Dear supporters and members of the Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina:
First, I’d like to sincerely thank you for electing me chairman of the RLC of SC. Also, on behalf of all South Carolina RLC supporters, I would like to thank Dr. Scott Pearson for his leadership the past two years as the RLC in the Palmetto State grew from humble roots to become the third largest state charter of the Republican Liberty Caucus in the United States.
As we move forward, the RLC will refocus on engaging our state and impacting our communities for liberty. We are going to give you more details about Project Impact, which began as the theme for our 2014 state convention.
We are going to focus on impacting our communities through activism and helping our neighbors and demonstrating that a belief in liberty is also a commitment to individual responsibility for making the world a better place.
While we will be polishing our Project Impact plans in the coming weeks, it’s imperative that we begin working right away to elect liberty Republicans and for that reason I am asking you to sign up to volunteer for the liberty candidate of your choice in whatever election you feel is most important.
One place to start is Sen. Lee Bright’s volunteer program. In particular, campaigns can always use phone bank volunteers which can even be done right from the comfort of your own home. Would you please chip in a few minutes a day to help? Sen. Bright’s volunteer page can be found at http://www.brightforsenate.com/infographic-volunteer/.
I look forward to all the great things the RLC will be doing over the coming months as we keep winning for liberty. We’ll be in touch soon!
SC State Chairman
Republican Liberty Caucus
The post RLC Impact: Updates and Volunteer Needs for Candidates appeared first on Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina.
Members of the Lowcountry Republican Liberty Caucus can nominate members to the board of directors by commenting below. Nominees will be considered by ballot on March 19th at 7:00 PM at the monthly meeting of the Lowcountry RLC at Mount Pleasant Waterworks (1619 Rifle Range Rd, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464).
Also joining us as a guest speaker is Congressman Mark Sanford who will update us on the latest happenings on Capitol Hill.
Well, it’s time for our state convention starting this Friday evening! We have two different sessions — a business session and the public session with speakers.
Friday evening business session events are at no charge and open to all dues paying members and their guests. The Saturday events require a ticket which may be purchased by going to http://www.rlcimpact.com/tickets
Here is a schedule of events:
BUSINESS SESSION – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 28TH
Location: Mount Pleasant Waterworks, 1619 Rifle Range Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
5:30 PM – Registration
6:15 PM – Opening (invocation & pledge)
6:20 PM – Appointment of Credentials and Rules Committee
6:30 PM – Parliamentary Training Seminar
8:00 PM – Election of officers (Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer)
8:30 PM – Election of Board Members
8:45 PM – Resolutions*
9:30 PM – Adjournment
* Resolutions may be submitted to email@example.com or presented in writing. They will be considered in the order presented until all resolutions have been considered or until the 9:30 PM adjournment time, whichever comes first.
Resolutions submitted so far:
1. Recognition of the Grand Strand, Catawba, and Lakelands Chapter as local chapters of the Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina
SATURDAY PUBLIC SESSION – MARCH 1ST
Cost: $69.00 non-members, $39.00 members
Location: Charleston Rifle Club, 2221 Heriot St., Charleston, SC 29403
8:30 AM – Registration
9:00 AM – Opening (invocation and pledge)
9:10 AM – Outgoing chairman’s address
9:20 AM – Introduction of new officers and board
9:25 AM – Morning breakout session instructions
9:30 AM – Morning breakout session
MORNING BREAKOUT SESSION
Main Hall – Sheriff Ray Nash on the Constitution
Bowling Alley – Tom Sheridan and John Kuhn on Precinct Organizing
10:15 AM – Morning Break
10:45 AM – Speaker: State Treasurer Curtis Loftis
11:00 AM – Dr. Mike Vasovski, State Chair of the Ron Paul 2012 Campaign
11:15 AM – Matthew Sheffield, Founder of Newsbusters.org
12:00 PM – Lunch (Music provided by Robbie Bowen)
12:55 PM – Afternoon breakout session instructions
1:00 PM – Afternoon breakout session
AFTERNOON BREAKOUT SESSION
Main Hall – Jesse Graston on a Constitutional Amendment Convention of the States
Bowling Alley – Dr. Scott Pearson on Financial Strategies for World Changers
Conference Room – Stephen Calk on Disaster Preparedness
2:00 PM – SC Senator Lee Bright, Candidate for US Senate
2:15 PM – Elizabeth Moffly, Candidate for State Superintendent of Education
2:30 PM – Sherri Few, Candidate for State Superintendent of Education
2:45 PM – Nse Epko, 2nd Vice Chair, South Carolina Republican Party
3:00 PM – Jack Hunter, Contributing Editor Rare.us and former advisor to Rand Paul
4:00 PM – Remarks from New Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of SC
ANNUAL LIBERTY FELLOWSHIP DINNER – MARCH 1ST
Location: Charleston Rifle Club, 2221 Heriot St., Charleston, SC 29403
6:00 PM – Dinner provided. Cash bar available.
