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Big Government a Danger to All Men

Part 1 of 3

By Ian Huyett


14607(This is Part 1 of a 3 part column on the history of liberty in Christian tradition. Parts 2 & 3 are linked at the bottom of the article. Please share and leave your thoughts below.)

In 1932, the Christian apologist G.K. Chesterton expressed concern that many people were according the government with a trust and reverence that ought to be reserved only for God. Chesterton’s admonition was not only prophetic, but rooted in the deepest mainspring of Christianity’s past; he was echoing words spoken by the prophet Samuel nearly three thousand years ago.

1 Samuel 8 tells how the Israelites, having grown weary of deferring to their local judges, decided to centralize power and crown a king. The great judge Samuel, upset by the nation’s desire for an earthly ruler, prayed to God for guidance. God replied by telling Samuel that, by demanding a human king, the Israelites “have rejected me from being king over them.”

This equation of statism with idolatry is alive and well in modern Christendom. In particular, Christians in the United States have – since before Bush left office – been moving away from federal advocacy and towards political decentralization. Whenever someone suggests that Christians cannot be a viable force for liberty, I know that person has been long out of touch with America’s Christian culture. The believers I speak with increasingly feel put upon by the earthly state and simply wish to be allowed to live as they see fit in their own communities.

These libertarian Christians stand on solid ground. A well-established body of Christian scripture and tradition rejects the rule of limited human beings in favor of God’s majesty. In the words of F.A. Hayek, “Individualism, in contrast to socialism and all other forms of totalitarianism, is based on the respect of Christianity for the individual man.” Christians are, for the reasons I’ll explore here, especially predisposed to becoming passionate libertarians – and libertarians would do well do bear this in mind in their outreach.

The Doctrine of Original Sin 

The NSA’s surveillance of the entire US population offers a prime example of the conflation that Chesterton warned against.  If only one group in American history has imagined that the government is God, it is surely those who argue that “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” This assertion assumes that the environment of government will create an immutable benevolence in our rulers.

Conversely, Christians have warned mankind about its innate limitations for millennia. Any Christian with even a cursory understanding of original sin could have told you that granting the NSA unchecked power was a horrible idea. Verses like Ephesians 2:3 – which says that we are “by nature children of wrath” – remind Christians that governments are made up of fallen human beings who will inevitably abuse whatever power they are given. Sure enough, the Senate Intelligence committee recently discovered that NSA employees have used the agency’s vast resources to spy on their lovers.

Chesterton, perhaps hyperbolically, called original sin the “the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved.” It is also the part of Christian theology which most squarely defeats political authoritarianism. It leaves us with no reason to expect that governments will be virtuous, nor to expect that they will tend towards increasingly moral choices as they grow to include more human beings.

John Adams said that he distrusted rulers because he perceived “danger from all men.” We should be glad that Adams had this cynical temperament; otherwise, we might be even less free than we are today.

Part 2: Rejecting Earthly Authority

Part 3: Christians forbidden to correct sinners by force.



About The Author

Austin Petersen

Austin Petersen is the founder of The Libertarian Republic, as well as the CEO of Stonegait LLC. Formerly an Associate Producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano's show "Freedom Watch", on the Fox Business Network. Austin was referred to by the Judge as "The right side of my brain". He built Judge Napolitano's social networks with over 700,000 fans and millions of clicks a month. Austin graduated from Missouri State University. He has written and produced award winning plays and videos, and previously worked for the Libertarian National Committee and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

  • Aliel The Heretic

    Christianity is based on obedience to the Torah and defiance to man made laws that are in opposition to the Torah.

    Historically speaking, all early libertarians were Christians or Christian at a certain point in their lives.

    • Caniac Steve Henderson

      and dispite what trouble people had with a neighbor short or murder people had a rational way of working things out and the “judges’ at that time did a good job,unless they were more corrupt than the people were. That is why ( corruption) was the reason,rational & excuse used for a “centralized” form of government desired and demanded

      • Enigma0

        Go to the Bible and actually read what the tribal chieftains said to Samuel the prophet. Their rationale wasn’t about limiting corruption, but one of imitating the pagan nations around them, and thereby having a judge and war-leader (king) with a standing army.

        Samuel warned the chieftains that meant that the king would draft their young men and levy heavy taxes. But they were convinced they needed a ‘national security state’, and so Saul was anointed as Israel’s first human king.

