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.