I’m most religious guy in Libertarian Party. At least that’s what my friend, Charlie, decided. I don’t know if his bit of insight was meant to be a compliment or a mere observation. Either way, I suppose there are others more deserving.
For his part, Charlie is a declared atheist. And, therein lays a dilemma for some libertarians. How can I — a certified, card-carrying Bible thumper — stand shoulder to shoulder with a guy who’s never thumped a Bible in his life?
In spite of ourselves
One may assume there is a détente in which discussion of religion is avoided like a trip to dentist. One would be wrong. I find few things more intellectually stimulating than a lively spat with a well-informed atheist — particularly when feeble attempts are made to defend untenable; eg, evolution.
Or, one may assume there is a level of irreconcilable toleration. Not so. Some of best Christians I know are atheists. By that, I mean, atheists usually surpass Christians in areas such as morality, decency and human kindness. I don’t tolerate these people. I like them. I enjoy their company. I’d rather hang out with a crowd of honest atheists than a church full of back-stabbing Baptists any day of week, including Sunday.
So why do libertarian Christians and atheists get along?
Exclusion doesn’t work
The answer can be found in word, “inclusion.” Think about it.
When Protestants control a government – say Northern Ireland, for example – Catholics and other non-Protestants have a tough way to go. And when Catholics take charge – as in Ireland – Protestants find themselves on outside looking in.
Come to think of it, when any religious group takes control, all others face dire consequences. Consider history of England. Bloody Mary had at least 275 Protestants burned at stake (including Archbishop of Canterbury) during her brief five-year term as Queen of England. A century later, Protestant Elizabeth I was executing Catholics. For their part, Muslims have a history of killing both Protestants and Catholics, not to mention Jews.
Life, some think, would be simpler — if not safer — if no religious sect controlled government. Let’s put atheists in charge, they say. That would end sectarian bloodletting.