(this interview was conducted with Ryan Day Thompson of Flagless and r0thbard of LWA)
We are very excited to have Flagless joining us as our 18th member organization. We believe strongly in what they are endeavoring to do by reaching the Christian community with the truth about statism.
If you are a Christian, start following their content. If you aren’t, then pass this on to any friends who are Christians. So often, Christians think that statism is Biblical and that a stateless society must be immoral. Many non-Christians also see Christianity as a worldview contrary to liberty. I think Flagless is doing an excellent job showing the truth of the matter.
Who are you? (your team)
There’s a link for that :-) (Our Contributors)
We’re a group of Christians who met via social media and through watching each other on Facebook came to realize we virtually believed the same thing: the state is an evil coercive monster that does nothing if it is not in the protection of its own corrupted interests and, conversely, Jesus is the righteous and sovereign King who does everything for His own interests but whose greatest interests just also happen to be our greatest interests.
I pitched the idea for our website after a year of banging my head against a wall because I’m only one person with a limited amount of time and a lot of things to explain publicly. I mean, “I’m an Anarchist,” makes for a lot of questions. (Or demands…sometimes they feel like demands because, for the moment, the burden of proof is on us and most of our friends are ticked off.)
The rest of the group, David McElroy, James and Tammie Libertas, and David Reynolds humored me and we got started.
We’re blessed (or lucky, depending on whether you’re a Naturalist or a Theist!) because we have a professional writer and former political consultant, a full time philanthropist and major gift fundraiser, a mother and deeply educated academic, an everyday guy who’s just tired of coercing and being coerced, and a hot-headed kid with a bachelor’s degree, a whole lot of reading, and a dream. What a group!
Who is your audience?
We have a pretty diverse group of people reading us right now. I’ve heard, both positively and negatively, from Atheists, Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats, other Christians, Agnostics, Pantheists, and so on.
I originally intended this to be a project that addressed Evangelicals, the group that is guilty almost across the board of unquestioningly allowing themselves to be absorbed into the system of injustice in which we reside.
After a phone conversation with David McElroy I realized that we’d probably be “barking up the wrong tree” if we did that so I think we’ve decided that we’re mainly aimed at people within Christianity and on the outer edges of state-oriented Libertarianism who are already disillusioned by the system in which we reside and just need to hear a dissenting view presented with coherence and vehemence. Seriously, walk into most theologically conservative churches and you’re likely to hear plenty of soldier worship, flag waving, Constitution lauding, and patriot talk. For some people that is just plain uncomfortable, though they don’t entirely know why. We’re here to help them understand why that makes them uncomfortable.
What led you to the ideas of liberty?
I can’t really speak for every member of the group but I’ll give my take on it.
The Bible. First, read that book with a hermeneutic that considers context and you’re going to realize very quickly that God doesn’t like it when unjust states oppress innocents. At all. In fact, it makes him so furious that, “the cup in [His] right hand,” is cyclically and routinely “brought around to [them,]” (Hab. 2:16). Second, in Genesis you find out that humans were created in the very image of God (Gen. 1:26-27.) This gives them worth, value, and an inherent right to life and liberty. This image is incessantly trampled upon by anti-human states which are inherently unjust structures. Finally, when you read Jesus and take seriously the fact that the “law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2) is a spiritual law, intended for an otherworldly kingdom (Jn. 18:36,) that is essentially non-coercive, you have to start believing that people are free to believe and do what they see fit to do and believe. I, personally, came to realize that our job as Christians is to proclaim the gospel and not legislatively or militarily coerce people into a moral program that may or may not even be in the Bible.
Also, I actually ran into a well dressed guy who introduced himself as an Anarchist during a birth class my wife and I attended in preparation for the birth of our son. I asked him, “Soooo, you’re dressed really well for an Anarchist. Shouldn’t you be dressed in all black and bombing things?” I was essentially a Neo-Con at the time so you can guess how that conversation went. From him I learned about Mises and Rothbard and from them, well, you know how the floodgates open once you read them. That Anarchist and I ended up great friends and do some activism together now.
Why is liberty important to you?
Personally, and I mean this, liberty for me isn’t that important. It’s liberty for others that concerns me most. I am driven by the motivation and belief that people have an inherent right to make whatever decisions they choose to make, regardless of the eternal standing I believe some of those decisions put them in with God. People have a right to life and freedom, morally, religiously, and economically and when I see that right trampled on by moralistic majoritarian Christians and statist human-hating politicians, I get a little bit worked up.
Liberty is important to me because it is important to the God of the Bible. And I believe in the inerrance, infallibility, and authority of the Bible. (Note: Just because I do doesn’t mean you have to!)
If you had 3 dream bloggers (dead or alive) to bring on to your writing team, who would they be?
Rothbard, Jacques Ellul, and Tolstoy (and maybe Justin Taylor and Greg Boyd…but that’s five, isn’t it?)
In 3 years from now where do you hope to see your group/site?
Together? We haven’t thought that far ahead! But seriously, as long as we DO exist we want to be glorifying God in whatever we do. I think we would like this site to become ultimately unnecessary because Christians give up endorsing bloodthirsty tyrants and recognize the futility of state idolatry. If they did that we wouldn’t have much to write about!
Any favorite blogs or sites that you’d like to give a shout-out to?
Facebook? Liberty Web Alliance!? But, seriously, sites like CopBlock, C4SS and Jesus Radicals continue to shape and sharpen our thinking and individual efforts from the likes of Brad Spangler, George Donnelly, Greg Boyd, Tripp York, Gary Chartier, and the so-called “Kevin Carson” attract our intellects on a consistent basis.
Check out the Flagless archives, follow them on Twitter, and fan them on Facebook!
Here are a few of their posts
- Flagless: An Introductory Post
- Christians & Anarchists?
- Has the American State Become Your Religion?
- Logic and the foundation of the non-aggression axiom
- Who are the utopians? And who are the realists?