Religious Liberty: Where do Libertarians Stand?

Craig HueyEconomics, Religious Liberty1 Comment

There are three presidential candidates running on the Libertarian Party ticket.

The Libertarian Party may find itself gaining support this year, mostly from conservative, but oftentimes from liberals. During this election, people who like Cruz or Trump or even Bernie Sanders may vote Libertarian.

The Libertarian candidates’ different stances on religious liberty is interesting.

The normal Libertarian position would be people should be free to do what they want as long as they do not harm someone else.

In the case of religious liberty, two of the candidate would allow florists, bakers, and other businesses to refuse participating in gay weddings if the act violated their conscience.

Austin Petersen and John McAfee defended the First Amendment rights of business owners.

Surprisingly, one libertarian candidate—Gary Johnson—would force a Christian baker to violate his conscience, to fulfill the request of a gay couple to make the wedding cake.

Johnson would even force a Jew to make a Nazi wedding cake, too!

Watch the full exchange on religious liberty. Click here.

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One Comment on “Religious Liberty: Where do Libertarians Stand?”

  1. Robert Winthrop (Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives):
    “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”

    Most libertarianism functionally assumes moral-relativism and liberty can coexist – though history proves otherwise.

    Even worse than the fallacy of many libertarians who believe a nation can survive without controlled borders and excluding immigrants not willing to assimilate, is the assumption that nations can survive when government and free-markets become infected like a cancer with moral-relativism and constitutional-deconstructionism due to those claiming Christ failing to represent Christ in society and government to the exclusion of God offending world-views and governance. America’s survival has always been dependent on Christians engaging in ‘works’ that include fearlessly displacing anti-Christian worldviews with representation of Christ. America’s existing trajectory toward national-suicide exists because the majority representation in society and government is by ‘enlightened-humanists’ other moral-relativists, and narcissists. This, while most churches which should be producing those willing to represent Christ in society and government, serve to create happy sheep on their way to slaughter – with future generations in-tow.

    Early Americans wrote the following trues and warnings to future Americans regarding the necessity to ensure Christ is represented in society and government to prevent America’s destruction:

    John Adams
    Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States

    [I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.

    (Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776.)

    [W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    (Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.)

    The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shalt not covet,” and “Thou shalt not steal,” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.

    (Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. VI, p. 9.)

    Samuel Adams
    Signer of the Declaration of Independence

    [N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.

    (Source: William V. Wells, The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1865), Vol. I, p. 22, quoting from a political essay by Samuel Adams published in The Public Advertiser, 1749.)

    Fisher Ames
    Framer of the First Amendment

    Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits . . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.

    (Source: Fisher Ames, An Oration on the Sublime Virtues of General George Washington (Boston: Young & Minns, 1800), p. 23.)

    Charles Carroll of Carrollton
    Signer of the Declaration of Independence

    Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.

    (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers, 1907), p. 475. In a letter from Charles Carroll to James McHenry of November 4, 1800.)

    Oliver Ellsworth
    Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court

    [T]he primary objects of government are the peace, order, and prosperity of society. . . . To the promotion of these objects, particularly in a republican government, good morals are essential. Institutions for the promotion of good morals are therefore objects of legislative provision and support: and among these . . . religious institutions are eminently useful and important. . . . [T]he legislature, charged with the great interests of the community, may, and ought to countenance, aid and protect religious institutions—institutions wisely calculated to direct men to the performance of all the duties arising from their connection with each other, and to prevent or repress those evils which flow from unrestrained passion.

    (Source: Connecticut Courant, June 7, 1802, p. 3, Oliver Ellsworth, to the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut)

    James McHenry
    Signer of the Constitution

    [P]ublic utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.

    (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland, 1810-1920 (Maryland Bible Society, 1921), p. 14.)

    Jedediah Morse
    Patriot and “Father of American Geography”

    To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.

    (Source: Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1799), p. 9.)

    William Penn
    Founder of Pennsylvania

    [I]t is impossible that any people of government should ever prosper, where men render not unto God, that which is God’s, as well as to Caesar, that which is Caesar’s [America’s version of the ‘biblical Caesar’ being ‘the original intent of America’s amended constitution’].

    (Source: Fundamental Constitutions of Pennsylvania, 1682. Written by William Penn, founder of the colony of Pennsylvania.)

    Pennsylvania Supreme Court

    No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country.

    (Source: Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 1824. Updegraph v. Commonwealth; 11 Serg. & R. 393, 406 (Sup.Ct. Penn. 1824).)

    Joseph Story
    Supreme Court Justice

    Indeed, the right of a society or government to [participate] in matters of religion will hardly be contested by any persons who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately connected with the well being of the state and indispensable to the administrations of civil justice. The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion—the being, and attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to Him for all our actions, founded upon moral accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues—these never can be a matter of indifference in any well-ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive how any civilized society can well exist without them.

    (Source: Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847), p. 260, §442.)

    Daniel Webster
    Early American Jurist and Senator

    [I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.

    (Source: Daniel Webster, The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown, & Company, 1903), Vol. XIII, p. 492. From “The Dignity and Importance of History,” February 23, 1852.)

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