(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 6 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)
QUESTION: I want to see the removal of all references to a god from money, courts, and schools, as I believe these are a violation of the separation of church and state. What is the libertarian stance on this?
MY SHORT ANSWER: In a libertarian society, all schools would be private. You could send your children to a school that catered to your tastes (i.e., no references to a deity or religion) and religious people could send their children to a school devoted to Him (or Her as the case might be).
Competition in currency, which would be most likely in a libertarian society, would probably result in some private currencies without a religious reference and others with one.
Some libertarians believe that courts should compete as well; others want a monopolistic system like we have today. Since a libertarian society’s code would be ‘honoring our neighbor’s choice,’ it’s likely that courts would offer both Bible-based oaths and secular ones.
It’s a matter of choice. You choose what you want; others choose what they want. The market gives multiple choice; the government usually gives a one-size-fits-all monopoly.
If someone wants to use government to outlaw religious references, he can only do so by giving the government power to impose religious references. Rather than advocating such a win-lose situation, libertarians promote the win-win options that occur when we honor our neighbor’s choice, rather than imposing our own.
(For a more detailed explanation of what the phrase “honoring our neighbor’s choice” entails, see my book, Healing Our World, available from the Advocates. The earlier 1992 edition can be read online free at my website.)
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