My Libertarian-leaning position was based on that position being the only one, thus-far, that had a logically consistent foundation. Libertarianism holds property as the fundamental right, and the others (life, etcetera) as extrapolations of this principle.
Just in time for the elections, my pet Pastor delivered a couple of politically-related sermons. In them, he made observations that I will sum up, to my own understanding, here:
- The biblical role of government is to punish evil and promote good (not do good).
- Those commandments of the 10 which are humanly enforceable are Don’t bow down to idols, Don’t murder, Don’t steal, Don’t bear false witness, Don’t commit adultery.
Since I am a believer, I am justified in taking the Bible as an axiom when devising a political philosophy.
So, supposing MagicLand appears in the clouds and a bunch of believers decides to go there and start a country. If one were to devise a secular government, on the basis of “we are religious, but if our children are forced to choose between confession and exile, they will give lip service to God, and undermine the foundation of our country,” then we have to toss out the idolatry command.
Freedom of religion is something Americans take as granted whether we have it or not, so it seems shocking that we might consider not tossing out the idolatry command, but I think it would be easier to argue for keeping it than for throwing it. But we will leave that argument as beyond the scope of this paper. We are Christians, we know that no worldly government can ever be our ally, and so we are making a government that will do as little harm as possible for MagicLand.
So, using the commandments, we can extrapolate rights not to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, but rather to Life, Property, Justice, and Fidelity. These are the rights our Creator assigned us. These, no doubt, are the rights he will be avenging on our behalf at the end of time. The right not to be murdered. The right to one’s belongings. The right to be rightly represented in court. The right to one’s spouse keeping his/her marital vows.
This influenced my vote a bit.
On the constitutional amendment for Minnesota (will we define marriage as a man and a woman?), I was prepared to vote no, simply because I didn’t think marriage was the business of government. Now I know that it is: it is within the Government’s mandate to punish adulterers and promote fidelity. So I cast my vote for the amendment as a throwaway vote cast on principle.
Throwaway because it ain’t gonna happen in this state. Throwaway, also, because it’s too little, too late. The Government already ceded this ground when Reagan signed no-fault divorce into law. The primary threat to marriage in the U.S. isn’t homosexuality. It is divorce. But we’re not fighting divorce laws. We’re not trying to repeal no-fault divorce. We aren’t even shaming unrepentant adulterers who claim to be part of the church — when I went to my brother’s graduation from a Christian university, I watched in horrified fascination as an openly adulterous woman hobnobbed with everyone.
So… I have a foundation for a political philosophy going. Maybe, from there, I can work out an end, and the means by which I should attempt to achieve it. Or, in other words, maybe I can work out a rule by which I can cast my votes instead of doing what I did this year, and agonizing (should I vote for X because he’s the least evil electable, or Y because he’s the closest to what I actually believe?).