Sex and the Government Part 1
By: Jonathan Harris
Yesterday I watched a an episode of the new show Stossel, in which the mustached libertarian gave his "reasonable" opinion on sexual ethics and government involvement. As most of you are aware, the libertarian and progressive (liberal) ethics are nearly identical when it comes to "social" issues. The conventional wisdom is, "Anything goes, as long as no one is hurt."
The progressive ethic wasn't always this (and still isn't among the elite progressives). One only has to be reminded of the eugenic efforts of 100 years ago. These initiatives were government sponsored with the intent of creating a "super race" of human beings. After all, if you breed horses for speed and agility, why can't you breed humans for specific tasks such as cognitive assignments and physical feats? Of course, at the time minorities were considered to be "less evolved" and the progressives wanted to sterilize as much of the "bad" gene carriers as they could. It was during this era that Planned Parenthood was set up to get rid of the bane of society (Planned Parenthood still holds a monopoly in urban black areas). Now what you'll hear out of a liberal's mouth is different. They'll say, "Anyone can have sex with whom or whatever they want, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody." Is this an improvement? Conservatives might be tempted to say, "At least it's out of the hands of the government." But is that really an improvement? What if Jesus Christ were dictator (as He will be) and regulated sexual practices?
Stossel starts with this arbitrary premise and then seeks to find an ethic completely based on the autonomy of the individual. His second assumption is that man can himself make a better decision than government can regarding "issues of morality" (in reality everything is moral, but I digress). Again I pose the question, "Can a righteous civil magistrate (such as Christ) make a better decision than a depraved individual?" The answer is of course "Yes!" If the law precludes homosexuality, then the law is making a wiser determination (according to Christianity) based on ethics, health, child-rearing, economics, etc. than the individual sinner is. The inverse is also true though. So the real question is not what is right (As Christians we should already know), but whose responsibility is it to enforce such righteousness? The individual, the family, the church, or the government?
Stossel argument basically goes like this, "Individuals are better at taking care of themselves, therefore individuals are better at taking care of themselves." Of course, he doesn't come out and say this explicitly, but he does beg the question. Defining and highlighting every government failure he can, and championing every individual success he can, serves as his evidence-but in reality his evidence is tampered with; by himself. Think about it. He starts with the assumption that his autonomous moral code is correct (that fornication shouldn't be punished, etc.) and then concludes that individuals (i.e. himself) should make their own decisions on morality. So he creates the standard based on his standard.
Here's the bottom line. Libertarians are at least more consistent than liberals (who only apply the free market to "social issues") because they apply capitalism to everything, not just finances. But why do they do this? It doesn't follow that the same procedure that worked well in one area will work well in another. The free market is a mechanism that can harness evil (with limited governmental regulation) for good because evil people with evil motivations are still forced to provide a beneficial product if they want to make a dollar. It's the only system in which greed can be harnessed effectively along with good intentions. The question then becomes, "How does a free market approach to sexual ethics harness evil for good?" The answer is, "There is none!" A fornicator cannot produce something considered "productive" (in the Christian sense) through his fornication.