    • Catroast DuJour

      Christianity is based on personal relationship with Jesus. Judaism is based on obedience to the Torah. Just a small correction. Or not so small. Christians that are obedient to the Torah are not Christians because they haven’t had the revelation of Grace.

      • raptorep

        No actually, your talking that they are different. Jesus’ revelation, is just the extension of Israel’s covenant with all who believe and follow Jesus as Lord. Christians believe both the Torah and the Gospel of Grace, as you pointed out. Jews and Christians are brothers spiritually in God’s eyes, and should be in ours as well.

        • Catroast DuJour

          Good luck trying that out.

          • Informed

            Better go back and actually READ the Bible, Jesus was a Jew and Christians are bound to the first covenant (Torah)… Also thrown into this mix is Islam, which all descend from the House of Abraham.

          • Wayne Lehr

            After Jesus died for our sins that all changed, The Jew still live by the law. They still have to receive Christ as their savior. Islam is waaaaaay off.

          • Linda Trimpey

            Actually, God promised a new covenant in Jeremiah 31 which He instituted through the blood sacrifice of His Son (Matt 26:28). The new covenant is the covenant of grace while the old covenant is the covenant of works (law). Furthermore, the purpose of the law is to show us that we can’t keep it because we’re sinners – Romans 7:7. The old covenant was fulfilled perfectly by His Son Jesus Christ on our behalf since we couldn’t fulfill it because of our sin. Then, Jesus gave His life to ransom us from the death penalty for sin. Hebrews 8 explains how our great High Priest, Jesus Christ, was the mediator of the new (better) covenant promised in Jeremiah 31. Muslims claim Abraham as their ancestor through the line of Ishmael. The promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations is through the lineage of Issac (Genesis 17). God explains the fulfillment of this in Romans 9 where He states that the children of the promise, not the children of the flesh, are the true Israel, the true children of God.

          • Catroast DuJour

            Kudos! You win the prize for getting it right!

  • Brad Kirby

    Sounds great, no judges, no police, and Christians can live out the word of God as they see fit. No police or judges around to stop them from stoning homosexuals. No one around to stop them from killing or out-casting someone that doesn’t believe or practices a different religion. Basically, Libertarian Christians are just Republicans. I don’t think that anyone that bases their life off of a book written just shy of two-thousand ago that was made up of even older stories has any ground to stand and tell another person how to live or act.

    • officerdean

      Your last sentence baffles me. Do you not understand the concept of “libertarianism?” Of course Christians have no right to tell you how to live or act, this is the whole point.

      And what is this talk about Christians stoning homosexuals. The idea of a libertarian society is that every man can act freely as long as he does not cause harm to his fellow man. Stoning is causing harm therefore it would be against the law in a libertarian society.

      No police or judges is anarchy not libertarianism. Get a clue man you are way out of your element I think Dora the Explorer is on Nick Jr right now you should stick to that.

      • Brad Kirby

        You can’t be both, not effectively. Either you do God’s work or you don’t interfere with the lives of others. Christians (or any religion) don’t have the right to tell others how to live, but it really doesn’t work that way, does it? Maybe you should go play in imagination land where Christians are right about everything and keep to themselves and don’t interfere with the lives of others.

        • Informed

          Brad, you clearly have no understanding of either subject, nor the reality of what has been done… I’m not a theist but I clearly have a MUCH deeper understanding than you of the content of the Bible… I suggest you actually READ it. After doing so, consider that politicians have used “morality” as a control tool and you are simply scapegoating any and all religions for their acts because that is your perceived source of “morality”, which is purely subjective and invalid as a belief which requires no action of the believer… I have NEVER heard of a Jew advocating the banning of pork (or anything else) for all based on their religious restrictions, for example.

          • Brad Kirby

            I’m sure Jews wouldn’t think of banning pork if they enjoyed the power that Christians do in our government. That was sarcasm, just in case you couldn’t tell.

            What is there to read, again. I mean I’ve read it, I grew up in a Christian family. Just what am I getting wrong, here? What the bans on gay marriage? I supposed they object to it on their own and aren’t using the Bible to make that objection. But, they are using the Bible, aren’t they? Maybe they don’t have the ‘deep’ understanding you do and the Bible really says that God doesn’t like it but it is okay, those gay people will still go to Heaven.

            We can even look to the past to see how the Bible has been used to justify laws and actions that are clearly unjust and typically unmoral to anyone that doesn’t subscribe to the ‘lessons’ taught in the Bible.

