How can Christians love their neighbors (especially members of family and church) who are falling into the progressive ideology of so-called wokism? Noelle Mering helps you respond to progressive ideology in her new book, Awake, Not Woke. Noelle Mering is a Fellow at Washington DC based think tank the Ethics and Public Policy Center where she co-directs the Theology of Home Project. She is an editor for Theology of Home, co-author of the Theology of Home book series, and the author of Awake, Not Woke: A Christian Response to the Cult of Progressive Ideology. She studied philosophy and theatre at Westmont College in California and did graduate work in philosophy at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Noelle and her husband live in Southern California with their six children.
Mering joins Doug Stuart to discuss her work in navigating the intricacies of and foundations for the social implications of woke / progressive ideology. They discuss the characteristics of the woke movement, what it means to be woke, the role of language and why the pronoun issue is so central to change. Mering also explains some of the more philosophical foundations including Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's influence on Karl Marx, and why it cannot be denied that wokism is a cultural twist on Marxism (ie. Cultural Marxism). Mering also explains why this isn't movement isn't actually new, but has been hidden in plain sight through a generational lag. The apparent ubiquity of woke ideology because the fruit of seeds planted decades ago.
Mering also offers quite a bit of helpful perspective when interacting with well-intentioned people falling for this ideology vs the "militant true believers" of wokism, as well as the fact this really is, at its core, a deeper spiritual battle concerning our religious beliefs, meta narratives that inform our lives and provide meaning, and why capitulation is no longer an option. Mering brings some clarity of terms like "whiteness" and "white supremacy" and that these things have very little to do with skin color.
If you've had questions about these ideas, this is a great episode which parses out the very Christian idea of love of neighbor and walking along the suffering, while not giving into the destructive ideologies that are attacking our society at its very roots.
Main Points of Discussion:
01:50 What does it mean to be “woke?”
03:08 What the characteristics of the woke movement?
05:52 The role of language and power dynamics in the woke movement
09:50 More than a culture war: Attack on truth and meaning
14:20 What are the philosophical origins of the woke movement?
16:17 How do we parse out working out knowledge from the danger of the philosophical foundations?
19:24 Are popular Marxists/Socialists not phased by mortality under communism because it’s “just progress?”
20:55 How does Hegel influence Karl Marx?
24:25 Generational lag and the ubiquity of the seeds of woke ideology
29:22 The difference between well-intentioned people and the militant true believers: how Christianity has fallen victim.
35:26 Tolerance is thrown out the window; it’s about division
39:08 Whiteness; white supremacy - doesn’t have to do with skin color
42:08 Is there a vantage point that “intersectionality” does provide?
47:23 Beyond the sexual revolution in the woke movement and “funneling” children into sexuality; “innocence perpetuate hierarchy.”
52:11 Is there hope in fighting against this?
In this episode, Doug Stuart interviews former public school teacher, Angela Harders. Harders is author of the book, "Tales of a Toxic Teacher: Exposing the Cycles of Abuse Within Our Schools". Harders discusses her dreams and intentions when she first began teaching, and how quickly those dreams were squelched by the public school system. Many teachers like her share similar experiences, and Harders is calling out the public education, not as "broken" but as operating as it's designed.
People who become teachers usually do so because they envision a better world for kids through their education. But reality soon rears its head "within the first 5 minutes" of starting a job as a teacher. Harders explains how the public education system churns out traumatized kids and pass them through to be "society's problems." Not only is the system abusive, but the impact of the abuse cultivates kids who become abusive themselves. Harders, a public school teacher for 12 years, even describes how the zeros she gave one continually absent student were mysteriously changed to 60% (just passing) without her knowledge or consent.
Harders rebuffs the tired criticism that public education is "broken." It's not, she says, it operates as expected. Which is to say that it's intended to create submissive, compliant, factory-worker-type followers, ready for employment and trained to never question assigned authority. The complaints, however, that teachers are not given adequate supplies or leeway to be a creative teacher is all true. She had to get creative with her field trips so that students could make some tangible connection to otherwise foreign ideas that even we might take for granted. For example, she describes taking her students to a baseball game so they could understand the assigned reading which involved baseball. Hardships for students abound, but so also do hardships for teachers. As a Spanish teacher, one student asked her why he should care about learning Spanish when he was expected to die by the time he was 18.
