Three weeks ago, we hosted the first ever Christians for Liberty Conference at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. Now that we have had a chance to breathe a little bit, I want to give you a brief report on what happened.
On Friday night, August 1st, we hosted a panel discussion and ice cream social at the University Avenue Church of Christ. (UA Church is the congregation where I attend and am a part-time minister.) The panel consisted of Lauren Daugherty, Patrick Dixon, Jason Rink, and myself. We discussed how our Christian faith informs our libertarian activities in the local community, and we took questions for about 40 minutes from the attendees on a variety of topics, from dealing with social issues to left-libertarianism!
Saturday was our main event. Although never explicitly stated, the schedule for the day was divided into three “sessions.” The morning session had a “fundamentals” focus, and included talks such as my Biblical Foundations of Christian Libertarianism and Jason Rink’s American Idol presentation.
After lunch, we had our first keynote talk from David Theroux, President of the Independent Institute, about C.S. Lewis and “mere liberty”. Then, the first afternoon session dealt with targeted issues about liberty and Christian faith, such as the drug war and poverty.
The final series of talks focused on practical issues. You might say these were of a more “activist” nature, and included LCC author Doug Stuart’s presentation Stuck in the Middle. It culminated with Rep. David Simpson discussing the practical implications of being a liberty-minded Christian. After an incredible barbeque dinner, we heard from Students For Liberty president Alexander McCobin about why he believes it is so important for Christians to understand libertarianism. We then had a splendid social time afterward for those who wanted to stay late and keep the discussion going.
On Sunday, we convened again at the University Avenue Church of Christ in the afternoon for an open discussion on whatever was on our minds after such a great Saturday conference. We even discussed the upcoming plans to start a regular meetup in Austin for Christian libertarians and encouraged visiting from out of town to prayerfully consider starting their own as well.
All in all, it was an absolutely incredible weekend and rivals some of the best experiences of my life. Conferences are big commitments for both organizers and attendees, but a well-put together event has a huge payoff. I think all attendees would agree that this first-ever conference was just what we needed to take our movement to the next level. Now, we look forward to putting together the CFL Leadership Team and continuing to build the Christian libertarian movement.
On behalf of all the organizers, I want to say THANK YOU to all our attendees and our sponsors. We couldn’t have done it without you! I especially want to thank my wife Katelyn for all of her support and for organizing all the food for Saturday. Special thanks as well to my brother Dustin for stepping up and helping the whole way through, Doug Stuart for being our Emcee, Jason Rink for video support, and Andy Fernandez for managing so much of the facility reservations and all of the sound on the day-of.
We will continue to post videos from the conference (minus the Q&A) to LibertarianChristians.com for all to see, and I hope you will avail yourself of these great resources.