Separation of Church and State

Lately there has been quite a bit of hubbub on various social media sites about the role of religion in government and politics. I’m going to make some friends and enemies by saying that I personally believe that its role should be nonexistent, as a protection to both religious and secular individuals.  That said, I believe a bit of history and explanation is in order.

Where does the idea of separation of church and state come from?

FirstAmendmentFrom a young age in the United States, many history and government classes teach about something called the separation of church and state.  The general idea behind the phrase was set as a constitutional standard with the first amendment in 1791, as the first of ten amendments detailed in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment, as many already know, prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, or impeding the free exercise of religion, and emphasizes the importance of a plethora of other freedoms. The phrase itself comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to a Baptist congregation, stating that “believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”  The importance of adhering to the separation of church and state is that it both keeps the government from interfering in the religious lives of individuals and churches, while also keeping what then, and now, constitutes as a religious majority from exercising political power in a way that would harm those who identify as atheist, agnostic, or simply choose not to identify themselves with a label at all.

So why is it that oftentimes religion gets mixed with government?

I would venture to say that it is a generally accepted fact that individuals develop emotional ties to their political and religious ideologies. Oftentimes the two get melded together; to temporarily play off of a popularized stereotype, one doesn’t identify just as a Christian or a Republican, for instance, they identify as a Christian Republican. The same could hold true of any different mix of religious and political identities, or lack thereof. That isn’t “bad”, or “good”, but merely how we as individuals seem to function.

What does libertarianism have to do with any of this?

th_interfaithWhat’s beautiful about libertarianism is that the political tenants that I hold dear could not care less what you as an individual believe. As long as you support free market values, respect individual rights, and don’t try force your lifestyle on someone else, the political philosophy could not care less if you believe in, or worship, one god, many gods, no god, or the flying spaghetti monster. My father jokingly calls my political views the ideology of “live and let live”, and I would say that’s fairly apt. Libertarianism hinges on the importance of individual liberty, political freedom, and voluntary association. There is no “check this religion” to fit into the “cool kid’s club”. Libertarianism at its core supports the separation of church and state in the sense that it doesn’t allow for force of one group of people, or individual, over another – also labeled the nonaggression principle. The adherents of libertarianism are  just a group of people from different backgrounds with many beliefs coming together to say that we  have a right to  self-ownership to the fullest extent, and I, for one, think that is something that we can all rally around.


Fear, Fatalism, and Faith

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27 (KJV)

Last year, I attended a graduation ceremony for some of my friends at the local university. I was excited that the commencement speaker was none other than the fabulous PJ O’Rourke. His message was a simple one. Our generation – the graduating one – has it pretty good. We didn’t grow up practicing hiding under our desks in school to prepare for nuclear war with the communists like many of our parents or grandparents did. We didn’t grow up without voting rights for women or political protection for minorities like our grandparents or great-grandparents did. It wasn’t as simple as a platitude of “count your blessings,” but rather a reminder that every generation faces big threats. Every generation has fears. Every generation has monsters. We endure because of what made us great in the first place: liberty, tolerance, and determination.

School children drill during the Cold War era.

I am often reminded of O’Rourke’s remarks when I talk to my fellow libertarians. To many libertarians, the above may sound like blasphemy. “The world is ending!” we protest, “the government is encroaching! Our liberties are going down the drain!” This week, as we watched things from deadly tornadoes ripping through our heartland to a British soldier being killed in cold blood on the streets of London, the debate has returned to the surface. What are the merits of remaining optimistic in such a time as this? Is there any room for hope in a world where it seems as though every day we lose liberties quicker?

With this in mind, I decided to come up with a list of some things that libertarians, especially Christians, should remember. This article is from an explicitly Christian perspective, but hopefully there is room to apply its message to non-theistic libertarians.

1. God doesn’t want us to live in fear.

This is the first and most important thing to remember. The verse that opens this article is just one of many Biblical reminders that Christians, despite dire circumstances, should not live in fear. Let’s look at some of what else the Bible has to say about fear and the Christian life (all verses KJV).

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” – Joshua 1:9

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” – Psalm 23: 4

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18

The context and stories to which these verses refer are even more powerful reminders not to let fear overtake us. We aren’t traversing through the desert for 40 years, we aren’t running from an angry king, and we aren’t adherents to a newly-formed religion living in the height of the pagan Roman Empire. We do really have it fairly good! We need to be constantly vigilant, yes. But even in much more dire circumstances, Christians are reminded not to let fear overtake us.

2. Fear is not a good political motivator.

From a political perspective, giving into fear doesn’t produce good results. Fear makes representatives vote the massive PATRIOT ACT into law mere days after 9/11. Fear makes people support such foolish decisions. Fear makes you irrational. Fear is not thinking, it is reacting. The liberty movement cannot survive if our motivator is reaction. We must have rationalism behind positive goals. Our goals must go beyond reacting to things that scare us.

President Bush signs the USA PATRIOT ACT into law mere weeks after 9/11 in 2001.

3. Fatalism is pointless.

Now, at this point, some people are surely arguing that it’s not just about fear, but about being “realistic” about the future of our nation (and perhaps the world). Of course, at the radical end of this are the people who think the leaders of the free world are conspiring to bring about an “end game” of world tyranny. However, you don’t have to trek that far into the fringes to find people who are very fatalistic about the future. Christian libertarians also have a tendency to connect our political views with apocalyptic eschatology.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

It’s easy to look at the current state of civil liberties and economic freedom and be pessimistic. Even if the world is coming to an end imminently, does that mean that we shouldn’t try to make it as good as possible while we’re still here? If we are completely pessimistic about the future, what’s the point of doing anything? I firmly believe that political action can, and does, create real change, and that we are not doomed. But even if you think just the opposite, it’s still not unrealistic optimism to focus on the good. It’s not unrealistic optimism to focus on the structures, ideas, and foundation that our founders gave us. It’s not unrealistic optimism to focus on what we can do, as opposed to what we can’t.

4. There’s nothing wrong with being happy!

Finally, I think that it’s important to remember that we as Christians are not called to be dreary killjoys. This is also important to remember when we approach politics as Christian libertarians. I’m sure everyone has one or two friends who react negatively to any instances of levity, with admonishments that there are more important things to worry about.

“The founding fathers wouldn’t just post pictures of cats if they had Facebook!”

