Libertarians And The Christian Right: An Alliance Of Necessity

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“Most libertarians think of Christian conservatives in the same lurid terms as the leftist media, if not more so: that their aim is to impose a Christian theocracy; to outlaw liquor and other means of hedonic enjoyment, and to break down bedroom doors to enforce a Morality Police upon the country: Nothing could be further from the truth: Christian conservatives are trying to fight back against a left-liberal elite that used government to assault and virtually destroy Christian values, principles, and culture.” – Dr. Murray N. Rothbard, The Religious Right: Toward a Coalition, Feb. 1993

During this time of political strife, the libertarian movement seems less stable and more up-for-grabs than ever before. We have some libertarians moving toward the alt-right and embracing the spectacle of Trumpmania while we have other libertarians gravitating toward appeasement with statists on the left in an attempt to win over Bernie backers.

However, during these precarious times, we must remember to keep our perspectives. Soon, the Sanders campaign will be a distant memory. The Trump campaign, barring an upset in November, will likely be wiped away before long as well. Presidential elections are usually little more than overblown farces, and we have to be more focused on hunkering down and forging our way toward a better movement for the long haul.

Forging a better movement begins by forming coalitions with like-minded people. The Christian right, while not a natural ally of libertarians, is finding themselves under the barrel of state oppression more and more with each passing day. Because of this, they can now use the principles of libertarianism to fight off the LGBTQ lobby, abortionist lobby and other special interests that are using the state to restrict their religious liberty. This is our chance to make the case that libertarianism and Christianity are indeed compatible, and we have something substantial to offer Christians as they struggle to keep their religious freedom.

Obviously, the Christian right is not blameless in their predicament. During the Bush era, the Christian right was deceived into believing that they could somehow control the federal government to get a Constitutional amendment passed banning gay marriage. They wanted big government, and now they are getting it, good and hard. Although some deluded members of the Christian right still hold the fantasy of banning gay marriage through a Constitutional amendment, most are getting slapped in the face by reality right now. The courts, the feds, the bureaucrats, and basically the entire power structure are all clearly lined up against them. Ruling after ruling comes down against religious liberty, and the Christian right is starting to get the picture. The only way for Christians to retain their ability to worship is to separate and withdraw from the system. Through decentralization and independence, Christians are less likely to be bound by the chains of the government and their arbitrary dictates.

“While the Christian right contains many wonderful people, it too needs to get its own act together. It must take on two vital and necessary intra-Christian tasks, for which it needs a lot more spirit of confrontation and a lot less “compassion.” In the first place, it must level hammer blows against the pietist and pervasive Christian left, the treacly, egalitarian, socialistic “We Shall Overcome” left. Secondly, it must enter the real world by inveighing against the dispensationalists and their predictions and yearnings for an imminent Armageddon. Not only do their repeated predictions of Armageddon subject them to justifiable ridicule, but concentration on Armageddon fatally weakens their will to participate in political action and confrontation” – Dr. Murray N. Rothbard, The Religious Right: Toward a Coalition, Feb. 1993

One such way that Christians will be able to liberate themselves from state tyranny moving forward is through jury nullification. Christians on juries can simply refuse to prosecute other Christians for violating any law they deem to be unjust, and it’s a well-established right for jurors to behave in such a manner. That is how people who obey their consciences rather than state commands must act in the future to keep their freedom. Jury nullification is an extremely powerful weapon against tyranny, and a case in Michigan demonstrates just how terrified the powers-that-be are of ordinary individuals re-discovering their rights.

In Big Rapids, MI, an extraordinary case of injustice has shaken my state. Last year, jury nullification advocate Keith Wood distributed pamphlets educating potential jurors about the concept as apart of his pro-freedom activism. For exercising his right to free speech, a judge charged him with up to five years in prison for this thought-crime. The man, a Christian pastor, was simply following his conscience in line with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Because of this, he was punished under the boot of the state. The message is clear to Christians and all freedom-loving people nationwide: Sit down, shut up, and obey, or else.

