Libertarianism Is Not Based On Christianity
Libertarianism is not based on Christianity. That is to say: there are people who base their libertarianism on their Christianity.. but there are also many people who do not base their libertarianism in religion.
“For a group that doesn’t believe in evolution, it’s awfully Darwinian.”
- Jon Stewart, October 27 2011, addressing Andrew Napolitano as a libertarian (“Why is it that libertarians..”)
“I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate.”
- Ron Paul, a well known libertarian who is widely supported by other libertarians.
Christianity has been used to justify a lot of different things. What you will find, though, is that libertarians, including Christian libertarians, tend to have different economic views.
1. In what way is counterfeit money damaging to society? If a counterfeiter makes a perfect copy that remains unnoticed, then other people are not harmed directly, such as in theft. Instead, others are harmed indirectly because as the extra money is spent and circulates, it drives up prices compared to without the extra money. The people who get that extra money later (or not at all) suffer in their purchasing power while the people who get that extra money earlier gain in their purchasing power. This is known as the Cantillon Effect.
Libertarians observe that these effects happen not only in private counterfeiting but also in public government banking.
2. Using drugs is —by itself— a peaceful act. For example, It is full well possible for a person to use the psychoactive and recreational drug alcohol without causing harm to others. Libertarians observe that attempting to forcibly prevent others in all cases from drug usage, drug trading and drug creation, causes more harm than good.
But what about drug users who go on the road? Operating a vehicle while using drugs is an added element, which does threaten the safety of others. This is called reckless endangerment. In the case of roads, the solution is for the road owner to set rules for access.
Such economic insights may lead one to favor private property rights and freedom of exchange (libertarianism) over central planning and collectivism.
What about libertarians who oppose abortion? There are non-religious libertarians who are politically against abortion, but there are also many who favor that freedom, such as myself. As for Christian libertarians: if they are against abortion because of their religion, then they are religious first and libertarian second.
Some examples of non-religious libertarians:
- Ayn Rand, writer of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
- Penn Jillette, host and producer of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!.
- Michael Shermer, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic.