved, make sure people know you and what you like and don't like. You're much less likely to get served liver and onions for dinner that way.

  • Gigi+5||

    Exactly, Jerryskids. The best decisions are made at the most personal level possible (which includes families and communities, not just individual). That's the entire idea of subsidiarity taught by the Catholic church, that a hierarchy of power does exist, beginning at the local level (family, community, etc) and ending up with a central authority ONLY to handle those things that cannot be handled on a family / local level (see the Catechism Part III: Life of Christ, Section One: Man's Vocation Life in the Spirit, Chapter Two: The Human Communion).
    Bubba is incorrect when he says that the Catholic church believes strongly in central governing. Many decisions are left to the local bishops. I should point out that one reason for the cover-up by the bishops (other than that they were told by psychologists and insurance companies to take the actions they did) is that the American bishops have become TOO centrally organized, having moved away from practice of subsidiarity (for more on this see David Warren's article entitled "Too Big to Succeed" (8/17) on The Catholic Thing website). The Catholic church is, indeed, libertarian in its teachings. The problem is not with the dogma / doctrine of the Church. The problem is that humans are fallible and Catholics haven't been catechized well since Vatican II - which means that many the people in authority in the church today don't know what the Church teaches (as passed to the Church through Christ, through apostolic succession).

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The Catholic church is, indeed, libertarian in its teachings.

    Another aggressively silly and dumb assertion.

  • Gigi+5||

    I read the comments on this website often, and I'm always impressed with the intelligence expressed in the ideas of (most of) the people who comment. What I cannot understand is how some of you can be so intelligent, well-educated, and well-read, but not know what you don't know. The comments some of you make about Catholicism reveal your ignorance about the Church, its true teachings, and the way it functions. If you don't bother to look into it, and you don't care enough to, you should refrain from passing judgement on it. Also, you should refrain from passing judgement on the report from Pennsylvania until you read the report - it's been distorted in many ways (although that doesn't excuse the actions of some of the bishops involved). No such three hundred priests were involved, many of the cases were never proven, and some of the people who brought claims were elderly (one was 80 years old) - which is why so many of the accused priests are dead now. Also, HAVE SOME OF YOU NEVER HEARD OF NATURAL LAW? The Church never claimed to have invented charity. The Church does teach about natural law, which is written upon the heart of man so that he can know the Truth and right actions even if he never heard of Jesus. So yes, charity existed before the Church was instituted by Christ, but it's still a function of God's action in the heart of man - the man who seeks to live rightly and well.

  • Tony||

    I wonder if any organization on earth has caused more death, misery, and kid fucking than the Catholic church. Need to do more research, but it's top 3 for sure.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    No such three hundred priests were involved, many of the cases were never proven, and some of the people who brought claims were elderly (one was 80 years old)....


    Wew lad.

    Hot tip for you: Let Eddie handle this.

  • Eddy||

    The crooked bishops were aware of many of these offenders and sent them off to hospitals to be "cured" - they reassured the faithful the problem was dealt with while reassigning the priests elsewhere.

    For the benefit of "rev" Kirkland, it is the element of sacrilege and blasphemy which makes these cases so much worse than your Hollywood scandals or public school teachers banging students.

    This is why the faithful are extra specially outraged at the bishops.

    Now, for those with no concept of sacrilege and blasphemy, it may be hard (except for political posturing) for politicians to articulate why this is worse than the cover-up behavior of their campaign donors in Hollywood and the public schools.

    But for those of the faithful who not only see the bishops flunk the lower standard of responsibility, but necessarily flunk the far higher standards which apply to them as compared to horny teachers and Hollywood stars - for the faithful they're justified in their outrage and determination to put a stop to such goings-on.

  • Eddy||

    In some cases the Vatican city-state has prisons where some of these violators can be put. Failing that, they can purge these bishops, laicizing them (not consulting with them as eminent retired bishops like that Washington guy).

    My ideal scenario would be prominent lay leaders filing charges at the Vatican against the offending bishops - then keeping the news media apprised if the charges are sidelined or fail to result in proper punishments. The one weak spot in the media's adulation of the Pope is these scandals - the media criticize him if he doesn't deal with the scandals. So in the scenario I envision, the Pope would at the very least be incentivized to do something by fear of losing his secular media halo which he seems to value so highly.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The idea that Catholics -- the professionals or the amateurs -- should have much of anything to do with policing this criminality in civil or criminal contexts is silly.

