Every year, I start with the goal of reading at least 52 books, and this year I made it—54 and counting as I publish this—even though one of them was Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, which seemed like it would never end—not that that bothered me at all. I’d have a hard time coming up with a novel this good that is both thouroughly Christian and thoroughly libertarian.
Under the New Covenant made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus, Christians are under no such obligation to protect society, or even to obey its norms, customs, or dictates—rather we are to transcend and transform it. The whole point of grace is that no matter what we do, God loves us, and that he no longer requires—or even desires—that anyone be punished for anything.
And though we’re told that we should trust the president (or the king, or the prime minister, or the high priest, or whomever) because that’s the pragmatic way to ensure security, war always makes things worse, and it always breeds more war.
Church and state should not mix, but faith and politics must; indeed, a faith without politics denies one of the essential claims of Jesus—that he is sovereign—and blocks us from experiencing the abundance of a life following him.
Jesus pursued his obsessive love for us by choosing the indignity of being human, then spending a lifetime serving and loving others, then choosing a death in which he gave his life and his body as the fuel for us to have eternal life—all the while having, but not using, the power and authority to save his life and become king.
That’s the reason why I pray for the failure of all the Trumps and Clintons and Obamas and Bushes—because their morality and their means of pursuing it is rebellion to God’s way for mankind to relate to one another.
With the inauguration just a week away, and even I am a little surprised that Donald Trump is actually going to be president. In March of 2016, I concluded that he was probably going to win the election, and it turns out I was right.
And I thought at the time that—should such an absurdity in fact take place—the effect on the American electorate…
The day after the election, I decided to not write anything here until the New Year. Although I had long been certain that Trump would beat Hillary, not many other people were. I was bewildered by the reactions that so many people had to the Trump victory, and the sheer volume and range of opinions, fears, and analyses being discussed made me conclude that publishing anything in that environment would be as futile as the proverbial screen door on a submarine.
Writers like Frédéric Bastiat, Albert Jay Nock, Murray Rothbard, and Franz Oppenheimer have made the invaluable distinction between the state and society, and between the political means and the economic means.
But there is a more subtle distinction that needs to be made, especially in the American context.
Americans usually refer to the thing properly called “the state” as “the government.” It’s unfortunate for clear thinking about politics that these two terms have, through long use, become interchangeable.