Conservative Colloquium

An Intellectual Forum for All Things Conservative

Common Ground Between Christianity and Libertariansim

Posted by Tony Listi on November 19, 2007

By D. Eric Schansberg, Indiana University

This essay is addressed primarily to members of two groups: non-Christian libertarians and non-libertarian Christians. While they often view each other with suspicion or even derision, in fact, the two worldviews are remarkably
consistent. That said, there are good reasons why the two groups have been wary of each other. Some Christians have confused the behavior of libertine libertarians with the philosophy of libertarianism. Moreover, Christians often
misunderstand the difference between legality and morality. For example, observing libertarians endorse drug legalization or legalized prostitution, Christians might easily but mistakenly conclude that being a libertarian means
condoning or endorsing such behaviors. Likewise, libertarians have confused the personal beliefs and behaviors of some Christians with the philosophy of biblical Christianity. For example, seeing some Christians endorse government activism in economic or social realms, libertarians might easily but mistakenly conclude that the Bible endorses such behavior.

Although the reasons for confusion are similar, my goals in writing this essay for the two groups are somewhat different. For libertarians, while there may be other good reasons for not embracing Christianity, I will illustrate that what the Bible says about government is not one of them. For Christians, I
will illustrate that libertarianism is consistent with Christianity, and thus, that there is no good reason for them not to embrace libertarianism as their political philosophy. Given the tasks at hand, I will appeal to passages from the
Bible that discuss Christianity and the extent to which the pursuit of governmental activism is an appropriate means to desirable ends….

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