In an 1803 letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Jefferson declared that “I am a Christian,” though his view of Christianity was different from most:
I then promised you that one day or other I would give you my views of [the Christian religion]. They are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others, ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other.
However, despite Jefferson’s self-declared Christianity, many of his views would be considered heretical by most theologians. Most notably, he attempted to create the Jefferson Bible – an edited version of the New Testament that retained Christ’s moral and practical teaching, while dropping supernatural elements.
Jefferson certainly believed Jesus to be a great teacher of morality, and believed the universe to be created by a God. Less clear is his views on subjects such as the divinity of Christ, the resurrection, sin and salvation. The Jefferson Bible suggests he rejects these ideas entirely, but is not definitive. Jefferson never had his Bible published during his lifetime. He did have this to say about Christianity and the message contained in the work that he created.
There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.
“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
–Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson.
I have never been one who is comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena. In fact, the pandering that typically occurs in the election season I find to be distasteful. But for those who have asked, I freely confess that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that I seek His guidance in all that I do.
Some evangelicals get a little bit annoyed because I’m not always preaching and saying, “I’m this, I’m this, and this.” I think my obligation is to reflect my beliefs in my life. I like the … part in the bible about not showing off … we’re instructed to pray quietly … [and] not to play big fanfare. I’m trying to strike something in between there; where I’m not bashful and ashamed of it, at the same time I don’t want to look like others who …look to get votes because they were willing to say and do something in public. … You don’t do it out on the streets and brag about it and say, “Look how holy I am.” If a person has true beliefs and is truly born again, it will be reflected in their life. … I’d rather my views and my convictions and my faith be shown by my actions rather than [by] what I say …
Growing up, my family was very much involved in religious teaching and interested in religious faith and actually encouraged all five of us to become ministers. Two became ministers and I decided I could minister through medicine…. People have asked me what influenced me most in my family and upbringing and it was the work ethic and church. It was faith-based. We spent a lot of time at our church and that was part of our routine.
I didn’t have much choice about the Lutheran church because I was born that way. It was very conservative and we spent a couple years in catechism and that was when I made my commitment to Christ and joined the church. And then when my wife and I got married it was sort of an accident because there wasn’t a Lutheran church handy and there was an Episcopal church handy and we enjoyed the older traditions of the old prayer book and at that time it was a much more conservative religion. As the years went on both of us became more annoyed with the liberalization of the Episcopal church and it didn’t fit us. None of our children stayed in the church…. we drifted away from it. We now go to a Baptist church.
The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation … biased against Christianity. …
I think it’s systemic … in court cases that say you can’t say a prayer at a football game. Where is it in the Constitution that said that somebody can prohibit prayer? The First Amendment says the federal government shouldn’t write any laws regarding freedom of speech and prayer. And if it becomes offensive … then the local people have to deal with it. … it should be the school board or somebody. But there can’t ever be under the First Amendment a prohibition. The Founders never thought that to be the case … It’s systemic, especially the aggressive atheists who are always going to courts, to say that their attitude because they’re atheists means a prohibition against expression of Christianity and that of course didn’t happen 30 or 40 or 50 years ago. It’s much more so today because there are some people aggressively trying to undermine Christianity.
A lot of times [secular liberals] love to have an ally and broaden their base … then all of a sudden, they’ll be a few [secular anti-war liberals] who will come off and break off and say, “Do you know who your ally is? He’s somebody in prayer, we have to attack them! He’s not even for the welfare state!” And they say, “He can be our friend, but not too friendly,” and then some of them will start attacking me.
I get to my God through Christ. … I pray for wisdom and grace.
This post started out as a comment On Dr Goode’s blog post ‘Is Ron Paul a Libertarian’, yet as it focused on just one aspect of his post, and grew longer and longer by the minute, I decided to make it a post in its own right.
Richard was responding to a Not PC blog post criticising Ron Paul in which he lists a set of ‘Ron Paul positions’ which in Peter’s view are incompatible with Libertarianism. One of these was the fact that Ron Paul is opposed to abortion.
PC is expressing a commonly held view, and because many Christians oppose Abortion and want it recognized as murder, they tend to agree with PC that ‘to be a Libertarian means you must condone abortion’ and therefore conclude from this that ‘No Godly Christian can be a Libertarian’
Today I seek to destroy this false assumption. I have herd Abortion is the most common medical operation performed in New Zealand. A huge number of Woman have had abortions, and so this is a very difficult subject to discuss. It is a Subject many prefer to keep hidden in the shadows.