Guest speaker: Michael Maharrey, National Communications Director of the 10th Amendmen Center
Also in attendance: Jack Hunter and other speakers from the day’s events.
Michael Maharrey serves as the national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center.
Hailing from Lexington, Ky., he’s extremely proud that his home state originated the Principles of ’98 laying the groundwork for state nullification of unconstitutional acts, and he’s the author of Our Last Hope – Rediscovering the Lost Road to Liberty, a historical, philosophical and moral case for nullification.
Michael speaks at events across the United States, and frequently appears as a guest on local and national radio shows advancing constitutional fidelity and liberty through decentralization.
As a working journalist, Michael has written and reported for several newspapers, including the St. Petersburg Times and the Kentucky Gazette, covering local and state politics, and sports. Mike won a pair of 2009 Kentucky Press Association awards while serving as the sports editor for the Woodford Sun in 2009. He also worked for a local television news outlet writing web content for the station’s award-winning website.
“I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.” – Edward Snowden
Have you ever heard someone say, “Why do I care about privacy? I have nothing to hide.” Some even go on to add, “if it stops all of this violence, then I’m actually for a little invasion of my privacy.” Sometimes another inaccurate argument might be presented when discussing online privacy: “Free men love liberty, and criminals crave privacy.”
Perhaps Ben Franklin countered these statements best when he warned “those that would trade freedom for a little temporary security, deserve neither and will soon lose both.” Do you wonder why Ben sounded so indignant?
He knew that if you did not aggressively protect your rights, you would be jeopardizing the rights of others, as well. He was insulted that one would be willing to weaken Liberty, for all, through their careless negligence.
We all bear the costs of increased surveillance in our country, and although it levies all taxpayers, not all costs are financial. It infringes on everyone’s private life, not just those that are willing to allow it. It compromises everyone’s officials and leaders. Their decisions affect everyone in society, not just those that yielded their Liberty. These leaders include those in the political, military and private sectors. Information used to blackmail a corporate leader might have far reaching consequences that affect many of us, not just a few. These consequences could be more serious in the event that a senator’s (or a military general’s) decision was compromised. This unreasonable intrusion into our privacy generally increases our distrust of one another.
Lack of privacy also inhibits the dissemination of sensitive information necessary for “whistle blowers” to bring tyranny into the open, affecting everyone. If a state official sees something wrong or unethical being performed by an institution in which they have insider information, they might anonymously leak this information to the press so that a public discussion can begin to change what is happening. If they know that “leaks” are not anonymous, and their careers, or even their lives, would be jeopardized with reprisals from unscrupulous individuals, these “whistleblowers” might remain silent. In this case, it is not a criminal that “craves” privacy, but someone trying to end corruption. Journalists and other members of a free press understand this concept well and defend their right to protect the privacy of their sources tenaciously. This could affect you!
Privacy has financial value. Consider Congressman Blackburn’s formal remarks: “What happens when you follow the European privacy model and take information out of the information economy? … Revenues fall, innovation stalls and you lose out to innovators who choose to work elsewhere.” We have also seen an unwillingness of foreign corporations to purchase American- made computers and components because they are correctly suspicious that these goods will make them vulnerable to industrial espionage. This hurts our bottom line directly.
