Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Gays Against Rand?

Jon Green at the gay web site, AmericaBlog, takes a direct shot at Rand:
On Thursday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul spoke at a closed-door prayer breakfast with about 50 evangelical pastors and thought leaders. Paul’s self-described libertarianism has often put him at odds with the evangelical community, which has some decidedly restrictive ideas about marriage and the family, and his visit was part of a larger pivot to the religious right as he prepares for the upcoming GOP primary.

As it turns out, Etch-a-Sketching your beliefs about the intersection of freedom and religion is harder than it looks.

In video obtained by the Christian Broadcasting Networks’ David Brody, Paul ran through a list of statements that put him squarely at odds with his “libertarian” roots:

“The First Amendment says keep government out of religion. It doesn’t say keep religion out of government.”

“We need a revival in the country. We need another Great Awakening with tent revivals of thousands of people saying ‘reform or see what’s going to happen if we don’t reform.’” 
“There is a role for us (the federal government) trying to figure out a thing like marriage.”
Setting aside for the moment the fact that Paul is wrong about the First Amendment (more on that below), theocracy and libertarianism don’t mix. But for Rand Paul to try and fail to integrate the two should come as no surprise....

As I’ve written before, Paul has a pretty shaky grasp on what it means to be a libertarian. Like a college freshman who read the first chapter of Atlas Shrugged and followed Reason Magazine on Twitter, Paul seems to think that as long as you say “personal freedom,” “contracts” and “privacy” enough times then it doesn’t matter what policies you endorse; you’re for freedom...

The closer we get to the Republican primary the farther away Paul gets from whatever semblance of libertarian principles he nominally holds. From meeting with Sheldon Adelson to smooth over his positions on Israel, to signing Tom Cotton’s warmongering letter to Iran...

If Rand Paul really was a libertarian, he would know that the only way to truly protect religious liberty in a secular liberal democracy is for the government to be completely indifferent to theological concerns as they pertain to public policy. Giving preference to one religious appeal opens the door for asymmetric preference and, by extension, discrimination on the basis of religion.

In fact, these concerns over asymmetric preference were the inspiration for the term “separation of Church and State” in the first place. The phrase comes from a letter written by then-President Thomas Jefferson to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, who were seeking protection from, well, the Congregationalists of Danbury, Connecticut, as the state had established Congregationalism as its official religion. In assuring the Baptists that they enjoyed equal protection under federal law, Jefferson assured them that the First Amendment established “a wall of separation” between religion and government. As Baptists, they could go about being Baptists — and not-Congregationalists — as they pleased, and the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause guaranteed that federal government would protect that right and that right alone.

This makes it impossible for one to claim Constitutional inspiration for the claim that you can’t keep religion out of government. In order to adhere to the letter and spirit of the Constitution, you have to keep religion out of government.

It’s the only way to guarantee that one religion doesn’t gain undue privilege over another. Anyone who’s serious about freedom should be all for it.


  1. Wasn't it not too long ago that the thick/thin debate about libertarians was the rage? The only unlibertarian thing Rand says is that the government should have a role in defining marriage. Is it impermissible to use the bully pulpit to espouse one's personal views? Or is it beneficial that the voting public learn more about the man? Certainly, Ron talked about the immorality of abortion. In a libertarian society these issues don't matter, but in a society where public policies do affect everyone and almost everything, there is no impartial way to determine these issues and it is important to know what basis politicians will use.

    1. Rand Paul is dangerous because he is trying to appeal to Republican evangelical Christians who have fully supported the genocidal murder of millions of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and very soon Iran. These very same Christians seemingly fully support using depleted uranium ammunition on combatants and civilians regardless of the fact that these weapons destroy these gene pools for generations. What is even more stunning is that evangelical Christians are wholly ignorant of the fact that theses same weapons also destroy the genes of American men and women in the U.S. military for multiple generations.

      Why would anyone in their right mind listen to Rand Paul or Republican evangelical Christians when the root of their deepest political ideas flow from neocon philosopher Leo Strauss, and Nazi Party member Carl Schmitt. Rand Paul and evangelical Christians are empowering the neocon philosophy of perpetual war to give rise to a 21st century Roman Empire of unrivaled power.

      In the end what have taxpayers in this former republic gained as a result of this perverted union of evangelical Christianity, and the fascist neocon philosophy, a rapidly spreading malignancy on the soul of people who live to bow down before power.

  2. Yeah, this guy's wrong and Rand's right. Nowhere does Jefferson's letter contradict Rand's claim.