Christianity

Are Free Minds and Free Markets Compatible With Christianity?

A baker's dozen Christian libertarians weigh in

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Jeffrey Tucker, Isaac Morehouse, Eric July, Emily Ekins
Gage Skidmore / Isaac Morehouse / Backwordz via Facebook / Cato

Is libertarian political philosophy intractably at odds with the Christian faith, as some folks seem to think? Over the last year, I've spoken with countless practicing Christians who also fall into what might be called the small-l libertarian camp. A few prefer "classical liberal" while others identify as full-on anarcho-capitalists. Many work in the so-called liberty movement, but there were also business owners and writers, musicians and scientists, scholars and priests. Virtually all see markets, largely or entirely unfettered by the state, as the best mechanism we have for empowering humans to grow and thrive. I asked them to explain, in their own words, how they manage to reconcile two worldviews that many would have us believe are hopelessly in conflict. Below is a sampling of what I heard.

"In my mind, capitalism is what happens when you have the absence of initiated force, and that's perfectly compatible—beautifully compatible—with Christianity. Capitalism simply means the freedom of individuals to make contracts and to engage others in a peaceful and voluntary way. That's precisely what Christ taught." —Lawrence W. Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education and author of Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus A Socialist?

"If someone says to you 'be my friend' and points a gun to you, that is not a good start of a relationship. God offers us his friendship. We have a choice to respond or not. But if it's to make any sense, it has to be free. You have to be able to say yes and you have to be able to say no. And here is the really interesting thing: God will respect your decision even when he knows it's not a good idea.
"So here's the point: If God, who from our perspective is the creator of the universe—he has literally made us, and in that sense, if anybody owns anything, God owns the universe—and indeed, from our theology, having died on the cross for us, he owns us again. So God, who owns us twice over, and who in a 'my house, my rules' way has the right, if anyone has the right, to tell us what we may and may not do and indeed to force us not to do it—if he's not willing to do that, how can anyone have the right to do it?"
Gerard Casey, philosophy professor emeritus at University College Dublin and associated scholar at the Mises Institute

"Who nailed Jesus to the cross? The state! … The devil went up on a mountaintop with Jesus and he said, 'All this is mine.' He was talking about all the kingdoms. I would argue that earthly government is the last thing I should be supporting as a Christian." —Eric July, frontman of the libertarian rock/rap group BackWordz, asked how he reconciles his faith with anarcho-capitalism

"The modern welfare state in the United States has demonstrated one thing very clearly: that it doesn't transition people permanently out of poverty. And that needs to be the goal. I think Christians and non-Christians alike can agree: We should help people who are marginalized. But the question is, OK, how do you do that? If you look at the church and nonprofit organizations, combined with a really thriving economy, you have the best antidote to long-term poverty that we've ever known." —Anne Rathbone Bradley, vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

"Historically speaking, virtually all the great advocates of liberty were Christian: Aquinas, Montesquieu, Locke, Tocqueville. It really was only in the modern world, with the Enlightenment, when you developed a naturalist group that broke off from the natural law tradition and were advocating liberty based on utilitarian arguments." —David Theroux, founder and president of the Independent Institute in California and publisher of the new book Pope Francis and the Caring Society

"The arrogant assumption [on the Christian left] is that if you're not advocating for government to be the normative way in which the poor are helped, then you're not a Catholic. And that idea is not Catholic. The first people to act on behalf of the vulnerable should be individuals, acting as neighbors, acting in communities. … To think that the government has to be the primary actor, much less the sole actor, is totalitarianism. How's that for something that's antithetical to the Christian faith?" —Fr. Robert Sirico, a Catholic priest and president of Acton Institute

"The more I read, the more I realized that there's nowhere in here where Christ attempts to use the tools of violence to accomplish his objectives. In fact, it was so extreme in the opposite direction that even self-defense wasn't used by Christ and the early Christians. They chose martyrdom. It started to solidify for me that genuine Christianity is absolutely the opposite of all things political. You can't enforce the ideas and morals of the kingdom of God with the kingdom of men, which is violence." —Isaac Morehouse, founder and CEO of the startup apprenticeship program Praxis

"I see it like this: Conducting your life in accord with your own conscience is bound to offend someone who feels entitled to your time, money, or obedience. The question is whether or not we're willing to empower a third party to interfere with people who would prefer to walk away from something they find objectionable. I'd prefer not to empower that interference—in the lives of religious people or anyone else." —Caleb O. Brown, host of the Cato Daily Podcast and a Quaker convert

"Christianity has a lot to say about how we treat those who are in need, those who are less fortunate. … I've spent a lot of time in India and in Mexico and parts of Central America, and poor people have it a lot better off in capitalist countries. Not just in terms of their material standard of living, but in terms of their political prospects, in terms of their social standing, and in terms of their ability to take control of their lives in fundamental and important ways." —Kevin D. Williamson, National Review roving correspondent and a Catholic convert

"The [Christian left] seems to say, anybody that doesn't have something, you should give it to them. I don't think that's what the Bible told us. The Bible says to develop our talents to the maximum capacity, and to be compassionate to our fellow man. … We have 1,600 people working for me. Those individuals are developing themselves, they're developing the company and the schools we manage, and by doing that they're making this huge contribution to the world and to everybody they touch. … The greatest charity is the free market and business. Because that's where we have an opportunity to develop ourselves." —Bob Luddy, president of CaptiveAire Systems and founder of a series of innovative private and charter schools in North Carolina

"In the Mormon Church, a core concept is that God offers each individual 'free agency.' The idea is that we learn how to become better people when we ourselves make choices and face the consequences of those choices, not when others make them for us.? This is consistent with libertarianism??.?" —Emily Ekins, research fellow and director of polling at the Cato Institute

"Catholics can never be made loyal to the collective, nationalist state. Catholicism has two flags: the papal flag, and the black flag of anarchy!" —Jeffrey A. Tucker, director of content at the Foundation for Economic Education and creator of liberty.me

"A libertarian is a person who opposes aggression. What's un-Christian about that? The Golden Rule states, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The non-aggression principle states, Don't do to other people what you don't want done to you. Call it the negative corollary." —Norman Horn, founder of the Libertarian Christian Institute, co-host of The Libertarian Christian Podcast, and a working chemical engineer

NEXT: Finally, a court defends the national injunction

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  1. By “free minds” you mean an extremist position of laissez-faire absolutism, right?

      1. A real zomg would be changing the word ‘Christianity’ to the word ‘Islam’. But then, that wouldn’t help with the beltway cocktail party invites, now would it?

        Reason once again returns to it’s reliable old punching bag, Christianity. How brave.

        1. Right? Senator Bin Laden might really fuck things up for you…. oh wait there’s no Senator Bin Laden, only Senator Roy Moore.

          1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link,
            go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,, http://Onlinereviewtech.com

          2. Tony, Roy Moore isn’t going to send a suicide bomber to your house for criticizing Islam. Although, at this point, neither is Bin Laden. But his pals will.

            But Moore is just a huge villain for having the temerity to display the Ten Commandments, isn’t he?

            1. Why would you suicide bomb something when you have the power of a senator? The whole point of being a terrorist is that you don’t have any other means to get your point across.

              “At least Senator (R) isn’t Bin Laden!”

              More high expectations from the libertarian utopians.

              1. Maybe the reason you don’t have the means to get your point across is that your point is invalid and rejected by everyone else.

        2. I don’t see Reason disparaging Christianity. What I do see, are many religious people disparaging libertarians, usually for their lack of understanding of libertarian beliefs, or their false belief that none of them believe in God.

          And then occasionally I see someone claiming libertarians disparage Christianity like you Elias. Frankly I find Christianity very libertarian. Neither Christians or libertarians believe in initiating force against others. Unlike Islam, which literally means “submit” to the Islamic rulers for they are the ones who decide what that submission to God is, and who believe in using force against those who don’t.

          If you go to the National Catholic Reporter link, the author writes of the Pope that “his understanding of philosophy is not shallow at all, but that his disgust at ideology is pronounced.” Very strange for the head proponent of Catholic ideology, and an indication of how mixed up the author is about libertarians being at odds with Catholicism.

        3. “changing the word ‘Christianity’ to the word ‘Islam’. But then, that wouldn’t help with the beltway cocktail party invites”

          Almost impressively irrelevant to the issue at hand.

    1. (psst, that’s the “free markets” half of the slogan)

    2. Tony|10.14.17 @ 2:56PM|#
      “By “free minds” you mean an extremist position of laissez-faire absolutism, right?”

      Tony, one of these days you’ll surprise us all and post something which doesn’t prove you’re a fucking lefty ignoramus.
      Maybe.

      1. By lefty ignoramus you mean someone who doesn’t buy into laissez-faire extremism, right?

        Because your extremism is surely the correct one.

        1. “Golden Mean Fallacy”, how does it work?

          1. I’m not making that argument am I?

            1. Lol, yes, you are, so ypur post is fantastically ignorant.

        2. Our morality is the correct one. If prohibiting 100% the initiatory use of force is extreme so be it.

          1. Unless someone steps on your lawn, then you can initiate force against them, for some reason. Oh, no it’s the stepping on the lawn that initiates force, huh? These things are so confusing. Almost as if they make no goddamn sense.

            1. Defending your property rights is retaliatory not initiatory. Yes trespassing is a form of initiatory force. It’s not confusing you just don’t agree with it. You believe people should be allowed to initiate force if they work for the government. In other words you don’t believe in liberty. Simple.

            2. It isn’t about “force”, Anthony. It’s about “violation”. And trespass is just a synonym for violation. And no, you don’t get to initiate force on the level of lethality or serious injury for merely stepping on someone’s lawn, because the level of retaliation must be proportionate to the aggression; killing or injuring comes a lot further along in the chain of escalation.

        3. Definition: laissez-faire – abstention by governments from interfering in the workings of the free market.

          absolutism – the acceptance of or belief in absolute principles in political, philosophical, ethical, or theological matters.

          America was founded on the principle of individual liberty and that government is, at best, a necessary evil and must be restrained for the good of the American People.

          The antithesis of “laissez-faire absolutism” would be ‘action by government to interfere in the workings of the free market based upon politicians/cronies belief in absolute principles that benefit themselves and their special-interests in the marketplace and their protected identity-groups who provide the votes to keep them in power.

          Which is what we have now.

          An era of laissez-faire absolutism where the government operates strictly within the bounds of the Constitution, erring always on the side of free markets and individual freedom (not that of factions/identity-groups) is desperately needed to save the nation from descending into anarcho-totalitarianism.

