“No gods, no masters” has been a popular anarchist phrase for over 500 years. Yet as society and culture becomes increasingly secular, authoritarianism has grown alongside it. The atheist utopia of a world dedicated to logic and reason seems further away now than it ever has been, despite more people choosing not to affiliate with religion.


Religion, in some form or another, has existed ever since humans developed consciousness. In fact, sacred texts like the Bible, Tanakh and Quran did not have a word or even a concept of religion in their original languages – nor did the people or cultures in which they were written. In other words, religion itself is so ingrained into the human experience that it precedes the concept of religion. The people and cultures of biblical times viewed religion as so quintessentially human that they saw no need to develop a distinction.

So is the modern rise of atheism the beginning of perhaps the most fundamental change in human nature?

The libertarian readership of Liberty Itch should have little problem acknowledging the danger of elevating government to the place of ultimate authority in Western society.

Modern atheists are not embracing the 15th-century anarchist phrase; they have simply replaced their god with something else – and something worse. Covid tyranny showcased many things, perhaps most alarmingly the willingness of so many to so readily worship at the altar of the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient state. The government served as the Father; the “all-knowing” bureaucrat as the Son; and The Science™ as the Spirit.

And for atheists who manage to escape the religion of government, they simply find another god: money, consumerism and hedonism being some of the more popular ones.


Atheists are quick to point out the ridiculousness of many religious truth claims. Until very recently I would have considered myself one of these atheists. However, they completely miss the point. Debating whether the universe was truly created in six days or whether the Great Flood was all that great is the most uninspired, surface-level analysis of religion. Yet every discussion about religion seems to lead to a boring dissection of the truthfulness of highly symbolic stories written in a unique literary style many thousands of years ago.

The Bible, and other similar sacred texts, is not a dispassionate recount of historical events, but a book that delicately interweaves prose and poetry, narrative and direct address, and history and myth. It is also important that we do not regard “myth” as merely synonymous with untruth. A myth can be a profoundly true statement which speaks to universal aspects of life and reality: its meaning rises above time and space. Art, film and music can all provide transcendent meaning and truth to our understanding of the human experience as well as our own lives, whether or not the subject matter is objectively true. Religion is no exception.

Religion, in some form or another, has existed ever since humans developed consciousness.


If you have no authority higher than government, government becomes the greatest authority. The libertarian readership of Liberty Itch should have little problem acknowledging the danger of elevating government to the place of ultimate authority in Western society. Even the US Founding Fathers saw the need to mention that our rights are derived from God; and while not all libertarians agree with the divine origin of rights, we can all agree that they are inherent – they were not endowed merely by fiat of man.

But if religion has existed for as long as humanity, what is the significance of Christianity?

There is a reason Christianity is the most popular religion: no matter what degree of interpretation you choose, it will always provide meaning. Whether you choose to take a more literal interpretation or orient your life toward the symbolic meaning that can be extracted from biblical text, you will be an objectively better person and lead an objectively more meaningful life. While correlation is not necessarily causative, it is hard to ignore the ridiculous degeneracy of a modern society that actively rejects religion, particularly Christianity.

While deriving meaning from the extraordinary is not unique to Christianity, it is unique to traditional religion – rather than the modern idols we have put in its place. Worshipping the state, money, hedonistic impulses, vapid consumerist culture or any other modern idol will provide you with neither self-improvement nor meaning. Perhaps if I were writing this for an Eastern audience, I might urge readers to consider Hinduism or Buddhism; but it seems absurd to suggest that westerners overlook the religion that has been foundational to the very culture we live in.

While Easter may be wrapping up, it is not too late to pick up a Bible or visit your local church. It may very well be the most libertarian thing you can do.

Thank you for your support. To help us in our battle to protect liberty and freedom please click here


  1. Argument-free assertions that following a religion will make you an ‘objectively better person and lead an objectively more meaningful life’, and that it’s ‘absurd’ to not choose to be Christian, are an argument against tying oneself to a package of stories selected by someone else. Religion is a refuge for those who find thinking exhausting and want to be handed on a platter a range of things they should think – making them a worse person comforted by made-up meaning.
    Early writers didn’t have a word for religion because humans have always been making up stories to get others to do things they want – this is an argument against religion – a particularly libertarian one.
    Particularly at Easter, we should oppose those who arrogantly serve up their fairy tales as fact.
    I don’t need to imagine a higher authority just to stay clear-eyed about the threat of government. Only the weak need this.

  2. Great article, James.
    I recall the book, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” by Joseph Campbell, in particular his writing about how most of us refuse the call to life. While we are busy working and “relaxing” with all our mod-cons, what is it that gives our lives meaning?
    Myths play a significant role in human existence, but we are told that they are just fairy stories. But they have served mankind well throughout the ages as a way to help them grasp the world around them.
    For fairy stories, they’ve certainly stood the test of time!

  3. In Response To The First Comment …

    Argument-free assertions that the Biblical texts can be reduced to mere “story” ignore what scholars, both believers and non-believers, say. The collection is poetry, eye-witness account, history, allegory, administrative letters and more. If mere myth, Josephus and Tacitus wrote fables too.

    It is no sleight to say that ‘thinking is exhausting’. It is. It requires concentration and energy and discipline and open-mindedness. There is nothing easy about the scientific ideas of Faraday, Newton, Nightingale, Kelvin, Davy, Fleming, Morse, Collins, all of whom happen to also be engaged intellectually as Christians. There is nothing easy about the philosophical ideas of CS Lewis, Chesterton, Alvin Plantinga, all Christians. Each, in their own individual and unique ways, bring vivacity to the life of the mind and are original thinkers, hardly the ‘handed on a platter’ strawman suggested in the initial comment here.

    As for succumbing to selections ‘by someone else’, apparently the act of free-will in choosing past writers is something a libertarian cannot now do? By that contorted logic, perhaps then libertarians should not draw on Locke, Mill, Smith or Friedman either, or read any of the articles on Liberty Itch.

    It seems to me that words like ‘refuge’, ‘exhausting’, ‘worse’, ‘made-up’, ‘fairy tales’, ‘weak; and ‘arrogantly’ reveal an intolerance and intellectual arrogance all of their own.

    I don’t know one Christian who believes he knows it all. Like everyone, our knowledge is incomplete and we are flawed. That’s the pre-requisite. There’s a humility in that. And I found the tone of James’ article reflected that humility.

    One is free not to believe. Fair enough.

    For those of us who do believe, we’ll continue to volunteer our time doing what our forebears did: build schools, run hospitals, offer social services, give meaning at key moments in our lives like births, marriages and death, as well as enrich our culture through music and art. And we’ll continue striving to do this by private voluntary donation and private, deeply-held Faith.

    At a time of political corruption, government bloat and dangerous overreach, I can’t think of anything more ‘clear-eyed’, practical, libertarian (and Christian) than that.

    Thank you to Liberty Itch for the opportunity for civil and robust discourse of different perspectives. It makes for a more interesting publication.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here