I want to set the record straight.
Recently, I had someone really close to me claim (somewhat in jest) that I’m an extremist. Frankly, I don’t take that as a criticism, but actually  a rather accurate description of many of my views. I’m extremely far away from the majority opinion on many issues. To be far away from “main stream” opinion, could mean that I’m way off,  or the majority of opinionizers are way off, or we’re both way off. So, I’d like to give a list of examples why I’m an extremist, and why I think you should be too. For the sake of truth, for the sake of humanity, for the sake of love and justice, consider becoming an extremist. Please, do me the honor of keeping an open mind and heart. See the footnotes for further reading on my “extreme”ly reasonable positions.
1. I think charity should be about giving, not taking – When someone is sick, poor, hurting etc. I believe I should strongly consider helping them and do so generously. As a Christian, I believe that one of my main priorities in life is to love my neighbors here and around the world. And, I strive to regularly put my money where my mouth is. But, I don’t think welfare programs (to individuals or groups like countries) is an ethical way to get good things done. Housing, food, cell phones, bus rides, schools for children, healthcare etc. are all good things. But, forcing people (by law) to give these charities takes not only away the fun, but also reduces the need for the “charity” to convince givers and buyers of its value, and therefore decreasing quality. I want to give to deserving, efficient charities and individuals by choice. I will never force my atheist neighbor to fund my church through voting for a law. I will never force my infertile neighbor to pay for my child’s education. I will never force my bike-riding neighbor to pay for my bus ride to work. I will never force my celibate neighbor to pay for my birth control. Jesus said to love your neighbor as you love yourself (that’s alot). I wouldn’t want people to steal from me, for causes I don’t believe in, so why should I do the same. If you have a worthy charity, please ask for donations or provide a for-profit way for me to be involved. But please, don’t steal from my paycheck via a ballot box and therefore the IRS. Be extreme.
2. We shouldn’t be forced to fund violence we don’t agree with – Some people are convinced that certain people need to be bombed or shot around the world. Fine. If someone thinks some guy in Syria needs to die, I invite them to start a funding campaign, buy a gun, take a plane trip over there and risk their own life killing whoever they want. Or donate to some “charity” like the US military to do it for you. I don’t want to be involved though. If you want to spend $270,000,000 on a plane, go for it. If you want your money to go to a responsible organization who has killed scores of innocent people in apartment buildings, or bombs funerals, fine. Please don’t make me pay for it. If you believe in all these foreign wars, I invite you to fight or give your money to what you believe in, but please don’t involve me by a military draft or by taking my money through taxation. Our friends and family sign up hearing slogans of defending our country, and come home with PTSD and massive suicide rates. If we really support troops and we really want the best for our friends and enemies around the world, we should want the soldiers back home. And no, in case you were wondering, that doesn’t make me an ignorant hippy. Though I may be ignorant, I still take showers and don’t drive a VW bus.
3. I think, if you’re an adult, you should be able to ingest whatever the heck you want – You might be quite irritated if I went to your home, found your Pepsi collection and stash of Snickers bars, then proceeded to throw them in the trash since they’re dangerous to your health and addictive to many people. And, you might be a tad bit more angry if I dressed up in a black outfit, armed myself with an AR-15, broke down your door and dragged you off to jail for your unhealthy habit. That’s what happens to people who indulge in things like raw milk, home-baked muffins in Wisconsin or marijuana. First off, let me be perfectly clear: I’m not an idiot. I don’t think meth in your breakfast cereal is a good idea (for your body or your soul). But, I don’t think the police should be able to take your car and sell it at an auction, then drag you off to a cage where you’re mistreated by fellow prisoners, while your job is taken and your family is alone… because you had some white powder or green plant in your trunk. What kind of world do we live in that I’m the weirdo for saying that?!? Please, clear your head and ask yourself if that’s truly justice. No, I’m not a fool, saying that some high or drunk guy should be able to run you over with a car or steal your stereo and not face legal consequences. But, merely owning or ingesting a substance is not a reason to imprison someone. That is simply barbaric. I don’t think we should ruin people’s lives to convince them to not ruin their lives. (Furthermore, I believe making these substances illegal creates economic opportunity for gangs, cartels and other jerks, and leads to more crime, poverty and corruption.) PS, if you’re sick or dying, you should be able to take whatever medicine you want to get well. The Department of Nannies R Us should get out of the way or your health and let you take whatever medicines you need. And if you want to eat four packs of Reese’s Pieces and two liters of Mountain Dew, I might entreat you to resist your habit, but I won’t drag you to your local prison. So please don’t drag me away for my raw milk desires.
The theme running through these positions is the philosophy of liberty. I shouldn’t be able to legally take your things or hurt you, unless it’s in self defense. Even if man-made laws say it’s okay to hurt you or take your money, without just cause, I don’t believe it’s okay. I can’t take your raw milk, your marijuana or your money to fund a cool sculpture in the town square or my new science lab. Taking people’s money and passing it our to your favorite cause is not charitable and forcing non-violent people to adhere to your beliefs, at the point of a gun through your vote, is not respectable or kind. See, that’s not so extreme really.
I don’t have space here to write how we would possibly survive in a world without government owned schools, tax money financed wars in the middle east or legalized medicines. But, suffice it to say, I think if we put our brains and wallets together, we can accomplish great things without violence toward each other.
More on whether welfare is charitable: http://fee.org/freeman/christian-ch…
What happens from an economic perspective with drug prohibition?: http://www.independent.org/publications/article.asp?id=4694
Is war a necessary evil? How could we defend ourselves without a taxpayer funded military? https://mises.org/library/chaos-the…