ISIS, the Crusades, and Religious Violence

With the savage violence being reported daily from the Middle East, and with news of the recent Christian martyrs in Libya, what to do and how to respond has been a hotly debated topic. In most conversations, the only points of debate are how much military power needs to be exerted and how swiftly these powers should act. While this is expected of mainstream political players which are essentially characterized by their use of force, such attitudes are becoming increasingly more common in Christian circles.

Read More

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.

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.

Read More

God’s Own Party?

GOP_book_danielwilliamsReview of Daniel K. Williams, God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right (Oxford University Press, 2012), ix + 372 pgs.

According to the majority of conservative Christians, the GOP is God’s Own Party. Voting for Republicans on election day—any Republican no matter what he believes—is an article of faith in the creed of many Christians. Voting for Democrats is a great sin. Voting for a third party is wasting your vote. Voting for Libertarians is unthinkable. Voting for no one is un-American. “Vote Republican (even if you have to hold your nose to do it)” is the great conservative Christian refrain every election season.

“Republicans, in general,” says Texas governor and former GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry, “believe in low taxes, low regulation, less spending, free-market health care, constitutionalist judges, protecting innocent life, enforcing our laws and borders, peace through strength, empowering the states, and generally advocating principles closer to limited government than not.”

Just the opposite is true, of course. The Republican Party is the party of lies, hypocrisy, crony capitalism, regulation, the drug war, war, torture, empire, foreign aid, the welfare/warfare state, and police statism, as I have documented in many articles over the years. The GOP, as my friend Tom DiLorenzo describes it, is nothing but a Gang of Plunderers.

Read More