Archive for religion
By Rev. Edmund Opitz, author of The Libertarian Theology of Freedom and Religion and Capitalism: Allies, Not Enemies. This essay was originally published in the July 1973 issue of The Freeman. Read more in the Edmund Opitz Archive.
The colonists had won a war and, desiring to set up a republican form of government, they installed a Constitution designed to limit the public authority and thus maximize personal liberty.
Now that they were free, what did these early Americans do with their newly won liberty? For one thing, they worked. They had to provide their own food, clothing and shelter, so work was a necessity of survival. Moreover, these people remembered the poverty endured by their ancestors in Europe and how life was demeaned thereby. Now that these Americans were free to enjoy the fruits of their toil they became more productive, and with the gradual increase of wealth came a new sense of human dignity which accompanies modest economic success. The Puritan Ethic was sound when it endorsed work, thrift and frugality. This ethic fitted in well with the burgeoning interest in the new science of economics, masterfully set forth in 1776 by Adam Smith. It is significant that more than twenty five hundred copies of Wealth of Nations were sold in this country within five years of its appearance. Obviously, the book addressed itself to a real need.
Economic activity is fundamental to human existence. A Robinson Crusoe could get along without politicking, but if he did not work he would die of hunger and exposure. Emerging from economic activity are the concepts of rights to property and claims to service around which many political battles are fought. Economics, on the surface, deals with prices, production, and the operations of the market as determined by the buying habits of every one of us. In reality, however, economics is concerned with the conservation and stewardship of the earth’s scarce goods; human energy, time, material resources and natural forces. Read More→
Tags: economics, Edmund Opitz, freedom, history, religion
By Edmund Opitz, author of The Libertarian Theology of Freedom and Religion and Capitalism: Allies, Not Enemies. This essay was originally published in the December 1972 issue of The Freeman, and continues from his previous article.
Part One of this essay presents a diagnosis of the present malaise in terms of a loss of contact with six vital ideas. The ideas which keep us human may be summarized as follows:
- Free Will. Man’s gift of free will makes him a responsible being.
- Rationality. Man is a reasoning being who, by taking thought, gains valid truths about himself and the universe.
- Self-responsibility. Each person is the custodian of his own energy and talents, charged with the lifetime task of bringing himself to completion.
- Beauty. Man confronts beauty in the very nature of things, and reproduces this vision in art.
- Goodness. Man has a moral sense, enabling and requiring him to choose between good and evil.
- The Sacred. Man participates in an order which transcends nature and society.
It is no secret that a great many philosophers and scientists deny free will and affirm determinism; it is also a fact that no one can really bring himself around to believing that he is an automaton. A philosopher who announces himself as a determinist presumes to offer us a conclusion he has arrived at after observation, after marshalling the relevant evidence, after reflection, and as the end result of a chain of reasoning. Each of these steps reflects the action of a free being, and these free actions can never be pieced together so as to contrive an unfree result. Man’s will is free; it is so free that it can deny this freedom!
Tags: beauty, Edmund Opitz, free society, free will, philosophy, rationality, religion, responsibility
I have not done a news post in some time, so I have a lot of links piled up for you today. I think you will find many of them of interest for both general purposes and particularly Christian libertarian purposes as well.
The Bionic Mosquito has a very interesting article up regarding libertarians and abortion. He is definitely adding to the debate and it is worth checking out.
Gerard Casey says that religion and politics needs to file for divorce. The power couple has fallen!
David Gordon reviews a new book on religious toleration and freedom of conscience.
Gene Healy hopes that Sandy Hook will not be seen as a 9-11 for schools. Some people really think that a gun ban would help, but apparently it doesn’t work in China. It’s a sick world, folks. Jeff Tucker asks why schools shouldn’t be allowed to secure themselves.
Jeff also has a superb article describing how the state will ultimately end.
From the You-Have-To-Be-Kidding-Me Department… The US Air Force is apparently now using Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a means of justifying nuclear warfare. Yes. Really.
My new favorite comic… (Thank you XKCD!)
Have something you want to share with everyone? Let us know in the comments. I read every comment and respond to as many as I can!
Tags: charity, economics, News of the Week, politics, religion, statism
I am trying to better understand the intellectual foundations behind the similarities of both libertarianism and christianity, however I came across a Wikipedia entry that suggests a difference between "Christian libertarianism" and "Libertarian Christianity" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_Christianity). Is there any essential and significant difference between both terms?
Great question! The Wikipedia entry you mention suggests that "libertarian Christianity" comes from a specific blend of systematic and biblical theology. They suppose they are distinct from "Christian libertarians" because of their "Bible-based legal philosophy using biblical hermeneutics that are different from those used by Christian libertarians." (That’s a Wikipedia quote.) To me, this sounds more or less like theonomic reconstructionism, a view I respect but with which I very much disagree for a variety of reasons.
In contrast, "Christian libertarianism describes the synthesis of Christian beliefs concerning human nature and dignity with libertarian political philosophy." (Also a Wikipedia quote.) Christian libertarianism looks for the congruence of libertarian political thought and Christian theology because of a firm belief in the harmony of natural law with sound theological principles. I have written a few essays that take this approach, including an article for the Washington Post.
This is fundamentally why you will never hear me describe what I believe as "libertarian Christianity." As it is, the terms comes a bit too front-loaded for me. However, I have no problem calling myself a libertarian Christian OR Christian libertarian. In fact, I’ve written a bit more on that topic in this blog post.
Tags: christian libertarian, christian libertarianism, Christianity, libertarian christian, libertarian christianity, philosophy, religion, theology
Recapping the interesting and significant news and articles of the past week.
A hoax has been traversing the net recently about Muslim fundamentalists crucifying Christians in Egypt. Aaron Taylor of Evangelicals for Peace explains what is REALLY going on at his Middle East Experience blog.
Christians should have heeded Ron Paul’s message – here’s why.
Can Christians bear the sword of the state? Thrica explores the views of Luther and Lipscomb on participation in government.
Gene Healy rips on the Parasite City, otherwise known as Washington, D.C. I like to call it Mordor.
I recently watched the new Batman movie at the theatre… Did you know that Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises once made an appearance in a Batman comic book?
This Kansas prosecutor was defeated by the total stupidity of the state’s marijuana laws. Is this an example of jury nullification?
Have you been to LCC recently? If not, here are a few posts you may have missed:
- Liveblogging “Public Jesus”
- The Antiwar Odyssey of Laurence Vance
- Happy 50th Birthday to Laurence Vance
- Todd Akin’s rape comments and the absurdity of right-wing pro-lifers
- Instinct and Ethics
Have something you want to share? Please let us know in the comments. I read every comment and respond to most of them. Thanks for your support!
Tags: economics, News of the Week, religion