    Roughly as silly as the idea that any religion should have a postage-stamp-sized "country" that provides sovereignty used to shield child-abusing criminals.

  • Eddy||

    "The idea that Catholics -- the professionals or the amateurs -- should have much of anything to do with policing this criminality in civil or criminal contexts is silly."

    You realize that I was saying the Church should remove these crooked bishps, and then you post in order to express disagreement.

    Either you don't know what you're disagreeing with, or you're in favor of keeping the crooked bishops in office.

    In other words, either you are a moron, or...you are a moron. Take your choice.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I support adult supervision for the Catholic Church, at least with respect to investigation and prosecution of conduct that might be criminal. Catholics should be shoved out of the way by impartial adults in this context. If Catholics want to deny certain people the right to wear particularly goofy hats, that's their business, of course. But Catholics have demonstrated themselves to be untrustworthy, inept, and corrupt with respect to handling misconduct by their leaders and organization.

  • Eddy||

    You replied to contradict my claim that the bishops should be removed.

    You are an illiterate, grovelling moron.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    No, childish dumbass, you proposed that some of the Catholic criminals be handled by Catholics and placed in 'church prisons.'

    Leave this to adults who can distinguish right from wrong; sound methods to effect civil and criminal justice from anything the Catholic Church would offer; and silly fairy tales from reality.

    Childhood indoctrination apparently still has a hold on you. Try to be better.

  • Eddy||

    Some of the crooks are citizens of the Vatican City-State; you're saying they shouldn't go to prison?

    Oh, wait, you were replying to someone in your head who didn't want the secular authorities to administer justice.

    You must lead an exciting and varied life, arguing with all the voices in your head.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I'm saying the reason- and reality-based world should stop recognizing the Vatican as a legitimate country, you superstitious rube. Starting in the context of the Vatican's depraved, self-serving shielding of child molesters and their enablers would be a sound approach.

  • Eddy||

    You throw out as many distortions as possible, then when called on it, instead of acknowledging it, you just spew a cloud of invective and hope nobody notices you were corrected.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    This is why the faithful are extra specially outraged at the bishops.

    The "faithful" have been an indispensable part of the coverup for decades, blindered by gullibility and obsequiousness, shackled by perceived self-interest.

  • Eddy||

    The faithful were the victims of the cover-up, and they rose up as they became aware of it.

    Thank you for trying to play the role of an intelligent person, but - and I say this with all due respect - you are a drooling moron.

    You may have left Gooberville, but it never left you.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You are free to believe that fairy tales are true. You are welcome to believe that your fairy tale can beat up everyone else's fairy tale, and is the one true way to enlightenment or salvation.

    Your defense of the Catholic Church identifies you as a gullible, character-deprived person, however. If you compound such deficiency by permitting any child to be exposed to the risks presented by the Catholic Church, you are not fit to make adult decisions.

    It's a good thing the American electorate is trending against your stale right-wing preferences.

  • Eddy||

    "Your defense of the Catholic Church identifies you as a gullible, character-deprived person, however. If you compound such deficiency by permitting any child to be exposed to the risks presented by the Catholic Church, you are not fit to make adult decisions."

    That you could read my denunciation of the bishops, and of the Pope, my references to sacrilege and blasphemy, and still summarize my remarks the way you do, shows you to be absolutely full of shit.

  • Eddy||

    "It's a good thing the American electorate is trending against your stale right-wing preferences."

    You just can't stop yourself, can you?

    There's a large left-wing contingent among the crooked bishops, including plenty whose ideas you would love - eg, one of the crooks supports allowing abortion supporters to take Communion, etc., etc.

    You just put your random talking points in there like they mean something.

  • Eddy||

    And the left-wing economic ignorance of many of these bishops (to say nothing of the Pope) would make you feel quite at home.

