Sunday, February 15, 2004


Joe @ Evangelical Outpost has a post titled, The Crimson Tax: Matt Yglesias on Christian Libertarianism, in which he addresses a post by Matt Yglesias essentially posits that the state should force us, "by hook or by crook," to give to the needy and that our personal virtue in the matter is irrelevant. Joe does a good job of posing a question back to Matt, but I'd like to expound on the idea of Expropriationism as described by J. Budziszewski in his book The Revenge of Conscience. J. B. states, regarding expropriationism:
According to this notion I may take from others to help the needy, giving nothing of my own; according to Christianity I should give of my own to help the needy, taking from no one. We might call expropriationism the Robin Hood fallacy. Many Christians seem to miss the point, thinking that expropriationism is wrong just because the wrong groups are in power... ...But expropriationism would be wrong even if each of its causes were good. Consider the following progression: 1. On a dark street, a man draws a knife and demands my money for drugs. 2. Instead of demanding my money for drugs, he demands it for the Church. 3. Instead of being alone, he is with a bishop of the Church who acts as bagman. 4. Instead of drawing a knife, he produces a policeman who says I must do as he says. 5. Instead of meeting me on the street, he mails me his demand as an official agent of the government. If the first is theft, it is difficult to see why the other four are not also theft.
Is it really so difficult to envision that if any government defined excess money we have is taken from us that we will quickly determine to simply earn only that which we will be left with anyway?

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