          1. The government only needs to do one thing to fix what’s wrong, not initiate force. It wouldn’t even cost anything.

            1. I’m ok with them using a little bit to get my shit back when the cops investigate property crime, or put a serial killer away. Of course in my town they constantly whine that they don’t have the resources to investigate property crime, and we don’t currently have any serial killers at large. So they mostly run around writing tickets.

              1. In those cases the force is retaliatory.

    3. My God you’re a simpleton.

    4. You’re free to believe in murder, theft, rape, and all the other forms of socialism in Libertopia, Anthony.

    5. Translation: by “extremist,” Tony means logically consistent and based on intelligible definitions. See Tara Smith

    6. Well, everything other than that violates the NAP. You do understand that you are arguing FOR violence right?

      1. It’s certainly possible that the extremist position is the correct one. The question is whether you are more motivated than other extremists. How many buildings have you bombed? For example.

        1. So you think that not initiating force against other humans is an extreme position? You don’t believe humans as sapient beings have a natural right to liberty? You advocate for immorality.

    7. Re:Tony,

      By “free minds” you mean an extremist position of laissez-faire absolutism, right?

      Do you mean you’re not an extremist for personal freedom? You don’t believe in absolute respect for other people’s rights?

      You should at least warn your neighbors… They have a right to know who you are.

      1. So you don’t have a comprehensive extremist agenda to radically transform all of society–you just believe in a couple harmless platitudes. Well what have we been arguing about all this time?

        1. Is being radically moral a bad thing?

        2. Jesus Christ, Tony, why are you here corpsefucking this thread.

          1. Maybe Tony doesn’t get much from the fellas. And the boys down at the playground are playing hard to get.

    8. Your post lacks a point.

    9. Yeah, because thinking that the government should not tell a construction business what height ladder to use is extreme.

  2. Jesus said to give to Caesar what is Caesars, and to God what is God’s.

    That means you better love taxes and do as your told, moron.

    1. Romans 13 is why Christianity is incompatible with libertarianism.

      “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

      1. How could a Christian be a libertarian without actively rebelling against and dispobeyjng the state?

        Also, true Christians love the Trump administration. Because Romans!

        1. They also were required to love the Obama administration. Guess they’re going to hell now.

          1. Nah, they get the Jesus pass into heaven!

            Live it up, bitches!

            1. It’s really the best option for mass murders and serial killers. Cut off Aunt Martha’s head and wear it for a hat from Monday to Saturday, go to church on Sunday, Pearly Gates on Monday, Like a real baller.

              1. Not really. Read Revelation (or James) and it is clear that you need both faith and deeds to pass judgment.

                The death bed confession is a catholic thing.

                1. Hey, there’s always Purgatory!

                2. Sola gratia isn’t a Catholic-only thing.

              2. I think if you have no 8ntention to stop the sinning then confession doesn’t count.

        2. How could a Christian be a libertarian without actively rebelling against and dispobeyjng the state?

          Well, for example, if he lives in a libertarian state.

      2. Non-christians trying to explain Christian practice. Mr. Cooter Brown quotes Romans and doesn’t consider who wrote the letter. Paul was told to renounce Christianity and was killed by the civil government. Obviously, when Paul enjoins us to be good citizens, there are limits.

        Martin Luther King Jr. violate Paul’s call to obey civil authority? Yes. MLK Jr accepted the civil consequences of his actions and his subsequent arrest and famous letter from a Birmingham jail.

        1. What can be said from Romans 13 is that Paul approves of a minarchist watch-dog state. “he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” If you are actually receiving protection than for that the protectors deserve compensation.

          Notice the conditional nature of the end of this pericope (a set of verses that forms one coherent unit or thought, suitable for public reading from a text, now usually of scripture).

          “….Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

          pay taxes, revenue, respect and honor TO WHOM IT IS OWED. Have they given you value, that is goods and services, and mutual respect and honor? Or not.

          BTW one more reason to get into crypto-coins. It’s not a FRN or as I abbreviate it FRAUD (Federal Reserve Arbitrary Unit of Debt), and I can gladly render a few Satoshis to the miners who help provide it.

        2. If there are limits, what are those limits and where are they stated?

          Because the Bible is the infallible word-of-God. Except when it isn’t, right?

          And your MLK anecdote? That just shows that MLK sinned against God when he violated God’s requirement to obey civil authority. That he peacefully went to jail for it later doesn’t change that.

          1. The Old Testament is a collection of writings put together by Jewish rabbis and scribes. The New Testament is four condensed oral histories of Jesus and a series of letter by the earliest Church fathers trying to navigate between the Jewish authorities and the Roman authorities to make sure the memory of Jesus survived the century. Doubtless, there’s divine inspiration behind them. But a great many Christians realize we don’t have a complete written account from the hand of one who was there for the whole of Christ’s life and have to make do with the best sources we have.

            I will not, for example, try to reconcile why Paul saw fit to let Gentiles eat pork, but not for male Gentiles to lay with other male Gentiles, but will accept that a mortal did his best to hold the newborn church together and his own judgments may have affected how he did so.

            I will now wait for non-Christians (and Christians) to tell me I’m not really a Christian if I believe this.

            That said, we are given the free will to accept or reject Christ and to do good or bad deeds while accepting the consequences. This is as libertarian as you get: You makes your choices and you takes your chances. It is disturbing the degree to which all this got perverted when Constantine and the Catholic Church tried to harness each other to their respective causes.

            1. I am myself puzzled by my Baptist friends who follow Paul in his disavowal of gay marriage, but not Jesus in his ban on re-marriage…

              Overall, I am not particularly inspired by Paul’s writings.

      3. Wait a min.?didn’t God appoint the resistance too? How could it be that only the authorities were appointed by God, & not the resistance to them as well?

      4. I agree with your analysis of that passage. And I agree that Catholicism conflicts with libertarianism.

        But Paul was a dick and doesn’t really inform my relationship with Jesus Christ. He says lots of things that are not consistent with what Jesus actually said. Recall that Paul was a persecuter by nature and not one of the original 12.

      5. You made that up just now, didn’t you!

      6. What is strange is that this was written in an era when the Roman Empire and Christianity were at odds. I believe it follows from Christ’s call to render unto Caesar, but the elucidation is a bit off.

        It’s worth noting that the supposed author died on the cross in Rome rather than submitting to the Empire. Maybe he’d rethought this one?

    2. It is more of an endorsement that matters of politics and matters of faith are separate categories. Obedience to God is not necessarily obedience to secular authority.

      1. Keep in mind that the context of the “Render unto Caesar…” passage is the Pharisees trying to argue Jesus into making a statement of rebellion against the Romans as many Jews were hoping for a political Messiah to lead a revolt against Roman rule.

        1. That and they wanted an excuse to kill him.

          1. Yes, well, get the Romans to kill him, anyway.

      2. That particular passage is pretty explicitly saying that obedience to secular authority *is* obedience to God.

        1. How exactly do you arrive at the conclusion obedience to Caesar part of God’s things?

          Taxation is a worldly concern, and is a thing of this world. The passage makes them explicitly separate things.

    3. When Jesus said “give unto Caesar….” He was holding in his hand a coin stamped with the picture of a Roman official. Context matters.

  3. YES!!! Cmon in, there’s cookies!!! (just leave your belief system outside the door, thanks).

    1. What do you mean come on in? You’re inviting people to their own house?

      1. Even a squish theological liberal like Jefferson believed in a creator God who is the source of our rights.

        Does Jefferson have to leave behind his belief in inalienable rights with which we are endowed by our Creator?

        1. To be fair, science has accomplished much since Jefferson was alive. Darwin published in 1859. Big Bang was theorized in the 20th century. Jefferson died in 1826.

          In the 18th and early 19th century the reasoned view was that there must be a creator because there weren’t many better theories.

          1. Jefferson seemed to believe in some kind of Supreme Power, the nature of which he wasn’t about to be the one to define. He was simply more concerned with THIS world and how to improve life here. Everyone else’s immortal souls wasn’t his big concern.

            1. My point was that the majority view in the late 18th century was that there must be a god of some sort because there were no credible scientific theories to explain the origin of Man or the universe.

              To say that men are endowed by their creator in the 18th century is really saying these are natural rights. The creator (of some sort) being nothing more than the most accepted theory of the origin of man at that time. Notice that Jefferson wouldn’t say Christ died to give you these rights, or you are endowed by the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God.

          2. Well something has to exist outside the confines of time and space to create the universe. Calling it ‘God’ is just as good an idea as anything else. Either way, it’s unkowable as whatever created this means space by definition exists outside of it, and our only basis for perspective IS time and space.

            1. Well something has to exist outside the confines of time and space to create the universe

              Citation needed.

              1. If the universe spontaneously created itself from nothing then it becomes by definition god itself, existing without beginning and operating outside of itself. Don’t think too hard about it. It should be very easy for you.

          3. Biological evolution was theorized long before Darwin was a twinkle in his mother’s eye. And Darwin’s proposed mechanisms of both evolution and abiogenesis were totally and completely inaccurate, limited by the simplistic scientific understanding of his day. Jefferson would have been plenty well acquainted enough with the concepts in his time to have chosen a different phraseology had he so desired. He picked “god” because of its universality across time and cultures. The precise definition of who and what is “god” is not important. It’s only important that rights are unique to men by their nature and are not mere privileges granted by other men.

  4. The Christian libertarians speaking here are obviously unfamiliar with the parable of the Good Samaritan, often invoked by Christian socialists and “liberals.” That’s the parable wherein a Samaritan finds a guy who has just been mugged, stripped and beaten lying by the side of the road. The Samaritan then starts waylaying people himself, taking their shekels to clothe, feed and get medical help to the mugged guy. If that version of the parable seems unfamiliar to you, you probably aren’t familiar with the translation I’m using, in “The Gospel According to Bernie.”

    1. One could argue that Bernie is living the parable of the shrewd manager.

      Luke 16-24New Living Translation (NLT)
      Parable of the Shrewd Manager
      http://www.biblegateway.com/pa…..ersion=NLT

      1. One could argue that, but not very convincingly.

        The point is that even a selfish person can realize that forgiveness makes the world a better place for himself as well as those forgiven. The forgiveness was widespread because the manager did not know who he would need to turn to.

        There is no taxation, or redistribution in the parable. No totalitarian state or community ownership of the means of production.

        A better text for communism might be the early church in Jerusalem in the first years after Pentecost. (Acts Ch 1-5 approximately). Even there private property was respected. No one was compelled to give to the common purse. As Peter rhetorically asked about private property, “Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?” Acts 5:4

        1. I wasn’t supporting communism with that passage. Merely observing that Bernie was giving away other people’s money in an attempt to make friends.

          I think Jesus makes several comments about voluntarily giving money as opposed to having it taken from you.

