Gary Johnson wants to use the strong arm of the government to beat Christians into submission.
If you are, like me, interested in a third-party candidate because you can’t support either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, I’m sure you’re starting to check out the Libertarian Party. At this moment, three men are vying for that party’s presidential nomination: Governor Gary Johnson, John McAfee (of the anti-virus program company), and Libertarian radio talker and entrepreneur Austin Petersen.
Although I’ve had qualms about Petersen, I’m also convinced that he’s the only one of the three candidates with a shot at making the LP a party to be reckoned with this election season. The reasons, you ask?
First of all, John McAfee is downright crazy. He’s for completely open borders (so: no limitations on immigration) and he’s accused of having murdered his neighbor in Belize. Additionally, when he’s on a stage he’s as incoherent and rambling as Donald Trump, with the minor difference that he doesn’t obsess over his own wealth, but over marijuana.
We get it, John: you like a smoke every now and then. That’s great. Stop bothering the rest of us about it.
Then there is former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Johnson used to be a Republican, but has been one of the most prominent members of the Libertarian Party for a while now. He was their presidential nominee in 2012. The result? He went down in burning flames. He didn’t even break 1%.
Pathetic as that may be, there’s a reason Johnson was ignored by the electorate: he’s a lousy candidate and everything but a libertarian. Just watch the video clip on the next page from the most recent debate between the three LP candidates….
In the video, Petersen and Johnson go head to head on one of the most important subjects this year: religious freedom. Do Christians, Jews and Muslims (or anyone else) have the right to live according to their faith, for instance by denying service to gay couples who want to get married? Should a Christian baker bake a cake for a gay wedding? Should a Catholic priest marry them? What about a rabbi?
Any sensible person — and especially any libertarian — would defend the freedom of religion of everyone. Gays can marry and that’s great for them. But they can’t force a Christian baker to prepare them a wedding cake.
That’s what Austin Petersen argued. Johnson, however, took a completely different view.
The Libertarian Party, Johnson said, shouldn’t become known for “defending discrimination.” Because discrimination is bad and you hurt people’s feelings with it. Oh my, can’t have that.
Petersen countered by correctly arguing that although we may not be pleased when a baker refuses to bake a cake for a gay couple, it’s not up to the government to tell people what moral values to live by. Government isn’t in the business of making “better people” out of men; its job is to protect everybody’s liberty. You may criticize a Christian baker for refusing to become involved in a gay wedding, but the government doesn’t have the right to do anything about it.
Although Petersen repeated that obvious truth several times, Johnson didn’t budge. He believes that it’s immoral to oppose gay marriage, and so everyone else has to behave accordingly. If they refuse, the government has to simply beat them into submission. Agree with his values, or else.