Christian and libertarian

Stanley Kurtz of NRO wonders about libertarian religion:

To what extent are contemporary libertarians religious? What proportion of folks who read, say, Reason Magazine belong to a church or synagogue and attend services either regularly, or even with moderate regularity? What proportion of libertarians are self-consciously atheist or agnostic and/or attend church seldom or never? Does the answer differ for intellectual types and folks who may have broadly libertarian sensibilities but don’t keep up with Reason or all the libertarian blogs? Is it even theoretically possible to be a libertarian today and adhere to a traditional religion–as opposed to being “spiritual,” or belonging to a very liberal church? I don’t know the answer to these questions, but here’s my guess. Theoretically, you can be a libertarian and also be traditionally religious. In fact, this combination was probably found fairly frequently prior to the sixties and seventies, before “the social issues” moved to the political forefront. But nowadays, the vast majority of libertarians are probably either self-consciously secular, or are religious only in some thin, non-institutional, or highly qualified sense. Again, this is just my guess.

I don’t know about that. I’m a reasonably hard-core libertarian who only takes strong exception to the Libertarian Party on the issue of abortion and national borders – both on libertarian grounds, I should add – and I’m also an evangelical Christian who regularly attends an evangelical church. (Although I have to admit that we’ve only made it one out of the last four weeks, since our recent house visitors seem to insist on flying in and out on Sunday mornings.)

Anyhow, I believe that one can derive a libertarian philosophy from God’s attitude towards the human race. It is worth mentioning that while He did give Israel a king, the warnings He gave them certainly indicate that He appears to harbor more than a little skepticism towards the benefits of a strong central government.

I previously addressed this subject in a 2003 column entitled Christian and Libertarian, in case anyone else is interested.