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As with some other forms of libertarianism, what is prohibited by law is limited to various forms of assault, theft, and fraud. Other actions that are forbidden by Christianity can only be disciplined by the church, or in the case of children and teens, one's parents or guardian. Likewise, beliefs such as "love your neighbor as yourself" are not imposed on others so long as the non-aggression principle has not been violated. The non-aggression principle, or NAP, being the foundational link between the philosophies of libertarianism and the teachings of Jesus.
The origins of Christian libertarianism in the United States can be traced back to 18th-century classical liberalism and 19th-century individualist anarchism. According to Austrian anarcho-capitalist and paleolibertarian theorist Murray Rothbard, of the three anarchist experiments during the European colonization of the Americas in the mid-17th century, all three were begun by nonconformist Protestant groups.
Martin Luther, one of the principal figures of the Protestant Reformation, is referred to as "libertarian" in the introduction to Luther and Calvin on Secular Authority, published by Cambridge. The term used here is something quite different than the ruggedly individualist ideology of American right-libertarianism. The book's editor, Harro Hopfl, states that libertarian as well as egalitarian and communal motifs were part of the texture of Luther's theology (see also two kingdoms doctrine).
English Catholic historian and Liberal statesman Lord Acton posited that political liberty is the essential condition and guardian of religious liberty. The Acton Institute, an American Christian conservative libertarian think tank, is named after him.