Bryan Fischer
Legislating morality just fine -- as long as it's liberal morality
By Bryan Fischer
March 7, 2010

Twice on Friday, in an interview with David Shuster of MSNBC, liberal talker Ed Schultz said that passing health care is a "moral issue," once emphasizing that this is the president's view of the matter.

This from one of the loudest advocates for the theory that "you can't legislate morality." Well, apparently liberals do in fact believe that you can legislate morality — it just has to be their morality.

The truth is that all anybody can legislate is morality, and it's all anybody should legislate. Everybody who argues for their particular piece of legislation argues that it is the right, just and fair thing to do. Liberals are especially fond of claiming the high moral ground on issues of importance to them, accusing their critics of lacking in compassion or social justice or some such moral ingredient.

So let's get over this silly little quibble about legislating morality. That's what politics is all about. In fact, it's all that politics is about. Who should want to promote policies that are immoral and unjust?

The only question that remains is this one: whose morality are we going to legislate? The morality that is rooted in secular fundamentalism, or the morality that is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition?

Secular fundamentalists — who are statists by definition — believe that government has a moral imperative to take money from productive citizens and give it to non-producers in the form of welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, health insurance subsidies, day care subsidies, and so forth, ad infinitum.

The issue of whose morality we will legislate is a fundamental issue in the health care debate, because the liberals' vision of a just society involves massive involuntary transfers of wealth — in the form of taxes and subsidies — from whomever they designate as rich to whomever they designate as poor.

Genuine conservatives believe that, from a moral standpoint, the involuntary transfer of wealth is fundamentally immoral and just plain wrong. It's a form of theft, and just because the government does it in the name of compassion does not make it right. There is no evil that did not cloak itself at some point in the mantle of compassion.

When the government facilitates the involuntary transfer of wealth, it is simply engaging in a form of legalized plunder. It's still theft and still a transgression of the eighth commandment, which flatly prohibits stealing. What part of "Thou shalt not steal" do liberals' not understand?

Now it must be added that conservatives do in fact believe in the transfer of wealth — as long as it is voluntary. The Judeo-Christian tradition is replete with calls for compassionate citizens to voluntarily and willingly share their resources with the less fortunate.

But nowhere in the New Testament will you find a directive to government to involuntarily pick the pockets of some citizens to enrich others.

So in the health care battle we are engaged, as Ed Schultz reminds us, in a powerful contest of competing visions of morality. For conservatives, the values that should guide our policy decisions are rooted in faith in God, self-reliance, personal responsibility and reliance upon our families, our neighborhoods and our faith communities.

It is rooted in a high view of the capacity of individuals to accept and assume responsibility to provide for themselves and for those dependent upon them.

For liberals, the values that should guide our policy decisions are rooted in a belief in the overarching power and control of government, which serves as their god, and which in their view benevolently but against the will of its subjects rightly transfers wealth from the rich to its rightful owners.

They operate from a fundamentally low and depressing view of the capacity of individuals to care for themselves, and treat all of them as so helpless and incompetent and benighted that society's elites — by which they mean themselves — must come to the aid of these poor wretches by making all their important decisions for them and help them by robbing the rich, by which they mean virtually anybody whose income exceeds the poverty line.

I find the conservative view of humanity, which sees no limit to what human beings can do with the help of God, as immeasurably superior both practically and morally to the sad and pathetic liberal view of humanity.

Since all we're going to legislate is morality, we better make sure we're using the right view of morality to begin with.

© Bryan Fischer


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