Additionally, donors might crave privacy. Often donations are made anonymously for any number of good reasons. Perhaps the person would like to avoid additional solicitations from other individuals or charities once their generosity was made public. Perhaps a donor would prefer his politics remain unknown to the public so that he may continue to do business with those that may have strong opinions opposite of his own. Perhaps the donation might reveal vulnerabilities of the donor in other ways. One example might be if a donor would like to contribute to a cause that is socially sensitive, such as ending prohibition during the twenties. Whatever the reason, donors that might be good people, championing good causes, could also “crave” privacy.
But privacy has another intrinsic value. Billy Graham put it simply when he said,“Once you’ve lost your privacy, you realize you’ve lost an extremely valuable thing.” It might be hard to imagine not having privacy. Think about how you’d feel if you found out that you forgot to zip up your fly while at a party, or as a young teenager, your parents listened in on every phone conversation you had with your friends. Privacy allows us to develop normally and psychologically as human beings. Think about what Marilyn Monroe might have meant when she said, “A career is born in public – talent in privacy.”
In a few sentences, the framers of the Constitution seemed intuitively to understand and cherish our right to avoid unreasonable intrusions into our private, and perhaps even public, lives. Let’s examine the evolution of the uniquely American concept of privacy, unreasonable searches, and the creation of the Fourth Amendment:
In February 1761, a lawyer named James Otis argued unsuccessfully against “Writs of Assistance” in the defense of merchants who had failed to pay duty to the English Crown on smuggled goods. Writs of Assistance were broad-based warrants that allowed for general searches for no one specific and no place in particular. They could be used by custom officials whenever they wanted to search for smuggled or stolen goods and written materials expressing political dissent.
Often, these searches were destructive to the owner’s property on which they were conducted. Often, property not related to the original infraction was seized. Otis offered a passionate plea to the courts: when no standard for issuing warrants existed, the subjects of those searches become the victims of “petty tyrants.” He explained, “[C]an a community be safe with an uncontroul’d power lodg’d in the hands of such officers, some of whom have given abundant proofs of the danger there is in trusting them with ANY? …Every one with this writ may be a tyrant; if this commission be legal, a tyrant in a legal manner also may control, imprison, or murder any one within the realm. In the next place, it is perpetual; there is no return. A man is accountable to no person for his doings. Every man may reign secure in his petty tyranny, and spread terror and desolation around him.”
In 1763 and 1765, two separate cases involving the ransacking of pamphleteers homes and the seizure of property related to sedition charges resulted in the British judge on both cases, Lord Camden, overturning them on the basis that the searches were illegal. (Pamphleteering was the 18th century equivalent of “blogging”!). And on June 10, 1768, John Hancock’s gaff-rigged Sloop, “Liberty,” was seized by the British after a search at sea turned up smuggled wine. John Hancock was at the time one of the wealthiest merchants in Boston and blatantly disregarded paying taxes to the Crown on imported goods. To make matters worse, the Captain and crew of the “Liberty” kidnapped the British customs official that had discovered the boot-legged wine and held him prisoner (in part, because the cheeky official wouldn’t consider taking a bribe!) until they could offload most of their cargo at dock, duty-free. A riot and some fisticuffs later, and the “Liberty” was commandeered in port by the British.
John Adams defended Hancock in five months of legal wrangling which led suddenly and unexpectedly to dropped charges. It would later be Adams that would distill the angst of the period in legal language for the Massachusetts Constitution:
“Every subject has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his house, his papers, and all his possessions. All warrants, therefore, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation, and if the order in the warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the person or objects of search, arrest, or seizure; and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases, and with the formalities prescribed by the laws.”
