Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Grace



I believe in the grace of God. That is, I believe God bestows His favor and mercy upon those who absolutely do not deserve it. I believe we are justified (declared righteous) on account of God’s grace alone. I believe Jesus died on the cross to atone for the sins of those who generally could care less about Christ's death at all. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

“Sorry Mom, I am Voting for Rand Paul”





“The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man’s self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law." 

Ayn Rand "The New Intellectual"

I guess I need to come clean. While there are a lot of good people running for the Republican nomination for President, there is only one person so far that I can get behind and that person is Rand Paul. I know this will disappoint many of my Evangelical friends out there who love Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson based on their strong Christian convictions. While I love and respect these guys and everyone running for the GOP nomination, this is not a popularity contest and this is most definitely not a vote for who is the best Christian. 

I have been a Republican all my life and since the days of my Ronald Reagan loving youth I have lived, breathed, and died for the Grand Old Party. This will never change but I have increasingly become more Libertarian over the last few years. I will no longer vote for Republican Rhino’s like John McCain and Mitt Romney. Nor will I vote for middle of the road, wishy washy politicians like Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham. 

Over the last few years I have undergone a fundamental change in my views on human life, politics and society. While I have been relatively conservative my entire life, I really did not have a solid and objective foundation for my conservatism. After much personal hardship, reflection and study, I have come to believe that “Libertarianism” best summarizes my personal beliefs. By “Libertarianism” I mean the worldview that essentially postulates the legitimacy of human autonomy and individualism. 

For most of my life I have been a conformist. I have craved acceptance by certain artificial boundaries of conformity in my conservative circles and attempted to conform to what the Republican Party and various Evangelical Church leaders have deemed to be true. I have tried to organize and live my life by what others have deemed to be best for my life. This is no longer the case. I now believe that I am the ultimate arbiter of what is best for my own life.

I am going to start voting for and supporting candidates like Rand Paul who want to actually do something to limit the size of government, protect our civil liberties and work on eradicating our 19 trillion dollar national deficit. I believe the best government is the least amount of government and for this reason I am voting for Rand Paul. 

For this reason, I am writing a small book entitled,  The Case for Rand Paul.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Should Libertarians Defend Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner’s Gender Change?



by Lee Edward Enochs
"A Libertarian on Fire"


"Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola
La-la-la-la Lola."

"Lola"
The Kinks


In the last twenty-four hours, the national airwaves and social media has exploded with discussion over former Olympic star Bruce Jenner’s Vanity Fair pictures that depict Jenner in women’s clothes and as a transgender woman. Moreover, Vanity Fair has relayed the news that Jenner now wants to be referred to as a woman named “Caitlyn.”

My conservative Christian friends argue that if a God created a person male, then that individual will ipso facto always remain male and that no amount of cosmetic surgery and hormonal replacement therapy will change what God has ordained from the beginning. "So God created mankind in his own image; in his own image God created them; he created them male and female" (Genesis 1:27). 
As a conservative with decidedly Libertarian views on the relationship between private citizenry and the State, I understand tension between these polar ideological extremes and have mixed feelings about this matter. On one hand, my conservative Christian heritage tends to view Jenner’s gender change as a massive departure from traditional Judeo-Christian mores concerning gender and sexuality.

My conservative Christian friends argue that if a God created a person male, then that individual will ipso facto always remain male and that no amount of cosmetic surgery and hormonal replacement will change what God has ordained from the beginning. Furthermore, many of my conservative friends view Jenner’s gender change as being salacious in nature and a clear sign of the inherent decrepitude of contemporary American society.
However, at the risk of being a schismatic, I am left wondering how I as a Libertarian who adheres to a form of the late Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick’s minimal state view of political philosophy should view Jenner’s gender change. While on one hand, I am a Christian traditionalist who wants to uphold Christian virtue and morality, I am personally struggling with the notion that I should somehow interfere with what Jenner does with his/her own body. 

I am left wondering what Evangelicals and other social conservative opponents of Jenner's gender change want to enforce a form of sharia law wherein the private choices of Americans are regulated by some sort of theocracy. In other words, the days of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority are over. It's a brave new world out there and I am not sure if it is the role of the Christian church to attempt to legislate morality for the masses.

As Dr. Nozick contends in his epic book, Anarchy, State and Utopia*, that the state exists along the narrow function of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts and so on. Nozick argues that any more of an extensive state will violate persons’ rights to do certain things and is hence unwarranted (Nozick, ix).

As much as my conservative Christian faith may inform me to disagree with Jenner’s gender choices, I do not want the government or anyone else to intrude upon Jenner’s private choices irrespective of how contrarian they may appear to be.
Yet, something should be said about the politically correct “thought police” who are trying to censure dissent over Jenner’s very public gender change. I believe attempting to squelch public dissent and discourse on this matter is just as bad as someone who tries to interfere with Jenner’s decision to change gender. It is very clear that vocal and public dissent over Jenner’s gender transition is safeguarded by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.





"Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola
La-la-la-la Lola."

"Lola"

The Kinks


----------------

Anarchy, State and Utopia by Robert Nozick (Ph.D, Princeton).

Monday, June 1, 2015

Let's Abolish the Patriot Act!

The Patriot Act and the Paradigm of Suspicion





Can America be Safe without the Violation of our Civil Liberties?

By Lee Enochs
Princeton, New Jersey

“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” (The Fourth Amendment).

Last night the US Senate allowed certain provisions of the Patriot Act to expire and I think this is a good thing. In fact, like Rand Paul, I believe the Patriot Act should be abolished. I believe there is a way to keep America safe from terrorist attack without violating our constitutional rights to privacy and unlawful searches and seizures.

Like many Americans, I will remember September 11, 2001 for the rest of my life. I was living and going to school in Los Angeles at the time and still recall the surreal and apocalyptic experience of driving around the streets of LA with my friend, wondering if we were safe from terrorist attack.

I also recall the tremendous sense of pride and patriotism I felt when I watched President Bush address the country later that night on national television.  I am an American and I love this country with all my heart. As a life-long Republican, I voted for George W. Bush twice and respect the enormous efforts he took to keep America safe in one of nation’s greatest hours of need.

Yet, I am an implacable opponent of the Patriot Act Bush and the American Congress enacted in response to the terrorist attacks on the grounds that its government enforcers often violate our constitutional rights.

I personally do not like the idea of being spied on by my government and  believe it should be in the business of monitoring the phone calls and emails of innocent citizens and that such efforts violates our right to privacy and fundamental civil liberties.

For these reasons alone I believe the Patriot Act should be abolished and our nation’s leaders should go back to the drawing board on how to keep this nation safe without violating our cherished rights.