            Am I to understand that you think the actions of bigots like this are their own and they are just using the Bible as a tool to force their morals onto us? So tell me, where did they get these morals from?

          • Kara

            Your argument would be valid if all christians always did the same thing. They all voted to ban gay marriage and always voted for all these nasty horrible things your talking about. Not true. So your irrational absolute statements fall apart there. Quite honestly they hold about as much water as sieve. They don’t agree about their own religion let alone politics. There are christians who politically support everything from anarcho capitalism to authoritarianism and everything inbetween. This is also true for atheists. There are some who support gay marriage and others who want to ban marriage altogether because it a religious practice that has been manipulated into a forced religiously based extortion. The reality is you have had bad experiences with christians and feel better thinking they are all superstitious idiots still living in the dark ages burning witches and heathens at the stake. Clearly you do not give a shit what is true lol.

        • Todd Ewing

          Brad Kirby, I think you have your religions mixed up. It is totalitarian governments that kill gays…In this country and others homosexuality might be looked down upon but rarely if ever are people killed because of it…

          • Enigma0

            Nor will any killing of deviants ever be done by genuinely observant Christians. They will shun unrepentant sinners, but never act to confine or injure them unless such sinners pose an active danger to others..

            The problem Kirby and his ilk have is that such folk think that the isolated individual is supreme and autonomous, and thus entirely _self-defining_. So if a ‘cultural christian’ asserts that s/he is a Christian, then it must be true. Not so, for there are clear standards in the letters of Luke and Paul about the conduct which befits a true Christian.

        • Enigma0

          You _assume_ that ‘doing God’s work’ necessarily means interfering in the lives of others. Not so; during the first few centuries CE, Christians who actually honored Jesus’ commands didn’t bother their neighbors, aside from preaching to them in public places and visiting their doors. Annoying perhaps, but not nearly as intrusive as secular and socialist ‘authorities’ have always been.

          Simply telling people who are egregiously sinning that they are doing so is merely free speech and a free exercise of religion. Annoying doubtless, but not anything as activist as what secular and socialist ‘authorities’ have always done.

          You are the one living in a fantasy world. It’s the Statists and socialists who plot and act to control your life, not any genuine Christians. In any secular land, Christians are naturally libertarian, but never anarchist.

        • Kara

          interference is a poor choice of word. It can be a rights issue or it can be a subjective issue. Libertarianism is all about freedom and the very limited rights that we can all agree everyone should have. Outside of that libertarians dont care. Is your neighbor interfering with your peaceful morning? don’t care. Is your neighbor interfering with your right to be alive by killing you ? that we care about but not because it interferes with your live but your rights.

    • raptorep

      Brad, your a TROLL, go back to under the bridge and off this site. It’s obvious you didn’t READ the article and only want to break people down and condemn them for their religious belief.

      • Brad Kirby

        You are a great example of what is wrong with many followers of a religion. If someone doesn’t agree with you, don’t debate them, make them leave or belittle them until they leave. I have no issue at all if someone wants to practice a religion. But, it isn’t that simple, is it? People don’t just practice religion, they want to base laws off it. This is where the conflict happens. So, until these churches stop using the Bible to make laws and cast votes, I will continue to believe religion is a problem in government.

        • Informed

          Nonsensical statements Brad. I bet you are one who also believes the war on drugs is required for if it were not there, 200 million people would suddenly decide heroin is a ‘good idea’ the next day as well?
          How is the indoctrination so completely set that any but the most feeble minded believe that there would be such a regression? Most people do not even consider ‘law’ when they act, they simply choose on ethics based on a simple premise: If I do ‘it’ to someone else, I must then accept that ‘it’ can be done to me.
          I see no reason to believe much would change at all… unless, of course, you are in fear of your democrat brethren and the mob rule mindset of ‘democracy’ that accompanies them.

          • Brad Kirby

            How did you get “I support the war on drugs” out of anything I’ve said? How do you get to that point from my statements saying that religions should stay out of government and people should be free to choose their own paths? How do you gather that I’m a Democrat (I’m not by the way) by any statement I’ve made about freedom of choice? You really aren’t very ‘informed’ are you?

