A new evangelical political alignment: The Liberty Party

Politics | Christians need a broader coalition with a liberty agenda
by D.C. Innes
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2016, at 11:16 am

This is a presidential election year, and voting is a moral responsibility. God provides government for His purposes, and in a republic like ours He uses ordinary voters to accomplish this. So the humblest voter has the moral responsibility to think God’s thoughts after Him when casting a ballot. But this year the choice may be especially difficult, at least as most evangelicals see it. “The lesser of two evils,” they say, but who would that be? Others object that the lesser evil is still evil, and so they will abstain. Most evangelicals feel politically homeless in 2016. Our faith is under constant and multi-directional assault and no one is standing up for us.

The Republican coalition made sense for us in 1980. Turn aside the advances of the New Left with its aggressive secularism and ideological embrace of the sexual revolution. Reassert the Judeo-Christian moral consensus. But the New Left is now in firm command of the political, economic, and cultural heights of society. And its members are on the hunt for non-conformists. So the political strategies of 1980 will no longer do.

Pastor Steven Wedgeworth suggests a new third party to advocate a more thoughtful Christian view of politics and society. It’s a good view he describes, but there aren’t that many thoughtful Christians, and it would be a fringe party with zero influence. Some defender. I think Christians—white and black evangelicals, Catholics, and Orthodox—need a broader coalition centered on a liberty agenda, a party with clout that will defend us as a matter of core principle.

Americans in general can still appreciate their interest in individual liberty against the encroachments of an insatiably controlling state. The chief interest of Christians in particular is religious liberty. This is not only the freedom of worship that President Barack Obama ordinarily concedes, but also parental rights, including the freedom to discipline and educate one’s children as one sees fit, and property rights, including the freedom to conduct commerce according to one’s calling and conscience.

Perhaps a Liberty Party could start with a breakaway liberty caucus among likeminded congressional Republicans and build toward a presidential candidate in 2020. The Libertarian Party is too doctrinaire, the political wing of an entire philosophy of life that reduces everything to an inviolable individual choice. That’s what led to the sexual revolution and the current madness. But libertarians could be enticed into the alliance because liberty would be the focus: life from conception to natural death, property, and enterprise.

In 1986, I saw that public education had become impossible because education requires agreement on what a properly formed, educated person is. That was long gone. Now, in the same way, I see that a morally substantive public life itself has become impossible. Like any shared human life, it requires at least a common understanding of what a morally decent person is. But we can’t even agree on what a human being is!

This pared-down view of politics is far from ideal and certainly sub-Christian, but it appears to be our best option for political defense against the merciless assaults of the pagan political fantasy that currently holds sway over our land.

D.C. Innes

D.C. is associate professor of politics at The King's College in New York City and co-author of Left, Right, and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics (Russell Media). Follow D.C. on Twitter @DCInnes1.

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  • Lizzy's picture
    Posted: Sat, 07/16/2016 02:57 am

    Totally agree.