12/26/2005

How The Libertarians Stole Christmas, Part III: Lawrence Vance And The Religious Right

Lawrence Vance's contribution to Lew Rockwell's Christmas mayhem has been a piece entitled 'The Christmas That Almost Wasn't'.
It proceeds from the very sensible view that 'The state doesn’t like competition, and especially from religion', and contrasts the moral courage of the Three Wise Men when faced with the dilemma he describes as 'Obey the government or obey the command of God' with those members of the Religious Right he castigates for being 'dupes and lapdogs of the Republican Party', and asks the perfectly valid question,
"Why do so many Christians defend, support, and make excuses for the state, its politicians, its legislation, and its wars? Why do they complain about the state allowing abortion, gay rights, and pornography, and then look to the state to enforce morality or fund faith-based initiatives? I suppose that only God himself knows."
Having once written an article on George W. Bush's relationship with the religious right entitled 'The High Priest of Empire', I can perfectly understand where Vance is coming from.
Yet there is a gaping, mile-wide flaw in Vance's argument - one inexcusable in the context of the argument he's making.
The Three Wise men were, in the very words of the hymn with which he starts his article, 'three kings of Orient'. They were distinguished visitors, with a higher status than poor local schleps like Mary and Joseph; and although bound to be respectful to their hosts, they were not bound by Herod's law.
A good try, but not nearly good enough.

1 Comments:

Blogger Glaivester said...

Although this probably doesn't change your point, I don't think that the wise men were kings (at least, the Bible does not label them as such). They were wise men, likely from Babylon (possibly they were successors to the position that Daniel had held centuries earlier). And the idea that there were three of them is probably something that people infer from the fact that there were three gifts; the Bible does not state a particular number.

[One other interesting point is that the wise men likely did not come until Jesus was, I think, about two years old).

1:30 AM  

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