Congress would edit and narrow the language that would lead to the adoption of this language as the Fourth Amendment within the Constitution:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
It is interesting that Adams argued that even a commercial merchant vessel was immune to searches “without any probable cause” and that his language in his state Constitution was broader in scope of the protections eventually granted in the US Constitution. Though many authors contributed to the final wording (including James Madison), Adams probably had the most intimate experience with aberrant conditions prior to any law being enacted.
It is also worth noting that it was the illegal search of the homes or vessels that mandated a “not guilty” verdict, even though the defendants, in these cases, were probably guilty of some misdeed. It was clearly established that probable cause was the proper measure of a search or seizure, and any fact discovered afterwards, in the event of a improper search, was null and void.
Could it be then, that the framers saw the necessity, on occasion, for lawbreakers to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures? Much as the right to bear arms implies that those arms might be used one day to guard against tyranny, maybe the right to be free from unprovoked, and possibly condemning searches might be necessary to protect a public accumulating contraband to resist tyranny. In both cases, an illegal act, or the threat of an illegal act, might be necessary.
Imagine a scenario where an ethical person might be compelled to act illegally in the face of a tyrannical regulation or law. History is replete with examples. Consider what it would mean to harbor an escaped slave in antebellum times; or a Jew during the Nazi occupation of Poland; or to protect a rare library of astronomy books during the Spanish Inquisition, or to sequester guns and grenades for the French Underground during the German occupation of France. These examples — and there are plenty more — were not necessary for the framers; they had had experiences of their own.
So, why do we find the Fourth Amendment applicable to today’s society even with huge technological advances the founders could not have envisioned in their time? It is because it is not a document discussing technology. It is a document discussing ethics and principles. It is discussing ideas. Ethics and principles do not change within the human species very much. What is fair today was fair 2000 years ago and will still be fair in 2000 years to come.
The Fourth Amendment applies to today’s technology because an “unreasonable search” occurs when the government violates a person’s expectation of privacy during a phone call or even an internet connection. Even though a search may be electronic, digital, or some future, yet undiscovered technology, rather than a physical one, it is still a “search” covered by the Fourth Amendment. You should be able to reasonably expect your privacy.
Having left communist Russia, Ayn Rand knew about the expectation of privacy and “petty tyrants.” She said “civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.” So, the next time someone asks you if you are concerned about your Fourth Amendment rights, remember that those rights set you free from other men. One’s answer should be: “Very…”
As one of the 2,500 folks who stood on the steps of the Custom House in downtown Charleston on April 15, 2009, I was heartened to see the backlash against out of control government. I was part of a massive crowd and was surrounded by an endless sea of signs saying things like “Cull Both Herds” with a picture of a Republican elephant and Democrat donkey. Speakers spoke out against not only Barack Obama but against George W. Bush too. They rallied against the bailouts, TARP, and omnibus budget package with the understanding that both parties shared the blame. The crowd was there not only to rally against Democrats, but against Republicans too — against any politician of any party who didn’t stand for the principle of limited government.
Imagine my disappointment when I read this article on the Charleston Tea Party web site this weekend entitled “Shut Up and WIN!” by Mike Murphree, chairman of this group that bears the name of the tea party movement in Charleston. Chairman Murphree opens up by writing, “My fellow Republicans, shut up and win. That’s right shut up, and win!”
What exactly is this “fellow Republicans” line? I am a Republican myself but I thought the tea party was non-partisan. I must have thought wrong because evidently, the Charleston Tea Party is now a Republican organization that exists to tell its members to shut up and quit complaining about the very things that prompted them all to protest in 2009 in the first place. Instead, work to elect every bozo who runs with an “R” by his name. Great, pretty much no different than the RNC itself. Just what we need.
Mr. Murphree goes on to write, “It is time to fight progressives (most Democrats), and any other manner of ‘feces’; we are the party of Reagan; we are the Great Opportunity Party; we are the party of freemen and the party of the American Dream.”
To a certain extent I agree with Murphree that we need to fight progressivism. But in order to do so, the Republican Party must nominate candidates for office who themselves are not progressives. That is why we must take a stand in the primaries. And yes, that means disagreeing with “fellow Republicans.” Does that mean we may hurt the feelings of some politicians who run as Republicans but govern more like Barack Obama? Sure. It’s not personal, it’s just we want to be a free people.
