My dear liberal friends, noble and true, generous and compassionate, fair and even- handed—they hate individualism. I have not heard them say so, but I think it would be a safe bet that they would never vote for a libertarian.
Of course. The libertarian is a proponent of laissez-faire economics who tends to be calloused towards the poor. “People can do with their stuff as they please!” My liberal friends rightly point out that we who have are obligated towards those who do not. In material matters they say, “Yes” to the painful question of being their brother’s keeper. The basis for their position is often a very strong and effective appeal to the idea of community to which we all belong, community which is harmed or even destroyed when individualism is given free rein.
A strong case can be made that sex outside of marriage also harms community. Strangely, my liberal friends do not see this. Thus, they ignore or even actively support another sort of libertarianism, a sexual one. “People can do with their bodies as they please.” When sex’s natural consequence, procreation, is studiously thwarted by artificial birth control, amputated by abortion, or circumvented completely in the homosexual act, people start to act differently towards one another, beginning with the conjugal couple—the germ of the family—on to the nuclear family, the extended family, the neighborhood, the town, the country, the nation and finally the whole world. Why is sex not as much about community as is money? Why do my liberal friends not obligate themselves to seek the moral well-being of their community? To be consistent woudn’t they have to speak up on behalf of the sanctity of marriage and the inappropriateness of sex outside of it?
Given the moral high ground that my dear liberal friends often claim with regard to community, given the quickness with which they condemn the material selfishness and covetousness of a pronounced American individualism, it seems doubly odd that they do not see how contradictory their tendency towards sexual libertarianism is; just how much individualism is really involved in no-fault divorce, in abortion-on-demand, in homosexual marriage. In spite of their condemnation of individualism when they see it in others, they are oblivious to the harm to community caused by their own stark libertariansim in sexual matters.
Fingering material liberalism as a culprit is easy, one has many allies in the popular media. Doing the same with sexual libertarianism, in our day and age, is much harder. For example—the world loved Mother Theresa for her service to the poor. They could not get enough of the images of her with the poor in Calcutta, and it had a positive, if limited, effect. But her call to sexual purity, to the sanctity of marriage, and her prophetic stance on abortion did not receive the same praise from the NYTABCNBCCBSCNNPBS conglomerate, much to the contrary.
I invite my liberal friends to be consistent.