    2. If that doesn’t say Christians should love Communism, I don’t know what does.

      1. In answer your questions.
        1) No, it doesn’t.
        2) Yes, you don’t know.

    3. I like your post Darth. The good Samaritan helped keep a guy from dying. He didn’t take care of the guy for the rest of his life. Nor did he give up a lot of his own stuff (he gave the inn keeper 2 denarii which is worth about $5) to take care of him. Not a lot. But how much do you think that poor guy felt the help was worth?

      If the government is doing it, I’d say that’s too much because the government harms people to get it. But I’d bet if people didn’t have to pay taxes for redistribution (i.e. welfare), most people would be happy to help.

      Seems to me good Catholics can handle being as generous as the good Samaritan to those whom they believe need help, without asking the government to harm others to do it for them. Those asking the government to do it for them, well aren’t very Catholic are they?

  5. The Bible is the story of failed organizations. Whether it is Jewish kingdoms or synagogues, the story is the same. Human organizations inevitably fall prey to corruption. Why would a Christian want to empower them?

    1. I think that with “Render unto Caesar” Jesus was pointing out the irrelevancy of Earthly institutions. One can argue that means that things like civil liberties are religiously irrelevant too — the cop who martyrs you is just speeding you to paradise, while he and his masters will have their own scores to settle with the almighty.

      That’s not statist, but it’s not exactly libertarian either. It’s more like spiritual anti-materialist.

      1. I wouldn’t say Christianity *requires* a strict libertarian assessment of every issue, but it certainly doesn’t preclude such an assessment.

        1. Exactly. Jesus didn’t come here to fix our government.

          But the Bible quite obviously doesn’t praise government.

          1. Right, though of course some Postmillennialists think Christians are called upon to make a Christian utopia in preparation for Christ’s return.

            But others focus more on the need to do good where possible without assuming they need to create a theocracy for Christ to come back.

            So it’s important to say which flavor of Christianity one is discussing.

            1. Among the evangelicals I’ve listened to, post-millennialism is pretty much unheard of; what they can’t agree on is pre-, mid-, or post-Tribulation.

            2. Another thing Post-Millenials ruined.

            3. If we made a Christian utopia on earth, Christ wouldn’t need to come back. Some folks get some serious stuff backwards.

          2. Nor does it endorse the Thirteenth Amendment.

            1. Those Christians in the Communist government of Romania sure are a sneaky bunch.

            2. Chattel slavery in the US was a different thing.

    2. “Human organizations inevitably fall prey to corruption. Why would a Christian want to empower them?”

      The founding fathers certainly understood this. It is the doctrine of total depravity. As Paul puts it:

      15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do?this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

      The standard reading book to teach reading was the “The New England Primer”, the second best selling book in Colonial America. It starts out:

      In Adam’s Fall,
      we sinned all.

      It was the Christian idea of the depravity of man that led the founding fathers to split powers of government and impose checks and balances.

      1. No it wasn’t. Total depravity of Man is a totally depraved doctrine of a minority of Christians. Most of the Founding Fathers believed that human beings were endowed with RIGHTS, and that the purpose of government was to secure theses rights, not to make sure these depraved humans stayed in line.

  6. Christianity is totally compatible with libertarianism /minarchism/anarchism. Religious faith and religious institutions are essential to a workable stateless society. Atheism presents problems, however.

    1. And what problems does The First Church of Chicken Fuckers present?

        1. I think they follow a dual supply form of ecclesiology (church doctrine). You can have your chicken and eat it too.

          Perhaps why chicken for Sunday dinner is called the sacred bird?

    2. A problem to which I’m sure your proposed solutions would be quite final.

    3. Translation: mystical bigots call freethinkers a-theists (believers in nothing whatsoever). Believers in torture and murder for superstition they define as normal, regular Volk, as in 1930s Germany.

      1. 1930s Germany was a very secular society. They worshipped the state. Hitler was an Atheist, anti-smoking, vegetarian dog-lover who supported war and mass murder, a typical Atheist.

        1. Well then WHY (as an atheist) did Hitler say…

          “Who is to say that I am not specially favored by God”?

          Hitler was a believer when it suited him, and an un-believer when it suited him… Like maybe EVERY politician who has ever lived?

          1. Because those that said he wasn’t were then thrown in jail. For example Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

            Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor, theologian, spy, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews.[2] He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years. Later he was transferred to a Nazi concentration camp. After being accused of being associated with the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, he was quickly tried, along with other accused plotters, including former members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office), and then executed by hanging on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing.

            Brave man and amazing thinker. He challenges Christians to abandon complancency to their own mediocrity and to injustice around them.

            ? Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

            “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

            1. They’re both weird. But it’s not hard to see how the Germans’ idea of cheap vs. expensive grace could get translated to Jews don’t believe in Jesus’s sacrifice and get money without working hard so they must be the source of our problem.

            2. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor, theologian, spy, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church.

              Yes, and he wasn’t a Catholic, he stood up to the regime, and he paid the price. In contrast, the Catholic church chose to collaborate with the regime in return for financial and political benefits despite having the same understanding of the moral evil that Nazism represented as Bonhoeffer. That is what makes the actions of the Catholic church so morally reprehensible and why the Catholic church bears part of the blame for the crimes and deaths of the Nazi regime.

              1. the Catholic church bears part of the blame for the crimes and deaths of the Nazi regime.

                Including the wholesale slaughter of Catholic clergy at the death camps?

                Ooops, you were being a historically illiterate fuckstain again.

        2. Well, I do like a genocide on the weekends, but other than that…

        3. 1930s Germany was a very secular society.

          No, it wasn’t.

          Hitler was an Atheist, anti-smoking, vegetarian dog-lover who supported war and mass murder, a typical Atheist.

          And Kaas and Pacelli made a deal with the devil for the financial and political benefit of the Catholic church and basically said “fuck the Jews”. Typical Catholics. In addition, the Catholic church also supported war and mass murder throughout its history.

          The Catholic church in Germany was simply one of many organizations that failed to do the morally right thing. However, in the case of the Catholic church, this is particularly damning, since it means that as a moral authority, they are no better than the German dog breeders where Hitler got his dogs.

          1. No, it wasn’t.

            The country whose intelligentsia explicated nihilism as a philosophy 50 years earlier, culminating in the ascendancy of a genocidal maniac under their banner and the persecution and genocide of Christians and Jews. Nope, clearly Germany was not secular in the 1930s.

      2. Hank Phillips|10.14.17 @ 7:28PM|#
        “Translation: mystical bigots call freethinkers a-theists (believers in nothing whatsoever)”

        Translation: HP can’t read.
        Fuck off, idiot.

  7. If the supreme God had wanted us to be socialists, true believers would have no choice but to be socialists.

    But I doubt very much that God wants us to be socialists. If He wanted us to be socialists, why did he give us brains? Not to mention commandments about the dignity of the individual person, prohibitions on theft, etc.

    1. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

  8. Why limit the question to Xian superstition?

    1. Excellent point – that small minority of atheists who are libertarian should explain to the statist-oriented atheist majority how they should believe in individual rights – I don’t envy your operating without the aid of the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, which by definition atheists don’t believe in.

      1. I think there’s more than enough empirical, historical evidence of the feckless stupidity, shameless avarice, and peerless hubris of the State to fill that void in the atheist libertarian’s argument.

      2. “I don’t envy your operating without the aid of the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, which by definition atheists don’t believe in.”

        This is nonsense. Nothing in the sentence you reference is incompatible with full-blown atheism. “by their creator” makes no claim about the identity or nature of who that is, and it’s not relevant to the point, which is that human rights attach to individuals by the simple fact of their humanity.

        Would you likewise claim that polytheists can’t “believe in” that claim, because creator was singular instead of plural? Utterly irrelevant to the point Jefferson was making, and we have in his own words elsewhere that he didn’t care how many gods people believe in, be it zero or twenty.

        1. OK, we have your definition of “Creator,” what is your definition of the phrase “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” from the same document?

          And the document ends up “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.” Who or what is this Supreme Judge?

          1. Not even a partially-blown atheist would utter phrases like that.

            1. I didn’t say the Declaration was an atheist document than an atheist would have written in the exact same language. It’s obviously not.

              But there’s nothing about the logic of its argument that atheists can’t accept, because none of it hangs on the case for the existence of a deity. It’s not like if you don’t believe in Jefferson’s particular version of quasi-deist/quasi-Christian monotheism, you therefore can’t accept his argument for natural rights.

              And if anything, “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” is worded so as to be inclusive of both the common theistic and the common non-theistic arguments at the time for the basis of natural rights. Both were already in circulation at the time, not necessarily by atheists per se, but by those who explicitly excluded religious arguments from their case.

              1. “And if anything, “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” is worded so as to be inclusive” etc.

                It would have been inclusive if it had said “the Laws of Nature and/or of Nature’s God.”

                1. It would have been inclusive if it had said “the Laws of Nature and/or of Nature’s God.”

                  Moronic.

                  1. What an excellent rebuttal – it lays out the opposing position and refutes it point by point. Just like a passage of Aquinas’ Summa.

            2. Is Lily slipping in some subtle criticism of Elizabeth’s article against God’s Own Troopers showing those Magdalenes and Jezebels a little Tough Love??

              1. Hmm…I suppose it’s possible, since I don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about, so maybe what you said is similar to what I said. But I doubt it.

                1. Hank thinks he’s somehow clever whilst babbling incomprehensible like this. It’s his thing.

          2. “OK, we have your definition of “Creator,” what is your definition of the phrase “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” from the same document?
            And the document ends up “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.” Who or what is this Supreme Judge?”

            Well, you have a problem. Since there is zero evidence for any being of that sort, I guess we have to trash the whole thing, right?
            Further, who said the DoI is the source of libertarian thought?

            1. By all means scrap the Declaration and come up with an alternate rationale.

              It would be too bad, though – the American founders gave us such an excellent rationale for liberty – but if the fight against fundamentalism requires that we ditch that rationale and find a new one, so be it, I guess…

              1. What a ridiculous strawman. The only one claiming that atheists have to reject the DoI is you.

                If your takeaway from reading the Declaration is that only people who believe in the quasi-Christian/quasi-deist version of 1770s monotheism can lay claim to belief in the universality of natural human rights, then you’re wildly missing the point of what Jefferson was saying. In a way that Jefferson himself would have been rather peeved by, given his other beliefs and commitments.

                1. We know that his behavior didn’t always match his words, so I can’t speak for how he’d react to people taking his own words literally.

              2. Lily Bulero|10.14.17 @ 7:21PM|#
                “By all means scrap the Declaration and come up with an alternate rationale.”
                Not my problem; you claim it is, you ‘fix’ it.

