Christian Libertarianism

Over at our much beloved Big Hollywood last week, filmmaker Leigh Scott had some thoughtful and entertaining comments on Kick-Ass, a movie he liked and which I haven’t seen.  He says it’s a libertarian film and, as a side note, goes on to discuss what he feels are the differences between libertarian conservatives and Christian conservatives:

A very conservative, religious friend once asked me to explain my views. He was stumped that we agreed on almost everything. But, when a lot of the social issues came up, I kinda shuffled my feet and looked to the ground. I summarized it this way: He and I could spend all day Saturday agreeing about taxes, the role of government, and foreign policy, yet, on Sunday, he would be in church and I would be nursing a hangover.

Libertarians are the party boys and girls of the conservative movement.”

Now there’s not only some truth to this but it’s a pretty common point of view.  And yet, speaking in a broader sense, I disagree.  I believe libertarianism is – or at least should be – the Christian approach.  When Jesus said all that stuff about judge not lest ye be judged, and don’t take the speck from your neighbor’s eye when you should be dealing with the two-by-four stuck in your own, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t just messing with us.

I also think he meant something very specific.  He did not – could not – have meant that we can’t make moral judgments, can’t say, hey, taking your kids to the park is good – telling them to blow themselves up to kill Jews, not so much.  Of course we can.  What we can’t judge, as I see it, is another person’s state of grace, his standing with God.  (CS Lewis has some terrific stuff about this in The Great Divorce.)  Our moral decisions about ourselves can be spiritual.  Our moral decisions about other people can only be practical.

I try very hard to live by my lights (informed by my understanding of gospel teaching).  You want to argue about my ideas with me over a drink, I’m happy to oblige.  But I don’t want you to interfere with me as long as I do no harm and, conversely, I don’t want to force anyone to do or love or live as I see fit.  All I do ask is that you don’t try to make me pay my children’s inheritance to clean up the results of your moral choices.  Pay for them yourself.

There’s an idea going around that being a libertarian means not only not forcing your spiritual views on others but actually having no spiritual views at all.  I would say it’s my strongly held spiritual beliefs – and my desire to protect them from your interference – that make me want to leave you to yours.  I’m a  Christian Libertarian.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Eddie

    I have to just say WOW. It’s really amazing when someone expresses pretty much what I believe with such simplicity and such grace. I have to admit I’m pretty much an idiot when it comes to expressing my views to liberals because, I’m pretty much a right and wrong person. I feel in our hearts we all know whats right and whats wrong and when dealing with liberals I lose my patience pretty quickly. I’m no saint, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m willing to admit when I’ve been been less than saintly. I know there are consequences to my actions. Liberals feel there are none.

  • Dirtt

    Concur Eddie. Klavan is not only pure genius in that way but pretty damn funny too. Breitbart – if nothing else – surrounds himself with excellent people.

    And Eddie it is not you who is the idiot. You can’t blame yourself for seeing what is blatantly obvious.

  • http://www.disciplemagazine.com Justin

    Well said.

    I’ve often (if somewhat tongue-in-cheek) referenced Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 as grounds for Christian libertarianism: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thankgsivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

    The free exchange of ideas is both crucial to the health of Christianity–how else are we to share the truth?–and a byproduct of Christ-bought hearts respecting the freedom of the will as He created it. When ideas compete openly, that which is true will rise to the top unaided by any earthly power.

  • mojo

    “Liberty is not a means to a higher end. It is itself the highest political end.”
    – Lord Acton

  • Chim

    I love this! Another great blog post.

  • http://www.threedonia.com/ Floyd R. Turbo

    Great words Andrew. There will always be some quibble between Libertarians and Christian conservatives in areas of policy (legalization of vice crimes, etc.), but there should be no problems in seeking common cause at the “macro” level. I’m a devout Southern Baptist libertarian leaning conservative…. in other words… I’m agnostic on pot legalization, but think prostitution should remain illegal. And then I often re-think those positions. Hope to have you on Radio Free Threedonia sometime again soon.

  • Ben Montgomery

    Good post, Mr. Klavin. I came to your site through a google search and found this article. Very timely in my life as I am considering a situation in my church family that has to do with judgmental-ism and how it impacts our witness to the lost. I will use some of your thoughts to further my own on this subject. Much appreciated.