Maybe not. But I imagine our founding fathers – and our Biblical role models – wouldn’t go around trying to squash other people enjoying humor and joy and life! The Bible tells us that Jesus wants us to live  “life more abundantly“! Bad things don’t negate our enjoyment of the good things in life, and being humorless, glum, and fatalistic doesn’t win anyone over. If we truly want to try to make a difference for liberty, we need to think about our methods, and try to focus more on the positive things we can do. Sure, some people are going to continue to sulk about how the world is ending and everything’s horrible. I’d rather be with the people who try to change what we can.

Feminists for the Patriarchy

This is Part 1 in a series on gender roles and feminism. For more see Part 2 Social Constructs, Part 3 Christian Hedonism, Part 4 Christian Gender Rolesand Part 5 Proof of the Existence of God(s).

A good way to carefully address disagreements is to be precise about three things: system, goal, and method[1]. A system is the context in which you are working- the facts that you are assuming to be the case for the sake of addressing a specific goal. I hope that goal and method are self-explanatory[2] . It is generally better to first start with goal and system, and then figure out the best method for attaining said goal given the system.[3]

I am going to compare two ideologies- Feminist Egalitarianism and Christian Complementarianism- and I am going to argue that, contrary to popular belief, they largely agree on method and only disagree on goals. I believe this is important because realizing this will help us avoid wasteful arguments about method.

Many Feminist Egalitarians criticize the Complementarian ideal of giving women rights and privileges through the methods of Patriarchy and Chivalry, however, I will argue that the methods advocated by Feminist Egalitarianism are nothing but disguised Patriarchy and Chivalry. Then we can move on to the real issue, which is the disagreement about which goals we should be pursuing with the already agreed upon methods of Patriarchy and Chivalry.

The System

I am going to start by outlining a system that most[4] people can agree on in which to address these issues of Feminist Egalitarianism and Complementarianism. The system includes the fact that there exists a power disparity between men and women. The simplest way to frame this issue is to divide power into two types: Raw Power and Economic Power. By Raw Power I mean that men are somehow physically stronger, better fighters, better armed, or anything else that gives them the brute power[5] to murder, beat, or rape women. By Economic Power I mean the power men have that comes from controlling industries and social structures minus their Raw Power.  This is an important point because some people will argue that Economic Power is fully reducible to Raw Power, and that economic and social power structures would not hold any sway if it wasn’t for them being backed up by the threat of violence or Raw Power. The rest of this essay’s argument should still work regardless of your views on the question of to what extent Economic Power is reducible to Raw Power, as long as the conceptual difference between the two is clear.

I don’t think the goal or the system I’ve outlined should be too controversial for either Complementarians or Feminists to accept. Let’s start by analyzing the Raw Power disparity. The rate of male on female rape, assault, and murder is, and always has been, much higher than the reverse.[6] The extent to which men commit violent crimes against women is the most obvious problem that most people think of when it comes to the Raw Power disparity. Men generally have power over women at the most primitive level of conflict; if men and women fought to the death for control, men would win. Of course, Raw Power disparity is only a problem if the people with the power have the intent to use it for malicious purposes. For example, consider a small child whose parents sacrifice their immediate best interests for the child. Clearly, the parents have the Raw Power in that they could easily overpower and kill their child if they wanted to and their child wouldn’t stand a chance of defending itself against two adults. However, most parents choose to sacrifice for their children instead of abuse them, so we must also consider intent.

A similar analysis applies to the issue of the Economic Power disparity between men and women; whether or not the disparity hinders women from accomplishing their goals depends on the intent of the men with the Economic Power. Once again we can use the example of a small child whose parents clearly hold the Economic Power and yet use their Economic Power primarily to help their child succeed.

The Method
Both the Complementarians and the Feminists share the general goal of seeking to create certain rights and privileges for women in the context of the system outlined earlier. Although they differ in their goals of which specific rights and privileges to create for women, I will show that their method of pursuing these goals is essentially the same. In order to see this we first understand that there are three possible methods of dealing with a system where men hold the upper hand in Raw Power and Economic Power.

Method #1 Equalize the power dynamic: This could mean equalizing the Raw Power dynamic by somehow making men physically weaker ( preventing them from training to fight, giving them growth stunting drugs, disarming them, and so forth) and/or by making women physically stronger (making them weightlifters, training them to fight, giving them more weapons, and so forth). Most Feminists argue that this is not their goal, and that to say that Feminism is about turning women into aggressive bodybuilders is nothing but a ridiculous strawman of their position.

Another way of taking this approach would be equalizing the Economic Power dynamic by having an equal number of women as men in positions of economic, social, and political power. This position requires believing that Economic Power is largely not reducible to Raw Power: otherwise getting Economic Power for women wouldn’t change the real power structure. This position would also require making stay-at-home mothers the enemy, as they would be preventing women from equalizing the Economic Power dynamic. Once again most Feminists are clear that all they want is for women to have the option of becoming CEOs or Senators or doctors but that there is nothing wrong with women choosing to stay at home with their children. So we have shown that the method of equalizing the Raw or Economic Power dynamic between men and women is not going to fit with the stated goals of most Feminists.

Method #2 Chivalry: Neutralize the Power Dynamic. Teach men not to rape, murder, or attack women in order to neutralize the Raw Power disparity and/or teach men to use their economic power to help women so as to neutralize the Economic Power disparity. I will call this method Chivalry[7] because it fits with the general idea of teaching men not to act on their power for their own gain but to use it to help others.

Method #3 Patriarchy[8]: Use some men to protect women from the other men. This might require a change in intent but it deserves a separate category because it doesn’t necessarily require that men have good intentions overall, only that some men have good intentions and use their power to protect women from the men with bad intentions.

