All government is force

Whenever we pass a law, we are giving government the authority to use force on us to accomplish the goals of that law. If we are not willing to have the government use force – potentially with guns and bullets – then we should not pass the law.

I was asked a few weeks ago about government aid to the poor and whether I truly believe in the teachings of Jesus. Obviously, we can debate whether mandatory contributions and government social welfare programs were what Jesus meant when He told us to care for “the least of these,” but the fact that force is required to enact these programs is undeniable. If you do not pay your taxes, the civil magistrate will come after you. Whether the Internal Revenue Service targets you, or whether the county sheriff takes your home and auctions it off in a tax sale for failure to pay property taxes, there is no question that force backs up the law.

This is why it is absurd for someone who argues I am wrong for advocating for laws that “force my morality” on others to also argue for government social welfare programs. Both banning abortion and government social welfare programs enforce morality through the state, and both empower the state to use force to accomplish the law’s goals – whether feeding the poor or preventing unborn babies from being killed. All law is force. That is what the law and government does.

Does this mean I am advocating for anarchy? No. We will always have a government. If we abolished all laws and government today, a new one would quickly take its place after a bloody civil war that will likely have many competing sides. Government is a blessing from God, restraining evil and providing a framework where civil society operates. But because government is always a hammer, it should be used only when necessary and should control as little as possible. Only then can we have the best mix of freedom, security and justice.

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