                “It would be too bad, though – the American founders gave us such an excellent rationale for liberty – but if the fight against fundamentalism requires that we ditch that rationale and find a new one, so be it, I guess…”
                Yes, if we followed your asinine logic, it would be a shame.

        2. You are confusing atheism with agnosticism.

  9. Christians would have an easier time under a libertarian government than a libertarian would have under a Christian government.

    1. Rumania’s Christian government under Nicolae Ceau?escu was not so different from Christian National Socialist Germany or the Islamic States patterned after the Book of Moslem. Historically, there is no iota of evidence for the existence of a Jesus-Prophet. No such creature appears in Pilate’s court records, nor is there any mention of such a myth until 150 years after the era in question. Ayn Rand was an extra in Cecil B de Mille’s 1927 “The King of Kings”, and she was evidently able to piece together how the movie strengthened Hitler and Henry Ford’s case against Jewish individualism through the preaching of militarized Altruism replacing the rights of individuals. Sound farfetched? Ask a Christian “what is a right?”

      1. “Rumania’s Christian government under Nicolae Ceau?escu”

        Let’s put it this way: That is a perspective I haven’t encountered before.

        1. Check your premises against the original authors.

          1. Help me out here, which authors make the Rumanian Communists into Christians?

            1. For starters, William Dean Howells and Edward Bellamy. They translated Marxist Red Republicanism into Bryanistic Christian Communism. “Equality,” Bellamy’s sequel to “Looking Backward,” is the epistemological and ethical template for Mein Kampf (hence its obscurity since the Eisenhower Administration). Check out photos of priests licking the blacking off Hitler’s boots at nobeliefs.com
              Then ask Stephanie if Communist Rumania’s coathanger abortion laws were not a faithful translation of the Infallible Holy Father’s teachings.

              1. So, “Rumania’s Christian government under Nicolae Ceau?escu” was inspired by William Dean Howells and Edward Bellamy?

                1. If the shoe fits, wear it. I myself was surprised to learn that communism is another altruist religion, but once you replace decapitated, burnt saints bristling with arrows with bureaucrats on the outs and the the more modern methods of torture, it fits. When Petr Beckmann was on Reason’s editorial board he summed it up thus: A Christian believes in posthumous life, a communist in posthumous exoneration! Observe that both value something that lies on the other side of death.
                  And yes Marx, Bellamy and Howells’ dupes were surprised by death camps and gulags. But surprise is a natural consequence of blind, ignorant superstition even today.

                  1. What an imaginative way to look at the world.

      2. This is even more stupid than the Shakespeare didn’t exist crowd: “Historically, there is no iota of evidence for the existence of a Jesus-Prophet.”

        Google “Historical Jesus” and educate yourself. There is far more evidence for Jesus than Julius Caesar, Socrates, Shakespeare, and on and on. But it isn’t “cool” to deny the existence of these historical figures.

        And then we go all Godwin: The Christian National Socialist Germany??? The Nazi’s were no more Christian than they were Hindu (the swastika is a Hindu symbol if you didn’t know). Read the Bible and you will find nothing about exterminating other races. Quite the contrary.

        Who cares how Ayn Rand interpreted an old movie? Bizarrely irrelevant.

        1. MarioLanza|10.14.17 @ 9:37PM|#
          “Google “Historical Jesus” and educate yourself. There is far more evidence for Jesus than Julius Caesar, ”

          You’re full of shit.
          There is not one bit of evidence for a junior. Not one.

          1. no u

          2. “Virtually all scholars who write on the subject agree that Jesus existed.” (Leftist Wikipedia.) The biblical texts are themselves wonderful evidence that non-Christians have thoroughly studied using standard historical techniques. But there are significant non-Christian sources as well.

            “Roman historian Tacitus referred to Christus and his execution by Pontius Pilate in his Annals (written c. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44.[47] Robert E. Van Voorst states that the very negative tone of Tacitus’ comments on Christians make the passage extremely unlikely to have been forged by a Christian scribe[48] and Boyd and Eddy state that the Tacitus reference is now widely accepted as an independent confirmation of Christ’s crucifixion,[49] although some scholars question the historical value of the passage on various grounds.[50]”

          3. There is more evidence that robot chickens invented the universe than there is that you have 3 brain cells knocking around in your skull.

        2. Swastika is an Aryan symbol. Aryans invaded India around 1000 BC. That’s why Hitler co opted it.

      3. You find a couple of naive Christians who advocate socialism as the most Christian form of governing. You could add the Pilgrim’s who had a perfectly socialist government the first couple of years as well as the community of Acts. You then jump to the conclusion that Ceau?escu.

        Ceau?escu was anti-abortion. The Catholic Church is anti-abortion. Therefore the Ceau?escu regime was Christian. It never occurred to you that Ceau?escu could be anti-abortion for other reasons than concerns for sanctity of life and proper role of sexual relations such as the birth rate plummeting during his miserable reign?

        Solid logic, bro.

      4. This is beyond retarded. Ceausescu was a lifelong atheist (he sang the international Socialist song at his execution, instead of praying) and he demolished a lot of churches – including many historical ones. His regime persecuted Christians and fucked with them in the most petty ways – making people go to work on major holidays (Easter, etc). Part was due to their fear of crowds (which turned out to be somewhat justified, in hindsight), part was due to the ideology’s blind hatred of Christianity and everything it stood for.

  10. Let’s start here. The Bible was written by human beings, human beings make mistakes.
    Virgin birth? I’m not buying it. Life after death? No credible evidence. Human soul? That’s something the church invented to control “sinners”. “Obey me! Or your soul will burn in hell!”

    Jefferson redacted the Bible. Basically removing the hocus pocus in the scripture of the day.
    See: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible

    1. Jefferson also believed that our rights are God-given.

      Maybe his Christianity was too watered-down to count as Christianity, but his theism was clear.

      Sometime an atheist should write an article entitled “are free minds and free markets compatible with atheism?”

      The article could explain how, even though Jefferson was wrong and a misguided fundamentalist, since there is no God to give us rights, we have such rights anyway.

      1. “It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” – Thomas Jefferson

        1. Don’t forget Jeffersn’s reflections on slavery:

          “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.”

          1. How do we solve this riddle?

            Simple – by the standards of his own day Jefferson was a theological liberal, a skeptic, etc. By the standards of *our* day he’s a fundamentalist fanatic. It’s the same person, but viewed from different angles.

        2. Aside from the bastardization of Jefferson’s sentiments, “atheism” doesn’t claim to a code of conduct or set of ethics or morals or have implications for political philosophy, like “Christianity” or any other specific religion does.

          Secularism, or humanism, you could ask that question of, but neither is the same thing as atheism. Atheism denotes nothing more than lack of belief in the existence of deities. You might as well ask if libertarianism is compatible with hats, or oranges. The question doesn’t make any sense.

          1. Jefferson was a deist heavily influenced by Christianity. That’s not in dispute.

            The idea that Jefferson thought atheists couldn’t believe in natural individual rights, has zero basis in anything he ever said or did.

            1. ” can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?”

              1. And literally just a few sentences later:

                “The almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.”

                1. Yes, I gave the full quote, but I don’t see how it helps you.

                  1. See where I give the full passage:

                    https://reason.com/blog/2017/10…..nt_6998818

                2. Point being it’s easy to cherry-pick quotes out of context.

                  Was Jefferson an atheist? No.

                  Did Jefferson condemn atheism as being incompatible with his notion of individual rights? No. There are other Founders who actually *did* make that argument– including in Washington’s Farewell– but Jefferson refrained from it, including when Thomas Paine’s atheism was being condemned and hotly debated.

                  1. Paine was a Deist, not an atheist.

                    1. Paine was widely accused of atheism and was much closer to it than other contemporary deists. Whether or not he actually was by modern definitions is beside the point, the allegation was debated and discussed in those terms.

                    2. The 20 gods or no God passage in context

                      “The error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. If it be said, his testimony in a court of justice cannot be relied on, reject it then, and be the stigma on him. Constraint may make him worse by making him a hypocrite, but it will never make him a truer man. It may fix him obstinately in his errors, but will not cure them. Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only.”

                  2. Jefferson was not even discussing atheism in that passage. He was taking belief in God as assumed, and talking about people’s belief as to what that God commanded or desired.

                    1. Sure, his criticism would apply to theistic persons who didn’t believe God avenged wrongs.

                    2. All of this evades the simple question: what is a right?
                      Did ANYONE here take ethics in college? Read a Tara Smith book? None of the discussion so far has gotten any farther than HL Mencken’s “Treatise on Right and Wrong”… a combination of spin-the-bottle and tu quoque.

                    3. (the slavery passage, that is.)

                      As for the zero/20 quote: again, that Jefferson himself believed in a god isn’t the question.

                      Atheists can, and many do, accept the notion of inherent rights that attach by consequence of human nature. The idea that this belief *can’t* be separated from a belief in the Christian God of the Bible is false.

                    4. This notion that atheists can’t embrace the position of inherent natural rights as outlined by Jefferson and others, is disproven simply by the many atheists who have and do. I know plenty of atheists who happily make reference to the Declaration and the passages you want to insist they “can’t” believe in.

                    5. “I know plenty of atheists who happily make reference to the Declaration and the passages you want to insist they “can’t” believe in.”

                      Well, if they want to be selective. They can’t invoke “Nature’s God” in any non-retarded interpretation and still be atheists.

                    6. Let me check what I said to see if it matches your summary:

                      “Sometime an atheist should write an article entitled “are free minds and free markets compatible with atheism?”

                      “The article could explain how, even though Jefferson was wrong and a misguided fundamentalist, since there is no God to give us rights, we have such rights anyway.”

                      Just to be clear, I’m sure such an article could be written, because many atheists believe in fundamental rights. But by definition they don’t believe in “Nature’s God” or any kind of God. So they’ll have to avoid using the Declaration to prove their point, which is too bad, since the Declaration would be a very powerful argument.

                      But I’m sure there are other arguments.

          2. The discourse vanishes if honest terminology replaces obscurantism and vagueness: “Rational thought, unlike superstition, denotes nothing more than reliance upon evidence.” That is the basis of objective law as opposed to Sharia Law. Again, refute Tara Smith and you’ll have made the world safe for witch-burning in the name of “Tea-Party libertarianism in Christ”.

            1. Fine, don’t burn witches, just dunk them in water and see if they float.

              1. Just use a de-witchifier ray on them just to be safe.

      2. “We?” What countries are you including? And what is a right?

      3. Rights are a utilitarian construct designed by man in response to empirical observation of the consistently negative outcomes of aggression and the managerial failings of the State.

