Tag Archives: libertarianism

Michele Bachmann Set to Retire; Dominionism Still Repulsive

English: Marcus Bachmann with his wife Michele...

English: Marcus Bachmann with his wife Michele Bachmann at the 2011 Time 100 gala. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann decides that this will be her last term in office. Couldn’t be the fact that her campaign is under investigation. It’s well known that Bachmann believes in Dominionism, the idea that Christians should establish a dictatorship over the world. It’s an evil, heretical idea, and its source,  Rushdoony, is highly problematic.

Dominionists rely upon practices of spiritual abuse; its not surprising really, set up a Christian empire by first colonizing bodies in the church.

The problem is that–because dominionism is, at its core, a spiritually abusive movement with political aspirations it isn’t that simple at all…because you have to fight the programmed mindset.

I am posting this info in the hope that people–in particular, experts in the psychological field (I know we have at least one on the board!) will be able to give suggestions.  I also post this in the hope people realise the difficulty us walkaways have had in getting out–and maybe our success stories will give people hints on how to stop the hijacks from occuring.

One thing that is difficult to explain to people who have never been involved in a coercive religious group is just how people get “stuck in” and refuse to leave.

What people don’t tend to realise is that most coercive groups–be they dominionist groups or some other flavour of coercive group (such as Scientology, the Moonies, etc.)–have as part of the coercion in and of itself various “thought stopping” techniques and other forms of coercion that literally prevent the person from questioning the group at all.  (In fact, that’s how we can define dominionism as a coercive religious movement, especially in its “spiritual warfare” and “premillenarian dispensationalist” flavours.)

– DogEmperor at the Daily Kos: Why the subject of dominionism is rather personal to me

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Brief Comment on Entitlements

'Libertarianism'

‘Libertarianism’ (Photo credit: Toban Black)

I am still working out what I think about publically funded healthcare, etc., but I just wanted to restate the reason why I left Libertarianism all those months ago. First, yes, Scripture does have a narrative of freedom and justice, but one should not forget that there are themes of social responsibility and duty throughout the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Oddly, one conservative icon from Scripture shared all of his winnings and spoils with the poor. Sounds like a redistributionist! But his name was King David. History tells us that throughout human history, there are eras of great apathy and “libertarian triumphs” like the Gilded Age/Manifest DEstiny. When we have presidential candidates like Ron Paul see: Ron Paul: FEMA not necessary celebrating the fact that another President/politician refused to save human life, where 6,000 souls were lost during a deadly hurricane in Galveston in 1900. Talk about someone who claims to be pro-life! What an anachronistic and medieval way of looking at the world, and anti-Christian too. As if God cares if its the federal government or local people rescue those who suffer from disaster! This shows Paul’s legalism in the name of “liberty.”

Libertarianism overemphasizes freedom over duty, and this is why conservative/libertarian commitments to charity ring hollow, because charity makes notions of duty necessary. A friend shared this post recently with me on facebook: Are You entitled to Food, Housing, and Healthcare? at Political Theology.com by Meghan Clark. She argues,

Catholic social teaching has long held that human persons are valued and have dignity simply because they are created in the image and likeness of God and not for their utility. This same principle of human dignity is legally enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And it is primarily the responsibility of the government to defend and protect those human rights. We all have a responsibility to respect the human rights of others; however, we claim those rights against the government – which in safeguarding the public order, is responsible for their protection.”

I would just like to add a couple of thoughts. First, if you read Jimmy Carter’s interview I linked to in yesterday’s post, Democrat and President Carter implemented the Women, Infant, and Children’s program as part of the Food Stamps/Supplemental Nutrition because he is pro-life, and disagreed with Roe V. Wade. Studies have also shown that those “47%” of the population who depend on the government, for the most part, are the working poor who need help to get by. Republicans, who once embraced compassionate, duty-driven conservativism, now show spite towards those poor while claiming to be Christian in most cases. Scripture warns us over and over again not to be mean those in need (Proverbs, Psalms, James) but it is libertarian legalism that leads our society turning a blind eye to injustice. In conclusion, I would also like to remark that since the USA is part of the United Nations by way of treaty, and since we are under the Geneva convention, the USA must learn to be more respectful of international law. Perhaps this explains reactionary dismissal of international institutions to begin with. This is rather surprising since Articles 16, 17, and 18 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
speak to conservative causes today. Living in the U.S. with the most workers who get the fewest hours of leisure, we overlook Sabbath as a human right itself per Article 24.

In Scripture, the widows, the orphans, and the poor are entitled (rather, the wealthy owe and are commanded to give) food and sustenance. The best science and medicine were made available to the people, both Jews and Gentiles (insiders and outsiders, thank you very much Teabagging Dominionists)by the prophets like with the story of Elisha and Naaman. Naaman was not charged for healthcare, but the man who did want Naaman to pay Elisha, Gehazi, E’s assistant was punished for doing so.

