The American Red Guards are after Christianity now, like their comrades in previous communist revolutions.
Conservatives will lament this, but they make a weak case for Christianity because they only seem to hear half of Jesus’ message.
Yes, Jesus told us we are wicked, sinners, and hypocrites. And he was right.
But he also said we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. And he was right about that, too.
The whole conservative philosophy is based on the first half of Jesus’ message alone. It assumes human beings are so wicked that all their natural inclinations must be crushed by authoritarian rule. Hobbes said it and Burke agreed with him.
Libertarians – even the atheists – implicitly agree with all of Jesus’ view of humanity. Every one of us has the capacity to be both a murderer, thief, or liar and a hero, philanthropist, or good neighbor.
The non-aggression principle proceeds directly from this view of humanity, allowing force only in defense of legitimate property rights (property being our lives, liberties, and “stuff”) and otherwise leaving each other free to allow the light of the world to shine.
In addition to overreaching government, the conservative view also results in conservatives tending to separate the world into good and bad people, rather than good and bad actions. This makes Christianity a tough sell, especially since it contradicts another key plank of Jesus’ message: that sincere repentance will be rewarded with the forgiveness of sins.
If conservatives truly want to preserve Western Civilization, previously known as “Christendom,” they ought to consider viewing humanity the way Jesus did and libertarians do and let that guide their policies.
Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.