  11. Look into Stephanie’s eyes and ask her how it came to pass that Christian Germany (98% Catholic/Protestant) repeatedly and overwhelmingly voted in Hitler’s National Socialist party. If in fact there are a hundred or so papists with weakened reality control able to vote libertarian, the LP should welcome their support for our platform and candidates. But to infiltrate the party, rewrite the platform to extirpate the 13th and 14th Amendments, and turn the LP into a band of “right-wing” bigots? Stephanie is a perfect candidate Fifth Columnist to turn the LP into another Tea Party, exactly the way the Greens and CPUSA wish it would turn. John Hospers and Tonie Nathan turned the LP platform into Roe v. Wade, and Mussolini’s Vatican will never forgive us for it. But Canada has since become a Sanctuary State for women formerly abused by coercive mystical altruism.

    1. Canada – libertarian paradise!

      1. For women who vote with their feet, Canada is the #1 choice for evading conscription into Islamic or National Socialist milch cow womanhood. Look at the immigration demographics.

        1. Excellent, then the pressure should be off of Trump – he’s being told he needs to admit more refugees, but he can at least reject the female refugees, since they’re going to Canada anyway, not the U.S.

          /sarc

          1. This “Trump” you refer to… is this the realtor God’s Own Prohibitionists hired to recite their platform from the bully pulpit?

            1. No, that’s his cousin, Buford Trump.

              1. Eddie, your tells are showing. And you haven’t gotten any smarter.

                1. HP is a sock? Who is “Eddie”?

                    1. Sevo was at least able to finally figure out I wasn’t Hihn.

            2. Yeah Hank, we get it. You hate religion, and religious people. You also like to construct these bizarre, obscure, overly com0,ex false arguments as to why people of faith are icky.

              Which really, makes you the bigot at the end of the day.

    2. “Mussolini’s Vatican”? Didn’t the fashies not get along well with the papalists?

      1. The Lateran Treaties are what you are looking for. In them Stephanie Slade’s Libertarian Catholic Church made a deal with Il Duce to let mystical brainwashing control school curricula–and decorate classrooms with bloody corpses in effigy. Search WordPress for “Vichy Amerika Collaborators”

        1. Search WordPress

          Lol. WordPress is a blog platform, not an index you fucking halfwit. And if we wanted to read your delusional rantings on your personal blog we could follow the link in your profile.

    3. Christian Germany (98% Catholic/Protestant) repeatedly and overwhelmingly voted in Hitler’s National Socialist party

      Utterly false, of course. Hitler came to power by plurality, not majority, let alone an “overwhelming” majority. And that 98% figure is a fabrication from whole cloth. Made up.

      But even if it were true, Hank’s fictional Hitler-as-second-coming-of-Christ-the-Messiah was a chump on the genocide scale compared to Stalin, a committed atheist whose devotion to secular humanism and historical revisionism was possibly even more ardent than Hank’s. If Christians have to own Hitler based on your lies, you can own Stalin based on the truth.

  12. ” So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
    1 Samuel 8:10-18English Standard Version (ESV)

  13. ” So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
    1 Samuel 8:10-18English Standard Version (ESV)

    1. “He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.”

      In other words, compulsory cakes.

      1. Samuel was trying to tell the Israelites that kings were more trouble than they were worth.

  14. Christianity teaches self sacrifice so it’s completely incompatible with libertarianism.

    1. No. Libertarianism is not incompatible with self-sacrifice, it’s incompatible with others having the right to decide to sacrifice you.

      1. “You must be one of those evil non-Objectivists.” /Ayn Rand

      2. This is in fact true. The Non-Aggression Principle Republican fascisti struggle to evade was formulated in 1947, alongside Chapter 10 of Atlas Shrugged. Meanwhile in Europe, Christian National Socialists who had just been “following orders” to make the world safe for altruism were hanged for war crimes. French hangmen were completely baffled by the concept of the “initiation of force.” This makes sense. When _they_ surrendered and turned Collaborator, it “wasn’t really” fascism. It only looked, goosestepped and quacked like it. Vichy France was, after all, a “Christian nation” exactly like Germany. But objectivist scholars do not insist on laws to punish people who commit suicide. That was the jurisdictional province of East Germany once International Socialism had replaced National Socialism over there. Objectivists are about a life worth living.

        1. Objectivists are about a life worth living.

          If only you had one.

  15. “Are Free Minds and Free Markets Compatible With Christianity?”

    Maybe ask first if the First Amendment is compatible with libertarianism.

    Freedom from establishment and free exercise are Protestant concepts. We inherited them from the Peace of Westphalia. Once it became clear that the religion of the emperor no longer determined the religion of the princes and that people were free to choose their own religion regardless of the religion of the princes, too, murdering each other over the question of who the prince and the emperor should be based on their religion became an unnecessary. That worked out so well, Madison incorporated it into the First Amendment as such.

    In fact, Madison credited Martin Luther with showing us the way on religious freedom.

    Separation of church and state as we have it is a Protestant concept, rooted in Luther’s “Two Kingdoms” doctrine.

    The question isn’t whether libertarianism is compatible with Christianity. The question is whether we’d have freedom of religion without it.

    P.S. I’ll let someone else discuss free market capitalism being built on a foundation of the Protestant work ethic. Thank Calvinism for American capitalism–sure, why not? Good ideas are good regardless of their source. “Creative destruction” was originally a Marxist concept.

    1. Here’s the reference for those so inclined to read it:

      “It is a pleasing and persuasive example of pious zeal, united with pure benevolence and of a cordial attachment to a particular creed, untinctured with sectarian illiberality. It illustrates the excellence of a system which, by a due distinction, to which the genius and courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Caesar and what is due God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations. The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.”

      —-James Madison

      http://www.constitution.org/pr…..uther.html

      1. Westphalian principles – extended broadly – let each secular ruler define the religion within his or her jurisdiction. Religious freedom for the unfavored religion could be exercised by moving to the country of a more sympathetic ruler.

          1. As far as I can make out from the flow of words, the Lutherans were establishing a congregation with English-language services, which seems to have been a matter of some controversy with the German-speakers.

            1. “It illustrates the excellence of a system which, by a due distinction, to which the genius and courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Caesar and what is due God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations”

              I hope the point isn’t getting lost that he’s talking about separation of church and state in Luther’s terms–the Two Kingdoms doctrine–and he’s giving Luther the credit for showing the way.

              http://tinyurl.com/zfqfn9b

              First Amendment freedom of religion is a point of Protestant doctrine.

              That’s it’s origin.

              1. “There are two powers, august Emperor, by which this world is chiefly ruled, namely, the sacred authority of the priests and the royal power. Of these that of the priests is the more weighty, since they have to render an account for even the kings of men in the divine judgment. You are also aware, dear son, that while you are permitted honorably to rule over human kind, yet in things divine you bow your head humbly before the leaders of the clergy and await from their hands the means of your salvation….

                “If the ministers of religion, recognizing the supremacy granted you from heaven in matters affecting the public order, obey your laws, lest otherwise they might obstruct the course of secular affairs by irrelevant considerations, with what readiness should you not yield them obedience to whom is assigned the dispensing of the sacred mysteries of religion….”

                -Pope Gelasius I, AD 494

                1. “Pope Gelasius I” has been made obsolete, by the wisdom of both Marxism and Islam, where the “two powers” of State and Religion have been married back together, into the awesome Unity of Government Almighty! All Hail!

                  Scienfoology Song? GAWD = Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers

                  Government loves me, This I know,
                  For the Government tells me so,
                  Little ones to GAWD belong,
                  We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
                  Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
                  Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
                  Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
                  My Nannies tell me so!

                  GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
                  Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
                  Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
                  And gives me all that I might need!
                  Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
                  Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
                  Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
                  My Nannies tell me so!

                  DEA, CIA, KGB,
                  Our protectors, they will be,
                  FBI, TSA, and FDA,
                  With us, astride us, in every way!
                  Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
                  Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
                  Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
                  My Nannies tell me so!

                  1. “Pope Gelasius I has been made obsolete, by the wisdom of both Marxism and Islam”

                    It’s important to recognize that ISIS and others represent a rejection of pragmatism on religious rights that is much older than they are.

                    When the Muslim armies first overran what is now Iran, the people there were predominantly Zoroastrian. Over the ensuing decades, many of them wanted to convert to Islam, but their Muslim conquerors needed them to pay the tax on non-Muslims.

                    So, they did a few things. For one, they prohibited them from converting, and they declared them people of “a book” rather than the book. Zoroastrians don’t believe in the Old Testament like Muslims, Jews, and Christians, so they weren’t people of THE book, but they did have A book (the Avesta), and if they needed Zoroastrians to pay taxes, maybe that should count for something?

                    I maintain that our rights are natural for a number of reasons. For one, they arise naturally as an aspect of our agency and, for another, violating them tends to have the same kinds of negative consequences in the natural world across all cultures and throughout history.

                    Muslims needed to come up with a pragmatic way to avoid the real world negative consequences of violating people’s religious rights in 7th century Persia.

                    . . . and ISIS suffers the negative consequences of violating people’s religious rights in 21st century Syria and Iraq.

                    1. Communism ended up on the ash heap of history for similar reasons. One cannot violate people’s property rights without suffering the negative consequences of doing so. The negative consequences of violating people’s religious rights can be harder to quantify than the effects on GDP, etc., but they’re so real that even fanatical Muslims suffer them and need to account for them–whether it’s in the 7th century or the 21st.

                2. I appreciate that there were antecedents before Luther. There were ideas like The Golden Rule before Christianity, too, but we didn’t get them from there. The Golden Rule permeates our culture (even LGBT atheists will argue that they should be treated the way others would want to be treated if others were them) because it came to us by way of Christianity–not because it came to us by way of Zoroastrianism, the Vedic tradition, or somewhere else.

                  Also, note, I’m not saying these ideas are necessarily of divine origin. Luther lived in a time and place, and he was influenced by things he was exposed to in the real world. I’m sure he was aware of things like separation of church and state before he formulated what came to be called the “Two Kingdoms” doctrine. After all, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s” is in the New Testament, and Luther was hardly the first to notice it.

                  That being said, the separation of church and state was a Protestant concept and it came to American culture and institutions by way of the Reformation and radical Protestants. Indeed, other commonwealth countries today don’t have First Amendment protections for faith because they were less radically Protestant, and things like state support for churches and state support for religious schools survive n commonwealth countries because of that.

                  If you value First Amendment religious freedom, don’t thank a Fifth century pope. Thank the Reformation and radical Protestants.

                  1. I would agree that America was a Protestant country at the time of the founding (not 100%, but culturally Protestant) and would not have accepted an idea which they considered to be of purely non-Protestant origin.

                    So I agree that key ideas “came to American culture and institutions by way of the Reformation and radical Protestants” – which isn’t the same as saying the Protestants *originated* the ideas.

                    1. “First Amendment freedom of religion is a point of Protestant doctrine.

                      That’s [its] origin.”

                      —-Ken Shultz

                      I didn’t mean to imply that no one ever thought of the separation of church and state before Protestants came along.

                      I meant to say that freedom of religion as we have it in the First Amendment came from Protestant ideas. In fact, James Madison, the author of the First Amendment, credited Martin Luther with showing us the way. If the author of the First Amendment credits the ideas of the First Amendment to Luther, that’s a fairly decent indication that this is where he found them.

                      And why should that attribution be resisted?

                      Again, “creative destruction” was a Marxist idea.

                      Good ideas come from wherever you find them.

                      Ideas aren’t bad because their sources are bad.

        1. Westphalian principles let the princes determine their own religion in their own principalities–without interference from the emperor–and it let individuals within each principality choose their own faith–be it Catholic, Lutheran, or Calvinism.

          “All parties would recognize the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, in which each prince would have the right to determine the religion of his own state, the options being Catholicism, Lutheranism, and now Calvinism”

          That’s the essence of what came to be freedom from establishment by the federal government.

          “Christians living in principalities where their denomination was not the established church were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in public during allotted hours and in private at their will.[16]”

          That’s the essence of what came to be free exercise.

          http://tinyurl.com/h2nxfz8

          This was proven to be an effective remedy for the horrors of the Thirty Years War–now that my freedom of religion no longer depends on who the emperor or prince is, there’s no reason to fight wars over that question.

          I might add that when the history of ISIS is written, their failures may correctly be blamed on the failure to adhere to this principle. Refusing to let people practice their own religions under your rule tends to create similar problems, whether it’s The Holy Roman Empire in the 17th century or Syria and Iraq in the 21st.

          1. “Christians living in principalities where their denomination was not the established church were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in public during allotted hours and in private at their will.”

            I actually hadn’t known about that clause.

          2. In fairness we should probably admit that freedom of religion means freedom of Christianity.

            The counterpoint was Ben Franklin used an example of a Mufti preaching in a public space but I think that was hypothetical.

      2. You know who else really appreciated Martin Luther?

        1. Martin Luther King, Sr.’s dad?

        2. Show us on the doll where the German man touched you.

    2. And yet the first British colony in America to have any kind of religious tolerance was the Catholic colony of Maryland. If you were a believer in the Trinity, you could freely practice your faith there, meaning it excluded Jews and Muslims. Those “religious freedom” loving Puritans in Massachusetts actually invaded Maryland and tried to impose their fanaticism several times before they had to be ousted again and again. Martin Luther simply broke up the monopoly the Roman Catholic Church had on western Europe. He did nothing for religious freedom per se

      1. If “first”, then only by a few years.

        Roger Williams founded Rhode Island as a refuge for religious dissenters against the Puritans only four years after Maryland received its charter.

        Both were founded before the Peace of Westphalia. Religious wars and their causes were a hot topic at the time.

  16. Let’s start with the basics:
    1) There is not a shred of objective evidence for any sort of god-being
    2) There is not a shred of objective evidence for an historic junior.
    3) Discussions regarding the bible need to start with the acceptance that it was a log-rolling conference by those who had collected enough tithes to hie themselves to The Council of Carthage, called the third by Denzinger,[5] issued a canon of the Bible on 28 August 397. Even the believer Erhman ( Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew ) admits that.
    IOW’s it can be seen as nothing more than the rent-seekers in Chicago doling out favors to those best funded.
    When anyone of you comes up with evidence (and that is *evidence*) otherwise, I’ll be happy to see it.

    1. Link to get together:
      https://update.revolvy.com/topic/Council of Carthage (419)&item_type=topic

    2. “Even the believer Erhman”

      “Even” Bart Ehrman is critical of traditional Christianity.

    3. Not really what the article is about, nice tangential diversion though.

  17. Eric July is a Hoppean nutter. His Christianity might not be incompatible with libertarianism, but his actual political views sure are.

    1. “Huh, I wonder what ‘Hoppean’ means…”

      {Googles “Hoppean”}

      {recoils}

  18. Some of these people have very strange, non-biblical ideas of Christianity.

    “If someone says to you ‘be my friend’ and points a gun to you, that is not a good start of a relationship. God offers us his friendship. We have a choice to respond or not. … God will respect your decision even when he knows it’s not a good idea.”

    That doesn’t sound like any Christian God I’ve ever heard of. He doesn’t sit around saying “Oh, it’s such a bad idea to not have faith in Christ. You’ll end up in Hell through no action of mine. I wish there were a way I could stop that.” The Christian theology I’m familiar with says that God personally condemns non-believers to Hell because that’s the just punishment for their sin. If that’s not a gun to your head, I don’t know what is.

    “The more I read, the more I realized that there’s nowhere in here where Christ attempts to use the tools of violence to accomplish his objectives. … You can’t enforce the ideas and morals of the kingdom of God with the kingdom of men, which is violence.”

    You forgot about Christ driving the moneychangers from the Temple. He absolutely used violence to do that. And even ignoring that, isn’t the majority of the Bible just the story of God enforcing his morals by violence? What was Sodom and Gomorrah? What was the flood? What were the various genocides God commanded the Israelites to carry out? What is Hell?

    1. I gather you chose “Biblical Atrocities & Horrors” for $500.

    2. God’s house, Jesus could be considered justified in using force to get them off his lawn

      1. But being the Creator, didn’t he put them on the lawn to begin with?

    3. Jesus doesn’t advocate violence for the purposes of settling human disputes.

      If you want to include turning over the tables of the money changers then I think we have dumbed down violence to a pretty low level.

      The Bible illustrates some pretty harsh collective punishments meted out by God. I don’t think that condones human violence. You can’t say it ok for the state to commit genocide just because God does it.

      In fact, Jesus even explains that though God will channel your wickedness to His own ends, you will still be held personally accountable. He was speaking specifically to the example of Judas. Without Judas there is no crucifixion, yet this is no excuse for his betrayal.

      1. That’s some twisted shit right there. It ignores cause and effect. I’m glad I’m not Christian anymore.

      2. Jesus didn’t just turn over their tables, he beat them with a scourge. And God specifically told the Israelites it was okay for them to commit genocide. He doesn’t seem to be opposed to human violence on principal.

        1. Jesus didn’t just turn over their tables, he beat them with a scourge.

          Funny, but not one of these 25 different translations of that passage actually says that. You should submit your translation indicating where all others were remiss.

    4. “That doesn’t sound like any Christian God I’ve ever heard of. He doesn’t sit around saying “Oh, it’s such a bad idea to not have faith in Christ. You’ll end up in Hell through no action of mine. I wish there were a way I could stop that.” The Christian theology I’m familiar with says that God personally condemns non-believers to Hell because that’s the just punishment for their sin. If that’s not a gun to your head, I don’t know what is.”

      But it’s your choice as to whether or not you accept Christ and eternal life or not. According to the Bible it’s that, or the consequence of eternal damnation. God is not holding a gun to your head, but there are consequences, just like anything.

      It’s fine if you think it’s harsh or what not, but don’t try to spin it like we’re being forced to do anything.

      1. It’s this kind of childish thinking that makes it hard to take Protestants seriously. Greek myths make more sense than the idea of God being some giant figure sitting somewhere in the sky and thinking about what he’s going to do and getting frustrated because someone’s not doing what he wants. Even Zeus wasn’t that pathetic.

      2. Riiiiight. God’s not holding a gun to your head. The gun just happens to be floating there, controlled by no one. And if you disobey god, it’ll go off, but it’s certainly not his fault. Hell is just a thing that happens! God doesn’t even know why, and he’s powerless to do anything about it.

        1. The whole point of the gun to your head analogy is that God is like a mugger with a gun. The mugger can’t take control of your thoughts and actions. Your free will is still absolutely your own, but there is a threat of violence if you don’t cooperate. This is no different than the threat of Hell. God gives you the option of disobeying, but with the understanding that He will condemn you to eternal torment if you do.

          1. An eternity in Hell for acts committed in the 80 or less years we have on Earth always seemed a little harsh to me.

          2. Celestial “violence” after your natural death and immediate physical violence to your person are not comparable. Rather than the theological concept of hell, which you don’t comprehend anyway, try the Inquisition if you’re groping for Christianity-as-coercion. It’s factual, fashionable, and you’ll look slightly less idiotic since you don’t really need a strong comprehension of anything but history to pull it off.

        2. It is not a gun. It is a door, and you choose to walk out of it or not by your actions and to stay out by not repenting actions that separate you from God.

          1. So if instead of shooting you a mugger locks you in a room with two exits, one leading into a fire pit and the other into his BDSM dungeon, that’s not aggression in your view?

    5. Hell is not a fire pit with goat-like creatures poking you with sticks. It’s just the absence of being around God and being able to love Him as much as He loves you. Not sure I’m explaining it perfectly, but this Christian view of eternal punishment in no way contradicts the Non-Aggression Principle.

      1. But it does contradict Christianity’s teachings for most of history. The term “fire and brimstone” is not an atheist invention, anymore than “eternal damnation” is.

      2. Depends on your version of Christianity. Some think of hell as you describe. Others are everyone comfortable with the “fire and brimstone” motif.

    6. The Christian theology I’m familiar with says that God personally condemns non-believers to Hell because that’s the just punishment for their sin.

      So you’re familiar with a caricature of Christian theology upon which you’ve based all of your thoughts and opinions on the matter, and you wish to substitute this caricature for what actual Christians tell you that they actually believe?

  19. Christianity is all about free will and choice.

    One can choose to suck Jesus’s balls for all eternity while mumbling “hosanna” like the POS sinner that you are (Heaven)

    Or

    One can choose to be butt fucked by Harvey Weinstein while roasting over a Weber Grill for all eternity (Hell)

    What’s it gonna be boy? Yes or No?

    1. Christianity is about freedom via the correct operation of precise spiritual wisdom by the LIVING example of Jesus Of Nazareth, called I-AM-ness. However, since NO MAN (never “no woman”!- Last Eve-) can open the book of 7 seals (dispel the mystery) yet ALL of them keep trying and thus misrepresenting nevertheless, while ‘learning’ from the dead and dying, all of them are also still dying, i. e., sending their empty temples (carcasses that were to be filled with the Holy Spirit, or correct understanding of the main points of the bible in all of its 4 layers) off from their grave sites to the care of the LIVING Jesus (to ‘live’ eternally…

  20. If there is no God, then WHAT is it that causes the next Kleenex to miraculously pop up, ready for me to grab, when I pull the preceding one? Hunh?!?!? Answer me THAT one!

