Skip to content →

The Utility of Non-Christian Libertarians

In the Reformed Libertarian Facebook group, there was a commenter some time ago who indicated that he was trying to learn most of his libertarian theory from Christian sources, rather than from “secular” libertarians. The first mistake made here was the assumption that Reformed Libertarianism is somehow libertarianism of a different flavor than Rothbardian libertarianism. This one drives me crazy, though I suppose our phrase can be misleading. Our libertarianism is Rothbardianism, it’s just that we’re setting it within a broader philosophical context, as would a “Natural Law libertarian” or a “utilitarian libertarian.”

Besides this, I also want emphasize something I said a few months ago: as Christians, one of the kingdoms to which we belong is the secular kingdom, the earthly and temporary kingdom which allows us to share goals in common with non-Christians. We long for a better world for our children, for increased prosperity, for property-rights based justice. These things are worthy of banding together with people of all worldviews (so long as we don’t confuse this earthly kingdom work with the heavenly kingdom work, which should be exclusive and discriminatory in who we team up with).

Thus, if property rights define the ideal social order, and there are libertarians who share this vision with us, they are allies with us. If they contribute to the logic of property rights and laissez faire market economics, they are to be promoted and praised. Equally, Christians, even those of the Reformed persuasion, who oppose the property rights order are not part of the liberty movement and we needn’t pretend that they are.

In my experience, most Christians are awful on political/economic concerns. They are not individualistic enough, they don’t think for themselves and, most importantly, they refuse to learn from so-called secularists. 

Published in C.Jay Engel