No, Charleston Tea Party, we aren’t just going to “shut up and win” races for the GOP. We are going to continue advancing fiscally conservative, pro-liberty candidates in primaries because we believe in principles. And we thought you did too. So what happened?
Thankfully, the spirit of the Tea Party movement lives on in Charleston. While the Charleston Tea Party has largely faded away as a real grassroots organization and doesn’t actually do anything any longer, the various 9/12 project chapters across the Charleston area are a force to be reckoned with. (Major props to the Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek, and Summerille 9/12 groups!) Their members and Republican Liberty Caucus members work together in a spirit of friendship to advance our shared vision of limited government. We don’t always agree 100%, but we agree most of the time, and I know the real tea party banner is carried by them and they have my respect and admiration.
So perhaps the real conclusion I draw from taking a look at the organization called the “Charleston Tea Party” is that it isn’t really the tea party in Charleston at all. It’s a meaningless name, just like the meaningless “R” behind the names of all too many politicians they want us to just “shut up” and support.
To my true tea party friends and patriots I say this: Don’t shrink back. Don’t settle for an “R.” Don’t shut up; instead, make some noise and win and win big! You are the ones who are fighting for the just and moral cause of liberty and don’t let anyone talk you out of doing what is right.
The post Charleston Tea Party Chairman: Shut Up and Support Republicans appeared first on Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina’s biennial state convention launches for official business on February 28 and for the general public on March 1. This year’s convention features inspiring nationally-recognized speakers (like Jack Hunter, Matt Sheffield, and Lee Bright among others) as well as workshops designed to equip you with the tools you need to IMPACT your sphere of influence for liberty. Also, we will have both live and recorded music, dancing, lunch, dinner, a cash bar, and even bowling and pool available.
Make sure to grab your tickets now, however, as right now they are discounted for early purchasers. And if you work on behalf of a candidate, organization, or business, make sure to get an exhibition, sponsorship, or hosting package for your group before they run out.
The convention will be held in Charleston, South Carolina at the Charleston Rifle Club on March 1 from 9 am to 4 pm with the optional dinner reception from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. All tickets include lunch. The dinner reception is optional. Official business will be conducted the evening before at Mount Pleasant Waterworks in Mount Pleasant from 6 pm to 9 pm and there is no charge for admission.
The official business session will also include a workshop on new media versus old media and how the new media is making an IMPACT for liberty. Anyone may attend free of charge; however, only members in good standing may vote or participate in official business.
∙ Live music
∙ Game room with billiards
∙ Bowling ($5 per game)
∙ Lunch provided to all ticket holders
∙ Cash bar (evening dinner reception only)
∙ Dancing (at evening dinner reception)
Radio personality and contributing editor for Rare. Jack is also the former chief blogger for the Ron Paul presidential campaign and staffer for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
President of Dialog New Media, a marketing and technology consultancy group headquarted in the Washington, DC area. Working with the Media Research Center, he created NewsBusters in 2005 as the first-ever collaboration between a major Washington policy group and the blogosphere.
Sen. Lee Bright
Lee Bright represents the people of Spartanburg County in the South Carolina Senate and is known as having the most conservative voting record, frequently scoring 100% in various legislative score cards. Sen. Bright is running against US Senator Lindsey Graham.
Former Sheriff Ray Nash
Ray Nash is the former sheriff of Dorchester County in South Carolina and believes strongly in the role Sheriffs play in preserving liberties for citizens while protecting the community from violence and wrong-doing. He has a long career standing up for a constitutionally limited government and travels the nation training police departments in maintaining ethics in law enforcement.
Graston is the South Carolina director of the John Birch Society. He resides in Rock Hill and works throughout the state to advance an agenda that sets its target squarely on a big-government progressive agenda. One of his greatest achievements was to promote passage of a bill to obstruct ObamaCare in the South Carolina House of Representatives despite very long odds.
