In a recent WORLDmag.com column, D.C. Innes argued against Ron Paul's candidacy. The main reason: The candidate's "opposition to moral legislation," which is swiftly interpreted as a "failure to appreciate the government's divine mandate to punish evil and praise good." As tempting as it is to agree uncritically with the idea of "punishing evil," opposing Paul on these grounds reveals a grave flaw within an influential faction of the conservative evangelical community—a willingness to put secular powers in charge of spiritual wars.
It is one thing to delegate to government the duty to punish crimes against persons and their rightfully acquired property; murder, rape, and theft are some obvious examples. It is quite another matter to advocate the use of the repressive state machinery to punish all kinds of sinful behavior, either the ones that are clearly defined in the Bible (all sexual relationships outside of marriage) or those inferred by the preachers in a particular denomination (such as the drinking of alcoholic beverages). America tried going down that road with Prohibition, and have we forgotten how it ended in multiplying sin and crime?
The tragic history of the 1920s experiment to reform human nature from without is repeating itself now with another form of "moral legislation": the War on Drugs. And I am sad to say that the observed results are even worse. You can take my word on it—it wouldn't be any better if we started a war on Halloween candy. The reason is quite simple: Just as God has the ability to turn every evil plot of man into a good outcome for those who love Him, the political process has the propensity to turn every good intention into a social disaster for those who vote to delegate to their government such duties that are best exercised through families and churches—such as teaching and enforcing most aspects of what we call "moral behavior."
Ron Paul doesn't promise Christianity government privileges but instead offers a level playing field against all false prophets and deaf idols. His ideas may be too "revolutionary" for his time, but so were the ideas of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman in the 1960s and '70s until one "great communicator" helped turn the tide in American politics during the '80s.