Debating Paul's Platform with Informed and Value-Driven LiberalsSubmitted by parade4thecheat on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 10:44
I'm a graduate student at a Midwestern seminary working under a politically liberal (and religiously liberal, for that matter) undergraduate Bible/New Testament professor. First off, I must say that I have the ultimate respect for him, and that his interpretation of many matters of the Bible and life in general are as good as it gets. Now, he doesn't flaunt his political views in public, but in private conversations it's become clear that we have very different ideas about how to achieve the same ends - morality in business, empowerment of the poor, the education gap, etc. He has won some substantial awards for his commitment to peace, so we agree completely on the militarism and non-interventionism issues. Yet, he is an admitted Keynesian, views many issues in terms of racial and class conflict, and sees no major problem with breaching the Constitution in cases where a greater good is served. We meet regularly to discuss these issues, including how they relate to the Christian message.
Today I was surprised when he came armed with material with which to attack Ron Paul and (what he sees as) the greater message of libertarianism as one that has no concern for the poor and downtrodden. I got him to read Liberty Defined some weeks back, and he seemed to latch on to Paul's statement that he requires his staffers to read Atlas Shrugged. So, he brought up all of the ugliness of Ayn Rand's every-man-completely-for-himself and no-one's-worthy-of-love arguments. Obviously I disagreed with these from the start and cautioned him from reading that sort of message into Paul, but not knowing much about Ayn Rand, I couldn't speak much further here (only to say that I personally don't find people rallying around Paul for the sake of that message).
Anyway, it's to the point where I need to start bringing ammo to the fight. If anyone knows of videos, articles, or book excerpts where Ron accentuates our personal obligation to our fellow man (especially as opposed to the government's obligation), that would be very helpful. His other major area of disagreement with Paul is the opposition to socialized medicine, so if you know of any sources that touch on the subject of healthcare (or really, anything I've mentioned above), I would be especially interested.
I don't think it's possible to win him over to the Paul camp, but it's worth a try and he's open to continuing the dialogue. Thanks for any help.