In defense of Mr. Barr -- partially.
My regular readers better sit down for this one. Okay, its a computer screen so you are probably sitting anyway but I want to warn you: in this post I will defend Bob Barr. At least I will partially defend Bob Barr against the lunatic John Lofton.
Lofton is a fanatical theocratic Right-wing type who somehow duped Barr into doing a recorded interview with him. The one thing I appreciate about it is that this experience, no doubt, will help show Barr the dangers of hanging around religious nut cases.
Lofton was upset that Barr had said he like Ayn Rand. Rand was a “militant atheist” in Lofton’s words. Notice how these froathing-at-the-mouth fundamentalists call anyone they don’t agree with “militant”. Gays, feminists, atheists, liberals, etc., don’t exist in their minds -- only militant gays, militant feminists, militant atheists, militant liberals.
Barr seemed genuinely baffled by Lofton’s persistent and weird questioning. And that is at least a good thing. If Barr actually understood Lofton’s points then I’d be far more worried about him than I already am. I knew what Barr was getting at. I was once one of those crazed god-botherers like Lofton. I got over it. He hasn’t. Now with advanced aged Lofton has moved on to a combination of rampant senility and theologically-induced silliness. In other words, he is incoherent to most normal people and Barr never quite comprehended Lofton’s point.
Barr kept asking if Lofton wanted to talk about religion instead of politics. Well for theocrats there is no difference. Lofton wanted to know Barr’s theology because, in his view, you can’t have “good” politics unless you are bleating Biblicist like himself.
Barr is no atheist, a point against him in my books, but a Christian. He answered and said he was a Methodist but that didn’t satisfy Lofton. Lofton wanted a full fledged endorsement of the Westminster Confession. He is a Calvinist reconstructionist who wants to implement biblical law on the United States. So keep in mind that Barr is, in fact, a Christian. But Lofton then sends out a story on the Christian wire service attacking Barr.
In Lofton’s view Barr’s answer “illustrate perfectly what’s wrong with modern libertarianism -- it is a Godless, bread-alone, don’t-seek-God’s-Kingdom-at-all philosophy.” Now I’ve questioned Barr’s libertarian credentials but compared to Lofton Bob Barr is a flaming anarchocapitalist. On the other hand that doesn’t say much. Even Castro would come out favourably compared to Lofton.
Lofton says that “the tragedy is that Libertarians do not understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is the first and only true ‘Libertarian,’ the author of all real human liberty....” Yawn. Guess what? I also don’t get that “Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet.” I don’t get Lord Buddha, L. Ron Hubbard, Joe Smith, or anyone else who has imaginary friends who talk to them. I don’t mind so much when these imaginary friends whisper in the ears of these people. Not at all.
What bothers the hell out of me is when they think that the voices they hear give them some sort of authority or right to go around ordering how other people are supposed to live. It is one thing when they hear the voices and another when they pick up the metaphorical sword because their voices want it.
I must say it was amusing to hear social conservative Bob Barr being attacked for not being socially conservative enough. And we should not forget that there are a good number of the theologically insane who want to impose scarlet letters, burn witches and stone fornicators, mystics and gays. Lofton is one of the more bizarre wacko on the Christian Right and that tells you a lot.
I hope more on the Religious Right do this to Mr. Barr because that, more than anything, will drive him away from his lingering conservative ideas. Enough interactions like this and Barr might actually end up a libertarian.
Lofton, by the way, is a fan of the theocratically inclined Constitution Party.