Sep 23, 2022Liked by P. Andrew Sandlin

Do you have examples of Christians who want to impose statism? I understand your points in theory, but to have concrete examples would be helpful.

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I share your concern that would-be Christian nationalists are wise enough to understand that their project needs to be a minimalist state, e.g. Christian Libertarianism. On those grounds, I stand with you. They just don't get it yet.

But to offer constructive criticism, there really is nothing in the bible's depiction of the magistrate's proper duties which preclude coercion. 1st Peter 2:14, Romans 13. Coercion, it seems, is a command to the magistrate, not an option to be exercised by him should the people give a thumbs-up.

And I'd also point out that there is no such thing as neutral coercion. Polygamy is for heretical cults, but our political order has forbidden it on Christian grounds.

I appreciate your description of how biblical, dare I say, Christian, the US founding's theory was; with its antecedents in Luther and the reformation. I agree with you on that.

Therefore it will eventually be counterproductive to your project to claim that the power of the state must not "coerce Christianity" when you're making that pronouncement from a pedestal built upon Christianity which was encoded into civil law on Christian grounds. It's so Christian, in fact, that there were actually objectors to it when it happened. Dare I say, they were coerced.

I admit it's a painful conundrum we are in, and the last thing I want is a Christian political savior, raring to build walls on the border, send out our troops yet again to democratize the planet, or give money from the public purse in mercantilist projects to enrich lazy US businessmen.

We need to face the fact that Classical Liberalism, good as it has been, at the end of the day, is just another -ism. You can't build a theory of the magistrate's duties on it. You have to use the bible; Peter and Paul.


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With Moscow, Idaho's Christ Church featuring on Meet the Press, it looks like the specter of "Christian Nationalism" has gone mainstream and will be haunting the US midterms for better or worse. At least it is less hysterically vacuous than "Christofascism." Either way, from "Flatten the Curve" to Dobbs, lots of axioms have been questioned and lots of seedy underbellies exposed. I think I saw a rotting section of a fence once belonging to Chesterton by the roadside the other day. I don't see an earthly way it could be repaired.

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