The approach of the vast majority of human societies throughout history has been to employ some combination of Chivalry and Patriarchy; men were generally taught to protect a certain group of women such as those in their family, tribe, race, social class, or religion and they were taught to change[9] their intent towards those women so as to repress any violent inclinations towards them[10]. The general Christian Complementarian method is one of using Chivalry and Patriarchy by teaching men not to lust after, rape, seduce, insult, or hurt women and by teaching men to protect, love and serve women and to honor and sanctify the idea of women as nurturing mothers. Feminists often complain that this is oppressive because it isn’t about “real rights” and is nothing more than the oppression of Chivalry and Patriarchy , because men still hold the Raw and Economic Power. Through this they presumably insult women by acting like women need to be protected and cared for. But what exactly are Feminists doing differently? Don’t Feminists advocate teaching men not to rape, insult, or hurt women? Don’t Feminists advocate teaching men not to talk over, pass over, ignore, or degrade women in the workplace? So they are using Chivalry just as the Complementarians are. Don’t they also advocate passing strict anti-rape laws, anti-domestic abuse laws, anti-discrimination laws, anti-“deadbeat dad” laws, etc.? And who enforces these laws? Why men with Raw Power and Economic Power of course. Who gives the state its authority and its Raw Power and Economic Power to enforce Feminist legislation (or any other legislation) on the people? Men in the military, men in the police force, men in the arms industry, men in all weapons technologies industries- essentially all armed and/or physically strong men who will use violence to protect the women that the Feminist legislators want protected and of course the men who hold the Economic Power that is used to support the state.

So the feminist movement must use Patriarchy and Chivalry as much, if not more, than the Complementarians. That being said, it is important to acknowledge that there are feminists who make roughly the same point that I’m making, and who argue that, if there is ever going to be “true equality”, feminists must equalize the Raw Power or Economic Power dynamics. Some of these voices, although not all, also argue that in order to truly free themselves from the patriarchy feminists must all become lesbians.[11] However, if you told the average feminist today that feminism was all about turning women into aggressive lesbian bodybuilders they would rightly criticize you for strawmanning feminism; most feminists today want to allow women to be feminine, but want them to be treated as equals and not be harassed, abused, and discriminated against. They might not realize it, but as long as they aren’t trying to overturn the Raw Power or Economic Power dynamic, their method is the same as the method used by Complementarians. 

Some feminists might object that their method is different because they are fighting for “true equality” and “real rights”, whereas Complementarian women just want to be “pampered princesses”. But this is missing the point because that would be an argument about which rights or privileges women should be seeking and that is an argument over goals not over method. The method is the same. The real disagreement that must be addressed is about which rights and privileges women should have, given the agreed upon methods of Patriarchy and Chivalry.

To be clear, there are two other options Feminists can take in order to avoid this conclusion.

One: They could deny that there is a difference in Raw Power or Economic Power between men and women. Of course, this flies in the face of all empirical data and leaves them in the awkward position of trying to explain what exactly the problem is if they believe that there is already true equality between the sexes at the most basic level of power.

Two: They could endorse the equalization of Raw Power and/or Economic Power as the goal of their movement. This would vindicate the common criticism of feminism that it is really just movement to make all women into men and to demonize stay-at-home mothers. An open admission of this by feminists would drastically lower their support among most people.

For more see Part 2 Social Constructs, Part 3 Christian Hedonism, Part 4 Christian Gender Rolesand Part 5 Proof of the Existence of God(s).

[1] Goal, system, method. First figure out your goal, then figure out what system you are working in, and then figure out which method will be most effective given your goal and your system.  A great deal of time and energy can be wasted on a pointless argument about method when the participants’ true disagreement was about what the goals should be or about what system we are operating in. The most practical way to proceed is normally to start with either goals or system and then to work on a method.

[2] In case they aren’t: Your goal is simply what you are trying to achieve. Your method is the means which you are using in the context of your system in order to achieve your goal.

[3] If you want to start with a method then the correct way to think about it would be to make your method your goal. For example, if the most important value to me is using methodological naturalism then I would make the use of methodological naturalism my goal, then decide which system I’m in, and then decide which method would best allow me to achieve my goal of using methodological naturalism. In this case a good method of attaining my goal might be to become a scientist or simply to become an atheist (although a theist can use methodological naturalism as well).

[4] There are going to be some feminists, as well as some Men’s Rights Activists, who are going to disagree with the system I’m outlining. I don’t have space here to address their dissent, but since they are such a minority and their position is so empirically and philosophically weak I am going to ignore it here and move forward.

[5] I don’t want to use the term “hard power” because it is generally associated with states and not with individuals. By “raw power” I mean the most primitive basic brute level of power at the level of person to person violence.

[6] “Male offender/female victim 21.0” & “Female offender/male victim 9.0”.
“Overall, an estimated 91% of the victims of rape and sexual assault were female. Nearly 99% of the offenders they described in single-victim incidents were male.”

[7] Although this word once had a precise historical meaning and referred to certain European warrior codes, today the word is thrown around quite loosely and its exact meaning is no longer clear in our society. I think the general idea both historically and in modern times is captured by talking about changing the intent of men so that they will help and not harm women.

[8] As with Chivalry, Patriarchy is a word with many different meanings in the modern context. This lack of a clear agreed upon meaning is also why I am seeking to give it a more useful and precise definition. The general idea is that men hold the raw power in the society and decide which privileges or rights to give women.

[9] Men’s Rights Activist types might protest that I’m suggesting that men are all violent soulless rapists by nature. That is not the case. Intent is hard to measure. Men can have admirable innate tendencies towards compassion but they also have innate tendencies towards violence and sexual dominance. I’m not making any claim about the exact ratio here. The important point is that if they had no violent tendencies at all we wouldn’t have a problem with rape or murder so there is obviously some tendency there.

[10] Some may protest that I’m ignoring domestic abuse here. The point I’m making is that men in the tribe were not permitted to take advantage of the fact that they were generally physically stronger than the women in the tribe by beating, murdering, raping any women they saw walking around the village, just as adults are taught not to do this to children even though they are physically stronger.

[11] I think might be a good point because as long as women are trying to attract men they aren’t going to want to become aggressive bodybuilders and as long as they are attracted to men they aren’t going to want to promote men becoming weak and submissive.

Winning Is Not Compromising

“This war on drugs is totally out of control. If you want to regulate cigarettes and alcohol and drugs, it should be at the state level. That’s where I stand on it. The federal government has no prerogatives on this.” – Ron Paul (source).

If there’s anything Rand Paul can do well, it’s fire up debate among libertarians. As of recently, hilariously satirized by Steve Heidenreich on this site, libertarians are up in (theoretical, non-aggressive) arms in response to comments Paul made to a group of pastors in Iowa that some read as him “loving the drug war.”