        • Kara

          yes because your replies have been so overwhelming with your flawless reasoning skills…. and yes you clearly do have a problem with people who want to practice their religion. You think its vile a belief system dictates how people behave…. oh wait everyone has a belief system that dictates their behavior. You do realize a good scientist will always leave room for error because nothing is factual just most probable. Gravity isn’t a fact its just an extremely consistently reliable theory that has yet to be remotely shaken and therefore we believe it to be true baring some new discover. But since you said” people don’t just practice religion, they want to base laws off it.” your obviously not the most logical of all people to be making such a clearly biased absolute statement and following it with logic. Your argument/statements violate several logical fallacies and are in fact not rational in any sense. you feel religion is the problem. Accept there these guys named stalin, napoleon, kim jong il, mussolini,mao, pol pot… Nothing supports religion as being the disease in government because there have been horrible acts done in both religious and irreligious governments. The only parallel being governments that have too much power over people are almost always horribly abusive. Its not that they are christians or muslims and if we just had an atheist in power we would be great. Evolution doesn’t exactly tout respect or compassion or civility for that matter.

    • Ta Rouse

      The basis of our society is built on liberty and freedom for all. The naive and reactionaries don’t rule the day in a free society.
      Be glad my friend.. You are able to control your own destiny and are able to speak freely. This is not afforded to many outside this country.
      Vote democrat if you like.. but keep in-mind that while the party desires to eliminate Christianity.. they are accommodating our Muslim neighbors and incorporating Shariah law into our courts.. and yes, (unlike Christians) they do stone people.

    • Russell Wickham

      Christ himself said, in reference to the woman caught in adultery, “Let him who has no sin cast the first stone.” Who among us has no sin? The rules of the Jewish Religion are very different from what Christ taught us to live. A person who truly seeks to know God will not tell another person how to live their life, but will seek to show the person what Jesus is like by their own lifestyle. “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” Those who use the bible to hammer into the ground those who do not believe as they do are simply taking the name of the Lord in vain. “By their deeds, you shall know them.” I am sad that your Christian experience has been tempered by those who do not know Jesus, but use His name to meet their own selfish need for power.

      • Brad Kirby

        It is sad. But the simple fact of the matter is the majority of Christians do just that. They use the Bible to make these laws (anyone else find Blue-laws unconstitutional?) and never actually follow the real teachings. Well, they sort of do. It does teach you to feel superior or at least better than those who don’t hold the beliefs you find in the Bible.

        Politicians are being elected simply because they proclaim to be believers and not because of their actions or platforms.

        The city I live in doesn’t have a Hooters because the Church of Christ said they wouldn’t allow it and they make up a large pool of voters here. The reason, because God wouldn’t like it. It would cause sin (shouldn’t they be more worried about their own sin).

  • Tom Stalbaum

    Christians will always be a player in American society. Libertarians accept all creeds. This article is just paralleling how insanely corrupt and morally bankrupt our federal professional politicians are based on sound concepts written thousands of years ago. Power to the States is what is needed!!!!

  • Sorry, Christians cannot be libertarians. Libertarians worship self. Self interest is at the center of libertarian thought. Christians are taught not to put self interest at the top of the moral food chain. You cannot worship God and mammon at the same time.

    • NoLongerJustAGuest

      I think libertarians worship freedom.

    • guest123


    • Russell Wickham

      Wow, what a blanket rejection of a demographic well suited to pursue the goals of liberty. I am both Christian and Libertarian. My reasons for being Libertarian are that they seek a limited world government that allows all men the right to live their life as they see fit. I do not use drugs, nor do I believe homosexuality is a good thing, but it is not my place to condemn people who do these things. Rather I seek the liberty to practice my faith in God as I believe he would have me do, and the freedom to persuade those around me if possible to join me, but never by force, only be free will. If you, sir, only believe Libertarians seek their own selfish interests, you do a sad disservice to liberty.

    • Informed

      Libertarians do not worship “self” nor is self interest the center of Libertarian thought, it is SELF RELIANCE and VOLUNTARY INTERACTION. You read too much OPINION driven by the fears of the establishment that control over the populace will be lost. I have found that Libertarians are, in fact, more giving than the large portion of the ‘right’ and nearly all of the ‘left’ as they do not rely on forcing others through the State to participate in order to absolve themselves of any and all personal action. The fundamental failing of statists is in not understanding that creating dependance on others does not help them, nor does it strengthen society.

      • The essence of libertarian thought revolves around self interest, not self reliance. From Mises Institute here is Ludwig:

        “In social cooperation everyone in serving his own interests serves the
        interests of his fellow men. Driven by the urge to improve his own
        conditions, he improves the conditions of other people. The baker does
        not hurt those for whom he bakes bread; he serves them.”

