The Tea Party and Libertarianism

The Tea Party would have you believe that they are libertarian.  The gospel of Bachmann and Cain sounds like it, and fiscally the two are incredibly similar.  Libertarians have long favored small government and limited spending.  The Tea Party is primarily a reactive movement to the ballooning national debt, but it is more than that. 

There is another aspect to the Tea Party, one that has been part of conservatism for decades.  The Tea Party is a movement of morals.  Which ordinarily wouldn’t be a bad thing, but they want to enforce these morals on others who might not share them.  Rick Perry said, and quite appropriately, that he wants to make Washington DC as small a part of our daily lives as possible.  But, he, and most other Republican candidates, favor the banning of gay marriage, even if it means amending the constitution.

Now, I am a Christian, and as such I believe that God intended marriage to be between a man and a woman.  That being said, I also think that government shouldn’t be the facilitator of morals.  The government attempting this is dangerous in two ways.

First, the government cannot fix people.  If the federal government bans gay marriage, that doesn’t fix the problem.  A law cannot change people’s hearts, that’s not the way God designed laws to function.  Only he can change hearts.  No amount of government interference will do that.

Second, a cornerstone of libertarian philosophy is that everyone has civil liberties that the government shouldn’t interfere with.  Everyone, conservative Christians included, believe that their own civil liberties shouldn’t be interfered with.  It’s the First Amendment.  Everyone gets to say what they want and believe what they want.  This is America; we have freedom of religion and speech.  But the Tea Party only believes in these liberties so far as they agree with them.  They want the right to their own beliefs, but don’t want those who disagree with them to have civil liberties.

The Tea Party also has built a significant amount of their success on anti-Muslim sensationalism.  The birther movement illustrates this well.  They have tried, successfully, to paint Obama as a foreign Muslim.  They raised significant stink about building a mosque near the World Trade Center.

The Tea Party wants to deny equal rights to gays and Muslims.  That isn’t libertarian.  That’s dangerous.


The Lie

               Mankind’s chief problem is that it believes the lie.  I do not mean a lie, as if the lie were one of many lies told to us.  Nor do I mean lies, as if man’s problem were that he is gullible.  What I mean is that man believes, and suffers from believing, the lie.  We have been told the lie for millennia, each time believing it, realizing from painful experience that it isn’t true, but continuing to fall for the same lie over and over and over.
The first one to lie this lie was Satan, when he whispered in Eve’s ear that she would gain great knowledge if she only ate the fruit that had been forbidden.  She was told to look to creation to find what only the Creator could give.

Now, instead of the serpent, Satan has other agents at his disposal to propagate the lie.

Go to Jared, and your girlfriend will be gorgeous and love you unconditionally forever.

Buy your kids lots of cheap toys at Walmart and you will make this Christmas the best Christmas ever.

Go to college, get a good job, and live the American dream as if a nice house, a 401k, and a yearly vacation on the family boat could ever bring meaning to life.

The Dos Equis guy tells us that we aren’t happy because our lives aren’t interesting enough.
Katy Perry tells us that our lives are somehow less spectacular if we can remember what we did on Friday.

And it’s all a lie.  The lie.

We look to this world for happiness, but we will never find it here.

Creation was never meant to satisfy us.  Creation never can satisfy us.  Creation is meant to point to the God who can satisfy us.

Solomon found that out the hard way.  He wrote a book about it.  Read Ecclesiastes sometime.

The reason I love the movie Fight Club and the song “Cigarettes” by Fort Minor is that they expose the lie.  They tell the truth.

Nothing in this world is permanent.  It was designed that way.  All the pleasures of this life are flawed and end.  Your kids will be sick of their presents by New Years.  The girl that diamond got you won’t love you unconditionally.  The beer bottle has a bottom and a hangover the next day.  You may enjoy your big house and boat now, but in 20 years your kids will be enjoying them for you.

The lie is that the temporary can give us the eternal.   Much like the woman at the well, we keep drawing water every day when God himself is standing right in front of us offering living water.  All we have to do is drink, and we’ll never be thirsty again.

Temporary things bring us temporary happiness, but eternal things bring us eternal happiness.

I’m not saying that creation is a bad thing, because it’s not.  I’m just trying to point out the absurdity of playing in the tide pool when there’s an ocean right in front of us.
Don’t believe the lie.