“To some, ‘libertarian’ scares people. “Some of them come up to me and they say, ‘I kind of like you, but I don’t like legalizing heroin.’ And I say, ‘Well, that’s not my position.’ I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot. I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican. I’m a constitutional conservative”

Let’s crucify him today!

For God’s sake, let’s definitely not examine his comments with any degree of critical thought to see how well they line up with libertarian philosophy. Because if we step back from our hysterical Rand Paul hate, it is clear that, while not as strictly libertarian as some, Rand Paul’s views are very much in line with what they’ve always been – and with a small government philosophy.

Rand Paul has been very vocal in his support for ending federal drug laws. In April, Paul gave a scathing statement on mandatory minimum laws, one of the biggest travesties of injustice to come from the drug war. Telling the story of two men (George W. Bush and Barack Obama) who recreationally used drugs as young men, Paul argued that mandatory minimums, and imprisonment for marijuana use, can deprive the world of future leaders and ruin people’s lives unjustly. “In this story, both young men were extraordinarily lucky. Both young men were not caught using illegal drugs, and they weren’t imprisoned. Instead, they went on to become presidents of the United States. Barack Obama and George Bush were lucky.”

Wow, what a great voice for liberty he’d be if he’d only make a video of himself using illegal drugs!

Is it possible to not “love the drug war” and also not support legalization of all drugs on all levels of government? Of course it is. The term itself (Drug War) refers to federal prohibition, mandatory minimums, omnibus crime bills, and other such federal expansion over the area of crime laws traditionally left to the states, into which the federal leviathan began encroaching the 1970s and 1980s. Ron Paul, like Rand Paul, has always supported leaving such issues to the states. Both Pauls believe that states should be free to legalize drugs if they want. Ron Paul, like Rand Paul, is no supporter of drug use.

That’s not to say that Rand and Ron Paul are the same. There are differences among libertarians just as there are differences between any group of people. People – even fathers and sons – disagree, and we shouldn’t hold them to unrealistic standards of agreeing with us on everything if we are to consider them “intellectually pure” enough. If we do, libertarianism will continue to be persuasive only to those who already agree, and who, by and large, do not vote anyway. Winning is not compromising liberty. Self-insular irrelevancy should not be our goal.

This attitude totally wins over thousands of new libertarians every day.

If you disagree with this picture, you’re a statist.

Finally, it is very disappointing to see libertarians blindly accepting what the media says about Rand Paul just because they don’t like him. Libertarians should know better than anyone not to take what the media says at face value, but we blindly accept that Rand Paul “loves the drug war” now – a position completely different than everything he’s stood for in the past – based on the inference of a reporter who provides no quotes from Paul to back this up. The only quote in the article shows that he feels state governments should have the prerogative to ban drugs, just like his father. This is neither surprising nor new.

If libertarians are to ever shake the stereotype that we are basement-dwelling, pot-smoking, jobless college kids, we have to think carefully about our knee-jerk reactions to people who happen to hold more personally conservative views than some of us do. Critical disagreement is fine. Rejecting anyone who holds more politically prudent views than other libertarians is unwise. Blind acceptance of anything the media says, as long as it’s about someone we don’t like, is intellectual dishonesty.

On Sex, Liberty, and Prudence

There is a small war brewing among libertarians. Strangely, the battle lines seem to have been drawn on something that most people wouldn’t associate with libertarians: sex. In an article unfortunately titled “This is How Many Shits I Give About Converting Conservatives to Libertarians”, author Gina Luttrell argues that “conservatives, as they currently exist in American politics, have a pretty narrow view…[and] attempt to ‘persuade’—and by that I mean shame—others away from the peaceful ways they choose to live their lives.” Ashley Rae Goldenberg, writing for this blog, responded by criticizing Thoughts on Liberty’s supposed view that “sex is the most important topic in the entire universe!” writing that “perhaps these libertarian women think the only way they’re able to convert people to libertarianism is to use sex as a tool.”

Whew! Let no one say libertarians hate a vigorous debate! (No one would say that).

Pictured: two libertarians having a typical argument.

I do not feel that such infighting does any good to anyone in the liberty movement. However, I feel that a debate such as this, quite frankly, ridden with ad hominems on both sides and showing no sign of waning, could benefit from a middle ground perspective. Perhaps no one can fully reconcile the two sides, but I think the liberty movement would benefit from seeing more than the left/right paradigm, on this issue as on all others.

1)    My personal perspective.

I am a libertarian. I am a feminist. I do not see any contradiction between the two and feel that both movements have at their heart a similar message: that all individuals should be treated as individuals, and not treated differently based on their race, sex, gender, gender identify, sexual orientation, etc. What makes me libertarian is what makes me a feminist, and vice versa. Of course, there will be feminists who disagree with me, but nobody ever said we have to be a conglomerate of agreement, did they?

2)    Prudence is not just for prudes.

I tend to agree with Goldenberg, who argues that the only “libertarian” perspective on issues such as polyamory, casual sex, homosexuality, etc., is that the government should not pass laws restricting or regulating such activities between consensual adults. You can be a libertarian who doesn’t believe in sex before marriage, you can be a polyamorous libertarian, or you can be an asexual libertarian. These things have nothing to do with the liberty movement. You do not have a right not to be “judged” or “shamed,” regardless of how damaging these two experiences may be.

I disagree with Goldenberg that merely talking about sexual issues is necessarily about promoting casual sex or decrying monogamy. I also agree that there is, “no right way to have sex“, and that there is value in discussing cultural issues! But you’re never going to win anyone over to liberty by waging a culture war. Prudence must come into play when deciding which issues you want to attach to the liberty movement. There is value in discussing, for example, rape culture, which is inherent aggression against men and women. But what can be gained by trying to convince social conservatives that they have to agree that there’s nothing wrong with polyamory, or else they are shaming those who practice it? Not a whole lot, I would argue.

Of course Thoughts on Liberty “gives no shits” about winning over conservatives, but this is foolish. As the aforementioned article points out, there is a great deal of hypocrisy from conservatives who claim to want the government to stay out of their lives and then ask it to intrude into other’s bedrooms. Hypocrisy is human. There is no reconciling a leftist philosophy that does not even pretend to reject all kinds of government intervention with the non-interventionism of libertarianism. That’s not to say that liberals are not won over by libertarianism. But our ideologies are completely different. Writing about how you don’t “give a shit” about winning over half of the country, the half that is closer to your philosophy than the other, no less, is not only imprudent, but it is arrogant, short-sighted, and juvenile. And make no mistake; this is coming from someone who agrees with 90% of what Thoughts on Liberty writes on culture and sexuality.