  21. The more I read, the more I realized that there’s nowhere in here where Christ attempts to use the tools of violence to accomplish his objectives.

    The Cleansing of the Temple?

    1. Getting himself whipped and nailed up on the cross is pretty violent.

      1. He just forgot the safe word.

    2. Another moron already covered that one.

  22. Coincidentally, today’s sermon was on the observation that we can’t fix the world. He made the point that government certainly can’t and he even quoted Penn Gillette: Love your neighbor. Do your best to make the world a better place at the local level.

    Sounded pretty libertarian to me.

  23. The problem with religion is that it has been one of the largest excuses for more violations of the NAP throughout nearly all of modern history. Don’t believe what I believe? Well this book says I should kill you. You want to put this substance in your body? Sorry my twisted view of this text says you should go to jail so I can save your soul. These are about the most un-libertarian positions one can have.

    1. Well, it depends on how one interprets the “Holy Word”. Here’s my spin…

      God COMMANDS us to kill EVERYONE!

      Our that them thar VALUES of society outta come from that them thar HOLY BIBLE, and if ya read it right, it actually says that God wants us to KILL EVERYBODY!!! Follow me through now: No one is righteous, NONE (Romans 3:10). Therefore, ALL must have done at least one thing bad, since they’d be righteous, had they never done anything bad. Well, maybe they haven’t actually DONE evil, maybe they THOUGHT something bad (Matt. 5:28, thoughts can be sins). In any case, they must’ve broken SOME commandment, in thinking or acting, or else they’d be righteous. James 2:10 tells us that if we’ve broken ANY commandment, we broke them ALL. Now we can’t weasel out of this by saying that the New Testament has replaced the Old Testament, because Christ said that he’s come to fulfill the old law, not to destroy it (Matt. 5:17). So we MUST conclude that all are guilty of everything. And the Old Testament lists many capital offenses! There’s working on Sunday. There’s also making sacrifices to, or worshipping, the wrong God (Exodus 22:20, Deut. 17:2-5), or even showing contempt for the Lord’s priests or judges (Deut. 17:12). All are guilty of everything, including the capital offenses. OK, so now we’re finally there… God’s Word COMMANDS us such that we’ve got to kill EVERYBODY!!!

      1. (I am still looking for that special exception clause for me & my friends & family? I am sure I will find it soon!)

        1. PS, “/sarc” for the humor impaired! “The Devil knows how to quote scripture, too”. The correct way to kiss God’s ass? It has little if anything to do with being a scriptural literalist. It has to do with loving your neighbor…

      2. Huh. So I’m a Christian after all.

    2. I thought militant atheism was one of the largest excuses for more violations of the NAP throughout nearly all of modern history. The Bolsheviks, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and other cheerful types created a whole lot more mayhem than all the Christians combined in modern history. Their seething hatred was unmatched by the most rigid Christians.

      1. *Marxism*, Leninist and Maoist, created that “mayhem”. Atheism was incidental to it, as evidenced by how important the Orthodox Church was to Stalin when he found it convenient. There were and are plenty of Christian Socialists, and Marxists, and Fascists, just as there are atheist versions of all of them. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of war or genocide being waged in the name of Atheism by itself.

        1. From Wikipedia, which leads me to believe that the anti-Christian sentiment was hardly incidental: The League of Militant Atheists aided the Soviet government in killing clergy and committed believers.[53] The League also made it a priority to remove religious icons from the homes of believers.[54] Under the slogan, “the Storming of Heaven,” the League of Militant Atheists pressed for “resolute action against religious peasants” leading to the mass arrest and exile of many believers, especially village priests. By 1940, “over 100 bishops, tens of thousands of Orthodox clergy, and thousands of monks and lay believers had been killed or had died in Soviet prisons and the Gulag.”[55] …..Between 1927 and 1940, the number of Orthodox churches in the Russian Republic fell from 29,584 to fewer than 500. ….During the purges of 1937 and 1938, church documents record that 168,300 Russian Orthodox clergy were arrested. Of these, over 100,000 were shot.[76]

          1. Beginning in February 1967 the Albanian authorities launched a campaign to eliminate religious life in Albania. Despite complaints, even by APL members, all churches, mosques, monasteries, and other religious institutions were either closed down or converted into warehouses, gymnasiums, or workshops by the end of 1967.[46] By May 1967, religious institutions had been forced to relinquish all 2,169 churches, mosques, cloisters, and shrines in Albania, many of which were converted into cultural centers for young people. As the literary monthly Nendori reported the event, the youth had thus “created the first atheist nation in the world.”[45]

            1. The Khmer Rouge actively persecuted Buddhists during their reign from 1975 to 1979.[54] Buddhist institutions and temples were destroyed and Buddhist monks and teachers were killed in large numbers.[55] A third of the nation’s monasteries were destroyed along with numerous holy texts and items of high artistic quality. 25,000 Buddhist monks were massacred by the regime,[56] which was officially an atheist state.[7] The persecution was undertaken because Pol Pot believed that Buddhism was “a decadent affectation”. He sought to eliminate Buddhism’s 1,500-year-old mark on Cambodia.[56]

              1. In the Mongolian People’s Republic, after the invasion by Japanese troops of 1936, the Soviet Union deployed its troops in 1937, undertaking an offensive against the Buddhist religion. In parallel, a Soviet-style purge campaign was launched in the Communist Party and the Mongolian army. The Mongol leader at that time was Khorloogiin Choibalsan, follower of Joseph Stalin, who emulated many of the policies that Stalin developed in the Soviet Union. The purges succeeded in virtually eliminating Lamaism and cost an estimated thirty to thirty-five thousand lives

                1. You get the idea. Atheism was one of the main goals of communism (perhaps the main goal, according to some thinkers) and it was often brutally implemented.

                  1. Aside from the “League of Militant Atheists” themselves, I don’t think most of those posts undermine my point. Marxism actively sought to destroy rival religions, but it did not do so *for atheism’s own sake*, but rather *to replace it with Marxism*: a godless religion. “Creating the first atheist nation in the world” and suchlike wasn’t done because those commies just hated religion on its own merits; they knew that ANY rival belief system was a threat, and so they used “scientific atheism” as their excuse to dispose of a rival.

                    To put this in perspective: Fascism and Nationalism were at heart atheistic ideologies too, seeking, just like Marxism in point of fact, to replace “God” with “the State”, but Marxists exterminated them with even greater passion.

                    The criteria for extermination under Marxism, in other words, was not “what you were” (Christian/Buddhist/Nationalist), but rather “what you were *not*”: eg, not a Marxist. Even rival brands of Marxism were an intolerable threat to the regime: look at the hatred between Leninists and Maoists, and Void help the Trotskyites.

                    Basically, imagine if Jeff Sessions wanted to destroy heroin, not out of hatred for it, but because he owned an alcohol distributor and didn’t want competition.

                    1. The same No True Scotsman cop out could be use by Christians to dodge the original charge as well. Which is kind of the point.

                    2. “No True Scotsman” implies that I was saying that “no true atheist” could commit genocide for atheism’s own sake. But I was never asserting that: only that I had never heard of it being done. And while the above-mentioned LMA proves that it has happened, I still stand by my assertion that it is rare, because Marxism’s targeting of religion, using atheistic rhetoric and ideology, was not actually done “for atheism”, but rather *for Marxism*. But their targeting of other atheistic ideologies (most notably Leninism and Maoism’s targeting of each other) shows that promoting “godlessness” was always just a convenient tool: what they really wanted was to destroy anything that was not Marxist. Atheism was a means, not a motive: Stalin was perfectly happy to use the Orthodox Church as a rallying point in the USSR’s darkest hour.

                      Whereas there have been plenty of genocides perpetrated avowedly for the cause of Christ. You can argue about which ones were and weren’t- for instance, it would probably be unfair to blame Christianity for the Congo Free State, since even if missionaries were not present the Belgians likely would have done it anyway- but the Spanish Inquisition, if nothing else, was a pretty blatant example of Christians committing murder for the express goal of promoting Christianity.

                      Atheism is a weapon for non-theist religions, but rarely is it a religion by itself.

                    3. Clarification: when I say “non-theist religions”, I mean a “religion”, eg expansionist organization that uses ideology to recruit new members, that uses something non-metaphysical as its “god figure”: so, for instance, Marxism, which replaces god with an economic concept (“class equality”), or Nazism, which replaces it with a racial group (eg “us Aryan folks”). Ergo, a non-theist religion does not have to be *a*theist, or even agnostic: it’s just a religion that posits something non-metaphysical is more important than whatever metaphysical things may or may not exist, and thus considers any theist religion to be a threat not because it considers the idea of a god offensive, but rather because it challenges their monopoly on “paramount importance”. Eg: a devout Christian might put their belief in God above their belief in Volk, and so the religion of Volk (Nazism) has to destroy Christianity to protect the primacy of Volk- *not* because they give a shit about the idea of a god in general (Nazi metaphysical beliefs varied from quasi-Christian to deist to neo-paganist to atheist for this very reason).

                      So you see, they didn’t destroy religion because they hated the idea of a god, but because they hated the idea of a god *being more important than their substitute god*. If they could have been assured that theism would never motivate their subjects to question the primacy of Volk or Proletariat, they wouldn’t’ve given a shit; theism isn’t technically incompatible with either.

    3. I don’t think that is a fair assessment. With the exception of a few religions *coughislam*, it is generally government using religion as the excuse, not necessarily the religion itself. Bill Maher thinks like you do, and it is why he loves him some daddy government, because he can’t see the truth that government, with or without religion, is violent and oppressive by nature.

      1. Government certainly doesn’t require theism, or indeed anything but itself, to be tyrannical. But asserting that “religion itself” wasn’t usually responsible for tyranny is rather belied by a cursory examination of the history of a secretive organization that goes by the codename “Atholic-Cay Urch-Chay”. Those heretic trials weren’t just “overseen” by priests, you know.

  24. Where is the questioning whether Christianity is incompatible with German National Socialist genocide, fascist dictatorships, People’s Temple suicide cults or the tortures of the Spanish Inquisition and the DEA?

    1. “Would that we had been conquered by the Mohammedans, so that we did not have to deal with Christianity’s meekness and flabbiness.”

      -Adolf Hitler (from memory)

  25. Not all of us are Randians, for those people is probably true that Christianity and libertarian philosophy are compatible. For Randians, it’s not really possible as it is your duty to be selfish and self serving at all times, that pretty much flies in the face of classic Christianity and its core tenants.