Other invited speakers: Jeff Duncan, Mark Sanford, Bill Chumley, Mick Mulvaney, Curtis Loftis, and more!
Article V Convention Pros and Cons
New Media vs. Old Media
Location and Times
Open to: Members and Public
Venue: Mount Pleasant Water Works
Date: February 28, 2013
Time: 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (Registration begins at 6:00 PM; all members voting must be credentialed)
Agenda: Official business (electing officers & board members and resolutions) and workshop on New Media versus Old Media
Open to: Members and Public
Cost: $39.00 (Members) $69.00 (Non-Members) Tickets may be purchased by clicking here.
Venue: Charleston Rifle Club
Date: March 1, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Registration begins at 8:30 AM; all members voting must be credentialed).
Agenda: Impacting the State for Liberty, speakers, workshops, live music, lunch provided
Evening Dinner Reception
Open to: Members and Public
Cost: $49 Tickets may be purchased by clicking here.
Venue: Charleston Rifle Club
Date: March 1, 2013
Time: 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Catered dinner with some of our featured speakers, including Jack Hunter, live and recorded music, dancing, and a cash bar.
It’s that time of year again! It’s time for our employees in state government who are supposed to vote on our behalf to protect our life, liberty, and property to descend on the state capitol for yet another session of the South Carolina General Assembly. On this year’s agenda are a number of hotly debated issues including finishing up the debate on “nullifying” ObamaCare.
Nullification is simply declaring an unconstitutional act of Congress unconstitutional. Its history goes back as far as 1798 when Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts which led to Kentucky and Virginia nullifying them under the pen of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, respectively.
The tool was used again on many occasions to resist slavery during the first half of the nineteenth century and more recently to resist the Real ID Act and federal drug laws. Its uses have been broad and crossed all over the ideological spectrum but the essential underlying principle is this: That the federal government is a creation of the states and the states gave specific, delegated powers to Congress and the federal government and when the federal government exceeds those powers it is the right of states to resist that encroachment.
South Carolina is currently in a great debate about whether to “nullify” ObamaCare. The debate is not whether to march on Washington and stop the federal government from running exchanges, but how the state will act to thwart and protect its citizens by whatever means are practical.
Some of the ideas being talked about are offsetting the individual mandate penalty, directing state employees not to assist the federal government in implementation, and aggressively attacking the legislation in court repeatedly.
The most controversial aspect, however, seems to be simply saying that South Carolina officially considers ObamaCare unconstitutional. But to assert this would set a great precedent that states continue to not be subservient to the federal government and instead the federal government is subservient to the states — the way the founding fathers intended.
There is great resistance to thwarting ObamaCare in any way in Columbia. The health care insurance lobby is strong in this state and their lobbyists are circling outside the chambers of each body of the General Assembly like vultures ready to pick apart this legislation.
The rest of the country is waiting and watching, however. What comes of this bill will set the trend for the months to come across America. If enough states join in, ObamaCare will face an enormous obstacle. More important, the federal government will be pushed back against. It’s about time that happened.
Bottom line, we need your help. This legislation wouldn’t have gotten this far without the visits, calls, emails, and letters you have already made on behalf of this important effort. But now it comes down to this. We absolutely must take this stand here and now. Can you give up a work day next Tuesday to take a stand for liberty? I am and I hope you will join me and hundreds of others.
Join us at the State House this Tuesday as we rally to push back against the federal government. This is do or die time. Let’s make it happen.
WHAT: ObamaCare Nullification Rally
WHERE: South Carolina Statehouse on the front steps located at: 1100 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201
WHEN: Tuesday January 14th, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (rally) , 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Talk/lobby with Senators and eat lunch , 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm Prayer Meeting
WHO: Nationally known Leaders in the Liberty/Tea Party Movement, local Grassroots Leaders and our very own hero’s from the SC Senate and House of Representatives will be speaking.
We will see you in Columbia!
Daniel T. Encarnacion
Chairman, Lowcountry Chapter
Republican Liberty Caucus of SC
The post Let’s Resist ObamaCare! Nullification Rally Tuesday, January 14 appeared first on Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina.
