America had as many of it’s founders and early settlers those who were fleeing religious persecution. That in their home country, a state religion or government controlled by one religion was persecuting all others.
The American founding fathers belonged to many different religions. Lumping many of them together as Christian was something that really started in the mid 20th century.
Our founders had one of two options. Either,
- Try to setup one religion and risk the mistakes of the countries they fled.
- Setup a government that had to respect each person’s religious views
Especially with the spread of Martin Luther’s work, which says that each person is responsible for their connection to god. This means that there are as many versions of Christianity as there are Christians.
So which one should win? Which version of Christianity should win?
The Founders ended up on the side that none of the Christian versions should win over another. And the only way they could see to do that was to write the Constitution to not allow ANY religion to win. Some see this as the argument for “separation of church and state”.
Because if ANY religion got its way in the government rules then it was virtually guaranteed that some other religions would be losing. America was meant to be a land of freedom for all. And that included freedom for all religions. Which meant no one could force their religion on anyone else.
No matter how religious you are, would you really want another Christian telling you that were doing it wrong and force their rules on you?
Within the United States, we have so many different version of Christianity.
Create a model enabling more productive discussions around the options to criminalize an activity vs regulate vs de-regulate.
From a minimalist point of view, we want to provide the most freedom and liberty for an individual while protecting others freedom from being infringed upon by others doing the activity.
Eg. Jefferson ~~”You are free to swing your fist where ever you want until it hits my nose.”
A key question when looking at any activity is, to quote Penn Jillette.
~~”Can this problem be solved with more freedom?”
Important note, at all levels of the pyramid there is still the rule of law. The choice is not between anarchy vs tyranny. We are discussing gradients of the amount of law and freedom. Even the top of the pyramid still has law protecting individual freedom and rights.
As a minimalist, my primary goal is to establish the activities that can be moved up the pyramid. Even if we can only move it one step, that is always better.
Eg. moving marijuana up from Criminalize to Heavy Regulation.
Eg. moving alcohol up from Heavy Regulation to Light Regulation, allowing parents to determine the best use of alcohol in their homes. Catholic-like religions should be able to give wine to a teen as part of the sacrament.
The organization LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition makes the argument very conclusively as law enforcement agents, that criminalizing many activities is worse for the society than regulation. If you truly abhor an activity and think it is terrible, you should NOT criminalize that, that just drives it underground fueling a black market. Instead, you should regulate it to drive those addicted to safe outlets. Eg heroin clinics instead of crack dens.
The idea that we want the smallest amount of government to get the job done.
Science, technology, and innovation are constantly changing the boundaries of society.
What minimal government services looked like in 1776 is very different from what minimal government services looked like in 1976 and also different from 2016.
In modern developed cities and towns electricity is a vital service.
Insulin is a vital medication for me. Without it, I die in days.
Should these vital services be “protected” by the government in today’s world?
And if so, what does a “protected service” look like and what is the minimal amount of government to provide that service?