The Importance of Christian Thought for the American Libertarian Movement: Christian Libertarianism, 1950-71
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Libertarian Papers 2 (2010)
Murray N. Rothbard argued that there are many philosophic and non-philosophic arguments that provide a satisfactory basis for individual liberty. Rarely, however, did he discuss the claims of Christianity to be a suitable foundation for individual freedom. By looking at the Christian libertarians of the Old Right, between 1950 and 1971, the article contends that religious values were the most important reason for libertarians pursuing a society composed of free individuals during that period. By examining the journals Faith and Freedom, Christian Economics, and the Freeman, and the positive views of Rev. Carl McIntire, the author explains the philosophy of Christian libertarianism. It is the belief that individual freedom is only the highest political end; the necessary means for God’s Creation to develop unhindered their conscience and the full ‘sacredness of their personality.’ Christian libertarians maintain that individuals cannot be coerced by government to lead a virtuous life. They must instead be persuaded, by a true understanding of the life of Jesus especially, to choose to follow the moral life sanctioned by the Bible. The desire to follow the Golden Rule voluntarily, Christian libertarians explain, is the God-given template that allows a society of individuals to live in freedom. It was this Christian ethic, Christian libertarians insist, couched in terms of the Natural Law, that inspired the founding fathers to establish a system of government where the individual is free to enjoy their ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ The article concludes by discussing Frank S. Meyer’s ‘fusionist’ attempt to find a uniting theme for traditionalists and libertarians, and suggests that it was the Christian libertarian philosophy in all but name. It also suggests that if America has any valid claim to be ‘Exceptional,’ then it is based on the nation’s traditional defence of individual freedom as a God-given grant
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
James A. Keller (1995). Should Christian Theologians Become Christian Philosophers? Faith and Philosophy 12 (2):260-268.
Richard Swinburne & Alan G. Padgett (eds.) (1994). Reason and the Christian Religion: Essays in Honour of Richard Swinburne. Oxford University Press.
Nicolas Maloberti (2009). Libertarianism and the Possibility of the Legitimate State. Libertarian Papers 1 (5):1-12.
Corneliu C. Simuţ (2010). Traditionalism and Radicalism in the History of Christian Thought. Palgrave Macmillan.
Jeffrey Friedman (1998). The Libertarian Straddle: Rejoinder to Palmer and Sciabarra. Critical Review 12 (3):359-388.
W. S. Anglin (1990). Free Will and the Christian Faith. Oxford University Press.
Jeffrey Friedman (1997). What's Wrong with Libertarianism. Critical Review 11 (3):407-467.
Stephen Post (1986). Disinterested Benevolence: An American Debate Over the Nature of Christian Love. Journal of Religious Ethics 14 (2):356 - 368.
Perry D. LeFevre (ed.) (1968). Philosophical Resources for Christian Thought. Nashville, Abingdon Press.
Kevin Timpe (2004). Why Christians Might Be Libertarians. Philosophia Christi 6 (2):279-288.
Added to index2010-08-20
Total downloads12 ( #280,340 of 1,793,080 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #463,661 of 1,793,080 )
How can I increase my downloads?