  • Eddy||

    This is from a *sympathetic* article about former Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel of 2014 (title: "A reappraisal of Archbishop Rembert Weakland" - I can't vouch for the security of the link):

    "Weakland took it upon himself to address issues such as abortion, greater roles for women in the church, social and economic justice, homosexuality, AIDS, sex education, clerical pedophilia (!) and feminism. He acknowledged that a person could, perhaps, reconcile his or her pro-choice views and still be a good Catholic....He wanted expanded roles for women in the church and held out the possibility of ordination of women...

    "Weakland's personal issues came to light in May 2002, when he paid off a male lover on the advice of legal counsel. Weakland also came out of the closet. And we learned that he followed established protocol of moving sexually abusive priests to other parishes once a psychological exam was completed...."

  • Eddy||

    And at the risk of sounding nuanced, it seems that the denial was a problem with both sides:

    "...I can tell you this: back in 2002, a liberal Catholic journalist and I were trading stories about covering the abuse scandal, and the obstacles to covering the story that we found on our own ideological sides. I told him that on the Catholic Right, I found a strong unwillingness to contemplate the possibility that mandatory celibacy played a role in creating a culture of secrecy and abuse. Also, there was a deep reticence to think critically about the role of authority within the Catholic hierarchy, and how that played into a culture of abuse and cover-up. We conservative Catholics had made such a big deal about the loss of authority within the Church, and had developed within ourselves a chronic reluctance to confront facts that called the integrity of the system into question....

    "...my liberal Catholic colleague....told me that on the Catholic left, nobody will deal with the homosexual aspect of the scandal, in particular the gay networks within the Catholic Church. It was a third rail. They had an ideological commitment that this kind of thing was nothing more than a trumped-up fantasy of homophobic right wingers. The Catholic left was as committed to that view as the Catholic right was to its own shibboleths."

  • Eddy||

    Here's Robert McElroy, bishop of San Diego, explaining why he brushed off complaints about abusers, including Cardinal McCarrick, contained in a letter he got in 2016.

    Here's the same Bishop McElroy joining the American bishops' crusade against Trump's immigration policy: ""President Trump was the candidate of disruption. He was the disrupter," "Well now, we must all become disrupters."

    Undoubtedly part of the Trump goober brigade.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If you put your kids anywhere near a catholic official after the first round of pedo offenses, youre a moron believer.

    Its not that people deserve what they get but they reap what they sow. These parents sowed faith in a corrupt as shit pope who employs massive numbers of pedophiles and the paremts reaped a bunch of raped kids.

    I am sure their will be a 3rd round of catholic pedo outrage because people never learn from history.

  • Eddy||

    I would urge what they call a "work to rule" strike by the laity - follow the precepts of the Church and attend Mass, but use public schools or home schools, don't go on retreats or attend Sunday School, etc., etc., don't volunteer for the parish or hold bake sales or get on church premises except to do one's Mass-attendance duty. Focus activity on lay groups which operate with as much independence as possible.

    Shower the Pope with canon-law complaints against the bishops so the Pope will either have to act or else show the media how he disregards the laity.

    Open up discussion on ordaining married men or electing bishops - let opponents come up with counterproposals if they don't like it.

  • Eddy||

    The rich philanthropists can drop their donation to the bare minimum and stop making massive gifts until true reform - including a purge - comes about.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I would urge competent adults to ditch the silly superstition and recognize that an organization with the Catholic Church's record does not deserve to continue to exist.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • Eddy||

    Well, we could certainly do without the bishops' constant left-wing advocacy, but from your point of view you're showing a distinct lack of gratitude to your lefty allies.

  • Eddy||

    I seem to recall a commenter listing anti-Catholicism among the discredited "conservative" causes...you should debate that commenter...just be careful not to be observed talking to yourself.

  • Eddy||

    This wasn't hard to find.

    Artie cites hatred of Catholics as an example of right-wing bigotry.

    It's like he gathered a bunch of talking points at random and just regurgitates them at random without even inquiring whether they contradict each other.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Catholics were vilified and hounded more than a century ago by the anti-immigrant bigots of that period. Many fled some American communities for better circumstances elsewhere in America.

    You should know this.

    That chapter does nothing to excuse today's criminal church or the fools who defend it (let alone the profoundly stupid jerks who continue to permit children to serve as altar boys).