3)    On Lines in the Sand.

There will be times such “cultural” issues come to the forefront of American political consciousness and answers are demanded from libertarians. It is okay when libertarians give different answers! Obsession with extreme intellectual purity has never served the liberty movement well (see:  hysterical objections to Rand Paul based simply on the fact that he is not like Ron Paul 100 percent of the time). To give a non sex-related example: I do not feel that something like support for charter schools should not be on a checklist of libertarian intellectual purity, just as issues of culture/sexuality shouldn’t be. But who knows? Maybe I’m just repressed.

Unnaming the Government: Public Choice Theory

Forewarning: this article is a bit dense.

I was initially inspired to write this piece by Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story entitled, “She Unnames Them”.  I had to read it for an interdisciplinary studies course, and this piece is actually a reworking of a paper that I wrote for that course.  While I have thought about the topics herein before, I thought that the way Le Guin framed her deconstruction of names to be particularly insightful, even if it is a fairly short story.  Here is a link to the story if you’d like a little more perspective with respect to where I’m coming from in this approach.  It really is short.  Also, before anyone asks, yes, I read a fictional story about Adam and Eve naming and unnaming creatures, and what I got out of it was an anarchic, anti-government argument. 🙂

Right, back to the point.  The government, too, is naught but a name, and it is a name that can be deconstructed in what I find to be an important way.  Government’s deconstruction results in nothing more than us, yet it seeks to be our very cure.  Moreover, governments are granted unique abilities to do things that individuals would never be permitted to do outside of the guise of government.  Governments can levy tax, imprison, conscript, declare war, etc.  This only grants further room for abuse.  In this piece, I will attempt to argue that government is not only a repackaged ailment masquerading as its own cure but that it is, more detrimentally, just a concentrated version of the ailment itself – and one that seems only able to fall into the wrong hands.  It’s a false remedy that we may very well be shielding ourselves from realizing.

Public choice theory takes a rather unique approach to political science in that it applies economic theory and its principles to the entire field of political science.  It does this by painting the field of politics as a facet of the market, and it presumes politicians, bureaucrats, and the average voter as market actors.  One of its principle assumptions is that all of these market actors are, in the political realm, motivated chiefly by their own self-interest, just as it is theorized that market actors are in the economic realm.  A major criticism of the theory, though, is lobbed at that very assumption.  The criticism is that it paints that assumption with too broad of a brush; even if many people are motivated in that way, that does not mean that everyone is.  However, I think that if one takes a step back and reduces the theory to a useful, generalized heuristic rather than a rule that encompasses every human motivation, then I think that the criticism can be largely avoided.  I also think that the theory is best used that way, regardless.  There is no need to assert that such is always the case.  All that needs to be shown is that it is normally the case, and that should be reason enough to illicit concern.

Now, if that concern is valid, and if politicians are elected in order to serve the public good, yet are chiefly motivated by their own self-interest, that ostensibly leaves the door wide open for conflicts of interest to arise. One could try to mitigate this problem by claiming that reelection is also in the best interest of any politician, stipulating that not living up to the public’s expectations would be detrimental to their reelection.  I think that this position is rather juvenile upon reflection, though, in that it gives far more credit to the voting populace than what even a cursory examination of modern political history calls for.

Under ideal conditions, such would be the case, certainly.  We do not live under ideal conditions, however.  Under ideal conditions, the concept of a government would be entirely unnecessary as everyone would already know what to do.  The non-president James Buchanan, one of the theory’s founding thinkers, said, public choice theory is “politics without romance”.  It isn’t about saying that the emperor ought to wear clothes; it’s about showing how the emperor does not wear clothes, irrespective of whether or not he or she should.  That is another, much more moralistic matter entirely.  While the theory does tend to pull at the strings of one’s ethical dispositions, that’s merely a side effect of having such dispositions.  The aim of the theory is not to condemn contemporary politics in some sort of moralistic light but rather to attempt to more accurately analyze it.

One of the things that the theory is arguably the best at accounting for is the paradox of regulatory capture, and I only call it a paradox to be charitable.  The government’s chief role, which many agree with, is to regulate.  The government regulates in all sorts of ways, but it always does so under the pretense of protecting the public good.  It is for this very reason that regulatory capture is paradoxical.  If the government is meant to regulate for the public good, and the government’s regulators consist chiefly of men and women that are from the institutions that the government is meant to regulate, then what real regulatory work is being done?  To borrow from the overused old adage, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (who will watch the watchers?), who will regulate the regulators?

The worst part is not even that these entities are—quite rationally—gaming the system and escaping real regulation but the fact that they can and do use their regulatory positions to regulate their competition.  They can force and maintain de jure monopolies and oligopolies by crushing their competition without having to compete with them in the open economic market.  Using regulation to their advantage, such market actors not only can crush extant competition but can also extinguish new, potential competition before it can make its way into the market.  This is clearly evidenced by all of the subsidization that the government pays for.  It’s the larger firms that benefit the most.  They also enforce regulations that only an already large and well established corporation can afford to adhere to.  So, yes, some regulation might be going through, but most of it is regulation that only further secures the already advantaged groups—big business.  Instead of government working as a deterrent to those that would abuse without regulation, it can be easily manipulated into a crutch for abusive entities that would otherwise falter to competition in an open market.

That is not to say that I advocate for a free market necessarily but rather that it at least seems preferable to the apparent Chinese finger-trap that is (captured) regulation.  Government regulation is not some self-realizable, ontologically independent force to be reckoned with.  It is a tool that needs hands to wield it.  Even under ideal conditions, human beings must be in charge of the regulation.  When the regulation’s goal is to disadvantage your own position in any way, then what better idea is there than to take the reins of regulation yourself?  Moreover, what better idea is there when not only can you save yourself from being disadvantaged (in the long run) by taking the regulatory reins, but you can even incapacitate your competition by doing so.  For the ardent egoist, it’s just the logical position.  Abuse or be abused.

