Books for Christian Libertarians

Apropos, Christian Libertarian has a Top 10 list here.

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About Drew Tatusko

Andrew Tatusko is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (1999, 2000) from which he earned an M.Div. and Th.M. There he focused on philosophical theology, philosophy of education, and postmodern theory. From there he was a senior instructional designer at Seton Hall University where he worked on initiatives to integrate technology into teaching and learning. Currently he is the program activity director for a Title III grant to integrate technology into teaching, learning, retention and advising at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, PA. He currently lives in Duncansville, PA with wife Brenna, sons Alexander and Evan, Stella (Rhodesian Ridgeback mix) and Sophie (Rhodesian Ridgeback) and two cats Digit and Kit Kat. Drew has published articles on postmodern theory, theology, and education. He is working on his dissertation in an effort to complete the Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy at Seton Hall University. The focus of the dissertation in on the influence of theological tradition on policy development in religiously-affiliated higher education since the 1970’s. He also played drums with a band called Green Marie which put out its first CD before Drew left in the summer of 2006. Drew is now taking a break from playing music to work on healing from Lyme disease which he contracted from a tick while planting trees in the backyard in July 2007. He also needs to finish that dreaded dissertation project at some point while still eligible. Drew went to Colonel Zadok Magruder High School in Rockville, MD and went to Westiminster College in New Wilimington PA with B.A. in Religious Studies.

7 thoughts on “Books for Christian Libertarians

  1. @Joe – Not sure that we ever established a criteria that everything posted to this site must pertain to *both* liberalism and libertarianism at the same time. In fact, if this is a community that’s interested in figuring out what it means to be both, we should be interested in what’s going on in both spheres, even if we don’t agree with liberalism in its entirety, or “Ron Paul” libertarianism in its entirety. Of course, comments are a great place to raise that, and I would wager a guess that this post was intended to invite comments — perhaps a “liberaltarian perspective” on the books referenced in the link .

    What’s interesting to me is the combination of “Christian” with libertarian. Is that another movement, and what does it look like? One core libertarian commitment is the protection of liberty (aka freedom of and *from* religion) while a core commitment of Christianity (at least Evangelical versions of it) seems to be the establishment of Theocracy. Are these compatible? So for me, the post raises some interesting discussion points, and is therefore very appropriate for inclusion here…

  2. I think the point is that the idea of liberaltarianism is still a rather nascent idea, and not a full-fledged political disposition in my judgment. I would hate to have such rigid criteria for a political philosophy that has strong potential to offer a feasible middle way between the social conservativism of Republicanism, liberal statist tendencies of Democrats, and what I see as a hole in issues of justice and equality in competition in right-libertarianism.

    With that said, it might be helpful to have a page with resources that explain liberaltarianism. I like it because it seems rational if not the most rational approach to politics. It might also spark conversation among libertarians who don’t feel completely at home as well as others with differing political dispositions. The only article I know that makes a clear proposal is Brink Lindsey’s piece from CATO.

    A more direct question for Joe is, who would you evaluate as liberaltarian political figures as opposed to those who prefer differing degrees of left-libertarianism? Or is liberaltarianism a form of left-libertarianism?

  3. I agree that Liberaltarianism is a concept that is still in flux and part of this blog is to create discussion around the various conceptualizations of the concept.

    I too find this post interesting. A little perplexing, but interesting. That is why I would like to see it expanded upon and discussed. There is no definition of Liberaltarianism, so its up to us to make arguments for our conceptualizations.

    There are tenets within most religious traditions that advocate equality and social justice. There are some smaller sects that may also advocate non-authoritarian types of organization. However, I am curious about the issue of religious freedom in a community based on religious principles. I guess it would work in a community of believers, but diversity of thought would inevitably occur. This creates the potential for oppression. The community would have to be very tolerant.

    As far as my conceptualization of Liberaltarianism is a broader concept that includes both various forms of left-liberaltarianism and some forms of liberal or social democracy (more centrist in nature) that embrace both the ideas of liberty and equality. Lindsey was coming from these latter perspectives, I personally come from the former.

  4. I think it’s possible for an individual to be christian and libertarian. They could believe that christianity is the absolute truth, but also believe they have no right to force their beliefs on anyone else. They can only try to convince people with discussions, and if others don’t accept God, then it’s God’s business to deal with them.

    However, I think a christian libertarian community with religious freedom would be an unlikely creature.

  5. I think that it is possible. And I think it happens. For one example is the progressive church movement which is another way of describing a church that is more reconciled to social norms than others. It is a matter of social fitness that is buttressed with a theological frame work to legitimate it. There are others, but that comes closest.

    Sociologically, and Stark & Bainbridge have argued it better than anyone, sectarianism is measured by the tension that the religious group has with its dominant religious group and the social norms outside of that religious group. As sects become more and more harmonized with external social norms, they become new dominant religious groups, i.e. denominations. As they argue, this is a result of upward mobility of those who begin to receive more rewards from the external social structures. This in turn establishes a framework for more sects to break off.

    The irony is that any Christian community thus becomes more libertarian (at least in American forms) as it expands. If it does not expand, it dies (like the Shakers). Something else of interest is that many mainline denominations, the freedom of the conscience in relationship to God is considered normative. This is explicit in the Presbyterian Book of Order for example.

    Finally, since religious groups are by nature voluntaristic in the US, it does not seem to infringe on libertarian norms. I can freely choose as a matter of conscience to self-identify with any religious groups or any other groups that have certain organizational premises built on ideological assumptions. The issue is if that voluntaristic group seeks to impose it own ideological assumptions on others. Inevitably that will be the case for may, but certainly not all. Nor is it a premise that should be endorsed by the government. I come to this synthesis because I am one of those liberals with conservative political values who cannot stomach the ideological pressure from the Religious Right. Jim Wallis paints this picture in his way of shoring up a harmonization between religion and politics where their relative spheres of influence are distinct, but in conversation.

  6. I still haven’t seen any serious rielaty based proposals for budget cutting come from the tea party camp. Cut entitlement spending! Don’t you dare touch my Medicare! seems to be the gist of it. It’s hard to take the movement as a whole seriously when all it seems capable of is expressing anger, frustration, and fear. (And I suspect that there are certain political players benefiting from the manipulation of those emotions.)Regarding the border (including the proposal to create a 50 foot wide police state ), the basic issue is cost/benefit. To have the hermetically sealed secure border that some people are demanding would cost more than this country can afford, either in money or in civil liberties. The Rule of Law argument for more enforcement is also being pushed to an absurd extreme by those with zero tolerance for illegal immigrants. If they were this excited about ALL the laws, they might also be proposing that we have traffic cops posted on every street corner and every half mile on the highway. You would think they’d at least have the courage of their convictions to turn themselves in for whatever traffic violations they might have committed when no one was around.David’s proposal of a 50 foot wide police state ignores the fact that private citizens own much of the land on that border. Shall we sacrifice their liberty so that David need not ever have to look at an immigrant? Anyway, much like the whole border fence idea, this proposal is absurd on many levels that it’s not even worth engaging beyond mentioning the anti-liberty aspect.The fact is that border enforcement has improved over the last ten years, and the rates of illegal immigration show this. I suspect that this is another issue that certain politicians are using to manipulate emotions for their own gain. When, if ever, will the border be secure enough? For the zero tolerance crowd the answer will be never. A small noisy minority are holding up long overdue immigration reform.

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