  • SeeingDouble

    Andrew, while I understand the logic of your piece, it is written from a micro view. Hey, you, do whatever you want, even if I think it’s sinful, but don’t ask me to pay to clean up your mess (i.e. taxes for some program). Okay. Trouble is that society is a macro made up of the collective micro. To paraphrase John Donne, no Libertarian is an island.

    Free will affords freedom to do good or evil, but if an increasing number are taking a dump where they live, then that creates a mess we all have to deal with in a collective society. A few high living conservative hedonists isn’t a problem until their behavior is public and indistinguishable from the likewise growing legions of liberal hedonists, many of whom create a stink that we all have to live with.

    When the airwaves and the billboards and the magazines and the sidewalks of our nation are rife with libertine self-expression, whether the source is Libertarian or liberal, I still can’t let my kids listen to the radio or watch TV after 7 pm.

    Libertarianism aims for a conservative Utopia just as fictional, selfish, and unworkable as the liberal version: Someone else always has to pay for their excesses one way or another, even if not in dollars and cents. Isn’t that just common sense?

  • hollywoodron

    Patow!!!

    As in… a really close WARNING shot that makes the enemgy duck for cover!

    And no, I don’t mean armed gun toting resistance!

    I just love the zing zang pizzazz of PATOW!!!

    I like Leigh Scott’s posts, not so much his films, :) … but Klavan brings it to a whole nuddah levah! And Leigh has some soul searching to do… or not…

  • hollywoodron

    Also… I can’t seem to get an answer to this from a dozen atheists so far.

    What non-Christian influenced nation would they want to live in today?

    Statiscally dominate, or historically imperialized by Christians, what Atheist Communist nation or Islamic would they prefer living in over that of Christian influenced? Any Libeterian Agnostic nations out there? Shouldn’t this be a no-brainer, obvious? I mean how intelligent, logical, and more historically present that Atheist are!

  • hollywoodron

    sorry, i forgot…
    answers thus far… Sweden…. pft!
    Japan… pft!!!

    Not a sensible question…. PFT!!!

    Well all nations are Christian influenced to some degree, so that’s a ridiculous question…. PFT!! PFT!!!

  • Lyle Marti

    Very Good! I am an Orthodox Christian ( Western Rite ) and I consider myself conservative/libertarian. Thank you for stating why I have thought for a long time. Well done!

  • EdSki

    Nice piece Mr. Klaven. I’m a Christian libertarian too.

    During years of spirited, light hearted, political and social debate witha very good friend, I came to agree with his conclusion, libertarianism is the only ideology compatible with Christianity.

    Matthew 20 sums it up very nicely for me.

    “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

    As ling as no one is harming me or others I have no moral authority to force them to do anything.

  • Joel

    You just articulated my basic political belief system: Christian Libertarianism. I am not called to promote laws that keep people from outwardly sinning, I’m called to share Christ with the world. Christ came to save sinners, not the righteous. How will people know that they are sinners if we tell them that by following all our laws they are pretty good people?

  • Bryan

    So Christian conservatives would hold the exact same views as libertarians when it comes to gay marriage? or even gay rights in any form? Christian conservatives are not the same as libertarians unless they believe that church and state have to be separated… most Christian conservatives I know are against gay marriage and for christian prayer in public school etc etc.
    Where am I wrong. I have great respect for Christians of all political affiliations, but as a libertarian/conservative of no faith I do often disagree with the Christian Conservative agenda.
    Wasn’t there a big flap at this year’s CPAC.. wasn’t it Christian groups that dropped out because gay conservatives were a sponsor? which side would the libertarian side with?

