DEIST: Finally, you have been outspoken on your personal
blog and otherwise about your own Christian
beliefs. Why have you chosen to be outspoken about
this and do you think that this has in any way helped
or hindered you career wise?
MURPHY: It’s a great question. I’m outspoken on it just
for the obvious reason that if you’re a Christian, that’s
the most important thing, period. And so, why you
would be focusing on other things and not talking about
that is problematic if you really are a Christian. If you
believe that the state of people’s souls are resting on an
issue, that’s far more important than the heterogeneity of
the capitalist structure. But, as far as whether it is helping
or hurting, I really can’t say. My guess is that there
are plenty of my colleagues who are agnostic or outright
atheists who might see the things that I post on Sundays
on my blog and think, “Bob’s very rational, but I’m glad
he can compartmentalize because when he talks about
economics, he’s real smart and rational and gee, when he
starts talking about the Bible I just don’t get it.”
I’m sure there’s plenty of people who think like that,
but I think probably they just say well, there’s a lot of
religious people and that’s just how they were raised and
they move on and they kind of give us a pass, if you will.
So, to be honest, I don’t think it’s really hurt me. I do
consulting work in the insurance sector, and not that
anything in terms of professional relationship has anything
to do with a religious litmus test, but I have noticed
just as I reflect, that a lot of the people that I work the
most closely with in that realm are also Christian.
I think it’s more of a worldview thing, that the kind of
people who believe in the Bible, they see the world a certain
way and so, if they hear me talking about the Federal
Reserve, that’s going to resonate with them even if we’re
not literally talking about scripture. I do think this sort
of goes back to what we were saying about the state of
Austrian economics. Some people might say, “You want
to keep that to yourself so people don’t blackball you.”
But on the other hand, if there is the remnant out there,
the minority who thinks like you, they need to know
who you are, so they can find you and work with you.
I think there’s something like that too with my spiritual
beliefs, that hiding it, that’s going to make me feel
bad and I’m going to feel miserable, afraid to share my
beliefs. But also, you should be a beacon of light to the
other people who think like you.
The last thing I’ll say is, it wasn’t that I was worried about
professional blowback. In the beginning I was worried
about some pretty militant atheists in the free-marketsort-of-libertarian
community, and they did hammer
me in the beginning but I think they just got bored of it.
Things like, “Can’t you see that the state and the church
are identical?” They both tell you, you need us, give us
your money or you’re going to suffer. I certainly get those
superficial similarities, but like I said, it kind of went
away and what really encouraged me though, was I got
a lot of emails over the years from people saying, “hey, I
keep my head down because I don’t feel like fighting with
people online, but I’m glad you’re out there doing that.” I
used to think I was one of the few Christian libertarians.
Now I realize that’s not the case.