Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why I Reject Autonomous Liberty

by James Brown, Jr.
Covenant Commission

(above: Karl Marx)
"[T]he original goal of Marxism was the
elimination of the state, i. e., libertarianism.
The classical Marxist and the libertarian
may disagree on how to get there, but
they both have the same goal in mind."
Among Reformed, Evangelical, and Traditionalist Christians is emerging a raging debate over liberty, law, and government. The confusion within the debate is astronomical due to American Christianity's rejection of God's law order. As a result, we have lost every area of our society to humanism, be it humanistic statism or humanistic libertarianism.

Christians have given up and accepted one or another form of the humanist agenda because we no longer believe the Word of God. After decades of man-centered doctrine, humanistic philosophy is the standard practice of Christians within our society.

The reason why I reject absolute liberty, in the past called libertinism and now called libertarianism, is that it rejects God's Law/Word and accepts man as sovereign. No further evidence should be needed for the Bible-believing and practicing Christian to reject libertarianism.

Biblical Christianity must reject all rivals to God's authority. Only God is sovereign and as Creator defines good and evil. Therefore, any system that is rooted in man's sovereignty and authority is heretical to the Christian system.

Unfortunately, most Christians do not know the Biblical system of theology, ethics, economics, and so on. Neither do they understand the libertarian system. Therefore, every discussion becomes a display of ignorance and confusion.

Libertarians tout the principle of individual liberty, which seems innocent or even desirable. Without investigation, Christians are gravitating to the liberty message. However, when the light of God's Word examines the ideals of autonomous liberty, we realize it is anathema to Christianity. During the Reformation, the fight for liberty was to live for God according to His commands. Civil disobedience was preached in response to the civil magistrate assuming authority that only Christ possesses. Therefore, the reformed view of liberty affirms rather than denies God's law order.

Murray Rothbard, the famed American author who helped define libertarianism during the 20th century, revealed the true libertarian spirit when he wrote:
"Tom Paine, Thomas Jefferson, the militants in the American Revolution, the Jacksonian movement, Emerson and Thoreau, William Lloyd Garrison and the radical abolitionists - all were basically laissez-faire individualists who carried on the age-old battle for liberty and against all forms of State privilege. And so were the French revolutionaries - not only the Girondins, but even the much-abused Jacobins, who were obliged to defend the Revolution against the massed crowned heads of Europe. All were roughly in the same camp. The individualist heritage, indeed, goes back to the first modern radicals of the 17th century - to the Levellers in England, and to Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson in the American colonies."1
Libertarianism is the modern equivalent of the French Revolution. Students of history recognize the French Revolution is connected with socialism.

The Encyclopedia Britannica, as quoted by W. F. Lemmons in 1914, stated:
"Parallel with this is a revolution in the world of ideas equally great and equally necessary to the rise of Socialism has taken place. This change of thought which made its world-historic announcement in the French Revolution made reason the supreme judge and has freedom for its great practical watchword...Thus Socialism professed to be the legitimate child of two great revolutions-of the industrial revolution which began to establish itself in England toward the end of the eighteenth century, and the parallel revolution in thought which about the same time found most prominent expression in France."2
"Libertarianism is the modern equivalent
of the French Revolution. Students of
history recognize the French
Revolution is connected with
Two questions should arise for the Christian student of history. First, can anything good come from the philosophy of the French Revolution? Second, how could the philosophies of Marxism and libertarianism be connected by the French Revolution?

This connection is unbelievable to the modern American Christian mind. The atheistic liberty of the French produced one of the most gruesome periods of history. Unrestrained man doing what was right in his own eyes.