However, Wood isn’t taking this oppression lying down. He sought out the legal counsel of the Great Lakes Justice Center. Staunch Christian conservatives David Kallman and Will Wagner are defending this man’s liberty in the court of law, and have already gotten the felony charge thrown out. These top legal minds are adopting libertarian tactics to ward off creeping state power that clearly has put ordinary Christians in the cross hairs. The GLJC is also working against trans-gendered bathroom mandates, an anti-private property initiative pushed by the LGBTQ lobby to use government laws to warp society and enable predators. Kallman, Walker and others are rolling up their sleeves and doing the grunt work needed to preserve liberty, while many libertarians shamefully sit on the sidelines.

“Libertarianism is logically consistent with almost any attitude toward culture, society, religion, or moral principle. In strict logic, libertarian political doctrine can be severed from all other considerations; logically one can be-and indeed most libertarians in fact are: hedonists, libertines, immoralists, militant enemies of religion in general and Christianity in particular-and still be consistent adherents of libertarian politics. In fact, in strict logic, one can be a consistent devotee of property rights politically and be a moocher, a seamster, and a petty crook and racketeer in practice, as all too many libertarians turn out to be. Strictly logically; one can do these things, but psychologically; sociologically; and in practice, it simply doesn’t work that way.” – Dr. Murray N. Rothbard, Big-Government Libertarians, Nov. 1994

There is a troubling tendency that I have noticed amongst many libertarians toward arrogance, haughtiness, and elitism. These libertarians enjoy laughing at Christians and mocking their belief system. They side with state-worshiping liberals to take cheap shots at believers. They cheer on liberty-hating robed lawyers who issue unconstitutional edicts from the bench when their Royal pronouncements supposedly favor “gay rights” or “equality.” Really, these people aren’t libertarians. They are low-tax liberals who are more than happy to be subjects as long as big daddy government gives their particular degenerate behavior of choice (sex, drugs, abortions, etc.) some legitimacy. Although the Ron Paul revolution has beaten back these corrosive interests within the libertarian movement a great deal, they are still lingering around subverting our credibility and effectiveness whenever possible.

These phony libertarians hide behind judges, bureaucrats, lawyers, regulators and other state Apparatchiks because they don’t have the intellectual courage to own up to their leftist, egalitarian, anti-libertarian, pro-state beliefs. Mostly coalescing around the abysmal Johnson/Weld ticket, these folks are the villains of the libertarian movement who will sink us if they are not neutered and relegated to the margins where they belong. Believing that fidelity to some empty, meaningless buzzword (“socially liberal”) is as important or more important than supporting the bedrock cause of liberty is simply unacceptable.

Any libertarian who thinks the “right” for sexual deviants to go into the bathroom of their choice enforced by law trumps religious liberty is an embarrassment to the cause. Any libertarian who thinks the “right” for homosexuals not to be excluded trumps private property has already waved the white flag of surrender. I don’t care if you get strange looks on the cocktail party circuit inside the Beltway. Having a backbone might get you some bad headlines in the New York Times, and other propaganda organs in the government’s back pocket. The establishment elite won’t approve of your beliefs, but if you’re a real libertarian, you should revel in that type of backlash. If you don’t have the spine to handle standing for freedom consistently, allow me to show you the door. We will be a more formidable cause without you. Addition via subtraction.

After we rid the clowns from our ranks, it is time to hatch some alliances. Not with the Bill Weld’s of the world. Now is not the time to sell-out because you’re desperate and pathetic, and roll out the red carpet for globalist establishment warmongers to pimp us out like the LP has done. It is time to find people who are disaffected, disgusted, sick of big government, and fightin’ mad against the enemy. The Christian right has been tossed under the bus by the establishment elites, the Rockefeller Republicans, and now the federal government through judicial overreach. At the very least, we have mutual enemies, and together, we will be difficult to beat moving forward.

Shane has been an activist for liberty-related causes for over 10 years. He is the Media Relations Director of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Michigan, State Director of the Michigan Tenth Amendment Center, and County Coordinator for Michigan Campaign for Liberty.

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