The trou­ble with lib­er­tar­i­ans

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

There was a time when I con­sid­ered my­self some­thing of a lib­er­tar­ian. I never liked the la­bel “con­ser­va­tive.” Con­ser­va­tives for me were . . . well . . . too con­ser­va­tive, for lack of a bet­ter way of say­ing it. I ac­tu­ally wanted to shrink the fed­eral gov­ern­ment down to a size re­flect­ing its strict con­sti­tu­tional lim­i­ta­tions.

Not many con­ser­va­tives ac­tu­ally be­lieve that.

And even fewer act on those con­vic­tions when they have the chance.

So, for a while in my life, I con­sid­ered my­self a “Chris­tian lib­er­tar­ian.”

But not many lib­er­tar­i­ans, I found, agreed with me about pro­tect­ing our borders, a clear con­sti­tu­tional im­per­a­tive of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Most of them were open-borders utopi­ans.

Most lib­er­tar­i­ans also have utopian no­tions about drugs, too.

I agree that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s war on drugs has been a fail­ure from the get-go.

I can’t even un­der­stand how a guy like Bill Bennett is taken se­ri­ously as a con­ser­va­tive af­ter pre­sid­ing over the failed drug war as the “drug czar” and af­ter ex­pand­ing the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion when he had the chance to dis­man­tle it. But that’s an­other story for an­other time.

I wouldn’t mind the drug war if it meant shoot­ing all drug smug­glers on sight if found en­ter­ing our coun­try.

In­stead, the Bush ad­mi­nis- tra­tion pros­e­cuted two heroic Bor­der Pa­trol agents for wound­ing one with a gun­shot in the but­tocks, for heaven’s sake. But, again I di­gress.

What is irk­ing me to­day is a press re­lease I got from the Lib­er­tar­ian Party two weeks ago.

The party’s of­fi­cial po­si­tion is that the most im­por­tant cul­tural in­sti­tu­tion nec­es­sary for self-gov­ern­ment, namely mar- riage be­tween a man and a woman, is some kind of ar­chaic anachro­nism, an in­her­ently dis­crim­i­na­tory and op­pres­sive en­ter­prise.

Of course, “con­ser­va­tives,” for the most part, are no bet­ter. They see the at­tacks on mar­riage from a tiny, ex­trem­ist mi­nor­ity and flee in fear be­fore them.

But that’s an­other story for an­other day.

Here’s what Lib­er­tar­ian Party Chair­man Mark Hinkle has to say about mar­riage:

“Per­mit­ting couples to marry when they are of the same gen­der is a step in the direc­tion of equal­ity be­fore the law, but a truly free so­ci­ety would not have gov­ern­ment in the busi­ness of defin­ing re­la­tion­ships at all. Frankly, the idea that some­one’s legal rights should de­pend on whether they’ve en­tered a gov­ern­ment-ap­proved re­la­tion­ship ought to be re­pug­nant to all of us.” Think about that. What this knucklehead is say­ing is that any­thing goes, same-sex mar­riage, polygamy, bes­tial­ity, you-name-it. Is that free­dom? No, that’s li­cen­tious­ness. That’s not what made Amer­ica

The party’s po­si­tion is that the most im­por­tant cul­tural in­sti­tu­tion nec­es­sary for self-gov­ern­ment, namely mar­riage be­tween a man and a woman, is some kind of ar­chaic anachro­nism, an in­her­ently dis­crim­i­na­tory and op­pres­sive en­ter­prise.

the great­est ex­per­i­ment in lib­erty that the world has ever known. But that’s lib­er­tar­i­an­ism.

Take a 5,000-year-old in­sti­tu­tion or­dained by God that has worked all over the world.

Then trash it be­cause some group of sin­ful, pride­ful peo­ple with no real in­ter­est in mar­riage wants to use it to demon­strate that they are “op­pressed.”

Keep in mind, it was the fed­eral gov­ern­ment that made all this in­evitable with the Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas, in which it pre­sumed to tell the peo­ple of that great repub­lic they had no busi­ness en­forc­ing laws against sodomy. Jus­tice An­tonin Scalia pre­dicted in short or­der that the rul­ing would open the door to some­thing unimag­in­able a decade ago, same-sex mar­riage. He was right.

That’s how sodomy moved from be­ing a sin 10 years ago to be­ing a “right.” It’s not a right. It’s a sin. And in a civ­i­lized, self-gov­ern­ing so­ci­ety, when the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple ban sin­ful be­hav­ior, from mur­der, to theft, to adul­tery, to child mo­lesta­tion, they have the right and the duty to leg­is­late against it.

Courts have no busi­ness over­rul­ing the will of the peo­ple on such mat­ters by dream­ing up “rights” that are to be found nowhere in the Con­sti­tu­tion, the Bi­ble or the his­tory of mankind.

It’s just that sim­ple. And it’s about time some­body said it.

Joseph Farah is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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