  • Driefromseattle

    While I agree that people are free to choose how they live, I must say that there is another side of this libertarian coin that’s a little cold and unfeeling. I read this philosophy as saying to those who would wallow in the mire of this world, “Hey go ahead and do what you want. I don’t give a frak about you, your health, your wealth, your family, your future. Be warm. Be filled. See ya.” This amounts to a lack of love for our fellow humans to leave them to wallow because it’s their choice. And Jesus did command us to love one another. This does take work and commitment and a level of vulnerability to open ourselves up to ridicule, hatred, and maybe even physical pain and death because we wish to see people live in the dignity to which their humanity entitles them. This is where Jesus comes in because if, in fact, Jesus was a libertarian he wouldn’t have intervened on behalf of the woman caught in adultery, sent her accusers away, and then told her GO AND SIN NO MORE…that requires a judgment, you know. He judged her sin then forgave them THEN restored her dignity. If Jesus was a libertarian I doubt seriously He would have endured his whipping, beatings, being spat on, mocked, a crown of thorns shoved in His head, AND then gone to the cross just to pay for our sins. I think He might have said, had he been an actual libertarian, “Ahhh, so what. Just do what you want to do. NO worries. I think I’ll go have a beer with the boys and discuss this whole sacrifice and remission of sin later with my Father.” If we are going to follow in the footsteps of our Lord then we must do as He did. BUT we have to start with ourselves . The whole log in the eye thing doesn’t mean NEVER judge, it means take care of yourself first, then judge others. God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit do not absolutely fit into any one political theory. Quit trying to justify your political opinions by what you perceive in part in the Bible. You are proof texting which is just as stupid as those who purposely take up snakes because the New Testament declares that we can pick up deadly things and they will not harm us. Proof texting=potentially harmful.

  • http://www.rightwingrambling.blogspot.com Onan

    Brilliant post Mr. Klavan, and I wholeheartedly concur. As I age I have been moving from dyed-in-the-wool conservative to right-leaning Libertarian, and you encapsulate very nicely some of my reasons. While I believe it is our duty to “judge” other Christians, as we are commanded to “judge them by their fruits”, I also believe that it is the Holy Spirit’s place to bring conviction to the non-believer and only ours to speak the truth (in love).
    I have becmoe so wholly convinced that the true way to affect revival today in America is by choosing not to argue over social (ie moral) issues any longer, and by telling our community that we have all sinned but God is gracious and would forgive us ALL. I would prefer our government take as little role in legislating our daily lives as possible; this includes in the area of narcotics, taxes, and the interrelationships of consenting adults. (On a side note, however, I do not believe the abortion issue is a “moral” issue because I believe that life begins t conception which means – to me – abortion is murder… so I must speak out about it.)
    Thank you for your concise and accurate portrayal of the motives of some of us “Christian Libertarian”… now if I could only get some of my old friends to stop thinking i’ve become a “liberal”!

  • SouthParkCon

    This is what I’ve been saying; I may not be a Christian libertarian, but I _am_ more than capable of following a morally sound, upright code of behavior, and teaching the same to my children.

    My “party boy” days were left behind in my 20s.

  • cts22

    Following up on what SeeingDouble wrote, my sense is that our relationship with God can and should be libertarian in nature, but in our relationships with others in society the libertarian side needs to severely curtailed. The libertarian slogan, “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one,” being one of the more troubling examples.

  • Richard Anderson

    What nonsense! Jesus said a lot of things, including “The world hated me for I testified of it’s wickedness. How much more will they hate you for being my disciple”. This country was settled, then founded, by people who had the Biblical Christian world view. “..the Laws of nature and Nature’s God” is defined in Locke’s writings and Blackstone’s commentaries as the God of Scriptures.
    “The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature, as they tend in all their consequences to man’s felicity.” (8)
    1 William Blackstone, Commentaries 42.

    Why do you think there were thousands of “Blue Laws” that date to the Founding and before…laws that made illegal many acts defined as immoral from a Biblical perspective? Because they were all Christian conservatives, NOT libertarians…

    The first public school in America, in 17th century Pennsylvania, was built to teach people to read so they could read the Bible so no law contradicting the Bible could be passed!

  • Synova

    The only thing that defines libertarian is what one’s view is about the role of government.

    To answer Bryan… a “libertarian” view of gay marriage is… Get the State out of the business of formalizing marriages. Pragmatically, assuming that isn’t possible, if the State must be involved, provide a basic template for domestic partnership that is available to anyone and everyone and then let religious organizations marry or refuse to marry whoever they want to according to their own rules which the rest of us will ignore.

