Families are being torn apart, children are crying themselves to sleep at night missing their mom and dad, savings are being destroyed by taxes and inflation, women are left in a violent black market, millions of nonviolent human beings—rich, poor, black, white, brown—are being thrown in cages where assault and rape are rampant while those on the outside insist on not caging their chickens.
Jesus offers a way of life not only for personal transformation but also a roadmap for how our neighborhoods and nations should be socially ordered. The word Christian literally means “Christ follower or imitator.” Jesus told his followers to never repay evil with violence—that evil includes adultery, insult, greed, addiction, sex work, shame. 70% of Americans claim to be Christian. So 70% of voters should be rejecting laws that initiate deadly force to cage people for nonviolent vices, right?
We choose the old worldly way of initiating violence and domination to get people to quit the nonviolent vices we hate most. The problem is, once we cede Jesus’s social ordering principle of nonviolence, virtue becomes vice and vice becomes virtue. Christians who long ago ceded the principle of making law that criminalizes nonviolent acts like drug selling and sex work have created a law system that is easily criminalizing other nonviolent acts like freedom of association, religious speech, and commercial speech.
Once we cede Jesus’s principle of nonaggression and non-vengeance, any group or special interest can capture the law-making practice to create violence-based welfare, health care, wages, and business practices. Once we allow a Christ-less principle of law that says its okay to use violence against nonviolent drug use, that same anti-law principle can be applied to preachers or wedding cake bakers who reject certain definitions of marriage.
In order for law to be law, it must be consistent in its foundation. It cannot criminalize some sets of nonviolent vices, while allowing for others. Once you cede a fixed Jesus-imitating foundation, it becomes a neverending rivalry for using law as an offensive sword rather than a defensive shield as it was intended. Law becomes a game of leverage and coercion rather than safety and order.
Law should only be an extension of what is ethical to do as persons. As a Christian, it would be ethical to use defensive force to stop a neighbor from being robbed, kidnapped, raped, assaulted, or coerced into activity without consent. So it is naturally ethical to extend such defensive force to society as a whole.
It would be unethical and against the imitation of Jesus, to barge into our neighbors’ house armed with deadly force after catching them sell drugs to a consenting adult, be stingy with their employees’ wages, consensual adult sex work, selling lasagna made in their kitchen, or selling raw milk from a cow.
So what is unethical and against Jesus as individual persons is not magically okay if we get a majority of the neighborhood to do it with us. It is not magically okay if we get a group of millions of voters to do it with us either. This is understood by Jesus’s First Stone social ordering principle: crowds, no matter how big and passionate, do not absolve us of taking responsibility for initiating violence.
Today, our society makes more arrests for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined.
Sending armed agents to point guns at nonviolent people whether petty drug dealers or Amish raw milk distributors is against the imitation of Jesus. It must stop.
Victimless crime laws put police in no-win situations where they become easy scapegoats when paranoia and pressure explodes.
Victimless crime laws take resources and detectives away from solving real crime involving theft, fraud, and physical violence.
Victimless crime laws are the only thing keeping violent gangs and cartels in power. End the laws, end their profits and existence. That’s why Al Capone lobbied to keep alcohol prohibition in place because he knew it was his financial lifeblood.