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Traits of True Teachers of Liberty: #6 Tolerance

In one respect, today's libertarian movement is like the Protestant Reformation of the 16th-century.

Although the Protestant Reformation helped many, many individuals free themselves from Catholic Church oppression, some of the reformers pursued to extreme what they considered to be moral purity, and became known as "Puritans."

Puritans never attracted a widespread following for two reasons: (1) They were viciously judgmental of any who were not as "pure" as themselves. (2) They could not accept those who were less pure, join with them fully, and enjoy life fully.

Puritans eventually disappeared from history. Their stance was simply too dishonest to be perpetuated.

Are there puritans in the current libertarian movement? Oh, yes!

We know them by their manta, "Principles above political success!" as if political success would not further their principles. To see how illogical this is, imagine liberal-progressives saying, "We don't want to take over the Democratic Party because some Democrats don't really want the same dictatorship over people's lives that we want."

Because political success can further principles, and because liberty principles apply in a political context and are not furthered in the absence of political success, the mantra, "Principles above political success!" identifies a lose-lose position.

We also know libertarian puritans by their attacks on Rand Paul or any other liberty-oriented Republican who believes in expanding liberty through actual political success.

Finally, we know puritan libertarians by their refusal to join in spirit with, and work with, those who they perceive to be less pure than themselves.

As has been pointed out in previous articles here, libertarians believe in "live and let live," where "live life to the fullest" is the fundamental axiom and "let live" [the NAP] is an important corollary. The very essence of "let live" is tolerance. But questions also arise from the axiom. Is it living life to the fullest to eschew political success? Is it living life to the fullest to be on the attack rather than extending love and joy and inner peace? Is it living life to the fullest to hold oneself apart from joining with others who share extensive common beliefs?

By not being tolerant and accepting, libertarian puritans are not living the libertarian ideal.

But wait! Puritans are dishonest?

Yes, because of their fierce pre-judgment of others. Our Course in Miracles addresses such judgments this way:

"To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have.  Judgment without self-deception is impossible. In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come.  One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everyone and everything involved in them in any way.  And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future.  Who is in a position to do this?  Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself?

"Remember how many times you thought you knew all the 'facts' you needed for judgment, and how wrong you were!  Is there anyone who has not had this experience?  Would you know how many times you merely thought you were right, without ever realizing you were wrong?  Why would you choose such an arbitrary basis for decision making?  Wisdom is not judgment; it is the relinquishment of judgment."

Relinquishing judgment until the future brings proof is the wise strategy of true teachers of liberty. True teachers of liberty do not point to what may or may not actually be contradictory positions of a professed liberty candidate and say dishonestly, "This proves he is not really for liberty," or "This proves he will never learn and grow and shed seeming contradictions," or "This proves he will never change his position after becoming elected and learning new facts," or "This proves.... (whatever)." Honesty says "nothing whatsoever has yet been proven."

As the liberty movement grows, there will be many candidates who profess to be working for liberty and who are obviously sincere about liberty, but who may or may not be mistaken on some issues. A true teacher of liberty does not judge beforehand. A true teacher of liberty does not close down his or her love and joy and inner peace like a puritan ... but opens up and happily radiates tolerance.

History tells us that in the New England colonies, individual freedom only began gaining successes where Puritanism weakened. That's the way tolerance works. So you might want to join with us in declaring:

"When puritanism wanes, freedom reigns!"

To fully grasp how insane the psychology of modern "liberal progressives" really is, read Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

"God's laws will keep your minds at peace, because peace IS His Will, and His laws are established to uphold it. His are the laws of freedom, but yours are the laws of bondage. Since freedom and bondage are irreconcilable, their laws CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD TOGETHER. The laws of God work only for your good, and there ARE no other laws beside His. Everything else is merely lawLESS, and therefore chaotic." -Jesus Christ in A Course in Miracles

"I think of myself as a freedom zealot."


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