    This is not at all incompatible with Christianity. Throughout History Christian reform and revival movements have fought against the involvement of the State with church sacraments, feeling that State involvement removed the spiritual reality and the solemn, profound, nature of those sacraments.

    That many other Christian people do not question the involvement of the State doesn’t make that acceptance of State involvement a Christian belief.

    By no means are all conservative Christians libertarian, but it is simple for a libertarian to be a Christian. I think that Christian doctrine fits downright elegantly with libertarian ideology.

  • Gerard Knorr

    Our libertine Constitution was written in a time when almost everyone was what we’d call a Fundamentalist Christian today. Quakers spoke in tongues, the whole thing was very literal, etc. We can argue about how religious some or most of the Founders may have been, the coffee table book of early Presidents my parents had claimed Deism for most of the early ones, but it cannot be argued that it was a product of that culture and that it worked in that culture. People had no trouble distinguishing between their civic life and their religious life, at least as far as governance went. And Fundamentalists have been here 230 years without eroding those liberties to any significant extent.

    It’s when people melded the religious instinct with governance itself that we got into trouble. I’m a non-believer, but I know damned well I’m better off with people having Jesus in the Jesus-shaped hole in their hearts, than the State. I’m pro-Christian out of simple self-interest.

    I also think that Christians who want to use the government to force religion on people (a very small fraction of Christians) are bad Christians. I was raised in a church and we were never encouraged to try to infringe on others’ free will.

  • Gerard Knorr

    Sorry, it cannot be argued that it *wasn’t* a product of that culture or that it didn’t work in that culture.

  • Michael

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always felt that others’ moral choices that do not directly affect me are between the him/her and God. Well said.

  • greg

    Well put, Andrew. Thank you. There is a difference between judgement and discernment, which you explain succinctly. There is a difference between liberty and license. If we had a strictly Libertarian society, we would see much the same dilemma with license they are currently enjoying in the Netherlands. It would be a situation where the prevalent society would not reflect the majority of values of the citizens. A majority of Constitutionally Conservative American Citizens understand that.

  • Blink

    Driefromseattle:
    I think there is a crucial aspect of libertarianism that you are missing here. There is nothing that states that one should not or could not care about their fellow humans, but that the state should have as little involvement in it as possible. For instance, if one wished to give to the homeless, the typical statist solution would be to petition the government to open up shelters and pay for them using the public’s money. A libertarian in this situation would donate to a private charity or church group in order to create the same solution, but using money only from those who wish to do the same. If someone wishes to help a cause, they are free to do so, but if someone chooses to live their life selfishly, there is no tax collector to tell them that they cannot. The rewards of goodwill, or the lack thereof, are not known in this life.

  • http://cynlover01.topcities.com/index.html cynlover01

    Synova said:

    As a classical liberal christian, I think it should be precisely the other way round. We need to ministers out of the business of acting as agents of the state. Any couple who wants to get married(man+woman, man+man, whatever) should go to the courthouse and get a marriage license, then find a justice of the peace and get married. THEN, if they want to celebrate that relationship in a church, (and they can find a church willing to do it), then go right ahead.

    Ministers don’t sign the legal birth certificate when they baptize; they don’t sign the death certificate when conducting a funeral-why should they sign the marriage certificate when conducting the religious ceremony signifying a marriage covenant? Get the church out of the state’s business, and vice-versa.

  • http://cynlover01.topcities.com/index.html cynlover01

    Let’s try again…

    Synova said: “a ‘libertarian’ view of gay marriage is… Get the State out of the business of formalizing marriages.”
    ————————–
    As a classical liberal christian, I think it should be precisely the other way round. We need to ministers out of the business of acting as agents of the state. Any couple who wants to get married(man+woman, man+man, whatever) should go to the courthouse and get a marriage license, then find a justice of the peace and get married. THEN, if they want to celebrate that relationship in a church, (and they can find a church willing to do it), then go right ahead.

    Ministers don’t sign the legal birth certificate when they baptize; they don’t sign the death certificate when conducting a funeral-why should they sign the marriage certificate when conducting the religious ceremony signifying a marriage covenant? Get the church out of the state’s business, and vice-versa.