I am a Christian, and a Libertarian, and I am 100% anti-abortion.
Politically speaking Abortion is one of the most difficult of subjects to deal with.
I think its murder… yet still don’t see how it can be banned, without compromising/destroying some of the most vital principles that underpin a Libertarian government, esp the principle that woman own their own bodies, and that Government is formed by consent…a compact between people of different race, culture, and religion.
As a Christian, I don’t believe a utopian Human government is even possible.
Sinful men in power must be given as little power as possible…thus I certainly do not believe moral salvation is possible via human Legislation. Thus I don’t expect the government to be the solution to all mankind’s woes. Thus I don’t expect the Law to solve the abortion problem. Furthermore if abortion remains legal, there is nothing stopping Christians from publicly expressing their Moral outrage at the practice, and via converting souls to Christ, They convert them to the belief that an unborn child has the God ordained right to life…thus I am saying Christianity (and other anti-abortionists) can still work to convince the population to voluntarily abandon this wicked practice. Christianity operates properly via Liberty…via preaching Godly values…not by lobbying for the political oppression of unbelievers.
In such a society that allows Abortion, Homosexuality, drugs, etc a Christian can still function fully as a Christian. Just because society practices these things, does not violate his rights or liberty, doe not mean he must sanction them, etc. He can deal with these sorts of things as he encounters them… by practicing his faith and following his convictions.
In a society that allows abortion (Like the Status quo) Men can avoid having their children aborted by guarding their seed. Taking care not to impregnate girls whom don’t share the belief that a child’s life is sacred, and first asking for a life long commitment from a girl before impregnating them. This would not Guarantee the marriage, but such a process is at least the honorable course to take, because it shows honest diligence in such a weighty thing as deciding to bring Children into the world.
Sacrificing children to the God Molech.
And Even if Abortion is tolerated in a free society, getting rid of Socialism… and their anti-Christian/ Pro-abortion Nanny State would still be a great improvement on the status quo because the Tax payer would no longer be forced to fund this mass murder against their will. Thus this would then mean those who oppose abortion can exercise their right to completely separate themselves from this practice.
That the government extorts taxes from us by force, and then uses the money to pay for mass extermination of unwanted children is absolutely an intolerable situation.
I would love to put an end to the practice of Abortion. By daily propagating Christian Libertarian values I am working towards that Ideal. I really struggle to believe a social compact between Atheists and theists is possible which includes making abortion illegal. I think The Christian argument against abortion is true, yet inadmissible because it crosses the line between church and state. The social compact being framed in secular terms which are acceptable to all reasonable individuals. (Secular truth is not ‘atheist truth’, but truth that stands by its own merit… (eg Both theists and atheists accept Euclidian geometry…for self evident reasons). I think Christians who go to the Law to solve society’s ills are acting in a very unchristian way. I think Christians who actually think the government can be so constructed as to deliver perfect justice… are deluded…and expect far too much from such an all too human institution.
Finally let me note the fact that Moral virtue springs voluntarily from the Heart… not the Law. Woman are not displaying any virtue by carrying children full term simply because the Law prohibits abortion. Conversely Woman display great virtue when they choose to carry their children full term, when the easy and legal option would be to have an abortion. They are practicing their Humane values as to the sanctity of human life.
In a society that allows abortion, Woman with strong Christian values ought to be revered and courted for marriage far above Godless/ unscrupulous woman… because of their values. Thus in a free society which allows abortion… Godly woman ought to have every advantage over the infidels…and prosper.
A libertarian society is not Utopian. It cannot halt all evils. It cannot foster an angelic society. It is a Compact… a peace treaty between disparate groups and individuals. The compact lays down a minimum of terms by which these disparate groups can coexist in peace… if not harmony. Thus the government is not the font of all justice. It is strictly limited to the agreed terms of the peace treaty, and so many practices will be legal which some members of the society will find abhorrent. Eg Cigarette smoking. To many people Cigarette companies and shops which sell cigarettes are Death dealing murderers… Yet Smoking cigarettes cannot be justly banned according to Libertarian principles. So too with abortion… yet this does not mean that all Libertarians must indorse Abortion, or must submit to it as helpless victims. They can work to reduce it and even completely eradicated it without recourse to political force…via preaching. This is exactly how the Christian Missionaries effectively halted Cannibalism here in the early 1800s. They proved Christian values can overthrow ungodly wickedness. That’s Christianity in action.
