More Paul and Libertarian Silliness
Like father like son it seems – sadly. Ron Paul was never a favourite of mine, for all sorts of reasons. And it seems his son Rand Paul may be almost as loopy as his father. He seems to have also picked up his dad’s unhelpful neo-isolationism, in which it seems they prefer that the US just pretend the rest of the world does not exist, and just keep to itself – as if that’s gonna work.
Of course they are gung-ho libertarians, which is why they keep coming up with rather num num ideas. I have spoken about libertarians in general and Ron Paul in particular elsewhere – see here for example: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2011/12/27/conservatism-libertarianism-and-christianity/
So what is Rand Paul up to now? Well, it seems some of his earlier comments have come out more openly of late, and they are causing – rightly so – a bit of concern among conservatives. Here is how Time magazine covers the story:
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul condemned during a little-noticed interview what he described as his party’s eagerness to engage in international conflict, arguing that Jesus Christ “wasn’t really involved in the wars of his days.”
“Part of Republicans’ problems and, frankly, to tell you the truth, some in the evangelical Christian movement I think have appeared too eager for war,” Paul, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, told the Christian Broadcasting Network. “I think you need to remember that [Jesus] was the ‘Prince of Peace.’”
The April 2013 interview was getting renewed attention Friday after it was highlighted by the website Mother Jones. Paul’s more non-interventionist foreign policy has made him an enemy of Republican foreign policy hawks but a favorite of libertarians. David Limbaugh, the brother of conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, was among the conservative commentators who expressed dismay at the remarks Friday. “I pray there’s some explanation,” he wrote on Twitter.
Yes I hope there is too. And here I only have what Time is offering us. But if it is even remotely accurate, then this is yet another indication of why both Christians and conservatives should be rather worried about Rand Paul. So let me assess his remarks.
As to his non-involvement in wars, of course Jesus wasn’t. Duh. Neither was he involved in running for office, being a Senator, making political speeches, or seeking to be POTUS. Of course Jesus did not have any binding political, military or social ties – he couldn’t. He was on an altogether different calling and mission.
He came to die for the sins of the world. His was not to be a political career or an involvement in the military; his focus was on one thing only – the cross. And that is in good measure why so many of the Jews of his day missed him. They were expecting a military king who would rid them of Roman oppression and make them once again great, as they were under David and Solomon.
So when Jesus came as a humble servant, not as a military conqueror, they rejected him outright. Jesus had a very good reason to stay clear of political and military entanglements. But to say that because Jesus was not involved in any of these things means that we should not be either today is just stupid in the extreme.
If Paul really believes this foolishness, then he should step down as Senator immediately. After all, Jesus Christ “wasn’t really involved in the politics of his days.” And his bumper sticker cliché about Jesus being the ‘Prince of Peace’ is equally unhelpful in this context.
Of course he was the Prince of Peace. But what does that have to do with geopolitics and international affairs? Christianity is not a pacifist religion. And Jesus was certainly no pacifist. Just check out what he did in the temple, after deliberately forming a weapon – a whip – to deal with his opponents.
And flipping over tables is not exactly the stuff of pacifism. And Paul should simply read the book of Revelation if he is so clueless here. Here we find Jesus as a military conqueror, kicking the butt of his opponents big time. With blood drenched robes he rides on a military steed, exercising the just judgment of God.
Moreover, for those ready to here raise the old canard that Jesus and the early Christians were all pacifists, see here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2007/03/23/were-the-early-christians-pacifists/
Now, have there been some Republicans a bit too eager for war? Undoubtedly. But are there some politicians too hung up on isolationism, military non-involvement, and geopolitical naivety? Yep, there sure are, and the Pauls seem to be two primary examples of this.
Sorry, but in the very volatile and dangerous world that we find ourselves living in, give me a Ronald Reagan or a Margaret Thatcher any day of the week.
5 Replies to “More Paul and Libertarian Silliness”
Sorry if this is a bit off-topic but help needed on an abortion front:
Short, sharp, straight to the point and theologically sound, well said Bill!
It reminds me of Rudd claiming scriptures to suit his belief. These guys need to get discipled under something other than hypergrace false teachers, as this view is straight from those types of people. Its all about keeping the surface peace while war rages under the surface.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and He makes war to get it! War is to obtain ‘peace’ because the enemy of such is desiring to bring anything but peace, if we can avoid it, we should, however not at the cost of evil and bondage.
I take Jesus as he proclaims himself:
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in[d] blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Who is this who comes from Edom,
in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
mighty to save.”
2 Why is your apparel red,
and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone,
and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood[a] spattered on my garments,
and stained all my apparel.
4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
and my year of redemption[b] had come.
5 I looked, but there was no one to help;
I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
so my own arm brought me salvation,
and my wrath upheld me.
6 I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
I made them drunk in my wrath,
and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
When Jesus does this, it will be a just judgment but there are many Christians indoctrinated into a leftist worldview in which murdering children in the womb by the millions is “a womans right” but fighting a war is always immoral. These same people have, naturally, never felt their lives or nation threatened by an enemy that cannot be reasoned with and so they make complex problems and dangers solvable through simple catchphrases like “give peace a chance”.
Certainly, when we fight wars, we need to consider the motives and consequences and certainly, I imagine most wars fought by the West (or ever really) have included a range of motives from a range of people involved. Some were probably evil motives that caused serious harm or selfish gain at the expense of victims.
However, lets not pretend that Jesus is not a warrior – this is blatantly misrepresenting him by emphasising one aspect of his character at the expense of truth, just the way people claim that “Jesus loves everyone so he should love my sinful actions.”
At the end of the age, the nations who seek to annihilate Israel will know once and for all that:
The LORD is a warrior; Yahweh is his name! (Exodus 15:3)
And on a side note, it is worth noting that if it wasn’t for the God’s mercy to Europe through the Catholic church (in spite of all its serious problems) and the defensive wars they fought against Islam, “the West” would probably never have been and instead a “Eurabian Caliphate” would likely have been oppressing people for centuries from the heart of Western Europe.
Columbus would have probably been a Muslim and the United States would likely still be trading slaves under Islamic rule.
Australia would probably be a Muslim nation too and creeping sharia would instead be well established sharia.
Democracy, well, that probably wouldn’t exist – it doesn’t seem to naturally develop in Islamic nations for some strange reason.
And yet so many Christians only seem to remember the Crusades and only from the historical revisionist perspective of either Islam or atheism in which the evil Catholic church decided to do what it does best, be evil, and persecute the poor Islamic world.
I always doubted the wisdom of those who say that in all situations we should ask, “What would Jesus do?”, the implication being that we should do the same. That assumes, too, that we actually know what Jesus would do. It’s a good question to ask ourselves if we about to do something obviously sinful, or that could easily lead to sin, but as a general test it can fail badly.
Yes, Bill, he made the whip to purify His father’s house among the people he loved and planned to save. Likewise he turned on Peter and told Him to “get behind me Satan”, Peter, one of his closest friends. Isn’t it easier to make war on your enemies, after all, they deserve it and your hateful feelings can be a ready ally in a decision to go to war. I would judge a person’s courage and integrity by the degree to which he is prepared to temporarily make enemies of his friends in order to unite finally with them together in friendship under the banner of truth.
True to form, Jesus asks us to do the humanly impossible, to love our enemies and to speak courageously the truth in love to our friends. No matter what, we will always need His help in order to fulfill His commandment.
The word of God tells us to “fear God and hate evil” Prov 3:7. If we don’t hate evil like He does, we are not worthy of His name.