  • Eddy||

    "That chapter does nothing to excuse" (attempt at handwaving distraction deleted)

    You cited hatred of Catholics as an example of right-wing bigotry, and then say the Catholic Church should cease to exist, and you piled insults on me as I offered denunciation and reform proposals for the scandals.

    Which would not be scandals if your culturally left-wing colleagues had their way - they're champing at the bit to legalize and legitimize "intergenerational sex." Their true attitude to such scandals reveals itself when they rally around Roman Polanski and their ilk.

    Because according to "my betters," what he did wasn't "rape-rape."

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    they reassured the faithful the problem was dealt with while reassigning the priests elsewhere.

    The faithful still had to be stupid and gullible enough to fall for it, or it would not have worked.

    This is why the faithful are extra specially outraged at the bishops

    Nonsense. The current newspapers are full of quotations from Catholics who continue to blame the investigators and media, consider the matter overblown, believe the church, support the church, and -- believe it or not -- still send their children into Catholic churches.

  • Eddy||

    You wish to hand over the country's economy and immigration policy to people who agree with the American bishops.

    You want sexual mores defined by the people who defended Roman Polanski.

    Your outrage is phony.

  • Rob Misek||

    Do you recognize that "The Spirit of Truth", God, is a team spirit and not some "Holy Ghost"?

    Your answer will dictate whether you're on the side of coercion, regarding religion, or the side of peace.

  • Echospinner||

    Ya know Gigi

    If it were the first time, the second, or the third I could give it a pass.

    Celibacy as a doctrine causes this disgusting abuse. I just do not understand it.

    What is moral about that.

  • Tony||

    Community trust and access to children draws predators to the profession--not unlike school sports programs. Though letting priests marry could hardly hurt.

  • Brian||

    And sex requirements attract homosexuals.

    Just sayin'.

  • Tony||

    I wouldn't be surprised if priests were 70% gay.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its a criminals aound evey corner. Except gubmint can protect you...not.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You're dealing with people who are gullible by nature, people who see "just because" as a sound argument in debate, people who are blind to immorality and criminality when their favorite flavor of superstition is involved or threatened.

  • Rob Misek||

    All laws are regulations that apply to everyone.

    Today the market operates within their framework. As it may when more regulations protect those who cannot protect themselves. This is the price of civilization.

    Do you advocate the abolishment of all laws just because some are wrong?

    Your skull will be an ornament on someone's dashboard, in a Mad Max utopia, long before you can enjoy cheaper pizza pockets in your parents basement.

    The military is a prime example of how strict regulation is required when working towards common goals in a competitive and unregulated environment.

    That logical advantage applies everywhere the potential for conflict exists.

    We share this rock and anything we do that affects others needs to be regulated. You may or may not have the intelligence to recognize this. If not, you require coercion or a carrot.

  • IceTrey||

    We want to abolish those that require the initiatory use of force.

  • Rob Misek||

    By "force", I'll assume you're not in a third world dictatorship and you mean laws or regulations.

    Do nothing without consensus eh? Then nothing will be done and the skull is back on the dashboard.

    Public consultation is good in an environment of free speech and the inalienable value of truth. Eventually laws need to be made and some people won't be happy. Good laws make intelligent people happy and vice versa.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    What an interesting theory. Thank you for sharing.

  • IceTrey||

    No I mean physical force. In other words any law that violates the NAP. The proper function of government is to defend individual negative liberty with the retaliatory use of force. When the government initiates force we call that tyranny.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Under a constitional democratoc republic its not just retaliatory force. Rule of law via duly elected representatives makes a small amout of rules that citizens abide by.

    If you want absolute liberty, you want anarchy.

  • IceTrey||

    It's supposed to be. Laws are fine as long as they don't require the initiatory use of force. If no one including those who operate as the government is allowed to initiate force that WOULD be absolute liberty.

  • Rob Misek||

    When force is required someone has to initiate it.

    We expect that from our government.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't think you understand what Ice means by retaliatory force.

    Government and law should be reactive instead of proactive. If nobody harmed the life, liberty, or property of others, then law enforcement would have nothing to do.

    Enforcing laws against the harming of the life, liberty and property of others is reactive. First someone must do harm, and then the government reacts.

