Liberty vs. Anarchy: what is our freedom of choice?
Lately there’s been a lot of buzz about the United States government making vaccinations mandatory. As a conservative girl, I see a lot of social media posts along the lines of “They are taking our freedom of choice.”
When I read that, my mind went to “pro choice.” Can’t the people who believe abortion is all right make the same argument? “My body, my choice,” they say, but we all know it’s not all right to murder innocent babies.
It’s basic ethics: people cannot CHOOSE to commit murder or steal or hurt others … but where is that line drawn? Where does freedom end and anarchy begin?
What is liberty vs. anarchy?
When I speak of liberty, I mean:
“The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.”
When I speak of anarchy, I mean:
“Absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.”
Anarchy may be a political ideal, but it’s not a realistic one. In reality, people are sinful. They mess up. They do bad things just for the sake of doing bad things … and they cannot be reasoned with.
They will not choose the good of their fellow man or even their own good. So we do need some laws, something to keep us from experiencing a constant state of dystopian horror.
Since people are sinful, you need laws
God talks about sin and the disorder of humanity a lot in the Bible. We discussed it a while back here in regards to Christians who still commit sins (despite their best efforts). Romans is one of my favorite books for this subject if you want further reading.
As Christians, we put ourselves under God—He is our dictator. We follow Him unconditionally, we put Him in charge of our lives, and we trust Him to take care of us.
But under human authority, a dictatorship will not and cannot work. The reason behind this? Well, a human dictator (whether a government of many decision-makers or just one person) is flawed.
Sure, they could be good people trying their best for humanity. But chances are they aren’t.
So, while a dictatorship seems like it would work out, it won’t. There are many other systems of governments, but I don’t feel qualified to address them all. Still, I will say …
I am personally convinced that the ideal of the United States government (a democratic republic) is the best one.
Republic, Democracy, and Democratic Republic
Republic: A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives.
Democracy: A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. (Wikipedia)
The United States is a mix of these two, traditionally. We also have the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to cement what liberties we can enjoy.
The Constitution & the Declaration of Independence
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (read full here)
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (read full here)
Sidenote: originally, the Declaration was going to state “Life, Liberty, and Property.” I wish they’d kept it that way. *sigh*
But, basically, in this system we (the people) are allowed to vote in our leaders, our laws, and most importantly, choose which laws seem fit to us.
However, when humanity as a whole is evil (which it really is), having humanity make the laws is a flawed system, too.
Ideally, we’d consult God’s Word first for the rules
Why is it wrong to murder? Why is it wrong to steal? To commit adultery? Why is it wrong to marry someone who is the same gender of you? Why is it wrong to lie?
Our morals, our sense of justice, come from God. Unfortunately, us earthly folks aren’t too keen on that.
As you know, a lot of standards have slipped. And, truthfully, we cannot have a government that obeys every one of God’s rules because, well, Christians aren’t the only people being represented. In fact, they’re a minority.
The problem is, slowly our government’s rules are shifting so they’re anti-Christian. Yep, we had a good 150 years where the United States as a whole had predominantly Christian-based laws (although even then it wasn’t perfect, of course; there were many flaws that took years to address).
But now we’re living in a society that does not respect God.
But should we just remain silent? How far can we allow the world to go before we take a stand?
Should Christians submit to government authorities?
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
“Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.
“Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good.
“But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
“Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
“Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
However, this is not always possible.
“We must obey God rather than men.”
It’s a tricky balance. We have to be VERY aware of what’s going around us as Christians in a sinful world.
We have to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. (For instance: babies, the mentally ill, the elderly, those who are discriminated against.)
We have to be aware of the laws of this government and how they coincide with God’s rules. (Is it okay to kill a baby? Can a man become a woman and a woman become a man?)
Christians must stand up against what is immoral and wrong and continue to be positive lights in a generation where darkness prevails.
But let’s return to our main topic.
Should Christians vaccinate?
Frankly … it doesn’t matter! Do it if you want to; don’t do it if you don’t want to. I don’t think God cares, frankly. The Bible certainly doesn’t discuss it.
Be sure to make an informed decision, because we don’t want to just go with the crowd in regards to our health. It’s important to know what you’re putting into your body and why – and weigh the pros and cons wisely.
But no. It’s not a moral issue. If you vaccinate, you haven’t sinned. If you don’t vaccinate, you haven’t sinned. It’s not a matter of right vs. wrong but rather a matter of choice.
Which brings us to …
Should you be for mandatory vaccinations?
I say “no.” And here’s why.
Though it’s not a moral choice, the ability to choose things like this is so important.
To me, this is like if someone were to come in and say, “you can’t wear white socks after labor day, and that’s a rule.”
It’s just none of the government’s business whether or not we vaccinate. This sort of mandatory, choiceless, opinionless society is exactly what a communist, socialist, or dictatorial government needs to take power.
I am quite convinced that we need to remain a democratic republic. Our current system of government allows us not only to worship our God as we choose but to reach out to those who live in terrible governments that don’t allow us to.
We are incredibly fortunate – no, blessed! – as United States citizens. Though this is a messed up place, we are not persecuted for our religious beliefs. Though we may be laughed at and ignored, that is nothing compared to torture, death, or being forced to worship fake gods.
So I say it’s our responsibility as Christians to protect the United States as a place where we can still make decisions for ourselves in the little things … and therefore in the big things as they come up.
Our ability to reach out to others is severely hindered if we become another politically anti-God country.
But wouldn’t persecution make us stronger?
*sigh* This is an area where I disagree with a lot of Christians. I’ve heard of people in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and other areas praying that American Christians would experience persecution.
Why? Because it would bring us closer to God. Because it would shake us out of our stagnation.
Personally, I think they should be grateful we currently have the freedom to send help and missionaries in other countries as well as reach out to those within our own.
I wish instead they’d pray that our freedom of religion would be protected—and that, without persecution, we would wake up and realize the blessing we have and use it.
So what should we be able to choose?
It’s difficult to make a case for this to a non-Christian—I’d say almost impossible—but I say as long as God hasn’t made a stand, then we should be able to choose.
God has said …
Babies are precious.
Murder is wrong.
Men are men and women are women.
Adultery is a sin.
Lying, stealing, and disobeying your parents are all wrong.
Punishing your children for disobedience is right.
We are to submit to the government as much as we are able to while remaining His children.
However, God has not taken a stand on …
Much of politics
Tastes in all the arts
Genres of books
Flavors of icecream
Or what kind of dog is best.
And if we can live in a country that allows us to make the same choices God allows (as well as the all-important decision to follow Him), I think we are hugely blessed and should protect that freedom.
In summary …
American Christians, I beg you. Do not remain silent. Protect what freedom you are given. Fight against what is wrong and fight for choice in what is simply a choice.
What do you think? Should America accept mandatory vaccinations? What’s your stance on the whole issue – both the mandatory side and the simple “should we vaccinate” side? Have you ever gotten shots? (I haven’t, haha, but my brother says it’s not horrible.) Have you ever thought about liberty vs. anarchy?