What many people fail to realize is that the original goal of Marxism was the elimination of the State, i.e., libertarianism. The classical Marxist and the libertarian may disagree on how to get there, but they both have the same goal in mind.
"Individualism, and its economic corollary, laissez-faire liberalism, has not always taken on a conservative hue, has not always functioned, as it often does today, as an apologist for the status quo. On the contrary, the revolution of modern times was originally, and continued for a long time to be, laissez-faire individualist."3
The reason why it has not taken on a conservative "hue" is that libertarianism is akin to socialism and not conservatism. Conservatives do not want to eradicate the Reformation world order. They originally sought to preserve it, even though it is sometimes hard to distinguish true conservatism in modern American politics.

On the other hand, both socialism and libertarianism seek to create a new world order but they first must destroy the old order.

The old order that came out of the Great Reformation sought to restrain fallen man through the God-instituted governments of the family, church, and civil government. The cry from libertarianism is "laissez-faire", a French word meaning, "Let do."4

Libertarianism does not believe in the depravity of man but of man's inherent goodness. However, the libertarian redefines good and evil rejecting God's Word as the final authority.

Thus, on the topic of homosexuality the libertarian says, "Let do." Of course, most libertarians inject their own authority to restrict certain actions they disapprove such as murder. Not wanting to promote murder in their utopian ideals, libertarians must borrow the historic Christian worldview in certain matters contradicting their own laissez-faire philosophy.

Still yet, the libertarian is in every regard an abolitionist in respect to the historic Christian order.
"The genuine libertarian, then, is, in all senses of the word, an 'abolitionist'; he would, if he could, abolish instantaneously all invasions of liberty, whether it be, in the original coining of the term, slavery, or whether it be the manifold other instances of State oppression."5
Libertarians see the Biblical restrictions of man as oppressive. To them, slavery is any restriction upon man's desire to do that which he pleases. Not long ago we called this hedonism.

(above: Murray Rothbard)
"Rothbard's libertarian thought is
so asinine and perverse it is hard to
believe how Rothbard received and
continues to receive affirmation."
(photo credit: The Ludwig von Mises
Institute / CC BY -SA 3.0)
These are the same goals of Socialism. Fredrick Engels wrote, "The state did not exist from all eternity. There have been societies without it, that had no idea of any state or public power. At a certain stage of economic developments, which was of necessity accompanied by a division of society into classes, the state becomes the inevitable result of that division. We are now rapidly approaching a stage of evolution in production, in which the existence of classes has not only ceased to be necessary but become a positive factor in production. Hence these classes must fall as inevitably as they once arose. The state must irrevocably fall with them."6

Rothbard's view of the family reveals Libertarianism's anarchist philosophy. In his book, Ethics of Liberty, Rothbard promotes abortion, letting undesirable children die through neglect, and the emancipation of children from their parents.

Rothbard's libertarian thought is so asinine and perverse it is hard to believe how Rothbard received and continues to receive affirmation. So that you do not think I am exaggerating, consider the following quotes from Rothbard's Ethics of Liberty.

