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Free is Beautiful: Why Catholics Should be Libertarian Paperback – April 20, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475130961
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475130966
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Randy England is a Catholic writer and criminal defense lawyer in central Missouri. He is a former prosecutor and the author of Unicorn in the Sanctuary (Tan Books) and the end times novel, The Last Fisherman: A novel of the last Pope, the anti-christ and the end of the age.

More About the Author

Randy England, born in Alton, Illinois, is a Catholic writer and criminal defense lawyer in central Missouri. He is a former prosecutor and the author of Unicorn in the Sanctuary: The Impact of the New Age movement on the Catholic Church (1989); the end times thriller, The Last Fisherman: A novel of the last Pope, the anti-christ and the end of the age (1999), and Free is Beautiful: Why Catholics should be libertarian(2012).

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
Very well organized book.
Charliene Wilson
This book is clearly written and gives me something new to think about every time I read it.
Evan
A must read for any politically involved Catholic.
Alex

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey W. Preckshot on May 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
There is a widespread belief that Christians, specifically traditional Catholics, could not possibly be Libertarians. Randy England demonstrates the error of that belief in clear and concise discourse.

Beginning with the basis of Libertarianism, the non-aggression principal, Mr. England illustrates by argument and Catholic apology Libertarianism's congruence with Catholicism. Freedom, God's second great gift after life itself, is the core of both Traditional Catholicism and Libertarianism.

Mr. England's treatise explores the details of political Libertarianism and Catholic teachings in the contexts of dogma, property, the Right to Life and the criminal law in it's first part (five chapters). Citing Aquinas, St. Paul, Augustine, C.S. Lewis and even Bilbo Baggins (among others); and drawing from sources from the Old Testament to the New Catechism, Mr. England lays the basis for the inevitability of religious Catholics final embrace of the freedom of Libertarianism. While already a Libertarian, it was a comfort to be provided with the facts to support what I understood implicitly - that freely chosen religious belief spoils one for enforced constraint in areas outside the spiritual.

Part II of Mr. England's book is more practical and addresses the everyday issues of today's regulatory State. Those familiar with F. A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom understand the themes of economic control and the totalitarianism of collectivism as Mr. England discusses them. Free is Beautiful modernizes these themes for the 21st Century with its references to Homeland security, counterproductive licensing and economic strangulation by Byzantine regulatory schemes.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Casey on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Sometimes, Libertarians will ask me "How can you be a Libertarian if you're Catholic?" Sometimes, Catholics will ask me "How can you be Catholic if you're a Libertarian?" Both questions presuppose the obvious incompatibility of Catholicism and Libertarianism. I spend a lot of time and energy answering these questions but now that we have Randy England's delightful Free is Beautiful, when I'm asked the second question, I'll be able to refer the questioner to this book and then ask my own question: "How can you not be a Libertarian if you're Catholic?" Now, if we only had a book that answered the first question in the same crisp, clear and convincing style.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alex on June 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am a libertarian Catholic writer, and I have to say that this book stands up with the best of them. I've read Tom Woods, I've read Napolitano, but none of those do what this book does so well: explain exactly why every Catholic not only should be libertarian, but actually HAS to be libertarian (that is, if they believe in what the Catholic church teaches). Potentially controversial, but very well researched and sourced, this book pulls from all sorts of places, including papal encyclicals and teaching of Aquinas, Augustine, and other saints.

Eventually, liberals have to accept that the welfare state is ineffective and immoral, no matter how good your intentions are. Conservatives have to accept that laws that try and enforce morality are inherently immoral as well. This book explains exactly why, and more. A must read for any politically involved Catholic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Shetler on May 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
"There is no virtue in having government take one man's money by the threat of force and giving it to another. The taxpayer does nothing virtuous, except yield to overwhelming state power. As government welfare replaces charity, it becomes easy and natural to turn away from the poor and leave 'charity' to the government. Government destroys our capacity for generosity. [...] The government commands compliance, not virtue. What the government gives is not a gift; and he to whom the government gives is not grateful; he neither knows nor cares from whom the benefit was taken. The welfare system denies him the opportunity to appreciate the help or reciprocate in any way. [...] The state makes itself indispensable to the poor, subjugating them forever, with the waste from bureaucratic overhead so high as would make real charitable organizations blush with shame. Pope Benedict noted the same in Caritas in Veritate [no. 47]: 'At times ... those who receive aid become subordinate to the aid-givers, and the poor serve to perpetuate expensive bureaucracies which consume an excessively high percentage of the funds.'"

Amen.

Randy England challenges those of all faiths who have a genuine care for those in need to abandon the modern administrative state. He makes a clear and thoughtful defense of pure libertarianism, which I believe will convince both liberals and conservatives to shift their views at least in part toward freedom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Non-Voter in California on September 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
Like the latter adjective in its title, Free Is Beautiful, this book—insofar as it is a clear and well-argued introduction not only to libertarian theory itself but also to the close correspondence of libertarianism with true Catholic teaching—is also beautiful. Consequently, Randy England was able to harmonize libertarianism with Catholicism. In so doing, he accomplished for libertarianism what Thomas Aquinas did for Aristotle approximately 750 years ago. So now, like the famous Dr. Evil of the Austin Powers films, shall I poke my finger into my cheek and say it aloud? “Randy England deserves a million dollars!”

I was particularly impressed by the way the author addressed the question of abortion in libertarian theory. Here, perhaps more so than in any other section of the book, he was able to explore the vital, sometimes complex, and frequently divisive and emotional issue of abortion in a straightforward, logical, and compelling manner—all while simultaneously respecting both the pristine doctrine of the libertarian non-aggression axiom and upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church. More specifically, Randy England presented the key points of an important 1978 article authored by Father Sadowsky, a libertarian professor emeritus of philosophy at Fordham University. The article was published in the journal Libertarian Forum, and until I read this book, it had escaped my notice. I had previously considered myself well schooled in this topic, having read extensively the writings of two key libertarian theorists—Professor Murray N. Rothbard and Professor Walter Block. Despite this, I had not been aware of the convincing arguments of Father Sadowsky, and it has justified a long-felt concern of mine.
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