Are you really for liberty? The Drug War Litmus Test.

Conservative Republicans are sometimes said by the media to be “libertarian” or “libertarian-leaning.” This is especially true if they say something about marijuana legislation being left up to the states because of the Tenth Amendment.

A recent article in the Huffington Post about the attitude of certain Republican politicians—all presidential hopefuls—toward marijuana legalization reminds me to mention the drug war litmus test, especially as we head into another election season.

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Progressives, Libertarians, and God’s Economy

When progressives emphasize social justice by using collectivist phrases like “common good” and “caring for our neighbor,” the typical reaction of libertarians is to focus on their wrongheaded policies and methodology. But libertarians who call themselves followers of Jesus can greatly benefit by understanding an important aspect of the gospel. If the good news of Jesus Christ is sufficient for personal transformation, it is sufficient for social transformation as well. But progressives fail to produce workable and ethical social reform, whereas libertarians offer ideas that are not only compatible with social justice efforts, they offer an ethical social framework within which to produce it.

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Christian Faith and Social Justice: Five Views

416X-+ksjkL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_If you enjoy reading as much as I do, the stack of books on your nightstand is about to topple and your Amazon Wish List is so large it requires its own web host. If our book selection is alike, some of those books share a perspective favorable to our shared bias toward liberty, while others do not. I like to be informed about opposing sides of an issue, but there is so much to learn and not enough time. Every field of study has a plethora of literature from a range of perspectives. Reading multiple full-length books on each one would be immensely time-consuming.

Thankfully there is a market solution to this dilemma. Years ago publishers invented a product for those who want to stay informed but are short on time: the multiple views books. These books contrast the differences of opinion on a single topic in the context of a conversation among experts, all in a single volume. There are trade-offs, of course. Multiple-view books contain theses that are succinct but not fully developed, while single-view books usually are more comprehensive. Single-view books, however, suffer from one disadvantage: the authors are often not engaged in the same conversation.

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Announcing the Christians for Liberty 2015 Conference – August 7-8

Christians for Liberty 2015 ConferenceThe 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 Christian 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 we need to keep pressing forward.

Last year, we hosted the first-ever Christians for Liberty Conference in Austin, Texas. Over 115 dedicated Christians came together for an intense weekend full of great speakers, fellowship with fellow libertarian Christians, and experiences with some of the best organizations in Texas and throughout the United States. It was the beginning of a new era for those of us who love Christ and liberty, and starting from there we have endeavored to use that momentum to further this cause by starting small group meet-ups across the United States and much more.

Today I am happy to announce that the dates have been set for the Christians for Liberty 2015 Conference, and you can now mark your calendar for August 7th and 8th, 2015! Once again, you are invited to join us at Austin’s own St. Edwards University for an experience like none other.

I am also particularly proud to welcome Dr. Lawrence Reed as our first keynote speaker at the conference. Dr. Reed is the president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and the recent author of Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?, a monograph dismantling the notion that Jesus had visions of income redistribution via government fiat.

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Joseph Judson Taylor, Man of Peace

[A shorter version of this essay was presented at the 2015 Austrian Economics Research Conference at the Mises Institute.]

Since the beginning of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, two words that have rarely been seen together are “Baptist” and “pacifist.” We have instead been subject to things like high-profile Baptist leader Jerry Falwell writing a defense of the Iraq war titled “God Is Pro-War,” Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, writing to President Bush that his “policies concerning the ongoing international terrorist campaign against America” were “both right and just,” and the Southern Baptist Convention passing resolutions expressing appreciation for President Bush, U.S. troops, military chaplains, and the war effort.

I have stood against this nonsense from the very beginning. At times virtually alone. I recently discovered a kindred spirit in the Baptist pacifist Joseph Judson Taylor.

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