Last semester, I attended a conference that had a mini-lecture on public choice theory.  In it, the presenter, one Geoffrey Lea, was adamant in stating that problems like regulatory capture and others that are endemic to government intervention are not symptoms of a flawed system that is reparable; they are “features” of an irreparable system.  His exact words were, “feature, not a bug.”  Government is necessarily set up in such a way that it is ripe for abuse.  Those that wish to do so will always have more to gain than those who do not.  Not only does their own self-interest typically grant them a much stronger drive, they will also have an easier time getting into office because they lack the moral qualms that anyone who did not wish to abuse the system would have.  They are not only fine with abusing the system once it has been infiltrated, but they are just as fine with abusing their way into the system by virtually any means necessary.

Furthermore, their position within the system is seemingly safeguarded by another one of public choice theory’s political hypotheses: rational ignorance.  To briefly sum up its essence, rational ignorance occurs when the cost of learning about any particular item outweighs the perceived benefit.  In public choice theory, rational ignorance is inextricably linked to voter apathy.  If a voter does not think that his or her decision will make much of a difference—if any at all—in the long run, then what reason do they have to bother spending an adequate amount of time attempting to inform themselves on voter issues?  Having little spare time to even do such things due to work obligations is problem enough.  There is also a problem of competition in this realm.  Will more satisfaction be received by spending their spare time on entertainment and other such competing time-consuming activities, or will more satisfaction be received by edifying one’s self on matters of policy?  I would venture to say that, given my own perspective on things (which I don’t think is particularly controversial), the non-edificatory hobbies tend to win the competitive battle.  Again, exceptions clearly exist and so long as the general theory is used only in a general, heuristic sense, then those exceptions can be duly accounted for.  I maintain that rational ignorance can only ever feed into the already problematic political feature that is regulatory capture.

While this next paragraph might look a bit like a tangent (it probably is if I have to preface it with another paragraph), this is my brief attempt at proposing anarchism as a possible alternative.  I mean, if this problem is endemic to all forms of governments, which public choice theory does appear to entail, then that’s pretty much all you’re left with:

Anarchism has a long and sordid history.  At present, it is a provocative position that is popularly dismissed as naïve and adolescent, while also seen as dangerous at the same time.   I suppose that anarchism could entail those things, but that all depends on the particular flavor of “anarchism” in question, and there are plenty of flavors.  There are probably more flavors of anarchism than there are flavors in a Baskin Robbins, and these flavors really do matter.  Within the anarchist community, most that ascribe to any given school think that their theory is the only conclusion that “true anarchism” (whatever that means) can ever entail.  Any other school is merely an anarchist imposter, but I digress.  The point to this commentary is that there is serious dispute within anarchist circles as to what the proposition actually means/entails.  My own position is that any form of anarchism ought and must eschew violence altogether.  There may be room for defensive violence, at the very least in the defense of others if not one’s own person, but the key is that violence is always to be avoided.  It can only be tolerated as a last resort in a scenario where it is proportional at most.  I just wanted to note my position here, not defend it, so I’m not going to delve into the ethics right here.

Before closing, I would like to address another associated issue for a moment.  It is an issue that I think attentively stewards the naming of things, as opposed to their unnaming, especially with respect to government.  This issue is that of government as religion.  Of course, what it is that I mean by religion, exactly, must first be fleshed out.  Religion, as I use it, is the manner in which we believe that our fundamental ideologies apply to the world.  Under such a sense, religion can be both non-secular and secular; such a distinction is lost on it.  Additionally, religion is rooted in faith, which also merits a quick classification.  Faith, as I use it, is utterly arational.  As such, it is immune to rational argumentation.  This is not to say that one cannot be moved toward faith through rational inquiry but rather that, even if that is the case, faith is something new altogether.  I can think that x is correct for one or more good reasons, but that’s significantly different than the claim that I know x to be true.  When we leap from a proper justification for thinking that something seems to be true to an unwavering position that it is and can only ever be a true fact of the world, then that is indeed a leap of faith.  The leap is from rationality to arationality.  I would like to note that while I do think that faith has its place, I also think it to be inescapable, but this conversation is moving beyond the scope of this essay.  I’ll probably write an article on this alone in the future.

The reason I brought up the idea of government as religion at all was to try and make this point: when we transfer a proposition from a matter of contention and probability to one of essentiality and necessity (to something that we believe religiously), we also shield that proposition from scrutiny.  This can lead to cognitive dissonance and other such problems for discourse and thought.  We might also be completely unaware of the leap ever occurring.  Part of its inescapability is that it is something that we do naturally, I think, to protect the very foundations of our ideologies.  If we were able to completely change the core of our beliefs on mere whims, then we would all most likely go insane.  Its necessity and inescapability notwithstanding, I do believe that, first, it is important to repeatedly reflect on our beliefs and try to earnestly determine whether we hold them as matters of faith or rationality, and then, secondly, earnestly determine whether they ought to be or not.

I argue that government is not merely something that is just as susceptible to corruptibility as we are ourselves.  I argue that government is both a beacon and a haven for corruptibility.  As Frank Herbert said in Dune (which I haven’t read), “All governments suffer a recurring problem: power attracts pathological personalities.  It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.”  Public choice theory can be summed up rather concisely: those who have the most to gain will be the ones trying the hardest.  Yes, this seems to be a problem with human nature more generally, but concentrating it does not seem to be helping.  If we have such a hard time tackling the problem on an individual level, then what makes us think that we’re prepared to tackle it on a macro level?


Do you know what is more important than the state stealing more of your freedom every day? Do you know what topic trumps your worries about excessive government regulation, increased taxation, and destruction of the medium of exchange? Sex. Sex! SEX! According to the current libertarians on self-proclaimed “commentary” websites, sex is the most important topic in the entire universe! There is no need to care about the government bureaucracy invading every single aspect of your life, no, the real problem today has to do with people’s personal opinions on SEX!

A few female libertarians have become obnoxiously obsessed with writing about their sex lives.  These women feel the need to share it all, bragging about their personal sex lives to the entire internet. Then, they try to pass off descriptions of their indiscretions as libertarian commentary, rather than attempts at becoming the new erotic writer for Cosmopolitan.

Adolescent behavior,  like gloating about your sex life on the internet, serves as a reminder of why people should at least reach emotional maturity before having sex. Remarks about how much someone loves being polyamorous or how casual sex is cool have nothing, at all, to do with libertarianism. The only libertarian element is that libertarians do not advocate for the government to ban or regulate these activities.