  • http://Intensedebate.com DavidMontgomery

    Andrew,

    Your videos are hilarious. This post feels heartfelt.

    You summed up much of what I felt when I read Leigh Scott’s Big Hollywood post.

    It was also a powerful act of witnessing.

    Thank you, & God bless you and yours sir.

  • Synova

    The issue is coercion.

    There is nothing about being libertarian that says a person shouldn’t be involved in their community or do their best to help people or preaching on street corners or volunteering to feed the homeless or doing their best to convince everyone that drugs are bad for you. I can try to convince you of anything, I can try to persuade in order to get other people to agree with me and *voluntarily* modify their own behavior.

    The issue is coercion.

    Since libertarians aren’t anarchists, there are parameters defining (roughly) the exceptions to the no-coercion rule. I, or the State, can stop you from stealing my stuff or punish you for stealing my stuff. I, or the State, can stop you from assaulting me or punish you for assaulting me. Laws against murder and theft stand. Contracts freely entered into can be enforced. And we can discuss to what extent behavior that harms others, things like driving drunk or dumping toxic waste or smoking cigarettes in public, can be criminalized. We can discuss pre-emptive sorts of self-defense and international military/foreign policy.

    Sure, there are any number of libertarians who are most interested in living a life of legal debauchery without a single care for their fellow humans, but most have a far more sophisticated understanding of the general philosophy and understand what *else* liberty is good for.

  • Synova

    “Get the church out of the state’s business, and vice-versa.”

    Yes.

  • EdSki

    In response to Driefromseattle”

    I read this philosophy as saying to those who would wallow in the mire of this world

    Correct, we all do. If you ask me, that’s the essence of Christianity, the acceptance of imperfect life in an imperfect world.

    They key difference is this, with libertarianism you can not force me to help you. But that does not mean I won’t choose to help you anyway. And I do, I support many charities. And in my opinion, I donate my own money much more efficiently and to much more worthy causes than the government, which says I will pay, or I will lose my home and go to jail.

    There’s nothing about libertarianism that says we won’t help our fellow man, all it says is we prefer not to do it at the barrel of government’s gun.

  • Gerald Katz

    This is why Conservatism rocks! Here we have two people on the Right disagreeing with each other but are civil about it. There is a mutual respect. On the Left, if you disagree with them they call you names.

  • SeeingDouble

    I appreciate the civil back and forth…

    Mr. Klavan seems to have tried to offer a Christianized, flowery version of “I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me.” That is the heartbeat of liberalism culturally. And culture is what I’m talking about, not government. Jesus didn’t seek to change government, but souls, and souls make up the culture, do they not? Live and let live is diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Not once did he let anyone off the hook for their sins; he was gentle with those who didn’t know any better and harsh with those who did.

    But as for government, Mr. Knorr your historicity is sorely lacking. You apparently know little more about the intentions of Founders than what you wish they were. There may have always been Libertarians influencing America, but America has never been a Libertarian nation. How would you have reacted when Jefferson and others demanded that all public school children study the Bible, for example?

    Nonetheless, the implication of many Libertarian posters here is that Christian conservatives are always arguing the conflation of Christianity with civil law. While there are many thousands of instances where that has been done in America since its founding, I am considering the movie that sparked the Scott-Klavan conversation: What’s the difference *culturally* whether license is rife at the whim of a Libertarian or at the whim of a liberal? What difference does it make for the net impact on our society? So, I’m not talking primarily about law — I’m talking about personal responsibility and collective expectations, regardless of whether the source of one’s morality is Jesus Christ or Benjamin Franklin.

    And finally, cynlover01 (a peculiar nom for a “christian”) if you think Christianity is the acceptance of the imperfect in us and in our society, well, you would benefit by digging a little deeper into the pages of the faith’s source. Forgiveness is not the same as acceptance. Per the New Testament, far from it.