The many great evils that would manifest themselves should Abortion be banned is also a heinous prospect. The rise of horrific illegal alleyway abortionism. The tortured existence of unwanted children living with desperate and malicious parents… etc etc. All Children go to Heaven when they die… All aborted children are saved… and even if Abortion is Legal, the Murderers shall not escape justice! All People whom murder their children shall stand before the judgment seat of the Almighty.
For those whom have had abortions there is but one way to escape the wrath of God… That is to call upon the name of Christ. He died to pay the penalty of sin for all whom reach out for Gods grace and mercy.
Many woman whom have had abortions carry a heavy burden of guilt. It is to you that I share this message… You can have the forgiveness of God… if you will but call upon Christ… and you will meet your child again when you go to Heaven!… Because that is where they are… right now.
End Note: I am still working on this issue in my mind…
The Jurisdiction of a libertarian Government is limited. It does not extend over all time, places and people. A NZ Libertarian Government could not protect the rights of people, or convict Criminals for crimes which occur outside the country… and in a sense this is a similar circumstance to the situation of the rights of the unborn child. If a criminal injures a pregnant woman and the child dies, this is a very serious offence, yet they are usually prosecuted for the injury and loss to the woman… not for murder. I don’t like this, yet struggle to find a solution. ?
The following video puts a very important question to Pro-abortionist, many of them choosing to avoid answering it because somewhere in their consciences they realise the argument that ‘A fetus is not a person’ absolutely falls apart… and that killing a Baby a day before they are to be born is no different to killing them the day after they are born.
It is a great argument Anti-abortionists have and it makes a very good case that if not at the beginning of pregnancy… that *at some point*… the Law should protect *the rights of the unborn child* from being murdered by their mother… and that an overwhelming majority of people could be convinced that such Laws would be just. (Just to Recap my position… I do believe abortion is murder… yet this post has been all about whether or not it can be banned in a free society without violating the essential principles upon which it hangs).
This argument (below) will still work to end abortion… even when there are no laws to ban it…. by convicting individual consciousness that it is wrong.
And so Anti-abortion folk are not absolutely defeated even when abortion is legal.
They still have the power of reason to convert others to their way of thinking.
My Blog on this subject I wrote several years ago… Abortion poses a serious dilemma for Libertarianism, and I tended to lean towards preserving a womans sovereignty over her Body… yet this position has been almost too heavy to bear in the light of how legal abortion has turned this into virtual genocidal levels of murder… its an industry… and woman have become so callous about it.
In the dilemma between the Right of the baby to Life, and the womans sovereignty over her body… I believe the Legal weight should be in favour of the innocent children… esp given Woman can prevent themselves from having un-wanted pregnancies by other moral means.
“If you do not find me reclining beneath the Plane trees.
Look for me in the Garden of Contemplation.”
Summer camping is a time I plant my arse in a cozy Beach chair and meditate.
I write my thoughts into a journal. I like to speak from Introspection, and personal experience.
Here is one from this last mission….
I sneak off into the bush and hug trees…but does it still count if nobody sees you?
You don’t have to wear a Greenpeace Tee-shirt or Camp out in City squares to be an Environmentalist.
So much of the Environmental extremism of today is merely a fashion statement…more of a social club than anything else.
People want to Look Green. They think this gives them the higher moral Plateau, from which to pour down their Communist vomit upon Freedom, consumerism, and industry.
I reach this conclusion because of the disconnect many people have between their ‘profession of concern’ from their ‘actions of disregard’.
Socialist Greens are in the habit of pointing out motes in eyes of others rather than focusing upon the beams in their own.
The fact that we now have a generation of youth whom have been thoroughly indoctrinated via a bombardment of Green Propaganda and yet they still leave their Beer bottles and chip packets behind them like a trail of dung.
They sure do like to consume their share of Booze and junk food!
Is this simply the rebelliousness of youth?
Does the incessant bombardment of Greenism actually counter-productive and provoke a negative response?
Whatever is going on inside their heads it obvious that theory and practice are separate things.
Now my Wife Joy, my son Roman, and I have just got back from camping in the Coromandal. We do a lot of Camping in the summer, and we employ one very simple Libertarian scruple …
*Always leave the place in a better condition that when we arrived*
This is a Voluntary virtue, which we impose upon ourselves, and we Police ourselves.