These women, however, feel as if it is somehow not libertarian if someone has a moral or even pragmatic objection to polyamory or casual sex. One can’t logically employ the rational argument of “X is wrong, and Y is why” to try to persuade others to see the error of their ways. Reasoning, according to these anti-logic people, is “shaming.” Funny, I thought human beings were superior to animals simply because of their ability to reason—and to control their impulses.

These women have stated that they do not care about attracting conservatives to libertarianism due to conservatives having “narrow-minded” views on sex and advocating for “shaming”: apparently, having any opinion other than “sexual promiscuity is awesome and monogamy is awful”, and explaining to others why this is so, is a sign of being narrow-minded. Stating that any objection to promiscuity and polyamory somehow renders an individual incompatible with libertarianism, however, is not “shaming” or being “narrow-minded.” It’s strange how that works.

It’s disheartening that people believe that people who hold morally conservative (or even moderate) views—and apologetically argue for them—cannot be libertarian. It’s even more upsetting that people believe that in order to be a libertarian, one must be a moral relativist. It’s downright disgusting and degrading to libertarianism for people to claim one of the most important issues of the times is what people personally feel about sex and that it requires column, after column, after column, after column, after column, to address.

Perhaps these libertarian women think the only way they’re able to convert people to libertarianism is to use sex as a tool (since, we all know, conservatives are clearly not able to be libertarians). If that’s true, that’s really a sad state of affairs. Libertarianism should be held to a higher standard than trying to attract people with the sort of sexualized advertisements you’d find on CollegeHumor.

Questions About Abortion

There has been an abortion story making its way around particular circles of the media lately. This story involves an abortion doctor by the name of Kermit Gosnell who has allegedly been performing late-term abortions and even infanticide under very dangerous conditions. The doctor purportedly “snipped the babies’ spinal chords after they were born and still breathing.” (Sifferlin) Gosnell and his assistants face imprisonment and are soon due for trial.

This particular case raises a great deal of questions and concerns for people on various sides (yes, there are more than just two sides the issue) of the issue of abortion. Some of the more familiar questions include: When does the fetus become a baby with rights? How far does the mother’s rights extend in relation to the fetus? What if the baby has been birthed already?

These are fair questions that are up for debate; however, there are a few questions that, historically, have lacked fair recognition and have oft been dismissed by the different sides of the issue. Two questions, in particular, are often never raised despite their implications:

1) What about the father’s rights? Shouldn’t he have a say in the abortion/lack thereof?

Here I’m operating on the premise of abortion still being legal. If a fetus can be terminated, why is it that only the mother has the say when it comes to the procedure? If a baby is born then the father is held legally responsible for the child, if he does not care for the child he’ll be forced to pay for child support. Yet the father has no say if the other course of action is to take place or not. Obviously cases like rape complicate the relationship between the mother and the father, in which the mother holds the implicit right (again, assuming abortion is legal) to decide the fate of the child.

On the other hand, in cases where the couple is married, or together, or what-have-you, it is inconsistent both in legal and moral consideration to claim that a father must provide for the mother and their child in whichever way, but that the mother has the sole right to decide whether or not the child is aborted. Indeed, there are arguments against the father having a say, such as when the mother believes the father is not acting in the best interest of the couple or family (but rather only in his own interest), that the man is simply not a capable father, and so on. Many of these arguments do have some merit. However, a hearty debate on the merits of a father’s rights is lacking in the abortion debate.

2) In a truly libertarian society (or any society, for that matter), how is it possible to keep people from getting abortions?

Many libertarians are split on the issue of abortion. Many argue that abortions are the negative right of the mother and therefore mothers are within reason when deciding whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. The other side to this argues that the child has rights too, and that those rights cannot be usurped. But an underlying issue that is often forgotten is how exactly people would be kept from getting abortions given a situation where there is no centralized state in which law can persuade people from or even physically prevent people from obtaining abortions.

Some libertarians and anarchists that advocate for a particular moral position argue that one could simply utilize peer pressure or market tools such as boycott to influence people’s behaviors. In this case, people who are morally opposed to abortions could simply deprive the person seeking an abortion (or the doctors who perform the procedures) of means that are necessary for carrying out the abortion. This could effectively ‘force the hand’ of the patients and doctors to change their behavior.

However, some of those wishing to terminate a pregnancy will go to great lengths in order to obtain an abortion (as in the case of Gosnell and clinics such as his). For ‘Pro-Life’ people, perhaps the best strategy that can be undertaken is one in which the focus is placed on assisting single parents and building supportive communities that families can turn to in times of need. Building support systems and safety nets (not government ones) may just convince people seeking abortions to rely on those forms of support instead.

Sifferlin, Alexandra. “Abortion Doctor’s Murder Trial Sparks Media Debate” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2013.

GMU’s Dhimmitude

I am a student at George Mason University. Despite being a public school, I chose to attend George Mason University because of its phenomenal economics program. Before I came to Mason, I was vaguely aware of its demographics. I knew the school prided itself on diversity, which is generally a code word for political correctness. However, George Mason University does more than attempt to be politically correct: George Mason University uses tax-payer dollars to propagate Islam.

The center of George Mason University is the Johnson Center. The Johnson Center contains the main food court, academic offices, and meeting rooms. On the first floor of the Johnson Center, there is one set of bathrooms which include Islamic footbaths. There is absolutely no denying that the Islamic footbaths are for religious purposes. They are for the expressed purpose of Muslim ritual. The university does not even attempt to hide this fact. Right there, this is a blatant violation of tax-payer money being used to promote one religion.

George Mason University also hosts a “quiet meditation area.” I have checked out the praying area on quite a few occasions. The school provides Muslim prayer mats. The school provides Muslim gender dividers. The school allows for there to be buckets of Muslim literature—and only Muslim literature—available next to the “quiet meditation space.” Therefore, the “quiet meditation area” is known as the “Muslim prayer area” by everyone on campus. As much as individuals in the university can kick, scream, and cry that the “quiet meditation area” is not exclusively for Muslims: we’re not dumb. We’re college students at a prestigious university, after all.