        Libertarians are always betrayed by the rich. Then they keep talking about bakers instead of banksters.

        • Enigma0

          Often it seems libertarianism gets conflated with anarchism.

          Yet libertarianism posits limited small governments which may act to bridle irresponsible men.

          Christianity simply has an immutable Document to which to appeal for precedents. In any secular country which houses folk of various faiths, agnostics, and atheists, Christians just have a prior ‘voter’s guide’.

          Christians will always be a minority, and won’t be sending armed men from abode to abode to drag sinners off to durance vile. That lacks humility, and now is the province of the secular socialist and fascist.

          Faith power, such as it is, owes any pussiance to the strength of the good example. Because the principles of the Good Book are persuasive, some of them get enacted as law. “You shall not murder.”, “You shall not steal.”, “You shall not perjure.” are things with which even most atheists and other pagans may agree.

          • Kara

            Lol I’m just too much wrong to even comment on. Just no. Factually, logically… just wow. On almost everything. Read up on anarcho capitalism ( a branch if libertarianism) you clearly don’t understand the fundamentals of christianity. Whoever you know that thinks like that is not actually obedient ( or even aware) of what the bible says like at all.I’m not trying to be mean or mock. Its just really really wrong.

          • Enigma0

            During a dialogue, interlocutors comment on each other’s points, not necessarily in opposition but perhaps for elucidation and extension.

            A central problem with anarchism is its anarchy; unlike with the Text-based religions and Libertarianism, there isn’t any core document or platform. So one person may announce one set of ideas as ‘anarcho-xxxxxx’ and another disagree vehemently; there’s no generally-agreed standard by which others may adjudge.

            In any case, in reality anarchy is always a brief precursor to some form of totalitarianism, either feudalism or some like form of gangster autocracy. I’m not real clear why any anarchist would be interested in either libertarianism or Libertarianism anyway, since both core Libertarian Party folk and the nebulous libertarian ambit acknowledge some limited role for government.

            Such roles may be a national defense structure (ie. border forts, armories, naval ships and facilities, and a core trained officer corps), public-access post roads and ports, and courts of last resort, as with the original American Republic. Libertarians (both party and small-l folk) of course disagree over ultimate details and goals, but a usual beginning point is to accept and implement the Constitution as it’s now ratified, and once that has actually happened, then set about enacting various changes to it and to ordinary law which retract government in general.

    • Layla Godey

      Libertarianism isn’t the worship of anything. It Does support the freedom for You to worship, though.

    • Joey Walsh

      I think you’re assuming everyone agrees with Ayn Rand. I’m under the impression that the two our concerned with two different types of freedoms (freedom from others vs. freedom from self). I think the two freedoms can exist simultaneously and also exist alone. Although they aren’t contradictory, I do think the way in which you pursue one could jeopardize the other. Maybe I’m wrong. Thoughts?

      • Libertarians all believe in the invisible hand of self interest Joey. That means they worship self. And the invisible hand failed with the housing bubble Joey, because the deregulation sought by the British libertarians was imported to the USA. Thatcherism was imported to the USA. Glass-Steagall was repealed, and so were rules governing swaps. Now we are royally screwed, literally.

        • Catroast DuJour

          The housing bubble was decades in the making and was made mostly in part by your vile, disgusting Democrat pals. The groundwork was laid in the 70’s under Carter and was shored up in the 90’s by the Clintons. Libertarians do not worship self, but the ideal to be able to choose what to worship. Your assertions are laughable and entirely wrong.

          • Nope the groundwork was laid by Reagan passing the Thatcherism central piece of housing bubbles, Liar loans. Thatcherism was backed by Libertarians in England where there was no Glass-Steagall and no reins on commodity trading. So, Thatcherism also floated the concept of the self certified loan, and because liar loans were in the law, by Reagan, they were given to everyone. I wish Reagan had lived to see the damage he did by setting the table for the housing bubble.