  • Pingback: Christian Libertarianism

  • http://dieoff.org hungry4food

    If this Carbon Trade program is ever started , the policy will suck the wealth away from the economies of the world and right into the lap of Government agencies that will hoard the capital and very little of this capital will be recycled back into society . This is a Plan that restricts the use of resources by inflating its cost structures but at the same time further consolidates what resource use activity is taking place in society and in turn funnels the wealth from the purchases of resources into the hands of Government through these organizations involved in this Carbon Trade activity .
    Without a clear understanding of how the funds from this trading activity will be redirected back out into society to improve quality of life for all in society , the Government will be able to do whatever it chooses to do with the capital generated from this trade platform , and from what I have seen in Over Population rhetoric out there the trend for abundance of wealth redistribution is not a top priority in the ideologies of these members of this trade organization .

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/politics/3422-secrets-exposed-goldman-sachs-may-be-obamas-enron

    http://www.green-agenda.com/greatshift.html

  • hungry4food

    fits into the plan of the population reduction http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6350303.ece

    Population control called key to deal , I think this is why we saw the health care bill target elderly folks with restrictions on treatment with Medicare cuts .

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-12/10/content_9151129.htm

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/un_agenda_21_coming_to_a_neigh.html

  • hungry4food

    these 2 links are promotions of Marxism , which the Green Revolution is based around as is laid out here ;
    http://www.archive.org/stream/TheFirstGlobalRevolution

    http://www.clubofrome.org/eng/cor_news_bank/19 pay attention to the words Karl Marx and how they try to blend it with Capitalism ….

    http://www.warsocialism.com/America.htm

    http://dieoff.org/

  • hungry4food

    fits into the plan of the population reduction http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6350303.ece

    Population control called key to deal , I think this is why we saw the health care bill target elderly folks with restrictions on treatment with Medicare cuts .

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-12/10/content_9151129.htm

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/un_agenda_21_coming_to_a_neigh.html

    http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-3annex3.htm
    this is a UN agenda 21 plan for forest lands to speed up the rate of famine

    http://standeyo.com/NEWS/09_Food_Water/091229.Obama.forests.not.food.html
    this is Obama’s Plan for our forest lands , he wants the USDA to subsidies the planting of over 50 Million acres of our Prime Farmland in the Midwest to Trees , just trees , so we can speed up the famine rate , did we the people get to be a part of this debate ??? creating the crisis to then look like the savior ????? thats what they did with the Financial sectors in the world under the control of the Club of Rome .

  • http://www.thechristianwatershed.com Joel B

    Andrew,

    Excellent post that summarizes many aspects of how Christians view the world. I’m reminded of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians where he admonishes the church of Corinth for excluding the lost from their midsts because the lost sinned. He says (paraphrasing), “They’re not Christians…what do you expect?”

    At the same time, such a position can put Christians in a precarious position. For instance, the issue of homosexuality and marriage. From an orthodox Christian view, homosexuality is a sin and is harmful, especially to the traditional view of the family. So do we forbid marriage between two people in love even though their love brings no harm? Furthermore, do we ban divorce with the lone exception being for the sake of adultery? Do we ban pre-marital sex? Or do we recognize that outside of Divine revelation, there’s no real way to determine if homosexuality is actually a sin and therefore begrudgingly allow it?

    On the issue of abortion, we believe that all human persons are sacred because they are made in the image of God and that from conception a human is a human person (made in the image of God). Does this mean we should attempt to overrule Roe v Wade or pass stricter laws against abortion? Or do we say, “Well, absent of Divine revelation, there’s no way we would know that human persons are valuable” and therefore allow abortion to continue?

    Now, I happen to fall back upon Natural Law and Divine Law. For me, personally, I believe that the issue of homosexuality is one that falls under Divine Law and the issue of abortion falls under Natural Law (meaning that one doesn’t have to be a Christian to know that abortion is wrong).

    But my point in bringing up these two firebrand example (aside from those probably being the most contentious issues between libertarians) is that your view – one that I agree with – should also be recognized as a difficult one to maintain.

    Likewise, everything in our culture is so political that to be against a lifestyle it is automatically assumed that you somehow want that said lifestyle banned. As Christian libertarians, we have to make it clear that while we may support someone’s choice to live or believe a certain way and believe that person has every right to do or believe something, we still see those views as immoral, but not generally harmful to society and therefore allowed. From a political perspective, we have to allow freedom even though this will lead to immoral choices; from a Christian perspective, we have to be ready to address these moral choices on a personal level.

    Hope that rambling made sense.