The public education system is also rife with structural problems, says Harder. The compulsory aspect coupled with the cultural tendency to think of school as glorified babysitting is traumatic. We've all heard the stories of the kids who cry for the parents on the first day (first week, really) of school. Being separated from their parents, at this age, is not normal, and shouldn't be normalized. And yet, it is. Harders challenges parents about the education paradigm by noting that the state usually spends about $15k per student. Would you pay $15k for an education experience like this? No, of course not. But Harders says, the cost is even higher than that. That cost being, the unravelling of the social structure designed for raising the next generation: the family.
Harders, a divorce from an abusive marriage, also discovered the hallmarks of abusive relationships are all found within the public school system, and that system often creates what is known as a trauma bond. Where the abused ardently defends their abuser and excuses the abuse. So Harders left the public school system and now promotes unschooling, or what she calls Peaceful Worldschooling. She emphasizes the need to de-school, which means to take active steps to undo the damage done by the public education system. Peaceful worldschooling fits hand in glove with concepts like peaceful or gentle parenting, self-directed or interest-based learning, and using real life as a guiding "curriculum" to ignite the interests and passions of children. Indeed, making manifest the dream she and most teachers have going into this career field.
Listen to all this and more right here.
Main Points of Discussion:
03:12 Tales of a Toxic Teacher by Angela Harders
04:47 How quickly did you come to realize were a toxic teacher?
09:22 Public education is not broken
10:34 How did you overcome the design of public education?
12:15 Hardships of students; hardships of teachers
18:03 Structural problems built into the system
23:52 Connections to abuse
28:25 Leave-school, De-school, Un-school (Peaceful Worldschool)
34:16 State education compliance
40:46 Ahhh! Won't my kid just play video games all day?!
44:10 Concluding Thoughts
In this episode, Kerry Baldwin guest hosts and interviews Melissa Broudo. Broudo is the co-founder and co-director of the Sharmus Outlaw Advocacy and Rights (SOAR) Institute. She has been part of the sex-worker-rights and harm-reduction movements since the late 1990s, co-founding SOAR to further policy, advocacy, and capacity-building efforts that support the rights of sex workers and survivors of human trafficking.
Can Christians support decriminalizing prostitution?
Our knee-jerk response may be an automatic, "no, of course not!". Yet, many (not all) reasons favoring decriminalizing prostitution are towards ends that Christians do desire, namely, mitigating human trafficking, focusing and improving civil governance on actual acts of aggression, and making it easy to leave the profession when someone wants to. Broudo highlights some key distinctions of terms including the differences between sex work, prostitution, and trafficking, as well as the important distinction between decriminalization and legalization.
Many Christian organizations seeking to rescue victims of sex trafficking are enticed by something called the Nordic Model - where only the demand side of the sex trade criminalized. Meaning, only the purchase of sex legally prohibited, not the sale of it. Broudo touches on a number of problems stemming from actions taken by law enforcement in the name of "rescue." Other problems include government violations of personal data, encryption, freedom of Internet platforms, and the like that we discuss.
Baldwin and Broudo also touch on concepts such as bodily autonomy and agency and even how our disagreements on abortion might be set aside on our more common ground related to the concerns raised about women and sex more generally. Portions of our interview were cut out for the sake of time, but included information about the successes of decriminalization in New Zealand and (formerly) in Rhode Island.
Is there a connection between stigma of prostitution and purity culture? Baldwin and Broudo discuss the manner in which the state (both judicial and law enforcement) handle rape cases for women (prostitutes or not) the feminist mentality that all women are essentially victims, and finally the connection to some beliefs held by Evangelical purity culture types.
Rape is the one violent crime in the United States where a judge will consider whether a woman "invited" the violence against her. Law enforcement has historically ignored crimes against prostitutes using the acronym NHI to indicate "no humans involved." Radical feminists, who oppose decriminalization or legalization, view all sex work as exploitative and disregard the possibility a woman would consciously and voluntarily do this kind of work as a profession.
