Date of this Version
In CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES ON LEGAL THOUGHT, ed. Michael W. McConnell, Robert F. Cochran, Jr., and Angela C. Carmella (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2001), pp. 354-368.
My purpose here is not to present a grand theory of the role of Christians in society. Nor is my goal to convince you that Christians should embrace libertarianism as a political theory or Biblical principle for all times and all places. I am neither a theologian nor a political scientist. I write as a sinner who has accepted Christ as Savior and as Lord, as a husband of a Christian wife, as a father of five children, and as an academic lawyer who teaches and writes about constitutional law. Although this essay is addressed to fellow "pilgrims" wandering in contemporary America, I hope other readers--particularly readers with a strictly secular worldview--will find this conversation interesting.
The reference to Babylon in the title of this essay is meant to convey my understanding of what it is like to live as a pilgrim in a postmodern secular state. Just as the Jewish people wandered in exile in ancient Babylon, Christians wander today in an America that has rejected our God--indeed, in an America that often seems to be waging war against our God. I no longer take it for granted that America is a decent place in which children can grow and flourish. Like many others, I now realize that the motto "God and country" no longer rings true. Rather, I have reluctantly begun to accept that all too often today "the question is 'God or country." That is an easy choice for me--I choose God. I struggle here not for grand theories but for pragmatic solutions to the many problems faced today by Christian parents as we struggle to raise godly children in an increasingly depraved and depraving culture.