  • http://BigHollywood shelly burnett

    I am a fan as of a couple days ago. Love your thoughts!

  • Gerard Knorr

    Seeing Double… what some Christians may want is irrelevant. We have 230 years of evidence that Christian’s won’t get what they want, when what they want is forcing Christianity on others. That is a simple fact. I don’t police the hearts of other people, that’s what the fascists do. What matters to me as a libertarian American is what ACTUALLY THREATENS my inalienable rights. And Christians, demonstrably, do not. So their inner life is irrelevant to my life and I ignore it as I should.

    Whereas the statists DO manage to confiscate my assets and use it to deliberately try to destroy my life out of hatred. Sort of a difference there.

  • Pingback: Life » Why I am a Libertarian and a Christian

  • Tennwriter

    Libertarianism is a single value moral system, and like all such, I think, it can lead to traps where the answers it renders are inhumane and unreasonable.

    The Samurai had a similar system, but their value was Obedience to Right Authority, which is an important value. However when a system says that the command ‘kill your wife, your children, and then yourself’ is a proper command, there is something wrong with that moral system.

    Conservatism is a triple value system. It honors liberty, and to a lesser degree virtue, and to a degree societal survival. This makes it less simplistic and more realistic than Libertarianism, and leads to a good bit of mushiness of thought on what a Conservative is.

    However the notion that you could create a simple set of principles that all Libertarians would agree to is laughable. Neal Boortz, #1 Libertarian at the time, was not allowed to speak at the Libertarian Party so I hear. Libertarians are frequently dogmatic purists with more schisms than Baptists.

    Another side note about Libertarians. Its not the Conservatives picking the fight. Its the Libertarians who keep constantly saying ‘we wish you would shut up about those social issues’ and doing the Liberals work for them. If you want a sixty percent victory, the Libertarians need to stop trying to control the Conservatives and instead encourage them, unleash them, and watch as a tidal wave of liberating force tears down the walls of the statists.

  • cynlover01

    SeeingDouble said:

    And finally, cynlover01 (a peculiar nom for a “christian”) if you think Christianity is the acceptance of the imperfect in us and in our society, well, you would benefit by digging a little deeper into the pages of the faith’s source. Forgiveness is not the same as acceptance. Per the New Testament, far from it.
    ——————————

    1) My Significant Other’s name is Cynthia. It’s called “irony”.

    2) What on earth did I say to make you think I advocate “acceptance of the imperfect in us and in our society”? I want to get the church out of the state’s business, because that’s the best way to keep the state out of the church’s business. That’s all.

    Pax;

    cynlover01

  • Pingback: Right-Wing Links (May 21, 2010)

  • hiscross

    As a Christian, I have to say that many Christians I know act more like Libertarianss than Christians. They seek the blessings from Jesus, but don’t want to actually work at it. Both seem to agree on the same issues, but don’t want to get their hands dirty and go something about anything. Oh, they give to the latest social problems like Haiti, but didn’t do anything about Haiti’s real issues before the quake. Libertarians seem to line John Galt, but won’t walk away from the nice life they have. At work I tell my fellow employees I won’t think for them. They usually walk away and struggle to find a solution to their problems (they are always liberalsl BTW). Libertarians and Christians really believe if they can put in the right people in office things will get better. Just plain bunk. Read the Bible, GOD only agreed for Isreal to have a king because they lost their faith in GOD. The results of their and every nation has been tragic. Man can’t fix the problems he creates. So do we fix things? Stop talking and debating and do GOD’s will. The results will surprise you.

  • Anonymous

    Andrew,

    I think libertarians are just, shall we say, a couple cans short of a six pack. They a have a considerable philosophical appeal, but take the bus out to where no one wants to go. Especially in the area of foreign policy. I am curious, why do you think of yourself as a libertarian? I like your “On The Culture” series very much. I enjoy reading your columns also. I would have never guessed that you considered yourself a libertarian. As a matter of fact, I think you might be mistaken?

    Thanks for all your hard work, and meaningful contributions to the debate of important contemporary issues.

    Your Brother in Christ,
    Dillo

  • Pingback: The Identity Man, by Andrew Klavan : Bookgeeks.co.uk