Type 1 Christian Libertarianism

So this fellow over at the Acton institute did something that libertarians of any stripe absolutely love: he said something that was wrong, on the Internet, no less.  Here’s the article.

Well, can you first of all imagine anyone ever claiming to be anything other than a “Type 1 Christian Libertarian”?  In any case, what Mr. Carter brings to the table is a slightly off definition of libertarianism, which sort of nullifies his argument that one can’t truly be a “Christian Libertarian of the First Type”.  He equates libertarianism with government-sanctioned libertinism.  The example he gives in the comments is that Larry Flynt buys up all the television networks and turns them into 24-hour porn shows.  By indulging in such a ridiculous fantasy, Mr. Carter reveals a key component of his philosophical world-view: namely, that the government is the only institution that can prevent such a deplorable (and I’m not being sarcastic; having every television station broadcast only porn would truly be a deplorable situation) act on Flynt’s part.  That is, Carter does not really trust civil society (families, churches, neighbors, bosses) or the free market; he only trusts that violent aggression can produce a moral society.  But by holding this view, Mr. Carter not only rejects libertarian philosophy, he rejects Christian philosophy as well.  The Old Covenant Law was good, but it was insufficient to make one truly moral.  How much less so the laws of man, however derivative from God’s law they be!  Faith, peaceful persuasion, and the work of the Holy Spirit are what redeem a person.  The violent coercion of government, the throwing of one in prison for non-violent activity, cannot.  Besides, Satan is called in Scripture the “god of this world”, a good indication that the governments of the world, though allowed by God to exist, ultimately belong to the Enemy.  Mr. Carter turns to Satan rather than to Christ for protection from Satan’s attack on social morality!


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