By Tyler Bauer
Last week, I posted the following on Facebook:
I wasn’t expecting this to be controversial, but apparently it was. So, it got me thinking. What does it mean to be a Christian and a libertarian?
As a Christian
To quote from Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
As a Christian, I believe that I am called to love God and the people around me. I don’t necessarily have to think someone’s actions are right, but I have to love the actor nonetheless. In fact, a lot of the things I support your freedom to do – such as drug use, prostitution, etc. – I don’t support on a personal level. I don’t think you should do drugs, but I think you should be able to use drugs.
Homosexuality and same-sex marriage is a similar topic. It’s not something I necessarily support, and it goes against my beliefs, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to be homosexual or marry someone of the same sex. Being with someone of the same sex is your choice to make, not mine. (That’s not to say that homosexuality is a choice. I’m saying that being in a relationship – regardless of whether it’s homosexual – is a choice.)
I am not called to force my Christian values on others, and I have no interest in doing that. I’m more than happy to talk about religion with someone, but the last thing I want to do is force someone to believe what I believe. Conversation and conversion are perfectly fine, but not if it’s done coercively.
You don’t have to support same-sex marriage or homosexuality, but you should support members of same-sex couples and homosexuals. You don’t have to love the sin, but you are told to love the sinner.
As a Libertarian
As a libertarian, what you do in your personal life is none of my business and none of the government’s business. I believe that you should be able to do whatever you want to do, provided you don’t infringe upon the life, liberty, or property of someone else.
Furthermore, to think that we should “legislate morality” by way of enforcing Christian beliefs on society is unthinkably bad. By doing so, we would no longer be a democratic republic and would become a theocracy instead. However, a surprising number of people seem to be fine with theocracy, provided it’s their religion in power. A number of people – mostly conservatives – have professed their hatred and fear of the possibility of Sharia Law in America. (Ironically, these same people are generally supportive of America being an explicitly Christian nation.) Regardless of what religion you’re using to create and enforce laws, the fact remains that using religion in lawmaking and law enforcement is theocratic, not democratic.
Libertarianism is about freedom. Libertarianism doesn’t care about your skin color, religion, gender, sexuality, or any other characteristic. Libertarianism is about being able to do as you wish as long as you don’t harm anyone else. Last time I checked, who someone loves or is attracted to doesn’t hurt you at all.
For More . . .
If you’re interested on learning more about the intersection of Christianity and libertarianism, I highly recommend checking out the Libertarian Christian Institute and AnarchoChristian. They’re much better on these topics than I am.