Social Conservatives and Freedom: They Talk About It, But Don’t Understand It

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Recently, I was involved in a Twitter debate (something I am often embroiled in) regarding a tweet by Missouri Senate GOP hopeful, Austin Petersen.

The tweet reiterated a long held position by Petersen: that homosexuals should be allowed to be married if they so wish, and that individual businesses have a right to refuse business.

While there was no real disagreement on most of that sentiment (other than that the government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all), the former part met some expected resistance from the more socially conservative element of Petersen’s followers.

The overall point they (social conservatives) kept making was that supporting the nuclear family benefits society, and that may be true . . . but it’s also irrelevant.

I am always stymied by these people (yes, I said these people). How can a group that advocates religious freedom then demand social regulation and restriction, especially when there is no victim?

There are a few points I would like to bring up that social conservatives who support government intervention on the matter seem to always miss.

Single parent families produce children who are more likely to grow up in poverty and commit crime as adults.

First, people who live in poverty stricken areas see the least bang for their tax dollar. If said area has no real commercial district, even less bang for aforementioned tax dollar. Maybe taxing these people into economic death is a little, oh I don’t know – misguided!

But let’s skip the economics because a bigger point I would like to make (that I will revisit) is that laws or fiefdoms from the government have a spotty success rate in influencing societal behavior.

The War on Drugs, sin taxes and tax benefits and loopholes to property buying/owning families hasn’t changed that a large portion of our populace likes to smoke pot, drink sugary drinks and remain single.

In short, the same is true here.

Having the government pick winners and losers based on whether they are with the other parent of their child is a waste of time and money. The likelihood it will actually influence individuals to stay together isn’t the kind of thing this poker player is willing to bet on.

Before moving on to the next point I would like to point out one more obvious point: it is not the job of the government to protect you from hypothetical future societal threats, that is your job.

Doesn’t society have a right to vote in laws that influence people towards a certain lifestyle if it benefits said society?

From a libertarian perspective, no!

Also, who is the decider on what does or does not “benefit” society?

When I asked this question, the individual responded by saying “society – through its laws – is the decider”.

This was puzzling because a society can quickly vote in laws that are of no benefit to the religious social conservative as well, the last 16 years being perfect evidence. Trusting the government to uphold your freedom is dangerous; once they have the power, there is no evidence (that I have seen) that indicates they will eventually hand over that power. I say “no thanks”.

So do you think we should allow polygamy, bestiality and incest?

First, this is how you know you are beating a social conservative in a debate . . . just saying!

But I took the bait anyway; I figured I might actually change a mind – and I was bored.

I explained these three things one a time . . . starting with polygamy.

My thoughts here (and hopefully yours as well) is that whether you have one spouse or twenty spouses, it makes no difference to me. If you really want MULTIPLE anniversaries to remember – more power to you!

Incest might seem like an easy one to be against, but it’s not.

Now don’t get it twisted, fucking your relatives (figuratively or literally) is disgusting! But you bring no harm to anyone by doing it. So gross as it sounds, if you’re a consenting adult and want to bang your sister, I won’t stop you (or associate with you).

Bestiality is a different thing all together though.

An animal can not give consent, sign a contract or make an informed decision.  Even if we ignore that this is animal abuse (and rape), that alone is what makes this final part laughable (at best) and idiotic (at worst).

Finally, there was this . . .

Well, if a society votes in laws (or politicians who write said laws) than you are obligated to obey them.

Well, let us analyze that.

Slavery was law. Helping a slave was illegal and a violation of property rights.

Beating your wife was okay also. It was also impossible to rape her.

Using the state as a justifier for laws you support means if they make a law that infringes on your liberty later on, you’re fucked – you already set the precedent for them to restrict your freedoms.

So in conclusion . . .

I don’t want you to feel like I don’t support your right to have socially conservative views. If you don’t want to associate with someone, that is your right and I fully support it. If you don’t want to engage in business with someone for the most superficial reasons, I’ll defend your right to do so – even if I disagree with you.

The solution: while many Rothbardians would love to see a stateless society made up of Hoppe-inspired covenant communities, one need not wait for the liberty revolution to get it – it’s already happening!

Right here in little ol’ blue-state Vermont, a Mormon developer is currently buying up land to form just such a community. A Mormon utopia if you will.

And guess what? Local government is trying to stop it!

That’s right, local government is trying to stop local land owners from entering into a private business transaction. All out of fear of a culture they don’t understand and/or simply don’t like.

Hey social conservatives, sound familiar?

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