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The Christian libertarian movement has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 6 years, and LibertarianChristians.com has been at the forefront of that growth. Even so, all of us Christians libertarians still encounter difficulties organizing and networking to help spread liberty ideas with our fellow Christians. Social networks, such as the Christian libertarian Facebook group, have had some success in bringing Christian libertarians together online, but it is time for us to take the next step forward.

Therefore, I am proud to announce that the first annual Christians for Liberty Conference will be held in early August 2014 in Austin, Texas! We have secured the necessary funding to begin preparations and are now recruiting speakers. The venue reservations are on the way as well. Through this conference, we will fellowship, learn from each other, and equip ourselves to build a freer society with some of the greatest ideas the world has ever seen.

Now I need your help! I have been repeatedly requested over the past three years to host a conference, and I am trusting that you will help make this a reality. The first step for you is very simple: Will you fill out a quick survey about the conference? Your response will help us nail down a final date and estimate how many people will attend. We also are interested in who you would want to see speak at the conference. Plus, we would love to email you specific updates about the event (and nothing more) when they become available.

Right now, we are planning on either August 1-3 or August 8-10, 2014. So mark your calendar and get ready! This survey will be open for no more than ten days, so please help us out by clicking here to take the survey as soon as you can. In fact, please take the survey even if you are not 100% sure about your availability but still want to attend. The more information we have, the better.

You may be wondering about the cost of the conference, but let me assure you that registration fees will be eminently affordable and will primarily help cover food and venue costs. College students will also have scholarship opportunities available to them. Just focus on getting to Austin and prepping for a great weekend of learning.

I hope that you are as excited as I am about this conference and the future of the Christian libertarian movement. This promises to be a new beginning for all of us as we seek to engage the church and the broader world with big ideas and loving hearts. I look forward to seeing you in Austin this August!

What? You’re at the end of this blog post and you haven’t clicked the survey link yet? Well then, click here and take the survey now!

Categories : Blog News
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2014-03-09 16.09.35

Tonight (Sunday, March 9, 2014) at 6 pm CST I will be doing an “Ask Me Anything” session on the Anarcho-Capitalism Reddit board (or “Sub-Reddit” for regular users). I will be fielding questions regarding Christianity and libertarianism / anarcho-capitalism to the best of my ability for about 2 hours with an additional hour if I need to catch up on questions I miss.

While I do intend to answer as many questions as possible regarding libertarian thought in general, I will give special priority to those questions with theological flare. Also admissible: questions about my work against the TSA, and the viral Netflix chat from last fall (which made a big splash on Reddit).

Hopefully, a good time will be had by all, so I’ll see you there!

UPDATE: Link to the Reddit thread.

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Feb
04

Technical Difficulties with RSS

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We have recently noticed that Feedburner – the website through which we publish our RSS feed and email subscriptions – has been acting up and no longer is sending emails to subscribers. As a result, no email was sent to subscribers for the previous three posts: Spot the Theological Problem, Is Wealth a Sin, and God’s Own Party. Please forgive us for the inconvenience.

Feedburner is a Google product that currently receives very little support, and the popular consensus is that, like Google Reader, Feedburner will be shut down eventually. We are investigating what options we have to switch over to a new system. We will try to make the switch as seamless as possible, but expect that email subscribers will be most affected by the change. Thank you for your patience through this transition.

If you have been an RSS subscriber via Google Reader and have not known what to do now that Reader is shut down, I recommend you try out Feedly.com as an alternative. I have found it to be an excellent RSS aggregator and fun to use. You can also create an email subscription for yourself through If-This-Then-That (IFTTT), which is a useful service on its own.

You can also follow LCC via Facebook or Twitter. Please, become a fan/follower and help spread the word!

Stay tuned for further updates regarding new subscription options as we expand the reach of LCC’s great content.

Finally, if you are an RSS guru and want to help us out, please drop us a line at LCC’s Contact Page.

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I will be on the “Live and Let Live” Radio Show this Sunday night, December 8, 2013, from 9pm to 10pm CST. I will be speaking with host Gary Johnson (no, not the former presidential candidate, but the TEXAS Gary Johnson) about government, marriage, and the Patrick Henry College debate, as well as other Christian libertarian topics.

The program is live on the Logos Radio Network, also known as the Rule of Law Radio Network. It can be heard live on http://www.LogosRadioNetwork.com and on affiliate stations, including 90.1 FM in Austin, Texas. The episode will be archived on http://archive.LogosRadioNetwork.com/category/live-and-let-live/.

You can even call in to ask a question at 512-646-1984.

