The Magic of Libertarianism

Pen, the larger and louder half of magicians Pen and Teller, speaks about why he is a libertarian:

Libertarianism is the view that freedom should be maximised. Or, in softer form as Pen says:

“at least consider [the possibility that] more freedom [will solve the problem]”

He is happy to passionately tell the truth as he sees it, but not to the extent that the goal is to convince the other person to your way of thinking. He wants to, at least in theory, hold open the possibility that he is wrong. He is happy being preached to, I guess because he wants to know if there is anything he has missed or is wrong about, but not preaching to others.

But what if you know you are right about something? For example “taking that pill will kill you so don’t do it”. Presumably love for someone means that there are situations where you desperately want to change their mind about something. That is precisely the goal.

Jesus was a Libertarian. He came so that we could be free. I was with an elderly lady recently and on the wall was this:

“If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed”. John 8:36

Jesus came to set us free in a very deep way. Not just free to do what we want unconstrained by external restraints, but free at the level of our wills and desires. You see, our wills are enslaved to sin. We desire to reject God, the source of life and goodness and joy and healing. In a sense we freely choose anything else over God, but in another sense our wills are enslaved to sin and we make self destructive choices. They may make life easier in the short term but long term, especially in view of eternity, they are deadly. Through his death and resurrection Jesus made it possible for us to freely choose him once again. Like the old hymn goes, when we hear the gospel chains (of the will) fall off, our heart is set free to desire what is good, and we rise, go forth and follow him. The gospel is the means by which we are set free and as we hear it it’s not just our minds that are changed, it’s our desires. We are being set free to love God with 0ur whole heart and mind and soul and love others as ourselves.





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