Archive for christian libertarian
“Simply arresting and warehousing people has not worked to abate the flow of drugs, and it has caused far worse collateral damage.”
– Jay Hall
Introducing Christians for Liberty Conference speaker Jay Hall from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, who will present about Christians and the War on Drugs. LEAP is an international organization of current and former members of law enforcement who support eliminating the drug war.
Jay Hall has served as a law enforcement practitioner in several capacities. As a police officer in the Houston Police Department for 24 years, he focused on arrests; as a juvenile probation officer in Indiana, he focused on prevention; and as an adult parole officer, he focused on rehabilitation. But over time, he realized that as criminal justice approaches, none of these were a long-term solution to drug abuse and problems caused by the illicit drug market.
“Our drug problem is self-perpetuating; the short-term law enforcement solutions to these health issues are not working,” Jay says. “My job as a juvenile probation officer in Gary, Indiana was challenging because I saw that most of the juveniles I worked with looked up to drug dealers as role models. As a parole officer, I supervised about 100 ex-convicts, and those with a history of drug offenses were always the first to return. Those in our profession can see that the high recidivism rate is a barometer showing that our system does not work to rehabilitate people brought into the criminal justice system for drug crimes.”
Jay, who tragically lost his brother to violence caused by the illicit drug market, has always believed in making a difference by communicating with young at-risk people. “We can teach them about character and encourage them to do better,” he explains. “But simply arresting and warehousing people has not worked to abate the flow of drugs, and it has caused far worse collateral damage. Further, the government no longer has money to keep throwing at the incarceration solution.”
As for a new approach, rehabilitation is key for Jay. “As a spiritual person, I would say that God has a greater calling for your life than being addicted to drugs. From a practical standpoint, people struggling with drug addiction need counseling and treatment for their illness. Rehabilitation involves teaching people how to fish rather than giving them a fish.”
Jay holds an associated degree in law enforcement, a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and master’s degrees in public administration and management. He is currently working on a doctorate degree in organization behavior, management and leadership. In his rare spare time outside of academic work and LEAP, he enjoys chess and exercise.
Today marks the first of a short series of posts highlighting the great speakers at the Christians for Liberty Conference. So, please welcome Michael Maharrey!
Michael Maharrey serves as the national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center.
Hailing from Lexington, Ky., he’s extremely proud that his home state originated the Principles of ’98, laying the groundwork for state nullification of unconstitutional acts.
Michael is the author of three books. Our Last Hope – Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty, makes the historical, philosophical and moral case for nullification. Smashing Myths: Understanding Madison’s Notes on Nullification digs deep into James Madison’s views on nullification, focusing on his writing’s later in life. Finally, Michael joined Tenth Amendment Center executive director Micheal Boldin in penning Nullification Objections: Dismantling the Opposition, a book that takes apart the common objections to nullification one at a time. He is currently working on his fourth book, focusing on the dangers of centralized power, with a tentative publication date of fall 2014.
Michael earned a degree in Mass Communications and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. As a non-traditional student, he won several academic awards and was a member of the school’s ethics bowl team that placed eighth in the nation. Mike played for the USF ice hockey team at the ripe old age of 40, earning American Collegiate Hockey Association Academic All-American honors. He also holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Kentucky. Along with his formal schooling, he’s had the opportunity to associate with and study under some of the top academics in constitutional history and our founding principles.
Michael speaks at events across the United States, and frequently appears as a guest on local and national radio shows advancing constitutional fidelity and liberty through decentralization.
As a working journalist, Michael has written and reported for several newspapers, including the St. Petersburg Times and the Kentucky Gazette, covering local and state politics, and sports. Mike won a pair of 2009 Kentucky Press Association awards while serving as the sports editor for the Woodford Sun in 2009. He also worked for a local television news outlet writing web content for the station’s award-winning website.
Michael is married to his beautiful wife Cynthia, and has two teenage daughters and a son. Although a native Kentuckian, he spent much of his adult life in Florida and considers the Sunshine state his adopted home. In his spare time, he still plays ice hockey and is equally passionate about defending the Constitution and his crease.
At the Christian libertarian FAQ page, J. asks:
Are there any notable 20th century Christian libertarian scholars or philosophers? After John Locke, every major libertarian thinker from Hayek, to Von Mises, to Rand, to Nozick, to Friedman, and onward seems to have been atheist or agnostic. Are there any exceptions?
Often Christian scholars are less visible than their secular counterparts because they do not hold high positions in government or at large public universities but rather are church leaders, missionaries, or professors at Christian colleges. Their views as Christians may overshadow their libertarianism since politics is only one part of a Christian worldview.
Many Christians hold to some variety of limited government and could be considered libertarians in that sense. However, as Christians are less commonly supportive of abortion, for example, their libertarianism is at variance with that of, say, Murray Rothbard.
Some of the more prominent 20th Century Christians who hold to political beliefs which could be described as libertarian include:
- Edmund Opitz – Congregationalist Minister, Senior Staff Member at FEE
- Hans Sennholz – Economist in the Austrian School, Professor at Grove City College
- Gordon H. Clark – Christian Philosopher, Professor
- J. Gresham Machen – Theologian, Professor, Orthodox Presbyterian Church
- Ron Paul – Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Presidential Candidate
- John Howard Yoder – Mennonite Theologian, Christian Pacifist
Others deserving a mention include John W. Robbins and Rousas John Rushdoony, although Rushdoony was a proponent of theonomic reconstructionism rather than libertarianism per se.
Furthermore, there are a number of Christians associated with think tanks such as the Mises Institute, Cato Institute, and Independent Institute, including Jeffrey Tucker, Tom Woods, Robert P. Murphy, Lew Rockwell, Gary North, William Grigg, Ryan McMaken, David Theroux, and Doug Bandow. Others that should be mentioned include Chuck Baldwin, Steven Yates, Laurence Vance, and our own Norman Horn.
Check out the rest of the Christian Libertarian FAQ here.
From a member of the Christian libertarian facebook group:
I’m not sure who created this group, but I want to commend them for it and the members that make it what it is. This group has been very educational for me compared to other libertarian groups and it has really helped me understand how I am libertarian and christian at the same time. I read one comment on here that really stood out to me. It said, "I am libertarian because I am a christian." Love it! Keep it up!
Well, as the creator of the group, this sort of comment really warms my heart. The discussion that takes place is incredibly important and formative for all involved. We argue, we debate, we live and learn. If you’re not part of it, you really ought to be. Join today!