We don’t need a sign to tell us ‘Don’t litter’.
We don’t need the threat of DOC staff hiding in the bushes to motivate us to Camp in an environmentally friendly manor.
Why? Because we have assimilated this ethic into to our self-esteme… and take pride in not only keeping our waste in control, but also in picking up rubbish (esp broken glass) that we find lying about, so that when we depart…the site is cleaner, safer… and we can have self-respect.
This is how Humans ought to function… not via oppressive tyranny, but by Ethical Self- Government.
This is an example of Libertarianism in action.
Laws are written for the sake of Cretans and Barbarians.
Truly civilized people don’t function on such a base knuckle scrapping level.
Libertarianism is founded upon the fact that Ethics in action spring from the Heart…the Soul…not the threat of punishment.
An enlightened society is a society with few Laws, but peopled with individuals of strong personal ethics.
A barbarous society has many Laws emanation from a Draconian State, and is peopled with mindless Zombies.
Libertarianism is about growing the former. Socialism is about manufacturing the latter.
Hence when there is no one from the government watching over their shoulders, Socialist youths revert to Barbarism. They have been raised to need Nanny.
As a Christian, that little Libertarian Scruple ‘Leave the place in a better condition than when you arrived’… is a simple, yet beautiful rule that ought to be applied to one’s entire life.
Simplistically speaking there are two sorts of Human beings in the world.
Life affirmers vs The Degenerates.
Independent Self-governors vs The Domesticated beasts.
We ought to voluntarily Live as an Agent of virtue, rather than as Agents of decay.
Only a Savages thinks of Liberty as License.
The Enlightened Man considers liberty the domain for practicing his personal discipline.
In a free society, It may be lawful to be a rude, selfish, arse hole whom reviles in depravity…and there will always be those whom choose to live this way… and I must confess to have done my share of that, yet I have grown up. I have learned by my many crimes and mistakes. I repent. I have learned the Redeeming truth, that A leopard can change its spots! You can re-invent yourself and become a better person. You can become the sort of person you wish to be….the reward for which is Self esteeme… and when you finally go to your grave you will * Leave the place in better condition than when you arrived* …and many will say “Oh how sad it is that Tim has Gone! We have lost a good man, we have lost our best helper, we have lost our strong example, our encourager, …etc”
Is not that a Legacy of a life well lived?
Will anyone think like that about us when we die?
I guess that depends on how successufully we embody the Ideal.
I guess the one virtue the Young have is time to get wise.
Riverglen camp. 6km down Tapu rd from the Coroglen Pub. Coromandal Peninsula.
Tentsites + Cabins.
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth : That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly .” (Mat6vs1-4)
Litter is yet another evidence of Mans Fallen Nature, and need of God.
Each individual is the owner of his own life and has the right to live it as he sees fit, as long as he respects that same right in others.
and that this principle is incompatible with the commonly held Judaeo-Christian view that everything, including one’s own life, is owned by God.
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (NIV)
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine (KJV)
It does not follow from this incompatibility that a Christian cannot be a libertarian, because libertarianism does not have to be based on the Principle of Self-Ownership. My view is that Christian libertarianism is based on the Principle of Self-Custodianship.
Each individual is the custodian of his own life and has the political right to live it as he sees fit, as long as he respects that same political right in others.
The Late Great Libertarian Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer explains why The philosophy of Libertarian Inalienable rights is the historic fruit of the Judeo-Christian world view, and that Atheist Materialism is the Death of all morality, and human value, and has no basis for objective Law. This explains why with the growth of Atheism, Democratic Nations like America and New Zealand have become exposed to unchecked Mobocracy, having removed belief in God given inalienable rights and objective morality. What remains is the arbitrary whim of the masses. In the atheist reality there is no Higher authority. Any ‘Rights’ we now possess may be removed at any moment. They are no longer Inalienable but dependent upon the whims of Parliament. To restore true Libertarian rights *As sacred* is my Mission. I preach the Gospel Of the Grace of God, so that sinners might be saved, and also to restore faith in the Judeo-Christian cosmology which underpins human value, objective morality, esp The Rights of the individual. Many modern Christians have forsaken the Political Enlightenment that followed in the wake of the Reformation, and have been led down the garden path into tyranny and subjection by the ‘Humanist’ worldview. I seek to recover them from the snare of Devil, and restore faith in the trustworthiness of the Bible and the foundations of Liberty and equality. It has taken strong delusions to blind Christianity to the truths which I hold to be self-evident: That God created Man equal and endowed him with certain inalienable rights… Tim Wikiriwhi.
