Libertarianism and Parental Rights

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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Good Morning and Welcome to this week’s Gospel and Culture update, by Alan Vink
Libertarianism and Parental Rights

Tuesday 12th September 2023


Libertarianism (from French: libertaire, 'libertarian'; from Latin: libertas, 'freedom') is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core value. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, and minimize the state's involvement (encroachment) on individual liberties; emphasizing the rule of law, pluralism, cosmopolitanism, cooperation, civil and political rights, bodily autonomy, freedom of association, free trade, freedom of expression, freedom of choice, freedom of movement, individualism, and voluntary association.

In 1689,John Locke (regarded as the father of libertarianism) established the basis of liberal political theory, i.e. that people's rights existed before government; that the purpose of government is to protect personal and property rights; that people may dissolve governments that do not do so; and that representative government is the best form to protect rights.

The ACT Party

ACT New Zealand, also known as the ACT Party or simply as ACT is a right-wing, classical-liberal political party in New Zealand. The name is an acronym of Association of Consumers and Taxpayers. ACT was founded by 1993 by former National Party MP Derek Quigley and former Labour Party MP Roger Douglas, a figure of the New Right who served as Minister of Finance under the Fourth Labour Government. Douglas' neoliberal economic policies, nicknamed Rogernomics, transformed New Zealand's economy from a protectionist one through extensive deregulation.

ACT’s fundamental principle is summarised as follows:- We believe it is inherent in the nature of human beings as individuals that they are the owners of their own lives and must be free to act according to their own judgments so long as they accept and respect the like freedom of others. You can find a more detailed list of their Principles and Values here.

POV. As a political philosophy many Christians have historically found a home here. Christians by and large support respecting individual’s rights, individual responsibility and individual freedoms along with smaller Government. It’s fascinating to me that the founders of the ACT party are from both sides of the political aisle. The challenge for Christians is that given ACT’s strong position on ‘bodily autonomy’ as we witnessed in 2018 when ACT leader David Seymour supported the legalisation of assisted dying by introducing a member's bill, the End of Life Choice Bill which aimed to legalise euthanasia in New Zealand. As we now know the law passed in 2019, was approved by the public in a 2020 referendum and took full effect in 2021. In 2020, Seymour voted for Abortion Legislation Act 2020 which introduced abortion on request. So we have a conundrum. On political philosophy probably a yes for most Christians and on social issues probably a no.

The Safety of Children – A Parents Right

POV. Who is going to disagree with the importance of keeping children safe? But wait a minute, the meaning of safety is changing and changing fast.
Safety is no longer being defined as physical safety, as when a child is removed from a home due to physical abuse and/or neglect. Now, safety is about protecting whatever lifestyle a child (as young as 8) might wish to pursue or is being culturally pressured to pursue.
It seems that a loving parent who wants to intervene at times like this is a ‘danger’ to their own child and therefore should not be informed by the school or a counsellor or a doctor if that child is experiencing gender dysphoria.

At times like this children don’t need safety from their parents,

... they need the safety OF their parents.

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