Once you allow the collective to use violence against a single nonviolent act like opium use, you open the moral authority for them to use violence to punish other nonviolent acts…like speech they deem hateful, wages they deem too low, milk that is not pasteurized, lack of health insurance, etc. The moral principle of Jesus-imitating nonviolence must be consistently applied lest we enter the chaos of democracies that scapegoat misfits and dissenters based on the latest whims of the crowd.
My argument for Christian based law system is two step:
1. Only moral use for prison is violent theft, fraud, child abuse (includes selling minors drugs btw), assault, rape, murder or attempts thereof. All other acts are nonviolent and should be dealt with a whole of host of nonviolent and creative social solutions and actions.
2. In an ideal world that goes beyond the scope of our current prison system, we would make petty theft (involving no violent threats, weapons, or systematic fraud on a grand scale) restitution based where victims can have the choice to work out a mercy repayment system over jail time and criminal records.
Also, for violent crimes like rape and murder, we’d clean up the prison system model to not be so dehumanizing and permissive of prison violence.
This two step model can be accomplished with a limited, low tax local government based model in the near term. And in a long view, accomplished even more effectively in a private property based law system wherein communities set voluntary contracts as offerings to would be members looking to live there with terms, conditions, and city wide associations and/or insurance firms providing subscription style models for security from theft and violence and justice meditations and facilities or spaces for violent persons to be placed.
A voluntary covenant-based community can set rules for excommunication from the property if you attempt murder. Since surrounding private property-based communities would not want random murderers cast into their communities, there would be agreements between said communities to guarantee safety from marauding murderers. A network of these agreements would develop so that the portions of land such persons would be able to inhabit would be islands or walled off tracts of land cooperatively owned by communities and voluntarily funded to protect society from psychopaths.
Religion is never about metaphysics. It’s about the ecstatic unity of scapegoating: of casting one’s guilt and resentment onto a common enemy as part of a clique.
Jesus came to end this religion.
The right wants to stone the adulterous woman.
The left wants to stone Jesus for telling the adulterous woman to go and sin no more.
The Christian saves the woman from stoning and encourages her to sin no more.
The world desperately needs Christians to be Christian.
The difference between a Jesus-imitating voluntarist or nonviolence (non-aggression and non-vengeance) message and standard libertarian rhetoric is that the former focuses on our moral treatment of the neighbor whereas the latter focuses on an individual orientation. The former is about what is the appropriate way to treat my neighbor, even when in a voting or jurist crowd. The latter is a notice to your neighbor on your demands for self-ownership.
The former, I believe, is the winning message that will resonate with disparate communities long unresponsive to the standard libertarian presentation. – David Gornoski