      • Kara

        Ayn rand was an athiest so there is a lot I dissagree with her. actually the whole “puting your faith in man” is a biblical image. All throught the bible we are told God is our king. We believe men are sinful (fallen flawed people) and therefore we hope in God, trust in God. People will fail us(as we will often fail others), so we have to be willing to forgive and love people but put our faith in God alone. I do like that you brought up people’s perspective of government. People have to realise that trusting government is to trust in men. We are believing people will do right and not abuse power. Its hard to think that when we believe mankind is sinful lol its also hard, because we believe in trusting the church and relying on God to provide our communities and our needs. We have a government within the church. God is our king and we are his people who have an obligation to love and help others in and out of our communities. When we say govenment needs to provide safety or care for people we are both trusting those people and neglecting our personal convictions to care for others. Its my obligation to care for the poor, not everyone else’s. Its the churches obligation to actively love people willingly, not forcing the world to. Because of what god have done for us, out of that we are free to love people. Any reason, like to feel righteous, for penence, to appease others ect, renders our works useless because they are not out of love, but pride. Our motivations for doing things are just as important as the things we do to christians.

    • Kara

      the greatest commandment is to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. While atheist libertarians believe in certain rights because it is beneficial for them to treat people the way they want to be treated in order to live in a stronger community (don’t kill me i won’t kill you, don’t steal from me i won’t steal from you) christian libertarians agree that we should treat people the way we want to be treated because of how christ treated us. Now that will most likely lead to each individual christian holding themselves to a moral standard their atheist friend would disagree with but it is not out of worship of self. You can worship god by respecting people the same way an atheist can respect people because it is beneficial for himself/herself. It results in similar actions with very different motives. Just like atheists can be very generous, but not out of moral obligation.

    • Kara

      personally i dont see how one can be a christian and believe in government. Government is just a regulatory system created by men. Government is putting your trust in men. its a facade of safety. As christians we have a king and have no need for any other. I don’t need anyone to look out for me other than God and He is better than any man or group of men.

  • Nubby Mcquilicutty

    No reason why not IF they can separate their religious doctrine from Govt power. The Christian so called “Right” is a major part of what has drug down and destroyed the Republicans. You have to love the Pro-Jesus and yet Pro-War anti-Poor platform. Kids dont buy it. Libertarians is morally and polticially consistent.

  • august23rd

    Looks like it’s time to become an independent again. I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal (best of both worlds in my opinion), if these same ‘christians’ who became the religious right come to this party, it’s over and a betrayal of every virtue we hold dear.

    • displacedjim

      Then you significantly misunderstand the “Religious Right” and what we stand for and want from government.

  • harperman

    I have met many Christians who were Libertarians but find them to be the exception rather than the rule. For the most part Christians tend to be what I call “Constitutional Elitists”, people who believe that their constitutional rights are sacred but those of others are subject to their approval. Too many of them wish to force their personal religious morality into law. The Christian opposition to gay marriage is a perfect example of this kind of behavior.

    • Enigma0

      No such thing as ‘gay marriage’. Marriage for all of human history has been between male and female, mostly for the ultimate goal of procreation. Species survival, disguised as genetic survival for the participants.

      Recent notions that marriage is some sort of licensed recreational chamber, or companion arrangement, or collectivist club, are ahistorical. Some moderns imagine that they can reinvent humanity, but that’s just more Soviet thinking. Ultimately a dead end, and likely murderous in the meantime.

      As for religion, it’s not just Christians who accept the Genesis account re Adam and Eve and that first marriage. Observant Jews and Muslims do also. Muslims step even a bit further, and accept some of Jesus’ teachings as well. Such as what he had to say about marriage.

      Apparently insular Western hedonists, deviants and pedophiles haven’t thought about the implications of imposing their practices on several billion other folk who disagree vehemently. For now al’Queda has new ammo…

    • Trent

      In fact, pro-gay marriage is not a libertarian position. True libertarians and every Christian I know (including myself) do not want government power over personal relationships in the first place. Forcing people to approve and support gay marriage regardless of their personal religious beliefs is a big government position. Simply separate the personal relationship from the legal contract. People who would never force a priest to perform a gay marriage think it’s fine to force a member of his flock to cater it. True small government libertarians have no such conundrum.

  • Enigma0

    John Adams and the other Founders were all fully conversant in the Bible. Madison, while writing about human rights, cited the Decalogue’s prohibition of stealing and covetousness, saying that therefrom we can deduce that God defines property as a right.

    The atheists and Randeans who sneer at the People of the Book have long limited the scope of libertarianism. The LP ideological ‘purists’ who wrangle continually over nice but essentially irrelevant points are very off-putting to ordinary folks. The greed-heads whose mantra is ‘contract’, and who ignore the many Americans who are unable to parse legalese and technical details also thereby exclude potential voters.

    The Law of Moses was part of a contract. The Israelite tribes got the chance to occupy Canaan’s land so long as they performed according to their promise, and when they didn’t, it got taken away.