It’s been a while since I have commented on anything regarding the current pope. That ends today!
Those Rotten Libertarians
The pope recently offered a critique, based on numerous strawmen, of libertarianism. Several people have rightly offered a response. The few that I have read have been respectful, attempting a rational and reasoned dialogue with the pope on this topic.
Well, this will not be of that type. I will not bother with a point by point rebuttal; others have done that all too well. My approach will be different – as you might have surmised, given the title of this post.
Libertarianism = The Non-aggression Principal
The pope condemns libertarianism; libertarianism has at its root the non-aggression principle.
So, what is the non-aggression principle? From Ayn Rand, we read: “So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate — do you hear me? No man may start — the use of physical force against others.”
From Murray Rothbard: “The libertarian creed rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. This may be called the "nonaggression axiom." "Aggression" is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else. Aggression is therefore synonymous with invasion.”
It is safe to say, this statement is about as Christian as it gets; it certainly belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of words for a Christian to live by.
The Pope’s Creed
Taken from an excerpt from George Neumayr’s book, The Political Pope: How Pope Francis Is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives.
The pope read many books given to him by his boss at Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory in Buenos Aires, where he worked.
The “boss” to whom Pope Francis referred is Esther Ballestrino de Careaga. He has described her as a “Paraguayan woman” and a “fervent communist.” He considers her one of his most important mentors. “I owe a huge amount to that great woman,” he has said, saying that she “taught me so much about politics.”
Learning about communism, he said, “through a courageous and honest person was helpful. I realized a few things, an aspect of the social, which I then found in the social doctrine of the Church.”
The social aspect of communism = the social doctrine of the Church. Let that sink in.
The pope has stated: “The Marxist ideology is wrong.” Yet he frequently exhorts action through government and political leaders toward redistributive ends. If this isn’t Marxism, it is a close cousin. Call it democratic communism. Yes, some will find that repetitive.
It is safe to say – especially considering its short time on earth – that communism has been the most destructive political philosophy that the world has ever known; the devil’s Mt. Rushmore is still waiting for three other nominees.
Let’s test these two political theories – libertarianism and (democratic) communism – out against the Bible. Let’s look at the relevant commandments of the well-known ten…well, before we get to the ten, consider how God introduces himself:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Communism = slavery = contrary to God’s work; the NAP = pretty much the opposite of slavery.
You shall not murder.
Communism = good for at least 100 million deaths in the one century it was tried; the NAP = pretty much the opposite of murder.
You shall not steal.
Communism = a political philosophy based in its entirety on theft – from each according to his ability, to each according to his need; the NAP = pretty much the opposite of stealing.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Communism = coveting everything of anyone who has something more than you have; the NAP = pretty much the opposite.
But That was Old Testament Stuff
Well…yeah. But God is unchanging, and a sin remains a sin. So can good come from breaking God’s commandments? What does Paul say about this?
Romans 3: 5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!
Nowhere did Jesus teach to initiate force or in any way use the Roman government to do good – to do evil in order to “bring out God’s righteousness more clearly….” To do good is the work of the Church, the body of Christ. It is a calling; it isn’t to be achieved at the end of a gun.
The pope should do his job and lead Catholic Christians toward this calling. He should do it as Christ did it, without introducing the initiation of force.
No pope of Christ = the devil’s pope.