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The real Christian Nation

This guest post is by Rev. Donald Ehrke. He is a Libertarian, a former GOP campaign manager, and ordained minister living in Alexandria, Virginia. Many thanks to Donald for his excellent work! For guest post opportunities, please use the LCC Contact Page.

Before departing Springfield, Illinois for Washington, D.C., president-elect Abraham Lincoln remarked, “I now leave…with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being, who ever attended Him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail.” Lincoln reiterated his confidence that God willed the preservation of the American union in his first inaugural address, “You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect, and defend it.’”

After a year of unforeseen bloodshed, Lincoln grew less certain of the Union’s privileged status. Following the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln noted, “In great contests, each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time.”

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Shall we abandon the non-aggression principle?

It has been fashionable of late for some libertarians to broaden the libertarian non-aggression principle in their attempts to make libertarianism less thin and brutal and more cosmopolitan and humanitarian.

I will not address this controversy here. I recently made very clear my views on libertarianism.

What I do want to address is an older libertarian attack on the non-aggression principle that has recently reared its ugly head.

Some libertarians, way back when (Liberty, May 1988) and more recently (here and here), have actually called for abandoning the non-aggression principle altogether. (See replies to the recent cases here and here).

I think it would be important before continuing to revisit exactly what it is that libertarians mean when they talk about the non-aggression principle being foundational to libertarianism. For this I turn to two of the greatest libertarian theorists and proponents: Murray Rothbard and his long-time friend and disciple (in the good sense) Walter Block.

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What the Bible says about immigrants (and it may surprise you!)

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Many conservative and liberal Christians in America look upon immigrants very negatively. Despite the irrefutable evidence that immigrants – even illegal immigrants – do not “steal” American jobs, do not sap entitlements, and are a clear boon to the economy, we routinely hear how immigrants are categorically “bad.”

I am here to tell you that such an attitude is wrong on every level. Besides the economic and ethical arguments for why we should embrace open borders and oppose the state claiming more and more power to usurp freedom of movement, even God is on the side of the “alien”. We can see this throughout Scripture.

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Can Ayn Rand and Christianity hold a civil conversation? A review of “The Soul of Atlas”

soul-of-atlasBook review of The Soul of Atlas by Mark Henderson. 2013 Reason Publishing, 246 pages. http://soulofatlas.com

Although libertarians have been known to say that it usually begins with Ayn Rand, Christians – especially Christian libertarians – have varying views of Rand and the objectivist philosophy. Even here at LCC, we have published both positive and negative viewpoints on Rand.

I was immediately interested when Mark Henderson contacted me about his recently published book The Soul of Atlas. Mark’s utmost desire in the book is to show that Christianity and objectivism have some common ground, and that this common ground is a great place to start a conversation where one can learn from the other. Mark accomplishes this goal through a survey of fundamental tenets of both philosophies and an intensely personal autobiographical presentation of himself.

Mark grew up in a Christian home, but his faith was rocked when his parents divorced. His mother remarried to objectivist John Aglialoro. His father also eventually remarried, but remained a Christian. During his teenage and young adult years, he describes the evolution of his personal philosophy as deeply affected by his “two fathers.” He struggled with his faith in God for multiple reasons, not the least of which were the things he was learning from John about Rand and objectivism. To make matters worse, he was also diagnosed with cancer as a teenager. Mark spent years working out what he believed, and the Soul of Atlas shows a sensitivity to these disparate viewpoints that one rarely sees from either side. His personal experiences with his “two fathers” allow him to put forward a unique perspective.

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Drug Warriors Are Harmful: Debunking 7 Myths of Their Own Creation

My unusual title is because I am replying to an article posted at the Heritage Foundation’s blog, The Foundry, titled: “Marijuana Is Harmful: Debunking 7 Myths Arguing It’s Fine,” by Kevin A. Sabet.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. I have criticized the organization and its president, former Republican senator Jim DeMint, for their hypocrisy and support of the welfare/war state. But this does not mean that Heritage does not produce some valuable studies on things like harmful Democratic policies, Obamacare, the Obama administration, welfare, the federal budget, the minimum wage, tax policy, government regulations, free trade, and the free market.

The mission of the Heritage Foundation is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”

I think we can take “individual freedom” off the list. And we might as well remove “free enterprise” and “limited government” as well, since the Heritage Foundation doesn’t believe in them either. And it’s a good thing that the Heritage mission statement doesn’t also mention the reverence for the Constitution that the organization has or that part of the statement would have to be removed as well.

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