Sins and Crimes

“Apologetics in the Void” are repostings from an on-going electronic discussion and debate I had some time ago with members of our local community. The list serve is called Vision 20/20, and hence the name “visionaries.”

Reading just these posts probably feels like listening to one half of a phone conversation, but I don’t feel at liberty to publish what others have written. But I have been editing these posts (lightly) with intelligibility in mind. 

Dear visionaries,

Michael asks (in effect) if I would want to allow someone to be able to discriminate against Christians with his rental properties. The answer is, of course. If you give people liberty, some people will sin with that liberty. That is one of the costs of liberty. However, I do not believe a landlord should have the right to terminate a lease on the basis of someone’s faith if the renters had completely kept the terms of the lease. But if I applied for a rental, and the fellow told me he didn’t rent to Jesus freaks, I would move on down the street, and that right gladly. No lawsuits from me, nothing. I would think to myself as I walked away, isn’t it great to live in a free country?

Our culture needs to learn the difference between a sin and a crime. But modern idolaters of political power have this deep attraction to coercion, and want to outlaw everything they don’t like.

Too much sugar in the Twinkies? Make a law.
Did someone hurt my feelings? Make a law.
Is Wilson inadequately appreciative of government education? “That’s all right, we got his wallet.”

Modern fans of civic intrusiveness are simply addicted to coercion, and take this kind of thing for granted to such an extent that it is hard to get them even to see that they are doing it. This is why we now have the ludicrous category “hate crime.” Is this to distinguish it from all those ordinary, run of the mill love crimes? Crimes should simply be crimes. No one should have the right to beat up, rape, steal from, etc. other citizens for any reason — whether it be ethnicity, color of skin,sexual dyslexia, or poor table manners. If someone assaulted a homosexual for being a homosexual, the assailant should be punished for the assault–and not for the thoughts he was entertaining while doing it.

Boil it down. The fundamental issue in our debate thus far (and we have offered different examples) is that we do not want to force you to do things nearly as much as you want to force us to do things. If you just admit that your system of education rests upon coercion, and you say that you like it that way, our subsequent debate will be much more honest.

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