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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:
http://libertarianchristians.com/2009/03/20/differences/

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.

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Aug
25

Join the CFL Leadership Team

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It’s time to take another new step toward building the Christian libertarian movement. Right now, we know that there are untold numbers of Christians in the world interested in libertarian ideas. However, we have very few structures and opportunities available to us (outside of social networking) that help us to band together and spread our ideas to our Christian neighbors. Therefore, we have taken new measures to create these structures and opportunities.

With the success of the 2014 Christians For Liberty Conference we are now looking to turn this event into an organization to provide support to libertarian Christians around the world.
To do this we need to build a team of volunteers to take up responsibility for the success of this initiative.

CFL Volunteer leaders will work closely with me (LCC/CFL founder Norman Horn) and will be responsible for hosting future conferences, maintaining the website, producing content, distributing materials, and most importantly outreach and recruiting new members for the Christians For Liberty community.

Thus, our first goal for these new leaders is to start small groups in our local communities with the intent of hosting regular meetings for Christian libertarians to learn and grow together. These groups in turn will work toward influencing other Christians in their area, teaching them about the virtues of liberty.

Ideal candidates will have strong backgrounds in both libertarianism and Christianity and a passion for building a big tent community of like minded individuals. If you are interested in being part of such an organization, click here and apply today.

Won’t you join us in this grand experiment?

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“Simply arresting and warehousing people has not worked to abate the flow of drugs, and it has caused far worse collateral damage.”
– Jay Hall

Jay HallIntroducing 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.

Find out more about LEAP, and sign up for the Christians for Liberty Conference today!

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me_speechToday 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.

Check out Michael Maharrey’s website, and sign up for the Christians for Liberty Conference today!

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I think it is rather funny how two major golden boys in the "Conservative Idol" game have been taken down by infidelity in the past few weeks: Dinesh D’Souza and now General Petraeus.

It is especially sickening, though, that according to “conservatives” the military is supposed to be the virtuous of virtuous groups, we are supposed to honor the living daylights out of them, give them special treatment (even moral license), etc., and yet at the highest levels we find such immoral scumbags. And people still think they can make decisions about who lives and who dies?

I keep growing in my dislike for social "conservatives" because, basically, they are complete and total statists. Oh yes, they say they want limited, small government, low taxes – except when it comes to enforcing their social values at the point of a gun and to making sure the military has unlimited expense accounts to police the world and blow up countries they find nominally offensive.

Even as a theologically conservative Christian, I cannot stand being associated with the socially “conservative” philosophy overall. If I had to label it, I’d say I am socially Biblical, not conservative. Even though God’s theocracy/monarchy in Israel had civil laws that we do not, nowhere in Scripture are we called as Christians to make the State make people moral.

Of course, being socially Biblical as well as a libertarian, I intuitively recognize that you cannot make people moral. People must make the choice to be moral freely. That does not meant there are no boundaries whatsoever (we expect prohibitions on violence), but personal morals must be adhered to voluntarily. If I am to believe the Bible, I cannot be a social conservative, nor a social liberal.

What do you think, is it time to abandon the term “socially conservative,” but not even replace it with “socially liberal”? Can we be “socially Biblical” and retain some nominal kinship to people on both sides? Is calling our position “socially Biblical” even a good idea in the first place? Let us know in the comments.

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