Mammon and the Libertarians
It's hard not to like money, and it's easy to find people who love it. According to the Bible, loving money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). So it is no surprise that there are greedy people in the world that don’t want to feel guilty about greed anymore. They have created their own upside-down world of good and evil.
God is not impressed, nor is He mocked (Galatians 6:7-8). He expects us to leave childish things behind and act like His son Jesus, choosing the good and rejecting the evil (Isaiah 7:14-15). People get hurt by the poor choices we make. Shouldn’t we be concerned about being greedy enough to sacrifice our own children to the god of money?
Leading American conservatives used to think Libertarianism was a strange and un-Christian fringe movement. But over the last few decades, it has not only become an overwhelming force in politics, many Neo-Conservative churchgoers think the Bible teaches it. Preachers have a habit of focusing on a few verses that justify people’s worst instincts, while ignoring many other verses that say the exact opposite. They get rich doing it. 2,000 years ago, Peter warned us that the church would be taken over by people that talk like Libertarians:
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 2 Peter 2:19
The backwards Gospel say liars, hypocrites, traitors and thieves are good. Free people are supposed to give up the liberty hard-won by heroic veterans so their foolish children can be slaves of kings and dictators again (Deuteronomy 31:16-18). Not only does the rest of 2 Peter 2 speak directly to Libertarians, people ignore many famous verses that warn of being covetous and greedy (eg Matthew 19:24-30).
Many Christians know that altruism (agape love, eg Matthew 5:43-47) is a central part of the Gospel, but Libertarians preach the opposite: “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject” (Ayn Rand, atheist and author of "Atlas Shrugged").1 That message is preached by The Church of Satan: “I give people Ayn Rand with trappings” (founder and High Priest Anton LaVey). Yes, Libertarianism is spiritual warfare, so calling it "trappings" is accurate. In his Satanic Bible, LaVey writes “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” But remember the words of Jesus:
"Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, because you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but on man's." Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but forfeits his life? Or what can a person give in exchange for his life?" Matthew 16:23b-26 (see also Selfish vs. Social).
Can we can trust everyone with anything our hearts desire? Libertarianism is a morality without morals, a political philosophy and religion that yearns for the antichrist (Revelation 13:16-18).
Every day we see people justifying themselves and their sins. It's hard to imagine a Libertarian that wasn’t rich or didn’t want to be (Exodus 20:17, Luke 6:24-25), but it's easy to find gang leaders, drug dealers and Wall Street bankers that live by the motto ‘If you have less, then you are less. If you have more, then you are more.’ It’s a serious spiritual concern to have people like that living among us, but to give them power to lead us, to praise them and worship the god they serve is just demonic. Some pretend they can keep Mammon in a box, but they have already been overcome. That demon was called out by Jesus:
None is able to serve two lords, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other; ye are not able to serve God and Mammon. Matthew 6:24
Libertarians want the freedom to control the market and government, then somehow, they promise their employees and customers respect and honesty. But wait. The bottom line for investors is profit, so Mammon is the god of the Libertarian board room and he gets the last word. It’s so exciting to see casinos advertise the freedom to WIN! WIN! WIN! But the house makes the rules, and they make sure they come out winners while most gamblers are losers. Do you think those Free Market articles, ads and political contributions are patriotic? They are designed to grab money from suckers and put it in the pockets of rich people that would never allow themselves to be drafted. Those ads bring in far more money than they cost.
From at least the Gilded Age (about 1870-1900), the rich have sold the idea that giving them whatever they want (deregulation, no taxes, freedom from prosecution) is best for everyone. This has led to economic and moral disaster more than once: before laws were passed, dairies put embalming fluid in milk fed to babies (also The Jungle is an easy read). It was the Wild West without a sheriff, and some people want us to go back to it. They cut taxes for police and sell guns and body armor to preschools, but our Enemy's inspiration guarantees there will always be terrorists and robber barons more creatively immoral than we can imagine. As opposed to those Libertarian ideas, many good and kind people believe what is best for everyone is best for everyone.
