Texas House Representative David Simpson delivered the following speech on October 8, 2014 at a Students For Liberty Event in Houston. This text was originally published at the SFL website. Rep. Simpson also recently was a keynote speaker for the first Christians for Liberty Conference. You can visit David’s website here.
We are here today to celebrate the next generation of pro-liberty leaders. In so doing I want to link pro-liberty leaders with America’s greatness.
America’s greatness is often depicted in its natural resources and so we sing: “O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain!” But America’s greatness lies not merely in the blessings of its rich resources of oil and gas, and farmland, but most of all within its people!
A people bound together by an idea, but even more than that, a conviction and recognition that individuals are endowed with certain inalienable rights—rights that cannot be severed from our being without doing violence to their humanity.
LCC reader Will asks via email:
Is there a difference between Christian Libertarians and Libertarian Christians? I am more inclined to state my theology first and my philosophy second, but LCC puts the L first. Wikipedia has separate entries for both, so what’s the key distinction?
I think that telling people at my church that I am a "libertarian Christian" seems like I put my politics above scripture…So that’s why I put the "Christian" first…
Will, I have published a short blog post on this topic a few years back:
In short, one could argue the point both ways. I could say that CHRISTIAN should be the NOUN in the phrase because it’s more important than the adjective, therefore it should be “libertarian Christian.” Alternatively, I could say that I need to "put my Christianity first" and, thus, the label should be “Christian libertarian.”
No matter which way I choose to label, I am a Christian who believes that libertarianism is the most consistent expression of Christian political thought. Ordering of the words is secondary to what I truly believe. That is why you will see us talk of “libertarian Christians” and “Christian libertarians” here at LCC. We see them as one and the same, and we are not looking to set up who is “right” and who is “wrong” in that particular label scheme.
However, our opinion regarding “libertarian Christianity” and “Christian libertarianism” is a bit different – but we will save that for another post. Stay tuned later this week for more.
One would think that if there is any group of people that would be opposed to war it would be Christians. After all, they claim to worship the Prince of Peace. But such is not the case now, and such was not the case 100 years ago during the Great War that we now call World War I.
I have often pointed out how strange it is that Christians should be so accepting of war. War is the greatest suppressor of civil liberties. War is the greatest creator of widows and orphans. War is the greatest destroyer of religion, morality, and decency. War is the greatest creator of fertile ground for genocides and atrocities. War is the greatest destroyer of families and young lives. War is the greatest creator of famine, disease, and homelessness. War is the health of the state.
Just as it was easy for the state to enlist the support of Christians for the Cold and Vietnam Wars against “godless communism,” so it is easy now for the state to garner Christian support for the War on Terror against “Islamic extremists.” But World War I was a Christian slaughterhouse. It was Christian vs. Christian, Protestant vs. Protestant, Catholic vs. Catholic. And to a lesser extent, it was also Jew vs. Jew and Muslim vs. Muslim.
The Christians for Liberty 2014 Conference has come and gone, but now we get to post the videos from the conference for everyone to see.
David Theroux gave the afternoon keynote of the conference. David is the President of both the Independent Institute and the C.S. Lewis Society of California. In this presentation, David speaks of Lewis’s views on the state, morality, and the role of Christians in society. Though C.S. Lewis was not an avowed libertarian, he certainly reflected many similar views and has much influence on current Christian libertarian thought. I hope that after hearing this talk you will have a new appreciation for the foresight of C.S. Lewis regarding the evils of statism.
Click here to watch the video on YouTube, and be sure to share it with your friends who love Lewis!
One of my great friends is Daniel Krawisz, who I first met at the University of Texas with Libertarian Longhorns. We were both graduate students, libertarian thinkers, and board gamers, so we quickly hit it off and have since traveled across the country together multiple times to attend libertarian conferences and to have a great time promoting the cause of liberty.
Daniel is a brilliant guy; he has earned graduate degrees in both physics and computer science and continually impresses me with his understanding of science and technology. But another area in which he has totally blown me away is his grasp of cryptography and bitcoin as a serious strategy against statism. He was instrumental in convincing me of the importance of bitcoin and the “crypto-anarchy” strategy, and today I want to encourage you to read his four-essay exposition on the subject. It may take some time to digest, but I promise you that the payoff is worth the effort. Here is a description and snippet from each essay to give you a flavor for what you will be reading at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.