A Libertarian Case for Banning Contraceptives

Yes, really. I think I’ve stumbled upon one.

Earlier this week I read an article in the National Catholic Register from 2015 about the contamination of drinking water by a host of medications, contraceptives and artificial hormones chief among them. That means most Americans – men, women, and children – are ingesting someone else’s birth control either unknowingly or against their will. Water is, after all, a basic necessity of life and common, natural resource.

If there is one function libertarians will grant to the government, it’s the task of protecting property rights. And a lot of the libertarians I know want to say that self-ownership, the right bodily autonomy, is the most basic property right.

Putting these two thing together, it becomes clear that libertarians must support a ban on contraceptives and artificial hormones. Importantly, this isn’t based on the moral status of contraceptives, but on the way they are forced upon unwilling partakers. If contaminants are being dumped into your drinking water, the state can be called upon to protect your property. Contraceptive chemicals are such unwanted contaminants. It’s virtually the same as forced castration, sterilization, vaccination, taxation, and other such travesties.

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Moar Willpower

Two things I think are related:

1) For reasons I don’t entirely understand, it has become normal in certain parts of the Christian subculture to join the secularist crusade against any concrete application of the biblical exhortations to modesty. Suggesting that bikinis or skin-tight yoga pants are not proper public attire has been castigated as legalistic and “abusive.” It isn’t a woman’s responsibility if a man lusts as a result of seeing her curves or other anatomy. (One extreme anti-modesty zealot asserted that a Christian man ought to be able to stand in front of a string-bikini-clad woman and not think a thing except something like “this could be my daughter.”)

These anti-modesty activists wholly discount the psycho-physiological realities of male sexuality. They view people, men particularly, in this case, as brains on sticks.: detached, sovereign wills that have unlimited power to act. The only factor in what a person thinks, says, or does is what they choose. External stimuli either have no effect, or can be completely conquered if only a man chooses it.

2) More understandable to me is the increasing (or so it seems to me) interest in libertarianism. Or, at least, a popular expression of libertarianism that I’ll call market fundamentalism. For the market fundamentalist, the answer to every social and economic problem is to deregulate something. Are monopolies dominating markets and undercutting mom-and-pops? Deregulate them. Are peddlers of smut delivering their wares to ever-younger victims? Deregulate them. Are corporations polluting the commons? Deregulate them. All these problems are somehow solely the fault of the government.

The market fundamentalist cannot conceive that the market might reward or encourage evil behavior, or if it does, that a person might not be able to resist those enticements. No, if we see problems in our society and economy, then those suffering under those problems are to blame. Their only recourse is to muster up their willpower and make a better decision.

Both of these errors, along LGBTism and transhumanism, share the same wrong-headed view of man; they all have a false anthropology. They see man as unlimited will. The only thing that matters is what he chooses, and he can choose whatever he will. There is no consideration of his limits. He is not embodied. He’s completely self-made.

We need to shore up our understanding of nature, custom, and human limits.

Fluid

Creation was brought up out of the chaotic waters by the making of distinctions and giving of names. Life and peace was possible on the basis of those distinctions and names. Reversing genders is an advanced stage in the rejection of those distinctions and names. It’s to take the waters as your god, and you become like your god, hence fluid, formless, ugly, chaotic, dead. You call out for the Flood to overtake you. God obliges, exiling you to Chaos.

Darwin Ruins Everything

Darwinism is dangerous in two ways. Most conservative Christians recognize the first way in which it’s dangerous. It substitutes a false account of mankind’s beginning for the true one. The practical-theological repercussions of this are devastating. Because it is so devastating, it’s right for Christians to combat Darwinism. That means we’re going to spend time defending the events of Genesis as true historical events.

The second danger Darwinism poses is related to the first, but is more subtle. In reacting to Darwinism, I’ve noticed a tendency to think about and read Genesis only as a corrective to Darwinism. We approach Genesis only to show why it is better than Darwinism as an account of our material origins, or why it can withstand scientific scrutiny. Again, there’s a time for that, but those are far from the only things Genesis has to teach us. You wouldn’t know that, though, just be scanning a lot of conservative teaching on Genesis.

The first three chapters of Genesis tell us what it means to be men, to be women, to be worshipping prophet-kings under God, to be pure, holy, and righteous. They tell us how our redemption is going to be shaped, and where the cosmos is going to end up. They tell us why baptism is so important, why men are forbidden to have long hair, and why women are not to rule or teach men. They tell us why Mankind stands upright instead of walking with his head to the ground like the beasts. They tell us why lying, murder, and adultery are evil. They tell us why CRSPR and IVF are bad. They tell us why God is good.

