Neocons and Christianity

SB asks: I do not understand how you, as aChristian, can oppose the philosophy of the neocons.The basic belief of the neocons is that Western values are not relative, but are absolute and true. There is a difference between right and wrong, and people can make value judgments and evaluate good and bad behavior.

I don’t have any problem with that aspect of neoconservativism, either as a Christian or as a libertarian. Of course, there’s more to neoconservativism than that; so far, you might be describing conservatives.

I would think a Christian would enthusiastically agree with this thesis. It’s true, the thesis leads to a possible corollary, that the government is able to take positive steps to ensure that the society is just and moral. It can outlaw abortion, slavery, drug abuse. Taken to its extreme, this philosophy would actually justify returning to having an established church and forced attendance at all services, as we had, for example, in Virginia right up to the revolutionary war. So I can well understand how, as a Libertarian you cannot agree with neoconservatism. But what about as a Christian? Don’t you believe that your religion is true? Don’t you believe that the state has a minimal role in creating a just society, based on your religious beliefs?

Of course I believe my religion is true. I do not, however, believe that government can or should play any role in attempting to formulate the religious beliefs of a people. Government has a corrupting effect on everything it touches – the Church of England and the history of the Papal States being two fine examples – and faith imposed by fiat is worthless. Furthermore, a government with the power to enforce what I, as a Christian, see as desirable, also has the power to enforce exactly the opposite. Temporal power corrupts Christians as surely as it corrupts non-Christians. Christianity needs no government help to thrive; indeed, history suggests that the opposite tends to be true.

In fact, neoconservativism even directly opposes a Christian worldview, as it seeks to build a worldly paradise. The notion that humans can even hope to bring about “An End to Evil”, as the new book by neoconservatives David Frum and Richard Perle is titled, is both absurd and profoundly non-Christian. I also see the desire of the neocons to construct a new global world order based on universal democracy helping to pave the way for what I, as a Christian, believe to be an inevitable and prophesied evil. (Responsibility for the NWO does not solely fall to the neocons, of course.) God, as I understand Him, is a lover of free will.

So, no, I don’t agree that the State has any role to play in creating a just society. This pursuit of Cosmic Justice, as Dr. Sowell calls it, leads inevitably to injustice of all kinds. Neoconservativism is far from the worst political philosophy alive today, but it holds little appeal for me either as a Christian or as a libertarian.