An Introduction

Thanks to Stephen VanDyke and all the others for giving me a spot on this excellent blog.

As Chris Bennett introduced himself, so shall I. I’m 21 and a Christian Libertarian. While I’ve had libertarian urges all my life, I supported the Republicans until about 2000, simply because they were the supposed party of small government. I’m ashamed to admit that I cheered when it was announced that Bush won the election in 2000-but then again, in my mind I was cheering a small-government conservative who was against nation-building and who promised to privatize Social Security. Not long afterwards, I heard about the Libertarian Party and, browsing their website, I found I agreed with them. I met Michael Badnarik in Omaha while he was campaigning and from there joined his website, where I found Tim West and eventually got on his blog. From there I eventually found the bulk of the libertarian blogosphere.

Sometimes libertarians deride my Christianity, and sometimes Christians deride my libertarianism. But the way I see it, when God placed the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden in Genesis (whether it’s literal truth or not doesn’t matter to me), he placed free will in man’s reach. Man was not bound to obey God, but had a way out-that way, his worship would be more sincere. In my mind, free will is the gift of God-and he who takes away that free will is guilty of idolatry, for he thinks himself wiser than God. Therefore, the philosophy of liberty comes naturally to me. Like it says in my bio, I wish to undo the damage done by my co-religionists. And honestly, I’m more of a liberal Christian anyway so I don’t even think gay marriage or drug use is necessarily wrong… but even if I did, it’s for God and not me to judge humanity.

At any rate, I look forward to blogging here and I promise I’ll have a picture up soon.

Stuart Richards

Stuart Richards is a 26-year-old land surveyor based out of Portland, OR. He is a left-leaning geolibertarian and (theologically) liberal Christian, and has been blogging on and other libertarian sites since 2004.

  1. Welcome! You do have me confused though. You start out by saying you were a conservative Republican, then venture on to say you saw the light and discovered Libertarianism. Later on, you state that you are a liberal Christian (whatever that is). I must say, that is a lot of things to be all at once. I would like to know how one could possibly be a liberal and a libetarian all at the same time?

  2. Liberal in the religious sense-not the political.

    Liberal Christians don’t necessarily believe in things like Biblical infallibility, homosexuality being a sin, etc. In that sense, “liberal” means “one who does not endorse tradition,” not “collectivist bandit.” I’m not a political liberal by any means-unless you’re talking classical liberalism along the lines of Locke, Paine and Jefferson.

  3. By “liberal” Christian, Stuart means that he is liberal in his Christian beliefs–he basically he isn’t a fundamentalist Christian.

    Welcome Stuart. I just read your “The way I see it” blog post and I thought it was an interesting take.

    With that said, I am curious as to what your take on the seperation of church and state is.

  4. I think it’s a very bad idea to unite church and state. The Old Testament itself is against it-when Israel was under the judges, they had no effective central government (just militia leaders) and they fell away from the worship of God about half the time. When they asked the judge Samuel to ask God for a king, God was against the idea and warned them of the horrors it would cause. They ignored God and God gave in to their wishes, giving them a king. Under the kings, Israel had a state religion, but that state religion went astray far more easily than the people under the judges did. Not only that, but it dragged the nation of Israel into sin as well.

    Basically, if we humans try to set up a state faith, we’re inviting apostasy into the nation according to the Christian Scriptures. And then there’s all the philosophical stuff against it that was brought up during the Enlightenment that makes the case against established churches.

  5. I just found this site. Very nice. As to the comment above:

    I would like to know how one could possibly be a liberal and a libetarian all at the same time?

    I consider myself to be a foreign policy liberal and a civil libertarian at the same time. I don’t even think that’s very uncommon. It’s mostly semantics, as those words can mean very different things to very different people (hell, Bill O’Reilly thinks he’s a libertarian). As an atheist, I look forward to reading the perspectives of those who view themselves as Christian libertarians. Forums like this are great for understanding what being a libertarian is all about.

  6. Shiny things. I like shiny things. Oh, pretty!

    Crap, now this means I have to introduce myself sooner or later, instead of just annoying the other editors behind the scenes…

  7. Welcome Richard!

    Crap, now this means I have to introduce myself sooner or later, instead of just annoying the other editors behind the scenes…

    Yeah, stop it! I’m supposed to be the local irritant! ;-)

  8. Terry and Stuart,

    As I spent years in Lincoln, it would be nice to see some better years for the Huskers. Any local rumors to suggest this is more than just a pipe dream?

  9. Not really, no. Osborne left football for politics so now both political and sports scenes suck in this state. The man was much better as a coach than a politician.

  10. Stuart – You might be interested in “Turn Neither to the Right nor to the Left: A Thinking Christian’s Guide to Politics and Public Policy.” It is written by Libertarian activist Eric Schansberg. He is an economics professor at Indiana University Southeast.

    Laissez Faire Books carries it.

  11. Steve,
    Well if our football team doesn’t get back to national prominence right away at least we still have our awesome volleyball team. By the way what years were you in Lincoln. I grew up near there and went to college in Lincoln.

  12. Stuart,

    Speaking of pics, I think I recall a different pic of you (kinda grungy — hair longer — some braids or a hat, perhaps) at your blog. My recollection is that was a cool pic, if you still have it for HoT.