Is it possible to be both a Christian and a libertarian?
In a forthcoming book, Called to Freedom: Why You Can Be Christian & Libertarian, six Christian libertarians offer an emphatic, "yes," exploring key tensions and challenging a range common critiques (whether from conservative Christians or secular libertarians). The project is currently seeking funds via Indiegogo, where you can donate or pre-order your copy.
Having already discussed the topic on numerous occasions with two of the book's authors—Jacqueline Isaacs and Elise Daniel—I asked them a few questions about their latest endeavor, the overarching ideas and what they hope to achieve.
How did you become libertarian Christians?
ED: I grew up in a Christian, conservative home. Because of my upbringing, I always assumed Christians were also conservatives. Growing up, I didn't know much about libertarians, other than that they wanted to legalize drugs, so I thought there was at least some sort of moral gap between Christians and libertarians. I grew stronger in both my faith and political convictions in college. I studied economics and attended an economics seminar on free markets. It was there that I was first introduced to Austrian economists like Ludwig Von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. For the first time, I was thinking about economics from a classical liberal framework, and it made a lot of sense to me. During the seminar, I had conversations with students and professors who called themselves libertarian and realized some of my assumptions—like that libertarians were all moral relativists—were false. I came out of that week with serious doubts about the role of liberty in modern conservatism and more respect for the libertarian perspective.
JI: I also grew up as a Christian in a conservative home. I viewed politics as a web of distinct issues, and being pro-life and anti-taxes just seemed to make me a conservative. It wasn't until I was in high school that I began to understand holistic political philosophies and libertarianism, specifically by reading books like The Law by Frederic Bastiat. I realized that caring about things like free markets and low taxes and the dignity of life didn't make me a conservative; I cared about those things because of a worldview that valued freedom—and that worldview was informed by my Christian faith.
This article continues at [Charisma News] How to be a Christian Libertarian