TAMPA, December 24, 2012 ― It’s not a surprise that libertarian themes pervade many iconic Christmas specials. After all, they celebrate the birthday of one of the great libertarians of all time.
In the Gospels, government is exposed as evil right from Jesus’ birth. A paranoid Herod is willing to kill all of the babies in the kingdom to try to eliminate the perceived threat represented by Jesus.
Tax collectors are considered de facto sinners, on a par with prostitutes. Libertarians would consider this unfair to prostitutes, but for the times this couldn’t land better.
Jesus himself doesn’t disappoint, either. From the moment he begins his ministry, he wages a nonstop verbal war against the hypocritical, oppressive, tax-devouring Temple priests. Jews at the time were required to pay annual taxes to the priests and were also expected to come and make sacrifices at the Jerusalem Temple. Of course, they had to buy the livestock for the sacrifices from the priests and deal with the priests’ money changers in order to do that.
That’s why the libertarian from Galilee kicked them out. This would have been considered a revolutionary act.
One can’t help but equate Jerusalem at that time with Washington, DC, an entire city of tax-fed, opulent wealth.
Jesus has no patience for excessive regulation, either. When he encounters a Jewish law that does not address actual criminal activity, he encourages his followers to break it. When the meddling scribes confront Jesus with allowing his disciples to eat without washing their hands, Jesus lets loose with his customary anti-government invective, calling them hypocrites and then instructing “the people” to ignore this idiotic law and focus on not committing real crimes instead. (Mark 7:1-23)