Consistent libertarianism demands the right of abortion:
"The proper groundwork for analysis of abortion is in every man's absolute right of self-ownership. This implies immediately that every woman has the absolute right to her own body, that she has absolute dominion over her body and everything within it. This includes the fetus...Abortion should be looked upon, not as "murder" of a living person, but as the expulsion of an unwanted invader from the mother's body. Any laws restricting or prohibiting abortion are therefore invasions of the rights of mothers."7
Libertarianism promotes child emancipation. Remember, Rothbard said libertarians are "abolitionists" in every sense.
"Applying our theory to parents and children, this means that a parent does not have the right to aggress against his children, but also that the parent should not have a legal obligation to feed, clothe, or educate his children, since such obligations would entail positive acts coerced upon the parent and depriving the parent of his rights. The parent therefore may not murder or mutilate his child, and the law properly outlaws a parent from doing so. But the parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die. The law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive."8
"Regardless of his age, we must grant to every child the absolute right to runaway and to find new foster parents who will voluntarily adopt him, or to try to exist on his own. Parents may try to persuade the runaway child to return, but it is totally impermissible enslavement and an aggression upon his right of self-ownership for them to use force to compel him to return. The absolute right to run away is the child's ultimate expression of his right of self-ownership, regardless of age."9
As absurd as it may sound, libertarians promote the right to sell one's own children. Yet, why would we be shocked when they believe it is ok to allow an unborn or alive baby to die?
"Now if a parent may own his child (within the framework of non-aggression and runaway-freedom), then he may also transfer that ownership to someone else. He may give the child out for adoption, or he may sell the rights to the child in a voluntary contract. In short, we must face the fact that the purely free society will have a flourishing free market in children. Superficially, this sounds monstrous and inhuman. But closer thought will reveal the superior humanism of such a market."10
"In the libertarian society, then, the mother would have the absolute right to her own body and therefore to perform an abortion; and would have the trustee-ownership of her children, an ownership limited only by the illegality of aggressing against their persons and by their absolute right to run away or to leave home at any time. Parents would be able to sell their trustee-rights in children to anyone who wished to buy them at any mutually agreed price."11
It is impossible to harmonize the libertarian and Biblical worldviews. The Reverend R. J. Rushdoony demonstrates the Christian problem with libertarianism.
"Modern libertarianism rests on a radical relativism: no law or standard exists apart from man himself. Some libertarian professors state in classes and in conversation that any position is valid as long as it does not claim to be the truth, and that therefore Biblical religion is the essence of evil to them. There must be, according to these libertarians, a total free market of ideas and practices.
"If all men are angels, then a total free market of ideas and practices will produce only an angelic community. But if all men are sinners in need of Christ's redemption, then a free market of ideas and practices will produce only a chaos of evil and anarchy. Both the libertarian and the Biblical positions rest on faith, the one on faith in the natural goodness of man, the other on God's revelation concerning man's sinful state and glorious potential in Christ. Clearly the so-called rational faith of such irrationalism as Hess and Rothbard represent has no support in the history of man nor in any formulation of reason. It is a faith, and a particularly blind faith in man, which they represent."12
True liberty is not in man. How can the servants of corruption speak of liberty? The humanism of libertarianism will only make the chains tighter and the labor harder. Only in Christ is true liberty found.

Rushdoony articulated my opposition to the humanistic lie of libertarianism as he wrote, "The goal must be God's law-order, in which alone is true liberty."13

We are being sold fool's gold. The white sepulchers of liberty, equality, and rights have blinded many. However, many advocates are evil men seeking to fulfill the lust of their flesh through the corruption of the autonomous liberty. But when one understands they are speaking of the liberty of depravity, equality as gods, and the sovereignty of the individual, it becomes clear, they are sepulchers full of dead men's bones. They truly are full of dead men's bones. Beware of the liberty of man!

The French libertines consistently promoted and practiced the most horrendous crimes under the slogan of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity." However, the devil is in the details just like the present campaign for liberty.

Based on purist utopian ideals, many of my friends have opposed my support for candidates like Pat Buchanan, Alan Keyes, and Roy Moore. They have warned about voting for the lesser of two evils since the above-mentioned do not completely adhere to the Political Calvinist model. Yet, their alliance with the Arminian heresy of libertarianism is the worst sort of evil in which to vote.


1. Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty (New York, NY: New York University Press, 1998), accessed January 10, 2012,
2. W. F. Lemmons, The Devil and Socialism (Cincinnati, OH: F. L. Rowe Publisher, 1914) p. 4.
3. Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty (New York, NY: New York University Press, 1998), accessed January 10, 2012,
4. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, Massachusettes: Merriam-Webster Inc, 1986) p. 670.
5. Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty (New York, NY: New York University Press, 1998), accessed January 10, 2012,
6. W. F. Lemmons, The Devil and Socialism (Cincinnati, OH: F. L. Rowe Publisher, 1914) p. 126-127
7. Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty (New York, NY: New York University Press, 1998), accessed January 10, 2012,
8. Ibid.

9. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid.

12. Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1973) p. 289-290.
13. Ibid, p. 581.

originally posted at Covenant Commission



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