Christian teaching emphasizes that we not confuse or complicate our speech - that we let our ‘yes’ simply mean ‘yes’, and our ‘no’ mean ‘no’. (Matt 5:37) But are young girls and women taught how to say 'no' and is that 'no' honored by our culture?
We close with a brief discussion on economics and why the Nordic model fails on that front. If you've had questions about issue and have wanted an honest response from a Christian perspective, you'll find this interview both informative and challenging. We also address some tough questions raised by thoughtful Christians against decriminalization.
Disclaimer: As you can probably tell from the title, the following episode contains themes of a sexual nature. The Libertarian Christian Institute advocates and endorses a Christian sexual ethic, namely that sexual intimacy is a gift from God, to be enjoyed only within the bounds of heterosexual marriage. Our guest does not share this same view. However, this is an opportunity to discuss topics relevant to Christian libertarianism, that are also topics weighing heavy on minds of many Christians, to include sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and how our society and government treats women overall. As a consequence, this discussion may not suitable for everyone.
Main Points of Discussion:
02:23 Why should Christians care about decriminalizing sex work?
05:09 Definitions of terms: sex work, trafficking, prostitution
08:05 Why is it important to understand these distinctions?
10:15 Decriminalization vs legalization: what is the difference
13:47 EARN IT Act & SESTA/FOSTA
19:11 Do we know how many women/girls are trafficked vs how many voluntarily participate?
23:43 Legal-rights element from a libertarian perspective - self-ownership, non-aggression, bodily autonomy
32:49 Problems with the Nordic model
45:40 Tough questions from conservative Christians
1:02:07 Stigma: by the state, feminism, and purity culture (No humans involved)
1:19:47 Economics: why is it illegal to sell what a woman can give away for free?
1:29:30 Concluding thoughts
Case against the Nordic Model (criminalize demand only) https://decriminalizesex.work/equality-model/
Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4j897YLVac
Contact Melissa at email@example.com
Jack Lloyd, a libertarian voluntaryist who's been promoting the liberty message for over 15 years, speaks about his new book, The Definitive Guide to Libertarian Voluntaryism. He provides an introductory explanation to this and other terms including the anarcho-distinctives: anarcho-capitalism, anarcho-communism/socialism, and why he prefers the term libertarian voluntaryism. Like many libertarians, Lloyd grounds his views in the libertarian principles of self-ownership and non-aggression, but seeks to add an additional layer in the voluntaryist element, namely, answering the question of how we make manifest consent and account for what he calls ethical apartheid.
Lloyd describes a more psychological understanding of how we got to this point with the state and civil governance. He identifies public schooling as a primary source of real, legitimate trauma in the lives of Americans, which results in very real problems in our decision making processes as we become adults. This underlying problem, Lloyd believes, explains why it usually takes a psychological shock to "wake people up" to the reality of what is happening with government and society today. Lloyd insists that we can't be "lukewarm" in our messaging; it's either the hot and energizing or cool and refreshing messaging that motives people to rethink things and take action toward different goals.
In addition to these foundational principles, Lloyd touches on some other topics important to libertarians: animal rights, environmentalism, and children's rights. While many of us have emotional attachments to our pets and other animals for any given number of reasons, Lloyd explains how an ethical system concerning human justice cannot meaningful translate to one upholding a category of animal rights. Certainly, this isn't to say that animals should be treated poorly, but that it doesn't fit into a framework of justice in consistent way. More broadly, problems arising from environmental concerns are best handled in terms of specifying particular property rights, rather than painting in broad strokes.
Lloyd also mentions children's rights. As a former juvenile defense attorney and government school teacher, Lloyd has a passion for children and the trauma, however unwittingly, they're put through as children and the impact that has on their adulthood. He's also sober-minded in approaching the relationship between parent's and children's rights, being careful to adhere consistently with the libertarian principles of self-ownership, non-aggression, and taking into account their developing capacity to meaningful consent. This includes regarding children as self-owners in their own right, not chattel property, but that their parents have the highest claim of guardianship, not the state.
