One of the most common issues raised by non-libertarian Christians about libertarian thought is marriage licensing. Because the family unit is essential to social order, the argument goes, Christians should allegedly support state regulation of what constitutes 'marriage' and who is allowed to 'marry.' But state power is a sharp and dangerous sword; what happens when the proponents of such a plan no longer have the political capital they once did, and that sword is turned against them? This is precisely what has happened to socially conservative Christians in recent decades.
Stephanie Slade, libertarian Christian and Managing Editor at Reason Magazine, walks us through the history of how it was Christians who set the very legal precedent on state regulation of marriage (and other social issues of conscience) which are now being wielded against them by non-Christians. For generations, Christians chose to 'live by the sword' of using state power against their opponents, and now that they are in the minority, the sword is turned on them. Only by upholding liberty for all issues of conscience, including those we think are wrong, can this tragic cycle of trying to shape society by legislation be halted.
Today we are joined by Shane Claiborne, an internationally-recognized author, speaker, and activist, and perhaps the leading western Christian voice for the New Monastic movement. While Shane does not identify as a libertarian, there are many aspects of his thinking which overlap with libertarianism.
In this episode, we discuss capital punishment in Christian ethics. Libertarians are divided on the issue, as are Christians. How does capital punishment relate to state power and human rights? Why are there more minorities executed than white people? Most importantly, how does Christian theology inform our thinking on this matter? Shane offers his insights in this fascinating discussion.
Hopefully the only thing that gets put to death in this episode is un-Christlike thinking.
In our first ever debate on the Libertarian Christian Podcast, author Keith Giles returns to debate author/activist Mark van Steenwyk on Two Kingdoms theology and Christian involvement in formal politics. As he explained in our earlier interview, Giles holds that formal politics is not a proper task of the Christian life. Van Steenwyk counters that Christians must be involved in direct political activism so as to undermine oppression and promote God's justice in the world. Nick serves as moderator and asks some critical questions of both debaters.
We haven't heard of anyone advocating for a Three Kingdom theology, but if you're such a person and are offended that your position didn't get any press here, you might consider lobbying the FCC to implement the so-called Fairness Doctrine, but as much as we'd like to see Christian libertarian thought get air time on MSNBC we still wouldn't recommend that course of action.
Isaac Morehouse is longtime contributor to and friend of the Libertarian Christian Institute, and today he joins us to discuss his organization, Praxis. As its very Misean name suggests, Praxis is about action; specifically, it's about helping people to gain practical experience and skills which matter in real world business situations.
For years, conventional wisdom has pushed on innumerable hapless Americans the idea that everyone must go to college --- even if they have no clear path for what line of work they intend to enter and must take on massive debt --- and that only this will prepare the individual for career success. As economic realities overtakes this flawed narrative, countless people find themselves over-credentialed and under-skilled, holding a degree but possessing few skills that employers actually care about. Praxis is in many ways bringing back the old apprenticeship model, in which participants learn practical skills on the job which prepare them for future endeavors.
Isaac --- who we like to think of the Christian version of James Altucher --- talks to us about his journey creating Praxis, the lessons he's learned, how the job market is shifting, and what people can do to capitalize on these things. We won't send you any decorative certificates for listening to this podcast, but you'll probably pick up some useful knowledge.