    For example if I snort a line of cocaine, there is no reason for government to react.

    If I set your house on fire, then there is a just reason for government to use force against me.

    Doesn't matter if the law is written by duly elected representatives. If it is empowers government to do what would be a crime by an individual, then it is unjust. The role of government is to react to injustice. When people in government lawfully commit injustices, where do you go for justice?

    Bastiat explains it much better in The Law.

    Absolute liberty is a straw man.

  • Rob Misek||

    So would you be ok with suspected terrorists having multiple nuclear weapons in your city?

    You would insist that there was no initiation of force by your government to prevent the imminent death of millions.

    Or like everything else should your principles be compromised within reason for the common good?

  • sarcasmic||

    I do think that people have the right to react to an imminent threat. The key word here being react. Should someone wait to be shot before taking action against someone who is pointing a gun at them? I don't think so. So should government wait for a terrorist to set off a bomb? I think the answer is obvious. But when you look at the actual track record of the government catching such individuals, most if not all were set up. Some government agent found an angry loser, played the part of the confidence man, offered to make them a bomb, and then busted them. That's not preventing terrorism. That's proactively creating non-threats and then claiming to have prevented disaster.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    NAP does for prohibit preemptive force to defend oneself.

    If North Korea is set to launch nukes at the USA, it would be perfectly fine to obliterate North Korea before the missiles even get off the ground.

    The burden of proving that imminent threat, to justify preemptive force, is on the USA.

  • sarcasmic||

    NAP does for prohibit preemptive force to defend oneself.

    NAP doesn't prohibit defending from aggression. Threatening is aggression. NAP is not pacifism.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Threats of violence are violent aggression. You can defend yourself.

    Threats can be aggression but not necessarily violent aggression.

  • IceTrey||

    "So would you be ok with suspected terrorists having multiple nuclear weapons in your city?"
    Well if they're only suspected. It's a crime to plot a crime so if the government had evidence of a conspiracy to commit murder they could arrest them which would be retaliatory force.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Basitat is a strawman for Sarcasmic.

    Even a small and limited government under Libertarianism can use force without it being retaliatory force. An example is eminent domain.

    Ideally you want your government to settle the land grab with a dollar amount that gets the sale without force. 125-200% of Fair Market Value is sometimes suggested. Some people dont want to sell no matter what. If its a road or something that needs to be built, that is where eminent domain comes in.

    The United States Government is granted authority to control all US Territory but is restricted in its control of that territory and property owners have rights to own that property.

    In the USA, you dont have absolute liberty and you dont have absolute control of your property. In exchange, the States and federal government protect you, your property, and provide for a trading environment that is conducive to great prosperity.

  • sarcasmic||

    Basitat is a strawman for Sarcasmic.

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I learned from YOU. You love to throw around Bastiat incorrectly over and over....

  • sarcasmic||

    That's funny. You haven't learned a single thing from anyone on this site, you don't know what a strawman argument is, and you've never read Bastiat.

    I miss the old days. Insults were always tolerated, but you would have been ganged up on and skewered for your ignorance.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarasmic, YOU are the ignorant one, which is why nobody but trolls and socks side with you. You throw out words and names, dont know what they mean or what the person is about, and then run to a safe space when owned.

    I dont need people on my side. I got you pegged and you hate it. Why you dont just own that you are an Anarchist, who call himself a Minarchist, is just funny to me.

    You Anarchists and your desire to have people gang up to defend your nonsense.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you are such an expert, tell me why I am supposedly incorrect about Bastiat or anything else.

    Thing is, you can't. Because you've never read a word by a single economist, you've never watched a minute of Milton Friedman, you don't know the first thing about logic, and you don't know what a fallacy is (yet you use them all the time).

    You just call people names like a thirteen year old boy, argue against things they never said, and then strut around like a peacock claiming victory.

    I'm starting to think you're just another sock, like Tony.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Oh Sarcasmic, someday you will learn that just because someone writes something in a book does not mean that they are 100% correct. Sometimes not even a tiny fraction of that.

    Bastiat's biggest flaw was how a free market nation is supposed to interact with non-free market nations that are looking for advantage to destroy you.