The Late George Carlin… Rabid atheist and Iconoclast tells you honestly what Atheism really means… The end of all value and morality. He would laugh in Ayn Rands face! He exposes Rand as a Fraud and second-hander …. whom plagiarizes the values of Christianity and foolishly attempts to ground them in the vacuum of atheist materialism! Calling her Philosophy ‘Objectivism’ no more makes it truly Objective than calling a party ‘Labour’ actually makes it truly benevolent towards the working class! Rand actually abandoned a tyrannical atheist country (Russia) for the safety and liberty of a Christian Nation (America), and then proceeded to undermine the very foundations of Freedom! Enlightened Protestant Christianity. Russia embraced the ideas of the Karl Marx, whom based his Collectivist Totalitarian State upon ‘Scientism’ (Atheist Materialism) and the denial of God given inalienable rights. Lenin further argued that ‘Whatever actions benefited the cause of ‘the Party’ (the State) and its ambitions for World socialist Revolution *was moral*. Murder etc are all acceptible means being justified by the ends (Utilitarianism). The Socialists believe the Individual has no rights but exists for the sake of the state. Under Atheism there are no objective values or ethics. Ethics are superstitions… illusory. Scientifically speaking all that really exists to the Materialist way of thinking are the cold and indifferent Laws of physics and chemistry.
P.S You Objectivists…Paybacks are a Bitch aye! You have taken great pleasure in Blaspheming Christ so please don’t bleat too loudly that I now repay you in kind! Surely you didn’t expect Christianity to cowardly run away from your profanities and delusions?
Yet do not utterly despair. When I get around to it I will lay out the basis of a social compact by which we Christians can coexist with you silly Infidels in Liberty and equality, that is if you are capable of reaching such an accord. The fundamental principle which I shall elaborate upon as the basis of peace and hope between our conflicting worldviews is the principle of ‘The consent of the governed’ and it hinges upon the notion that there are some commonly held desires which form *an overlapping consensus* between all peoples of tolerance and peace, and that via religious liberty a civilization… a free society of equality and justice can be founded and maintained.
Then we can carry on our Ideological warfare like civilized enemies… via free speech, free press, etc.
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Tim Wikiriwhi is joining me as co-blogger!
I first met Tim at the 2006 Libertarianz Party Conference. His speech to the conference attendees was unforgettably, pulpit-poundingly passionate! Just like the man himself. A Christian libertarian cat set among the Objectivist pigeons!
Tim Wikiriwhi, the christian libertarian. T-shirt reads: “Stand fast in the liberty of Christ.” Christ!
This isn’t a game. This is real. People’s lives are being destroyed, but those people will do so little to help remove the shackles that help imprison them. People’s lives are being destroyed, but so many libertarians themselves who KNOW what’s wrong will do so little to do what they know is necessary.
Organising libertarians is still like herding cats. Why? Why so many ‘useless inert nothings’?
Don’t be pessimists; be optimists. Take it seriously. LIVE YOUR CONVICTIONS.
There is no reason and passion dichotomy: if you’re not passionate, then there’s something wrong with your reason.
Why quit? Why quit when the competition is morally bankrupt to their core, and totally absurd. To quit in the face of such small adversaries is cowardice. We have reason and virtue on our side.
Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Don’t be a quitter. If you are, and you KNOW what the fight is about, you’re shirking what you know needs to be done. God said, the lukewarm will be spewed from my mouth. Don’t be lukewarm.
The socialists aren’t beating us, too many are doing it themselves.
While hundreds of libertarians sit on their arses, the forces of evil are at work. Rust never sleeps. What do you need to wake up?
Being an individualist is no excuse for excluding yourself from activism. An individualist wants to see his values in the world; a christian libertarian who KNOWS that libertarianism can save the poor, the weak and the needy MUST do what he can to make those values real.
Not to attack the enemy is to give them the advantage. Why, when the enemies of civilisation will do everything — even blow themselves up! — will so many libertarians not even support their local Libz candidate?
Libz offers the only real choice between freedom and slavery. Your motivation for activism should be love: love for your fellow man. Individualism need not be anti-altruism.