I am a Christian. I am a Libertarian.
This is not a contradiction. In fact, I believe that Libertarianism is the most Christian political worldview. I understand that there are many Libertarians who are not Christian, and many Christians who are not Libertarian. But I believe that these two worldviews fit together. Please let me explain.
As a Christian, to use the words of Ravi Zacharias, I believe that the supreme ethic that God has given to us is Love. Love for God, love for each other. That is why He gives us free will, and why freedom and liberty are so precious. Without freedom, you can have obedience, but you can't have love. With freedom, you can love, and you can choose to give obedience and love to one who is worthy.
The political Left says, we need to care for our fellow humans. And indeed we have that obligation. When we care for each other, we are following God's commandment to love one another. But the political Left's solution is to create a system that attends to every need. A system that demands compliance. A system can't produce love, it can only enforce obedience. True loving service is compassionate and voluntary, it is grassroots and bottom-up, not top-down. Without love and compassion, this system which demands that we be enslaved to each other tends to produce corruption and oppression.
The political Right says, we need to be virtuous. And indeed, there is great value in virtue and discipline. When we strive for virtue, we are trying to be closer to God. The political Right's solution is to create laws to enforce virtue, an environment that drives us to virtue. But laws can’t produce virtue in the heart, only the surface appearance of it. True virtue comes from a fierce desire to improve one’s own self. It does not judge the neighbor. Without this inward focus on the self, these laws which demand outward protection tend to lead to legalism and hypocrisy.
To be a libertarian, and socially minded, you have to accept that the only people you can help are the people you can reach. But we can join together in voluntary associations and charity groups, and exponentially increase our power to help, as long as we don’t use force against anyone who is not called to join us. To be a libertarian, and to care about virtuous living, you have to accept that the only virtue you can truly be responsible for is your own. And yet, we can join together in churches, family organizations, and other social groupings to teach and encourage each other, as long as we don’t enforce our ideas of virtue on those who aren’t called to join us. By being more loving in our service, and by showing the rewards of a virtuous heart, you can attract others to join you.
That’s how I see it. You may disagree. I’m not forcing anyone to believe what I believe. You can be a Libertarian without being a Christian. You can be a Christian without being a Libertarian. I just wanted to share where I am.
Reposted from Danny's blog, Lions and Eagles, November 10, 2018.