Finally, Lloyd doesn't want to leave people hanging with the answer to "how do we get there?" How do we achieve a voluntaryist form of civil governance? He briefly explains his idea of not-for-profit government, and taxation is not the proper way to fund it.
Main Points of Discussion:
01:22 What is Libertarian Voluntaryism?
06:44 What are the foundational axioms of Libertarian Voluntarism?
10:36 How do we maximize the reach of our liberty message?
14:36 How radical do we have to be in our messaging as libertarians?
19:28 What about animal rights and the NAP?
25:04 Can a libertarian voluntarist be an environmentalist? If so, how?
29:36 Do we owe a duty of non-aggression to other humans yet to be born?
33:38 What about the children?
38:34 What is the not-for-profit government model?
41:12 Concluding Thoughts
Libertarian Christian Ben Lewis joins Doug Stuart to discuss a Christian view of Bitcoin and monetary policy. Lewis explains some fundamentals of Bitcoin technology and properties and characteristics of real money and how our fiat currency system not only fails us in a practical sense, but also in a moral sense. Bitcoin is a decentralized technology with a fixed supply, both very important to maintain both the value and prevent monopolization. It uses open source software which is a proven way of building trustworthy source code.
Like gold (and precious metals) Bitcoin has the properties and characteristics of real money: scarcity, verifiability, transportability, durability, and fungibility. Lewis points out that Bitcoin does these things better than gold. Lewis also explains how goods become money, a process from being collectibles, to stores of value, to a medium of exchange and unit of account.
Doug and Ben draw out moral implications of using fiat money versus real money, discussing how decentralized currencies are fundamental to Christian ethics. Lewis appeals to Scripture to make his case using passages like Leviticus 19:36 and Proverbs 11:1. He points out that inflation (debasement of currency) was a problem in the Roman empire and these passages are specifically referencing the value of mediums of exchange used through the ancient world.
What's the time horizon for implementation of Bitcoin as a medium of exchange? It's hard to say, says Lewis, but gives several examples of Christians can use Bitcoin right now to support international Christian ministries. If you're new to Bitcoin or want compelling Christian reasons for adopting it, then please listen to our interview, Honest Scales and Balances: Ben Lewis and the Christian View of Bitcoin.
Main Points of Discussion:
01:28 What is Bitcoin?
03:57 Can you trust the code?
09:20 When does Bitcoin become money?
16:50 Money as a means of choosing what we value
19:35 Petrodollar as an international tool of manipulation
20:59 Why should Christians care about monetary policy and Christian life?
29:30 How long will it take for Bitcoin to replace fiat currency?
34:00 Real world funding of Christian ministries - Afghanistan
36:00 Where and when can you find Ben Lewis?
37:24 Closing thoughts - honest scales and balances
Find Ben Lewis on his new blog, lewisb.me
Impoverished Afghan women are receiving emergency aid in crypto as the Taliban limits cash withdrawals and millions go hungry by Joshua Zitser, Business Insider
Thank God for Bitcoin: The Creation, Corruption and Redemption of Money by Jimmy Song, et al
Robby Soave is senior editor at Reason Magazine, where he writes about free speech, education and tech policy, criminal justice reform, and cancel culture, among other subjects. He's the author of Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump, and Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn't Fear Facebook and the Future.
Robby and Doug discuss Big Tech censorship, the best way for libertarians to deal with it, whether or not libertarians should be just as concerned with Big Tech and other corporate hegemons as with government, and more.
Jacob Daniel Winograd of the "Daniel 3 Biblical Anarchy Podcast" joins us to discuss his transition from Bernie Sanders leftism to Austro/Anarcho-libertarianism, including his approach to interpreting Romans 13 in light of Romans 12.
Max Borders, Executive Director of Social Evolution, joins us to talk about how decentralization is the way out of the social mess we're in, but also how praxis is critical to personally achieving meaning in an age of dying legacy systems and emerging decentralist systems.
The Libertarian Christian team gathered in Las Vegas for FreedomFest and hosted a breakout session where FreedomFest attendees and vendors were able to join in a lively discussion about liberty, human flourishing, women’s rights, economics, and even Critical Race Theory! If you weren’t able to attend FreedomFest, you’ll at least be able to catch the best breakout session there (at least in our opinion!).
