It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
A few weeks ago my chapter executive board and I presented a talk on "The Catholic Libertarian." Our university, St. John's University, is a Catholic and Vincentian university dedicated to spreading the mission of the Roman Catholic Church. Much of the Libertarian movement (although certainly not all of it) has an anti-religious under-current; because of our University's Catholic and Vincentian identity and our own personal faith, our chapter executive board sought to reconcile Catholicism and Libertarianism. We created a presentation on four principles central to our Libertarian beliefs -- and our Catholic faith.
The Golden Rule and the Non-Aggression Principle
Libertarians reject the notion that the government is entitled to a monopoly of violence or has a right to violate reason, the Natural Law, or the Golden Rule -- these principles apply to everyone, including government officials. A government that deprives an individual of life, liberty, or property without prior consent violates reason, the Natural Law, and the Golden Rule.
As Jesus is undergoing crucifixion for our sins, he prays for the very soldiers that are executing him: "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). This prayer reveals Jesus holds the soldiers morally responsible for carrying out immoral orders. If this were not so, he would not have sought forgiveness on their behalf -- the soldiers' lack of self-awareness of their immoral actions is not sufficient for their forgiveness. The prayer indicates that the soldiers, and by proxy all state actors, are not without sin simply because they are unaware of the nature of their actions. Government officials must also follow the Golden Rule and cannot deprive an individual of life, liberty, or property.