    If a free nation has no enemies, then free market can work great. The USA does not operate in a vacuum.

    That is not an excuse to legalize plunder or otherwise attack property, civil, and natural rights.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The United States of America is not an absolute liberty state. That is anarchy-land.

    The USA instead is by design a nation that has a supreme law (Constitution) to try and limit the government to basic enumerated powers and duties, deferring the remaining rights to the People.

    If you think you have absolute property rights in the USA, you are wrong.
    If you think you have absolute Liberty in the USA, you're wrong.
    If you think that you have a nation that is designed to maximize liberty and rights under a Constitution then you would be correct.

    Its not the Founders that Americans lost the will to fight for their rights and to keep the government tiny. They warned us over and over.

  • IceTrey||

    "If you think that you have a nation that is designed to maximize liberty and rights under a Constitution then you would be correct."

    What? The Constitution allowed slavery. Hell slavery is legal RIGHT NOW as a punishment for crimes.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Hell slavery is legal RIGHT NOW as a punishment for crimes."

    This is an interesting position. You would prefer we just execute all criminals or chop off their hands or something?

  • IceTrey||

    It's not a position it's the 13th amendment.

  • JoeBlow123||

    So how do you propose to deal with crime then champ?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Slaves were considered property. Free men had maximum liberty under the constitution. Thats just the way it was.

    The constitution was changed to ban slavery.

    The 8th amendment bans cruel and unsual punish,ent and slavery even as a criminal sentence is cruel and unusual punishment.

  • IceTrey||

    So you agree the constitution of this nation was NOT designed for maximum liberty?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The United States of America WAS designed for maximum liberty under the Constitution.

    Many, if not all, the Founders knew that slavery would not last forever. Slavery was on its way out at the time of ratification. The USA would not have been the nation it is now without forming at the time it did. Unfortunately, states that had hundreds of thousands of slaves needed to be included to get this experiment going. They set 1800, then 1808 as the year that Congress could regulate slavery and they hoped it would be ended.

    Then the Constitution was changed and slavery was banned after the Civil War. Liberty in the USA grew.

    Then women had the Constitution changed to give them more Liberty.

    The Constitution worked as designed to give more and more people in America maximum Liberty under the Constitution.

    Along the way, Americans gave up Liberty and we find ourselves with Trump to rollback government a bit to get more Liberty.

  • IceTrey||

    Oh a few million people being enslaved so that white men could be free was "unfortunate". Are you trolling me?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    There's a distinct possibility he isn't, and he's being neurotypical. This maaaay be a distinction without a difference, as trolling itself seems neurotypical. Brains are fascinating. Look into the just-world hypothesis.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Oh a few million people being enslaved so that white men could be free was "unfortunate". Are you trolling me?

    Are you stupid?

    No one was "enslaved so that white men"--or ANYONE could be free. Slavery was an institution that was thousands of years old at the time the US was founded.

    The idea that the US has some particular culpability in the slave trade is just nonsense. Even the morons who suggest that Europeans brought slavery to these shores ignore the slavery that the Pre-Columbian Americans practiced.

    It is nothing but willful ignorance.

    The United States of America WAS designed for maximum liberty under the Constitution--because it included parameters within it to correct mistakes. To expand liberty if it was found that it had been restricted.

    As above, pretending that this is not so is wallowing in willful, studied ignorance.

  • IceTrey||

    Really? I remember it taking 70 years and a war that killed 600,000 people to correct the "mistake" of slavery. Saying a document that only protected the rights of white property owning men was about maximizing freedom is absurd to the point of incredulity.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Interesting.

    So you think that the founding fathers devised a system of human chattel slavery that existed nowhere else in the world, imported people from Africa, set up a massive plantation system, all right after becoming a nation?

    And then destroyed that system 70 years later?

    Saying that a document that was about protecting individual human rights from being abrogated by government at a time when most governments were still hereditary monarchies who still, at least in title, still owned everything and everyone, is about 'maximizing freedom' is actually a massive understatement.

    The Declaration, and the Constitution shouted out to all the peoples of the world that freedom, was actually something that everyone has and not just for the wealthy and connected

  • IceTrey||

    Except for slaves and women.