We welcomed the Australian, liberty-leaning theologian/scholar Michael F. Bird, to discuss the motivators for writing his new book Religious Freedom in a Secular Age: A Christian Case for Liberty, Equality, and Secular Government. Michael shared his reflections on marriage equality in Australia, Trump's election, religious persecution, how progressive politics have become a religion, and the harm of white Christian nationalism. How do we move forward and bring about positive change in such a divided and polarized environment?
Kerry Baldwin joined us for this week's episode to discuss the topic of abortion, the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade, her recent debate regarding abortion hosted by John Stossel, and the LP's silence on the subject of abortion. The government has historically approached social issues such as these with authoritarian law enforcement; however, we delved deeper into how the restorative justice model could prevent or deal with unwanted pregnancies. Kerry challenges us to push for criminal justice reform to truly help the issue at hand.
We had the privilege of getting the inside scoop with Michael Heise about some of the iconic moments in the Ron Paul presidential campaigns that converted so many to libertarianism, libertarian activism, what led Michael to establish the Mises Caucus, what it means to be a caucus, the effectiveness of grassroots movements to sway a political institution (such as the LP), and Michael's response to his interview with Nick Gillespie. Take human action and make the change you want to see!
With the recent events in Uvalde, Texas, many are disillusioned with policing as a way of maintaining "law and order." Is it wrong to distrust law enforcement? Sadly, the faults of the judicial branch are being exposed increasingly. Profiling, brutality, systemic oppression, and the culture of fear surrounding police creates a distrust among citizens. Are the police given too much power over individuals' lives? Such a position draws a state-subsidized fear and respect for cops, often leading a certain kind of individual to fill that role. How does the NAP address this issue?
YouTuber Jose Galison, of the show "No Way, Jose!", recently brought onto his show Kerry Baldwin to discuss the difficult topic of abortion. They talked about why religion should not be the basis for the argument against abortion, Walter Block's differing views on abortion, the natural rights approach to pro-life, why Roe v. Wade is bad for women's interests and autonomy, and where/when a human gains its rights. Regardless, we should never rely upon the state to define when a person is a person or what one does with their own body.
Kerry Baldwin was interviewed by Keith Knight of the Don't Tread on Anyone podcast to discuss the Christian libertarian views on women's ownership over their bodies, abortion, the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade.
It can be difficult to promote liberty to your social circle, which is why we decided to give you some tips on how to discuss libertarianism, especially to your Christian friends or family. Thankfully LCI has been working tirelessly since its creation to produce and provide pertinent content on the topic of Christianity and a free society!
Ryan Ragozine from the Thinker Sensitive podcast joins us this week to talk about how he saw podcasting as a way to educate outside of a classroom, what it means to be ethical thinkers and communicators as Christians, and how sound thought and speech may help Christians diffuse society's current polarization.
We had the pleasure of welcoming Kristopher Borer, the author of The Ethics of Anarcho-Capitalism, to talk about how he sought to redefine libertarianism, the unique voice used in his book, and his view of libertarianism as an ethical - rather than a political - system. With his background in engineering Kris has been gifted with a keen eye for the mechanisms that make a system, such as libertarianism, work or collapse.
Much of what is being said on the news and social media about abortion by both pro-choice and pro-life activists is just plain wrong. In this episode, three pro-life libertarian women "take the mic" to discuss some of the most common myths about abortion and to present a new way of thinking for libertarians to value both the rights of women and the unborn. While certainly compatible with Christian theology, the arguments presented herein are based on science, embryology, ethics, libertarian political theory, and free market economics. Buckle up!
(Re-mastered; originally released as Ep. 122 on June 10, 2019.)
Vance Ginn, Ph.D. - the Chief Economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation - joined us to talk about how he found a passion for public policy, and how policy can be made in favor of a freer market. Vance also discussed his work with the White House under the Trump administration, as well as his current work in creating policy solutions for poverty relief with a focus on the private sector.