Maybe we ought to take a closer look at international law and religious ideas. Perhaps.

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I Believe in Limited Government, Therefore I can no longer be a libertarian

Blame it on the Founders

I have this gosh awful bad habit of wanting to be part of clubs where I don’t belong. When I was in elementary school, I always wanted to be part of the cool clique One day in early 2006 came when I kissed Calvinism goodbye and rightly so. As I reflect on the past in self-criticism, I believe whole heartedly that I made the right decision, that my Calvinism was holding back in not allowing me to fulfill my own potential. I know it’s not I am not articulating it very well right now, but maybe someday I will have to words to say it. Today begins a less bitter departure from the label of “libertarian”; although, I still want to hold on to the idea of limited, decentralized government that some libertarians promote. After all, the notion of the state limiting itself is not in and of itself a bad idea, as I argued in one of PJ’s original 3-part series: Limited Government and the Bible Part 1; Part 2; and part 3.

The problem is, as radical as consistent as the Left Libertarian strain of libertarianism was and as it appealing as it was for me, it did not go far enough for me. The question I keep asking and coming back to is this: What does it mean to be governed? Do public officials act alone in the managing of our lives? Are the private enterprises that seek to discipline our bodies to where their investors want them to go? Post-structalist understandings of power as interpersonal do not match the Right Libertarian view of power as institutional, while the Left Libertarians continue to struggle to find their voice. Have a problem? Blame the government! Have to pay taxes? Why that’s a form of violence?

It’s the arbitrary and disembodied definition of violence that really cut the cake for me, especially from extreme Right Libertarians. That, and their pseudo-intellectual pontifications on U.S. American history. Take Glenn Beck for instance: Teddy Roosevelt owned the label of “progressive” and therefore, all progressives in history were evil. Take an honest look at history. Question: What is the difference between Beck’s and Roosevelt’s foreign policy? Answer: Basically, nothing. They were/are both jingoists and believed in the U.S. as an active military power exerting its influence over the world. When it comes to economics, of course Beck claims “anarcho-capitalism.” Or take Thomas Woods case to bring back ideas such as “nullification” and “secession” in his Nullification. Of course, I think many would agree that these ideas are best used in self-defense when human life is at stake, like the case of South Sudan, but I do not think President Obama’s policies amount to some sort of genocide against the U.s. American people.

Which leads me to my last two points. First, many Right Libertarians believe that behind every positive claim about government, there is a Marxist or Nazi hiding nearby. This obsession with Red conspiracies is enough to drive people crazy, you know, John Birch-type crazy. The final straw, however, was the anachronistic views of history, the Tea Party’s argument that their ideas are in the Founders’ documents, and they just are not. Whether we are talking about Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists who wanted agricultural socialism (states subsidizing the slave trade) or Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists, who had no problem with crony capitalism, and the government cooperating with early forms of industry in the late 18th century. Reading The Federalist Papers opened up my eyes, and while it is not the perfect document, I can affirm a majority of the ideas it promotes, the federal government as a decentralized and limited national government. The separation of powers is something that no one ever talks about anymore unless it relates to how a Supreme Court case did not go in their favor. Even the cases and examples that Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison use from history (the Greek city-states, etc.) are quite selective in nature, and further proof that our existences are story-bound through and through. Allegory is everything, everything is allegory (there I go again).

Bottom line: libertarianism, story-wise, means idyllic romances with a past that never happened and fretting over a dystopian future that is only hypothetical. By the way, who doesn’t have their own version of a dystopia? What is needed to happen is a hope-filled and updated rendition of the Federalist Papers, an understanding of the ideals behind the Founders (at least the winning side, right!), which Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Martin Luther King Jr. tried to continue. A “Federalist” today is known as someone who believes in states’ rights but how did that happen through an honest reading of history? That just does not happen over night. That takes the power of anachronism and deception.

Quite simply put, the Federalist tradition is one that promotes the idea of a decentralized national government dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals. One of the weaknesses of Federalism that Libertarians, left and right, rightfully point out is that Federalism in terms of economics meant the federal government picking the winners and losers (crony capitalism). I would argue that the very best way to fight against public and private spheres from dominating our lives is making education available to all; after all, Christian is right; public education was one of the original dreams of our Founders and should remain a staple in our society. Secondly, on a related note, expanding the power of the electorate by giving homeless/propertyless U.S. citizens the right to vote should also be a priority. The idea that people have to own homes in order to vote in their district is archaic, classist, and discriminates against many of our veterans. Thirdly, I believe that it is important that communities start to emphasize political activism on the local level, with city council elections being on par with our votes for governor or Senator. How this happens? I don’t have all the answers, but it is worth a look.

Speaking of post-structuralism, I will end this post on bit of a light note, not to take myself too seriously:

Happy Birthday, Michel Foucault!

from Social Images