  • sarcasmic||

    Good laws make intelligent people happy and vice versa.

    I see. You consider yourself to be intelligent, so that means any law that you like is a good law. If anyone disagrees then that means they're not intelligent like you. Do you practice being arrogant, or does it just come naturally?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    YOU are famous for saying stuff like that Sarcasmic.

  • sarcasmic||

    At least I'm not famous for calling people anarchist when I can't win an argument.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I win the argument AND bring up how you're an Anarchist.

    Own it man! Let those gold and black colors fly!

  • Tony||

    This is the cutest thing I've ever seen.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony is ugly though.

  • Tony||

    That's not what your mom said.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That is what YOUR mom said to me when she was chordling my dogs balls.

  • Tony||

    A voyeur, eh?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    YOU posted it on Tony'sMomandDogBalls dot com

  • Rob Misek||

    I think intelligence is measured not only by being capable of using available tools like logic and science to discern truth but the recognition that must be done in every case for every issue.

    It is how I live. When I argue, I argue to expose and share the truth, nothing else.

    If you could honestly make the same claim, you would realize that truth never loses. That isn't arrogance, it's reality.

    You admit that initiating violence is ok when done with reason. That's what I've said all along. I'm just glad we share the truth.

  • ||

    Everyone has a choice, reason or force. You can't adopt both as your fundamental means of interaction. If you switch off between the two, how would you reconcile that choice? Would you punch me out for asking? Or would you try to use reason to justify not using reason sometimes?

    "Reasonable initiation of violence" is an oxymoron.

  • Rob Misek||

    The choice is not "reason or force" it is to discern "reason for force".

    Would you advocate the use of force to take away a nuclear weapon from the innocent brother of a terrorist, or would you choose to react after millions of deaths?

    What would be reasonable?

  • Mark22||

    A key aspect of the common good is that "it's there for us all if it's there at all,"

    Usually when speakers talk about "for us all", they have some specific group in mind (nation, Catholics, ethnic group, etc.), and that's the problem.

    As a libertarian, I'm happy to belong to groups and contribute to the common good of those groups. But there are plenty of people whose groups I choose not to be part of and whose common good is of no interest to me. That is also a libertarian choice.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I agree. Libertarianism is about choice.

    Choice to keep a constituional democratic republic. Choice to vote. Choice to pay taxes. Choice to serve in the military.

  • Hank Phillips||

    "Pay or we take your home and possibly shoot or imprison you." This is the result of the DemoGOP cleptocracy injecting the Communist Manifesto tax into the 16th Amendment.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    States already had property tax schemes before the 16th Amendment.

    If you want absolute property rights and absolute liberty, Anarchy is more your speed.

  • ||

    Rights either exist or they don't, e.g., they are not conditional, temporary. They are not subject to majority vote or pop culture. The term "absolute right" is redundant.

  • Rob Misek||

    To me "us all" means us all.

    With free speech and the balls to speak truth to power we can keep speakers honest.

  • Mark22||

    To me "us all" means us all.

    And this "us all" refers to what? All Americans? All Californians? All human beings?

    Does the "us all" whose "common good" I'm supposed to supprt include the neo-Nazis who hate me for being gay, the social justice activists who hate me for being white, the socialists who hate me for making a lot of money and want to take it at gunpoint?

    The collective "us all" is the core of collectivism and its most common manifestations, socialism, communism, and fascism. You're not speaking truth to power, you're simply supporting power and oppression.

  • Rob Misek||

    Without further specification the lowest common denominator of "us all" is every living creature.

  • Azathoth!!||

    At that level, where are we?

    What is good for all life?

    A secure source of food, a secure source of shelter, adequate access to breeding capabilities.

    But what if one is another's food? What if one is another's shelter?

    Do you see?

    Even at the microbial level, there is no common good

  • Rob Misek||

    Every principle is measured by reason, truth.

    We have the ability to discern and value truth and yet we are not perfect.

    We are responsible to do the best we can for all living creatures. Today, some of them will be our food because we haven't got an alternative.

    Maybe we could wait for our food to die naturally before we eat it.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Stephanie should look into the old saw about many words and many lies...

