CORE: Christian Vision of a Free Government

Government is fitting to human nature. But political government is subsidiary to the self-government that humans perform within natural communities and associations. God made us to govern ourselves and some part of the world for a common good. So we have natural government, especially within the family. We also create governments in order to flourish in political society. To be free and flourishing, a society needs (1) the rule of law and (2) ordered liberty. The reason to create and sustain government is to secure those two conditions. The dominant view today is that the rule of law and freedom are in opposition to each other in a zero-sum contest. But the Christian conception of government does not require us to choose between the rule of law and freedom. It allows us to have both. It enables us first to govern ourselves and then to order the communities of which we are part.

Recommended Readings

Genesis 1 & 2

Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Law

Adam J. MacLeod, "Our Universal and Particular Constitution," Public Discourse (October 4, 2018) (

Adam J. MacLeod, "Where Do Our Rights Come From?," Starting Points Journal (October 22, 2018) (

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