One of the biggest misconceptions about this particular libertarian is that I don’t care about cultural issues or the culture in general. That’s simply not true. I am an evangelical Christian and I worship, most Sundays at least, at a Southern Baptist (or whatever they’re going to start calling it now) church. I am not going to lie and say it does not play a significant role in my worldview. However as someone who believes in the separation of church and state (and by extension, politics); my default position on most issues is that of greater personal freedom for the individual.
Having said all that, here’s a libertarian’s perspective on some of the big culture war issues that have recently come up:*
- Abortion: I am generally pro-life. I have noticed that younger libertarians, such as myself, are generally more pro-life than older libertarians. This is mostly because of Ron Paul’s disproportionate influence among young libertarians. I believe Roe vs Wade was poorly decided and should be overturned, returning control over the abortion issue back to the states under the Tenth Amendment. Frankly, I do not believe there is a right to murder your unborn child. Having said that though, I struggle with the problem of enforcing a ban on abortion in the first trimester without unnecessary invasions of privacy of women. I also would not have a problem with exceptions for rape and incest. I was strongly opposed to Mississippi’s Personhood Initiative last year because I thought it was overly broad and the explanations were contradictory. My overall goal is to find common ground to reduce the numbers of abortions and increase the numbers of adoptions.
- Contraception: My general feeling on this is that it should be legal, but that government should not mandate insurance companies to cover them nor should taxpayers foot the bill for them. The only exception would be for the morning after pill in the case of rape.
- Gay Marriage: Marriage should not be role of the state. The state should not be issuing marriage licenses at all. What the state should have instead is civil unions for everyone with all the tax benefits, property rights, hospital visitation benefits, etc. that married couples have; along with the statutes necessary for dissolving them. Marriage itself should be solely the role of the church by its own rules, as long as the parties involved are old enough to be able to contract; with the state’s only role to enforce the contract.
- Pornography: The government should not setup a rating system for movies, video games, etc. and should leave that to the industry and concerned consumers themselves. However, there should be strict enforcement of laws and international agreements against child pornography since the children are not old enough to consent. Whether or not school systems and public libraries should install filters and what to filter should be a local decision.
- School Prayer: I do not have a problem with voluntary school prayer at the beginning of the school day and before school events.
- Religious Holiday Displays: This is truly one arena where atheists need to get a life. Christmas, Easter, etc. are national and/or local holidays and believers should be allowed to display the religious imagery that is appropriate for those holidays, even if it is public property. That goes for Jews for Hanukkah, Muslims for Ramadan, etc. The First Amendment was not written to banish religion from the public square, only to merely prevent the establishment of a state religion and to prevent any religion from having undue control over the government.
- Mosque Construction: I don’t have a problem with Muslims building mosques anywhere as long as they play by the same rules every other religion has to play by.
These are just my general positions on some of the cultural issues that have popped up recently. I look forward to your response and to start a dialogue in general on the culture, because even with the economic and political troubles in this country and the world; these are still very important. Please respond on Twitter or in the comments section below.
*Unlike many libertarian bloggers and pundits, I will never claim to speak for the entire liberty movement. I speak for myself and myself alone.