Yet we tend to ignore those sorts of things in our treatments of Genesis, even though those are precisely the things the rest of Scripture develops at length. Don’t ignore the wisdom of Genesis because Darwin questions the ‘science’ of Genesis. It’s a trick.

Automation

We are at the leading edge of a great displacement where low-skill workers will be replaced en masse by robots, without then being resettled in new jobs. Following already established trends, manufacturing will continue to become solely the domain of automated machines. As that occurs, other jobs, like truck drivers, clerical staff, food preparers/servers, etc., will increasingly see functions fulfilled by robots.

This will drastically decrease the total number of available low-skill jobs. Before, if any one company or industry hemorrhaged these kinds of jobs, these workers could be picked in other industries. Now, however, those fall-back positions being filled by robots.

This puts us in a situation where we are facing rapid, widespread job displacement with few, if any, prospects for those being displaced. This does not bode well for the social stability and maintenance of English ordered liberty that has been enjoyed by the Anglosphere in recent centuries. If the French and Russian revolutions teach us anything, it’s that destitute, angry, prospect-less denizens of the lower class will have their pound of flesh one way or another. It would be prudent if we took measures to retard the rate and narrow the scope of automation so that society can have time to adapt to the changes that are coming.

Kronos

The cold winds blow from the bitter north,
Emissaries of their frigid lord.
He comes from the final sphere, devoid of mirth,
Carrying a sickle for a sword.

Once before a saturnine messenger came;
The Baptist preached repentance from sin.
The people could not bear the blame
And expelled him from the land of men.

Now in gloom his ruling Power
Descends upon our rebellious ball,
Ensuring that in this late, mournful hour,
we eat the fruit of our willful fall.

The reaper, grim-faced and grey-eyed god
Of unyielding time and dire judgment –
What madness possessed us? Now awed,
We once scorned his promised advent.

But Tellus is blanketed as with lead
And pressed by the grave weight of despair.
Saturn’s scythe swings with looming dread
To harvest the sons of the power of the air.

O Unfortunate Aspect, reminder of justice,
Man cannot bear the burden for long.
The snare of folly has surely crushed us,
Left us with little, left us alone.

Come, Venus, with your warm embrace!
Come, Mars, with your gleaming spear!
Join your brother, and, by God’s grace,
Temper his work in our earthly sphere.

O Mercury, fleet-footed messenger divine,
Bring us glad tidings of returning light.
The coming feast prepared, of bread, of wine,
In Jove’s kingly halls lit bright.

Let Jove now reign, king of kings,
Yet a shadow of the Highest.
These starry minstrels, the Heavens, sing
The glories of our Christ, the brightest.

Exit Benedict

I reproduce publicly something I wrote in a private group about the outlook for Western Christians. Even if the stuff about liberal sexuality were not true, I think points 9-14 would still hold. The LGBT crusade is just helpful in making the necessity of this rather obvious to anyone paying attention. (Read Rod Dreher’s book.)

Here’s a rough outline of my thinking on this:

1) Christians are a minority in Western culture now.  We do not hold cultural or political power.

2) The liberal sexual paradigm is ascendant and dominant, culturally, politically, and religiously.

3) The liberal sexual paradigm is opposite to and irreconcilable with the Christian sexual paradigm.

4) The liberal sexual paradigm does not allow for dissent. Normalization and celebration of deviancy is being/will be compelled.
5) The educational establishment is pushing the liberal sexual paradigm, including transgenderism, at all levels of education, requiring both students and faculty to assent to it.

6) The corporate world (finance, administration, media, law, retail, etc) is fully on board with the same. HR departments routinely push for ‘diversity training’ and public expressions of ‘allyship.’

7) Christians are already being terminated from these jobs in small numbers.

8) All indicators say those numbers will increase.

9) This means large numbers of Christians in those fields will need some sort of livelihood and a place to educate their children.

10) Those will only be possible in a thick community of like-minded, serious, orthodox Christians living in close physical proximity to one another and serving one another and their wider community in interlocking vocations.

11) Such a community cannot be built over night, so waiting until one is fired to begin building it means you’ve waited too late.

12) LGBT woes are the occasion for our strategic withdrawal, but they are only a recent symptom of a deeper, older problem that the Church has failed to address.

13) Failure to form these thick communities will mean widespread apostasy, isolation (ironically) of individual Christians, and irrelevance of the Church.

14) It is only from these thick communities that we can hope to be a compelling witness for Christ and His kingdom.