    1. Amen Devastator! Count me among the Rand skeptics, who think that “Christianity and libertarian philosophy are compatible. ”

      Rand spoke badly of VOLUNTARY charity, as I understand. That’s pathetic! Voluntary altruism is precious, and should be treasured and honored.

      1. I think she saw it as counter-productive. As for the tenants of classic Christianity, who were they? The monks living in hollowed out caves?

        1. Tenants, tenets, they all lived together (in the past tense) in one “Big Tent”, along with the spelling and grammar NAZIs…

          1. Touche

  26. If the Bible is accurate, God is an evil tyrant so he must be rebelled against anyway. It’s a moot point.

    1. You must be referring to the Old Testament, but which version?

  27. “Blessed are the poor”

    No Jesus, Christian Libertarian sez Blessed is everyone.

    The First Commandment clashes with the First Amendment

  28. A better article would be more detailed about WHICH Christian denomination is compatible with libertarian ideals, and then to focus on the MOST libertarian of them all, which would surprise many to be the AMISH. Many Leftists use the Amish as an example of the perfect SOCIALIST society, but in fact the Amish are a perfect example of a more libertarian (or Arden, Delaware type) community. As a semi-expert on their faith, I know that the Amish basically leave each other alone except for when there is dire need. Then, they pull together to help out–but they don’t enable dependency. Any community member who refuses to pull his own weight will be given a good talking to, and if that doesn’t work, the bishops enact the shunning. And please don’t pull out the homophobic and sexist card. Even the Amish in modern America are more tolerant and moderate than the SJWs and Muslims.

    1. Yeah, Libertarianism only works at a society level of there’s a “release valve”. That is, if there’s a way to eject folks that aren’t working out. You need the ability to “shun”, “exile” and so-on.

      It’s a reason that a pure libertarian society is incompatible with the modern world, as the ability to make someone “stateless” is frowned upon.

      1. You need the ability to “shun”, “exile” and so-on.

        You actually don’t. But even if you did, libertarianism is fortunate enough to have the market as just such a mechanism. If enough people don’t like you they can exclude you from commerce and force you to go some place else. That’s why freedom of association had to be sacrificed on the altar of tolerance first and foremost. It is, indeed, impossible to have a libertarian society whilst forcing people to associate with one another against their will. Which is a desirable feature to totalitarian stains on humanity like you.

  29. “Who nailed Jesus to the cross? The state!”

    Kilt it

    1. The people of Israel and Judea, celebrating Sabbath, screamed for His crucifixion, as Roman Pilate washed his hands in innocence. So they tried to crucify their own God, who ‘died’ the symbolic death of the Testator to His followers, for a spiritually error-free mind cannot ‘die’. He ‘died’ upon His own say-so.

  30. Is Christianity compatible with Libertarianism? Sure, but only with a lot of caveats regarding what parts of “Christianity” is being discussed.

    Fact is, there are many parts of the Bible, and Christianity as it’s been practiced, that are incompatible. Fortunately, some Christians have learned to justify those parts into irrelevancy or flat-out ignore them.

    But any literal interpretation? Incompatible.

    1. “And I would provide you with those examples, if only I had any clue what I was talking about”

  31. Freedom is to be free from death by ignorance (“blasphemy of the Holy Ghost”). Only if one has elevated one’s mind to the 4th layer, the error-free Begetter status of Jesus Christ, by means of spiritual wisdom, understanding and its application is one congruent with the mind of God in order to live eternally, not having to be kicked off God’s (movie-)set “Heaven and Earth” for missing so much as THE POINT for humanity’s existence on earth.

    1. Word salad is a hallmark of charlatanry. The drivel you just posted looks like it was generated by a bot running on 8086 hardware, or a Management undergraduate.

  32. This is my take on the issue:
    http://believeandobey.net/sing…..Government

  33. I was an atheist for the first half of my life on pretty much the same grounds as Ayn Rand and George H. Smith, that I could not see how the concept of God didn’t violate natural law. Then I had a series of experiences that satisfied my rational skepticism and convinced me of the existence of God. These were not religious experiences because they were not based on dogma, scripture, or accepting anything on faith.

    When I was an atheist I was a libertarian. Now that I view God as a real existent I am still a libertarian.

    So I am chagrined that Reason magazine feels it necessary to question whether a particular religion, Christianity, is compatible with libertarianism. It’s the wrong question. The right question is whether one can both affirm the existence of God and accept libertarian principles.

    I am an example of “Yes.”

    I’m a libertarian author of both fiction and nonfiction. If you’re interested in how I got to where I am regarding both libertarianism and God, you’ll find it in my book The Heartmost Desire.

  34. Is Christianity compatible with libertarianism in its current, powerless-to-set-heretics-on-fire form? Sure, why not… same with other popular works of fiction, like Harry Potter or Spider-man.

    Some folks have not yet discovered the awful truth about the Easter Bunny, so I am loath to include too many spoilers – but have y’all “God loves us”-tards actually read the book? Sure is a lot of genocide, theft, incest, rape and slavery in there… gets the big thumbs up from Yahweh the Foreskin-Obsessed Sky Maniac: when he’s not the actual perp, he’s instigating like a muhfuh.

    And the stuff spouted by the guy you mistakenly characterise as a hippy-dippy in “Testament II: The Nonsense Continues“? Let’s be clear: Jeebus was all about “not changing a jot or tittle” of any part of the first installment – “Testament: Founding a Racial-Supremacist Cult on Easily-Disprovable Bronze Age Nonsense“.

    We should expect little else: y’all believe that Jeebus ? Yahweh; one of the lietmotifs of the Old Nonsense is that any time Yahweh changes his mind, large numbers of things die.

    At the end of the day, the Jeebus death-porn cult is going the way of all religions. But if Christianity got its twisted claws back onto the levers of power, it would be “Dark Ages in 3…2…1”. Their core literature makes the problematic bits of the Quran look like “Noddy in Toytown”.

    It’s only because they’ve been defanged, that they present no threat.

    1. If you are speaking of the Joel Osteens (think that is his name) of Evangelism and ‘for profit’ Christianity I would agree. Seems similar to the Priestly money-changers-money-lenders(and todays Fed Banking Cartel) the famous Rabbi discovered in the Temple and ended with his execution.

    2. You’re a stupid poopy headed poopy head

      QED

      Checkm8 Republitards!

      Go back to /r/atheism kid.

  35. May I just say that, reading the comments on this blog is so refreshing! As an old Ayn Rand Objectivist, I am upset constantly by the slander and vulgar name-calling of other sites with no resolution. I thought Reason could not do an objective, calm discourse on religion, but it has! And it is wonderful. I have learned so much and feel I have found my home for talking and learning. Thank you!!!

    1. Oh, you poor, poor, soon to be disabused thing…

  36. It is said that Jesus Christ (Yeshua for many) discovered the corruption of the High Priests in the Temple (unholy money lending–money-changing) to pay GOD’s tithes… and for taxes to the Romans. He was starting a rebellion among the people in Judea. This rebellion would bring the Roman Legions and possibly threaten the Priests. It was the Priests that convinced the Roman Governor to execute the rebel Rabbi. If the State was the Roman Empire then rather than the State… it seems the corrupt Priests were responsible for the crucifixion. Somewhat similar to a corporate lobbyist bribing a few members of Congress to pass a law that favors the corporation.

  37. So many people misunderstand Christ’s message. I’m no religious scholar but I believe that Christ wanted us to help and care for the poor with our own time and our own money. Not because it would make the poor not poor since He said we will always have the poor, but because giving of yourself helps you become a better person and transforming the human heart is what I believe to have been Christ’s mission on Earth. Voting for politicians who would help the poor with other people’s time and other people’s money doesn’t qualify.

  38. For some time now, I’ve been having trouble understanding how people calling themselves Christians can say that we should look to Caesar to ‘fix’ all our ‘problems’. (Lately, I’ve also had trouble understanding how they can object to someone–a football player, say–who balks at worshiping Caesar).

  39. Jesus was an enemy of the state and its taxes. That is why the chief tax collector for Judea, P. Pilate, murdered him. https://jesusontaxes.liberty.me/ https://jesusontaxes.liberty.me/jesus-on-taxes/

  40. Technically speaking no religion can be incompatible with libertarianism since libertarianism is supposed to be nothing other than the agreement not to use violence to interfere with one another’s lives. You can believe anything you want to believe as long as you don’t go and force others to act against their will.

    Since that’s not what libertarianism actually is in reality, it’s a valid question. Christianity is absolutely not compatible with the Libertarian Party and its mouthpieces like this website. Mentally deranged party acolytes like Hank Phillips and Sevo above being prime examples. Hard for a religion to be compatible with a political party when the political party requires forcing people to violate the tenets of their religion.

    1. When I heard Gary Johnson’s views on this, I played the video of the Libertarian debates *three times* to ensure I heard it right. The question I had to ask myself before going further was: Would I want someone like him in office? No, I would not. His running mate’s affirmation of Clinton and Obama sealed the deal for me, since they actually used their power to go after those who disagreed with them. We sure could use some more Harry Browne types in the LP today. He was a real Libertarian.

  41. Thank you ! I’ve noticed more Christians ‘waking up ‘ to the Libertarian view, and I think that is partially due to Ron Paul’s run for president. I was a neo-con before I heard his cogent reasons for the Golden Rule’s application to foreign policy. His endorsement of Chuck Baldwin only solidified my new position, especially after reading more about both Baldwin’s political positions and his view of Romans 13, in particular. He makes the case for the KJV distorting the chapter to endorse statism, when it does nothing of the kind. The logic and reasoning behind Baldwin’s case is impeccable, especially in light of the Resurrection. The breaking of the seal on His tomb was an act against the State, in and of it self. (and a pointed reminder that the State/religious ‘partnership’ works out badly for all concerned.)

  42. Jesus was the first nonviolent voluntaryist and illegal-tax protester.

    “Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government…he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes?all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!” (Gospel of Luke, Ch. 23, verses 1-5, excerpt.)

  43. Are Free Minds and Free Markets Compatible With Christianity? – Hit & Run : Reason.comis the best post byimo for pcAre Free Minds and Free Markets Compatible With Christianity? – Hit & Run : Reason.comis the best post by imo appAre Free Minds and Free Markets Compatible With Christianity? – Hit & Run : Reason.comis the best post by imo appAre Free Minds and Free Markets Compatible With Christianity? – Hit & Run : Reason.comis the best post by snaptube for pcAre Free Minds and Free Markets Compatible With Christianity? – Hit & Run : Reason.comis the best post by snaptube app

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