Liberty Pastors is a Christian nationalist organization dedicated to training pastors to become more involved politically. Founded by religious-right activists Dan Fisher and Paul Blair, Liberty Pastors hosts multi-day retreats around the nation where local pastors and their spouses are instructed by right-wing speakers like Rick Scarborough, Mat Staver, Rick Green, E.W. Jackson, Alex McFarland, and others on how to become members of a modern-day “Black Robe Regiment.”
Last month, Blair appeared on a Truth & Liberty Coalition broadcast where he revealed that these gatherings are financed largely by religious-right activist Art Ally, founder of the Christian investment firm The Timothy Plan, and explained their purpose.
The gatherings are limited to 100 pastors so that attendees have an opportunity to interact with the speakers personally “and that really helps with this transformation of their ministry,” Blair said. “Over three days at a luxury hotel, we have 20 hours of their time where we literally teach them biblical principles of civil government.”
Liberty Pastors held an event in Texas in August that was dedicated entirely to the issue of economics, at which Blair asserted that according to the Bible, the government should have no role in creating a federal welfare system to provide for citizens in need.
“2 Thessalonians, chapter 2 said, ‘We commanded you that if any man is just lazy and refuses to work, then don’t let him eat,'” Blair said. “You know, there’s a proper place for charity, but if somebody is just a slug—as [Benjamin] Franklin said, ‘Hunger is a great motivator.'”
“Here’s God’s design,” Blair continued. “It wasn’t for a federal welfare system; the family is supposed to care for the family. Parents raise their children and provide for them as they’re young, and then as parents get older, their kids are to honor their parents, which means to provide for their needs as they get old. Throughout Scripture, slothfulness and laziness is condemned as sin. As I said a moment ago, [the Apostle] Paul agreed to Ben Franklin or Ben Franklin agreed with Paul: If a man doesn’t work, don’t feed him.”
Of course, a system in which parents provide for their children and children then, in turn, provide for their parents only works so long as the parents and the children are physically capable of working and are earning enough to provide what is needed. Unfortunately, for a lot of families, that is simply not the reality. But according to Blair’s interpretation of the Bible, the proper remedy in those situations is apparently to simply to let those families go hungry because that is the only thing that will motivate them to overcome their “slothfulness and laziness.”
While many Christians would reject Blair’s assertion that government aid to poor people and families is contrary to biblical teaching, many religious-right leaders promote similar versions of “biblical economics,” drawing on Christian Reconstructionist teachings about what constitutes a legitimate role for government. Comments like Blair’s can be read in David Barton’s “The Founder’s Bible” commentaries and heard in his claims about the Bible opposing minimum wages, unions, and capital gains taxes. They are taught to state legislators and conservative activists by the Institute on the Constitution, and they are cited by Republican lawmakers who quote the Bible to justify cuts in food assistance for poor families.