If the university cares about diversity and equality so much, well, then, I’m a Jewish student. Why aren’t there tax dollars dedicated to putting mezuzahs over every single door in all of the dorm complexes? Oh, right, because that would be an absolute gross violation of tax payer dollars for someone else to fund my personal, private religious activities. For some reason, Mason is capable of overlooking tax-payer money being used to finance Islam, and only Islam, while espousing the notion of equality.

The two most obvious, obnoxious, and outright in-your-face examples of the university using tax-payer dollars to prop up Islam are the Islamic footbaths and the Muslim praying area. However, the university has also been catering to Islam through the student activities.

Since George Mason University is a public university, it receives most of its funding from the state. Student activities, and student organizations, at Mason are also funded by the state. While I served as treasurer of the College Republicans, I was made aware of the rules and regulations regarding school funding (i.e. tax-payer funding) of events. Theoretically, the university will pay for most, if not all, expenses made by any group as long as the proper forms are filled out and handed to the corresponding bureaucracies.

When I first came to Mason, I quickly heard about the John Lewis event that had been canceled. I was told by individuals who arranged the event that it was canceled because of “security concerns.” It’s painfully ironic that an event about Islamic terrorism was canceled due to fears of Islamic terrorism. The event was later held in a hush-hush manner, so that the student groups involved would not be forced to pay for extra security.

A few months in to my time at Mason, I came across this flyer on campus:


How, exactly, will the “Reality of Zionism” be portrayed by Helen Thomas (who said that Jews should “go back to Germany”)? How, exactly, will the “Reality of Zionism” be portrayed by Miko Peled, a pro-“Palestine” activist?  Curious, I attended this event. The title was entirely misleading. There were no facts about the reality of Zionism included in the event. Instead, smears about Israel were spread, entirely unchecked. For a university to allow this event, without any events with a counterargument, just shows how academia is definitely not the marketplace of ideas. Academia has become nothing more than brainwashed propaganda being regurgitated by the masses.

A few months later, I received an e-mail from the university notifying me of an upcoming event:


The first thing to notice is that this e-mail about “Arab-Jewish Relations Prior to the State of Israel” was sent out on April 19th, 2012. What else was April 19th, 2012?


The second piece of pertinent information is that the anti-Israel event, hosted by “Students for Justice in ‘Palestine’”, was scheduled for April 25th, 2012. What else was April 25th, 2012?


It’s possible that George Mason University made a horrible error in the day in which it sent out this e-mail. It’s possible that George Mason University made a horrible error in the day in which the event was scheduled. However, not only did George Mason University send out its e-mail about “Arab-Jewish Relations Prior to the State of Israel” on Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anti-Israel event was scheduled for Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. Oops! This is more than just two awful coincidences: this was nefarious intent. Pro-“Palestine” activists are not known for playing nice. One needs to look no further than who was invited to the event, an anti-Israel event being held on Israeli Independence Day: Rabbi Dovid Weiss. Rabbi Weiss is best known for heading Neturei Karta, or what is colloquially known as “Rabbis Against Zionism”. Of course, this would be an incredibly unbiased “discussion” of the facts…

Lately, George Mason University has created a few new student groups. Not only is there “Students for Justice in ‘Palestine’”, now there is also “Students Against Israeli Apartheid”. Seems pretty redundant, huh? At the same time, George Mason University required the prospective Tea Party group and Constitutionalist Conservatives organizations to prove how they were different than the College Republicans, before the groups eventually collapsed under the bureaucratic requirements to start a recognized organization.

Even the “entirely apolitical” “Muslims Without Borders” has started participating in the “Palestine” dialogue:


This advertisement is extremely disconcerting. It is an event in support of  “Palestine”, soliciting donations, but there is absolutely no specification about where the money from the fundraiser is going. It is extremely likely that the money being shoveled in to the “Palestinian” cause is going to fund terrorist activists. George Mason University allowed for this event to be held on campus, with its seal of approval. George Mason University also funded the event asking for money to go to “Palestine.”

At least Muslims Without Borders seems to want to further their cause (whatever that may be—caliphate, perhaps). Students Against Israeli Apartheid, however, seems to have resorted to profanity:


As well as literally stating they do not want a dialogue:


Currently, the university is covered in propaganda for “Islam Awareness Week.” Yes, my school is actually attempting to make people aware that Islam exists. George Mason University has an extremely large Muslim student body; however, I guess no one is aware that Islam exists. Funny, since this school is right near the Pentagon. I thought everyone was made aware of Islam’s existence on 9/11.

Islam Awareness Week happens to be during International Week this year. This means that “Palestine” was participating in the flag-waving:


I think the duck lips and peace sign really say it all…

The International Week is supposed to be a welcoming environment for the gigantic international student population on campus, yet the people from Israel received boos and snide remarks. The students from Israel have absolutely nothing to do with the policies of the Israeli government. “Palestine”, on the other-hand, received thunderous applause. Alas, George Mason University prides itself on acceptance of diversity.

Since the weather has been improving these past few days, people have taken to the campus center to promote their causes.  The other day, I was standing with a friend, Chris Pavlovych, when we were approached by a woman handing out these flyers:


These flyers are from an approved student organization, funded with tax-payer dollars, at George Mason University. Upon looking at me, the woman with the flyers immediately ripped the flyer out of my hands and gave it to my friend. A few moments later, another person approached Chris to give him yet another copy of the same flyer. When he offered a rebuttal in defense of Israel, the response was, “Oh, you’re one of those people.”

Perhaps the most important symbol to prove just how strongly George Mason University promotes Islam is Zachary Chesser. Before coming to Mason, Zachary was described by his peers as being a normal kid. At Mason, he became radicalized. He’s best known for being the individual who threatened the creators of “South Park” for using an image of Muhammad.

George Mason would be rolling over in his grave if he knew the university which bears his name was using tax dollars to support Islam. In fact, the issue of tax dollar funding is not localized to Virginia. Since Mason accepts federal support, federal money, and federal student loans, every single tax paying American is currently funding the activities at George Mason University. The left loves to cry “separation of church and state”, but there is never an issue of “mosque and state.” Anyone who opposes the use of their own money being funneled into pro-Islam activities is an “Islamophobe.”

Edit, 7:05 PM: Since publishing this post, I have remembered that my school has a Muslim basketball team. Flyers were distributed, and I took a photograph of one of them. I am currently trying to locate the photo. There are also dining services on campus that are Halal.