Today Christians celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus. As a Christian I beleive Jesus is both Man and God. He willingly died for the forgiveness of sin and also showed the path to righteous living. Because His Life informs us of how to live our lives, discussions of faith often enter the realm of political debate. To the extent that one’s personal faith is the cornerstone of his views on the world he lives in, this is to be expected and embraced. My own view of the world is no exception and when I look at the Life of Christ and I search for how His Life informs my own political views, I see Jesus as the greatest libertarian thinker who ever lived and it is because of my faith in Him that I ultimately believe in and fight for liberty.
Some of my brothers and sisters on the “religious right” might cringe when I call Jesus a libertarian. I don’t mean that He favors one living an unrighteous life. Not at all. Neither do libertarians favor that. We just believe that using force to stop them is inappropriate except in self-defense or to defend another from violence or theft.
So why do I claim Jesus appears to be libertarian? Well, read the Gospels carefully. Jesus never once calls on His followers to initiate aggression or use government to initiate aggression to make people behave. That is consistent with libertarian thought. In fact, Jesus spoke against the legalistic Pharisees.
On one such occasion written in the Gospel of John Chapter 7, the Pharisees brought Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery. The Pharisees asked Jesus to stone the woman according to the Law of Moses. Jesus didn’t respond at first and began writing in the sand. The Pharisees continued to press Jesus for a an answer.
Jesus finally answered by saying, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (NKJV).
The Pharisees left without stoning the woman. Some speculate what Jesus was writing in the sand was a list of some of their sins.
Like the Pharisees, who among us is perfect and has the moral authority to rule over another man? Nobody. Only Jesus can rightfully rule over His Creation. And until Jesus returns to rule, we are only a set of imperfect people accountable to our God. No man or group of men have any right to rule over another. And yet, though Jesus is within his authority to use force, on this side of eternity He gives us liberty.
Jesus never used government or the power and violence of the state as a shortcut to promote His will. In fact, Jesus’ sacrifice was all about liberty. John 8:36 in the New King James Version explicitly says Jesus gives us freedom saying, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Likewise, II Cor 3:17b says, “[W]here the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (NKJV).
Galatians 5:1 reads, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
At its very heart government is an organization which exerts force and control over others by using violence or threats of violence. Jesus, however, was a pacifist when He walked among us saying in Matthew 26:52, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” The philosophy of Christ, therefore, has nothing in common with force and control by government.
If we should not take up our swords personally in order to control others, how then can we legitimately loan that power to government? The answer is we cannot. It’s not right for us as individuals to rule over others nor is it our right to loan that power to government since we ourselves don’t have it.
And if we should not raise our sword and use force to compel others to behave a certain way so long as there is no violence or theft against another person, then would Jesus tell us to do so in order to force the wealthy to contribute more to the poor? No, of course not. Jesus commanded us to take care of the poor. He did not command us to steal from others in order to help the poor. In fact, that is sin because stealing is sin.
As we celebrate Christmas, I believe we are celebrating a Man who lived His Life on earth opposed to violence, theft, and coercion. He was a trailblazer for the so-called “non-aggression principle” that is the foundation of libertarian thought. He never once commanded us to use government to whip people into submission. He didn’t applaud the warmakers; instead He told us “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9 NKJV). He didn’t tell us to steal; He told us to feed the hungry and give clothes to the naked. He didn’t support a central bank; He drove the moneychangers out of His temple (Matthew 21).
So today, take a moment to read through the Gospels again and take note of how Jesus never used politics to force others to live a certain way. Ultimately we are each accountable to our God — not to government. Right and wrong are right and wrong regardless of what politicians say. So why use politics to define or redefine right and wrong in the first place? Why give government that power? Would Jesus put right and wrong up for a vote at the ballot box or in the halls of Congress? Surely not. So why should we? Jesus embraces liberty. Will you?
NOTE: This article is the opinion of the author only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina or its members or officers.