  • Brian||

    It's always struck me as odd, how anti-Christianity progressives are. And yet, they seem to be the heirs of judeo christian values.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Some values predate Christianity.

    Its not like Christianity just created its dogma from thin air.

    Lefties tend to be anti-religion because the faith in Nanny-State is their religion and its hard to give your allegiance to multiple dogmas at the same time. There just aren't a lot of Christian Satanists.

  • Brian||

    I was more thinking of a thought experiment:

    Imagine we turned the country into a Christian theocracy.

    Then, we take away the social war stuff (anti-gay, drug war, prohibition, sex outside of marriage, abortion, etc.)

    And we allow other religions.

    What are we left with?

    An organization that requires a monthly tithe that supports a bunch of mandatory social works/welfare programs (oh, and the clergy that operate it all).

    An agnostic, tolerant christian theocracy seems to look a lot like progressivism.

    How progressive.

  • Mark22||

    An organization that requires a monthly tithe that supports a bunch of mandatory social works/welfare programs (oh, and the clergy that operate it all).

    Membership in that organization is voluntary. Often, the tithing itself is done to charities of one's choice, not the church. And it is limited to 10% of one's income. Churches don't have men with guns whose purpose it is to take away your stuff if the church is dissatisfied with you.

    An agnostic, tolerant christian theocracy seems to look a lot like progressivism.

    In roughly the same way a forced labor camp looks like a vacation resort.

  • ||

    Your "thought experiment" was tried for centuries. They called it "The Dark Ages".

  • Mark22||

    It's always struck me as odd, how anti-Christianity progressives are. And yet, they seem to be the heirs of judeo christian values

    Christianity is about voluntary, personal choices: charity is voluntary, personal giving, and community is something that you are a voluntary member of by mutual consent.

    Progressives make a mockery of this: giving and community membership under progressivism take place involuntarily, at gunpoint. That is about as anti-Christian as you can get.

  • inoyu||

    Stephanie Slade is a good person. Her worldview that people and goods may pass freely through her home is remarkable. Her failure to publish her address must have been an oversight.

  • Michael Cook||

    The ultimate resource will always be the clever application of knowledge and experience. (I was educated as an engineer, can you tell?)

    It kinda takes humans to do that. Since I also had a educationist career (teacher, master counselor of testing, principal) I would opine that the more varied in intensity and approach the educational philosophy, the more likely it is that SOMETHING will work, but you can't predict what.

  • Michael Cook||

    I will add this: worldly truth is not truth. Truth is only truth when contemplated by God, who may or may not share the conclusions reached.

  • ||

    The concept of an "Other-worldly truth" rejects reason, the human mind, in favor of an authority (God). This is a logical fallacy. And it is profoundly anti-life. It denies the essence of our humanity, our mind.

  • Rob Misek||

    What makes you believe that to be true?

  • ||

    Any system based on initiation of violence, threats thereof, or fraud will never be a libertarian choice of "last resort". It will never be justified on pragmatic grounds, e.g., "see how well it worked in this case". Authoritarianism is always justified by dropping context, and when that fails, the ruse of reason is dropped and the gun comes out.

    "public intervention...is not the only answer to social ills."? Doesn't that imply that it is one answer, that coercion is a moral social solution? It isn't and non-intervention (non-violence) is the only moral social solution. It's not just another competing political system, it's the only moral system.

    "Libertarians believe...freedom...helps produce...fulfillment more fully and more easily." More fully and more easily than non-freedom? That is the implication. This libertarian disagrees. A mixed system, free and unfree, is chaos. If it is not attacked and destroyed in favor of freedom, slavery will prevail, society will collapse, and the constant threat of war and domestic unrest everywhere is evidence of the moral/political confusion. It must be resolved.

  • Rob Misek||

    The choice is not "reason or force" it is to discern "reason for force".

    Would you advocate the use of force to take away a nuclear weapon from the innocent brother of a terrorist, or would you choose to react after millions of deaths?

    What would be reasonable?

  • Lester224||

    Orthodox Catholic version of individual freedom: Make birth control illegal.

  • Rob Misek||

    There's a good reason that the primary safety on a loaded gun is the trigger finger and not some mechanical device prone to failure.

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