In February, Liberty on Tap hosted a talk on the Muslim-American perspective on Liberty.
For March’s meeting, Dax Ewbank joined us and addressed a packed room at our new location at The Fox and Hound on the topic of ‘Christian Liberty and Obedience to Authority’. He focused primarily on Romans 13, governing authorities, and the question of what is legitimate authority. The following is a brief summary of his talk.
Dax used to be a pastor and says that he left because of the problems he had with how authority was being used. He felt there was a spirit of control rather than of true love and friendship.
This topic is important as many Christians reference Romans 13 when submitting to government authority. As a Christian one needs to ask these questions: What is authority? What are good works? What are bad works? And is the sword used in vain?
Is a crime that doesn’t have a victim fall into the jurisdiction of human authority? Dax believes it does not and that it is an issue taken up between oneself and God. The actions of the individual, if they do not encroach upon other individuals, bare the consequences on his own – Self Ownership. A community can also work together to defend another person who is being aggressed upon.
Natural rights are self evident, existing because we exist. There is a natural law of morality therefore the authority that we ought to submit to such as lawmakers, are not really lawmakers at all because all the laws already exist. They create laws that have no merit, such as burn bans or that a man cannot plant a seed and harvest its produce.
Where do taxes fit in? Who are taxes owed to? They are paid and owed to legitimate authority based on voluntary actions. When a community works together to solve problems, or improve the land, they do so voluntarily. Just because a group of people call themselves government does not mean they are the authority.
In conclusion, he says Romans 13 is not an argument that the state can use to steal our liberties. From the audience, Bob Davies commented it is one that Christians should not use either as an excuse to stay out of politics.
Dax suggests that people ask these questions: How do we learn to recognize legitimate authority? Do they engage in good works or evil? Do they bare the sword in vain? Do we have to obey it? He emphasizes that disobeying authority is not done with violence rather it is done by following the same basic principles of liberty.
Whether a theist, an atheist, and everything in between, the message is that of the philosophy of liberty; self ownership, non aggression and natural law. These are universal principles hijacked by illegitimate authorities who collude to use their positions to control people rather than protect individual liberties.
I have provided a link to a book that Dax mentioned in his talk titled “Whatever Happened to Penny Candy“.
We are very thankful to Dax and his wife, Julie, and their youngest son, Zeke, for traveling to T-Town and sharing his perspective on this issue. It sparked many conversations, discussion, and questions.
Liberty on Tap’s April presentation is ‘Free Market Environmentalism’ – appropriate for April’s observance of ‘Earth Day’. We are sure this will inspire many questions and great discussion so be sure to make that one on April 3rd!
Following in May, we are excited to celebrate Liberty on Tap’s one year anniversary! Stay tuned for more information.
Thank you to everyone who attended the March meeting. It was great to see so many new faces, as well as familiar ones. We look forward to seeing you all again next month!