Tune in and hang out with us on Sunday night!

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Two weeks have passed since I traveled to Virginia to debate at Patrick Henry College. I think it is about time to give you an account of what happened!

First, the back-story… I was contacted a few months ago by Chris at Patrick Henry College. Chris was the President of the Wilberforce Society at PHC. He had read a few of my essays on LCC about government and marriage, and felt that I would be a good candidate for a debate to be held at PHC between a libertarian and a conservative regarding government regulation of marriage. I was a bit skeptical at first; I even wondered if I was being “set up” for a takedown. Indeed, why select me of all people? I am not a big name guy, I do not have a huge reputation. But Chris was immensely kind, well-spoken, and transparent about everything. He said that they specifically wanted me because I do not adhere to the perfect “party line” of promoting state-regulated gay marriage, but rather challenge the entire institution of the government itself and its power to regulate marriage. He said that this was the conversation he found most compelling and wanted to bring me in to talk about it.

At that point, I tentatively accepted but we had some issues nailing down a date – and things just continued to get crazier for both of us. Thankfully, we were able to come to an agreement and we set everything in motion. My debate opponent was to be Dr. Allan Carlson of the Howard Center For Family, Religion, and Society. Thus, on November 16th, I took an early flight to Washington, D.C. Besides the ritual groping I always seem to earn at the airport, it was a nice flight. Chris and I had lunch together and discussed politics, education, and our mutual faith. In fact, he was so excited about the event that he could not help but interrogate me about what I was intending to say in the debate. So, I had a warm-up Q&A session before the main show.

The debate was a fairly standard format – but since this was my first time doing a serious formal debate, nothing was standard for me and it shows! The resolution for the debate read, “Resolved: That the government should define marriage as between one man and one woman.” Dr. Carlson and I were both given 15 minutes for an opening statement with him (the affirmative) starting, followed by rebuttals of 5 and 6 minutes for each of us, and Dr. Carlson receiving an opportunity for a counter-rebuttal of 1 minute. Then, we were to have a 30 minute Q&A from the audience.

My remarks were centered around three central points:

  1. Government definition of marriage is unnecessary. This is my “historical” point. Marriage did quite well for millennia without any government help or definition.
  2. Federal Government definition of marriage, in particular, is unconstitutional. This is my “Appeal to the American in You” point. Constitutional conservatives, on their own terms, do not have the grounds for demanding the Federal Government step in and define marriage.
  3. The power to define marriage is a power that no government should have. This is my “ethical” point. A government powerful enough to define things the way you like is also powerful enough to take all your definitions away. Moreover, it becomes precedent for all kinds of terrible positive law.

Following these points, I presented a positive case for what the Church in particular can do to support marriage and fundamental liberty without appealing to the government to take action at all.

The video, shown below, is 75 minutes long, so if you want to watch everything at once be sure to set aside a bit of time for it! I will warn you ahead of time that I did have some rough spots, but overall I think it was a good learning experience for all.



Video streaming by Ustream

(Permanent link to the Ustream page, in case the embedding doesn’t work at some point.)

A few post-mortem thoughts…

I probably researched what Dr. Carlson has written on marriage more than he did of my own writings. I basically outflanked him with his own material. I felt that his rebuttal was fairly weak and did not truly answer some of my fundamental objections to the conservative position. Despite some of my own foul-ups in my discussion, I thought the Q&A was pretty spectacular, albeit I really need to become better versed in common law traditions so I can talk more intelligently on specifics!

In the end, it was clear that Dr. Carlson had much trust in government power, and, on the other hand, I had absolutely zero trust in it. Let the conservatives and libertarians take heed. I like Dr. Carlson and have a lot of respect for his work, but I do believe he has too much faith in government.

One last thing you do not see in the video is the “afterward” of the debate. At the conclusion, I had a large number of students immediately come to the front desiring to continue the conversation. I spent over an hour and a half talking with students about libertarianism, theology, marriage, culture, and policy. From what I could tell, Dr. Carlson did not quite garner the same kind of after-debate audience. It somewhat reminded me of the end of the second Keynes-Hayek Rap Video, and certainly suggests that the intellectual tide of these young people is turning toward liberty. Or, at the very least, they are very curious!

So what did you think? Let me know in the comments.
<br /><a href=”http://www.ustream.tv/” style=”padding: 2px 0px 4px; width: 400px; background: #ffffff; display: block; color: #000000; font-weight: normal; font-size: 10px; text-decoration: underline; text-align: center;” target=”_blank”>Video streaming by Ustream</a>

Categories : Articles, Blog News, Media
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