Wall Street says “Greed… is good.” Think Big Oil. When a reporter asked Standard Oil’s John D. Rockefeller "How much money is enough?" he famously replied "Just a little bit more." In other words, it’s never enough (Standard Oil: History, Monopoly and Breakup). The famous physicist Dr. Edward Teller warned the Columbia Graduate School of Business and American Petroleum Institute about a “Greenhouse Effect“ in 1959. They presume their riches will keep them safe (Luke 12:15-21), but their habit is to deny reality, so they are far from understanding the inability of riches to defend them from billions of hungry and angry people (Proverbs 11:28).
Libertarians took over the US with promises of tax cuts in the 80’s. Turns out they meant tax cuts for the rich, but tax increases for the poor, benefit cuts, industry subsidies, taxes to pay for avoidable climate disasters, plus huge budget deficits that taxpayers will have to cover. Those "Neo-Cons" abandoned fiscal conservatism in favor of making themselves rich at government expense. George Bush Sr. correctly labeled it Voodoo Economics, but fell under it's spell when he accepted the Vice Presidency.
In the 90’s, the Koch brothers’ Libertarian oil money helped fund a "vast, right-wing conspiracy" against a sitting President. Then an adulterous Speaker of the House impeached the President over adultery, and the Tea Party breached it’s “Contract With America.” Environmental disasters as big as the Exxon Valdez, Deepwater Horizon and the cancer hotspots near every refinery and fracked well have not swayed our government to make real change. Even though it is clear now that CO2 will cause suffering, death and destruction on a scale never seen before, oil companies still avoid responsibility and gouge more profits than ever, blaming it on "investor pressure." In 2022, dictators are driving up the price of oil, which is driving inflation, which is putting oil-friendly politicians back in power. As any grifter will tell you, greed makes us suckers. Does the fruit of these actions (see Luke 6:43-45) demonstrate the worship of God or Mammon?
Though Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” expects us to worship the richest of the rich and the most deceitful of dictators, we should be grateful for the Rule of Law, police that respond to crime, judges and juries that can’t be bribed or threatened, customers that can trust the government to keep products safe, investors that can trust a company’s accountant, fire departments with working equipment, schools that teach people not to vote for liars… In great countries, these all cost real money and get paid for by everybody according to their ability. People leave the world a better place for their children. But that’s all nonsense according to a true Libertarian.
If churchgoers are unwilling to recognize these sins, how much less those business leaders that think they are Christians (but are usually too busy to go to church), atheists like Ayn Rand, or Satanists like Anton LaVey? Just a little sarcasm from the cynical rich hardens the hearts of the gullible. Like Eve, they seem to think they can blame their sin on the Devil (see Adam Was Not Deceived). But everyone who denies their sin brings terrible suffering on this world (1 Timothy 2:14).
Christianity does not encourage us to be suckers (Psalm 146:3). Christians freely follow Christ to heaven, but Libertarians freely follow Rand, LaVey and the Devil to hell (Ephesians 5:5). Jesus certainly wants us to be “harmless as doves” but also “wise as serpents” (Matthew 10:16). At best, Libertarianism gives some people jobs that would not otherwise have them. But is there anything else good? The worst is clear: Libertarianism exalts greed, arrogance, narcissism, dishonesty, corruption, deception, and wanton destruction of whatever God has called good. It will probably lead to the death of our planet, and the greedy will suffer terribly, just as predicted in Revelation (see Revelation Revealed).
What is evil if not the freedom to do anything our hearts desire? Jesus knows our hearts are desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). What is evil if not the opposite of good?
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Isaiah 5:20-21
The Bible is more than clear, but many dismiss what they don’t like (Genesis 19:6-9, Revelation 11:10). People will either respect the world or respect the Word.
1. Understanding Occam's Razor is important to accurately and fairly summarize Libertarianism. The philosophy traces it's roots to John Locke and many have added their own nuances, but Ayn Rand was influential in popularizing it (she called her form Objectivism, e.g. The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged). Libertarianism glorifies dishonesty, so it is pointless to hope that an honest argument will motivate adherents to give up pride, greed and other Seven Deadly Sins (Matthew 15:14). This post was written for those that still believe the Bible. The same qualities that voters find frustrating in politicians are glorified in Libertarianism (in it's many forms), so no one should be surprised that it is a significant if not dominant influence in political thought worldwide. In the end, the simplest characterization of the most popular form of Libertarianism is that of Rand and LaVey, which is essentially the selfishness of Satanism and rejection of Christian agape love.