Search powered by Google



Conscription is slavery

There's a beautiful fable that goes around in Christian circles, about a little boy who was asked to donate blood in order to save his brother's life. The little boy readily agrees, and upon beginning to draw the blood, the doctors learn that the little boy was under the impression he was going to give all of his blood and die for his brother. The story is a touching analogy of the love the Lord Jesus had for us in giving His life, and His blood, for our sakes.

But let's turn the tables a bit. Suppose a person is diagnosed with a rare disease, and we discover that he can only be cured with a substance obtainable from a particular baby boy. But obtaining this substance will require dismantling the boy. The boy must be killed if the man wants to live. Christians would rightfully call this murder and label a man despicable who would kill a baby, even to save his own life. (Whether the baby is born or unborn, I might add.)

It is a beautiful thing for a man to willingly give his life to save others. In fact, Jesus said no man has greater love than this (John 15:13). But it is abominable to require such a sacrifice from another without his consent.

No man has the right to the life of another. The enslavers of former centuries captured human beings and sold them as property. The truth of the matter is that we all belong to God, and since God decreed, "Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls" (Romans 14:4), then we are accountable to God, not to each other. Thus a legal system that is moral recognizes the self ownership of each individual, giving them the right to acknowledge their ownership by God or else live to themselves, with God, not the state, as Judge.

To exercise authority over other people is to assert that they are not owned by themselves, or by God, but by the one exercising authority. As Jesus said, such people like to call themselves "Benefactors," pretending that what they are doing is good for all concerned (Luke 22:25), but it is not to be so among us (22:26).

In America today every soldier serving in the military is doing so by his own consent. In fact, it makes me angry when people try to pretend that the stopgap measures that extend the tour of duty of some soldiers is somehow a "backdoor draft," because those soldiers agreed to those stopgap measures, and opposing these agreements means opposing the freedom of people to make agreements, the freedom of contract. (Not to mention that it unfairly accuses the authorities of doing something wrong, when all they are doing is relying on agreements that free people made to them. The authorities exercise immoral compulsion often, but this is not one of those instances.)

But it was not always so. Beginning in the time of Abraham Lincoln, the government asserted the authority to compel its citizens to fight for its defense. In short, the government asserted ownership rights over its people. It declared itself to be the master and the people to be slaves. It stole them from their rightful Owner.

If we agree that people have the right to self-defense, then we agree that they have the right to fight for themselves, their families, and their homes. We would also agree that they have the right to delegate this authority: to request help (volunteer or paid) in their own defense, to band together for common defense, to voluntarily appoint police or other authorities for the defense of their rights. But when do people have the right to compel others to fight for their defense? When do they have the right to compel others to furnish their resources and children for their defense? And if you say, "They have this right because they must do so in order to survive," then you are saying that the ends justify the means, and you need to explain to me why the terminally ill man can't kill a baby in order to survive. Because you are postulating a situation where a man is going to die and has the right to save his life by sending another grown man to a potential death.

If the threat is real enough, won't people band together for defense willingly? Many military and former military members I have known will tell you this is one of the reasons a volunteer army situation is far preferable to a draft: the volunteers believe in the cause being fought for. It worked for the Revolutionary War.

When you get to the point that the government is compelling people to fight in defense, you have reached the point where the government is less worried about preserving the lives and rights of its citizens and more worried about preserving its own survival. Institutions will fight like crazy in order to continue to exist, and to expand their own power.

The draft has been ended, and will hopefully never come back, but the government still requires registration of young men in order to continue asserting this right.

Do you have the right to the lives of others? Or are they owned by God? If they are owned by God, I hope you would never assert ownership rights over them.

No comments: