It started out Last Sunday as an an interesting debate and slowly turned in to rapid slapping of a 'certain cylindrical piece of anatomy' on the table contest. And then afterwards, I was asked the above question by two individuals with valid personal concern. Actually it went something more like this: What the hell! We know some of what you believe and stand for; so, why are YOU a Libertarian?
My response was simple, "I am not a Libertarian. I am a modern traditionalist philosophically; and because of that, I identify with and associate myself politically as a Libertarian."
After they recovered from the quantified paradoxical mental anguish in regards to my statements they proceeded to inquire further, "What the (edited) is a modern traditional idealist?" and "Why does that make you identify as a Libertarian?"
modern traditional idealist
The easiest way to explain it is by using the common definitions. I am modern because, I live in the this time and place, choose to examine my traditional beliefs (both secular and religious) according to contemporary philosophy, criticism, and historical writings; however I am traditional because, I give creed and deference to the derived traditions and historical doctrines of both cultural and religious practices and thoughts; but yet still I am a modernist because, I don't believe that all knowledge is derived from original Divine revelation and is transmitted by tradition alone. I am a walking, living, breathing, oxymoron which makes defining my idealistic tendencies so much easier to explain. My conduct is influenced by ideals that often conflict with societal considerations, I'm very much so the non realist but I can still be down to earth and occasionally practical (the modernist side), which in turn is a perfect fit for Libertarianism.
Libertarianism is commonly referred to as "a political philosophy maintaining that all persons are the absolute owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their persons or property, as long as they allow others the same liberty. Libertarians emphasize equality before the law rather than equality of outcome." While the political philosophy varies by which type and cast of Libertarian you speak with the core of individual responsibility and limited government still ring true.
President Thomas Jefferson once said, "...rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others...." as the primary purpose of government to protect it.
my personal thoughts
Taxes: Lord Joshua-Emmanuel of Nazareth asked one of his disciples "(paraphrased) Whose image is on this coin? Then give to Cesar what is his and return to your GOD what is HIS." Now of course, why the government thinks they can get anything more than ten percent of your income off the top is beyond me but what is even more erroneous is that the People have allowed the government to take more than GOD requires from a tithe and offering combined on a weekly basis. ... That is why I am a Libertarian!
Marriage: The covenant of marriage was not declared a Sacrament of the Church until 1215 AD at the Fourth Council of Lateran Basilica (articles 50-53) because it prefigures and preordained the Church and existed before as an act of joining between both gay and straight partners. A traditional covenant being formed by: the tearing of flesh, shedding of blood, and a mutual exchange of privilege and rights, with the parties involved. How the government is to declare something an institution when they only started regulating it in the 1880's to stem the tide of interracial marriages and deny the citizens right to freely choose whom they choose to spend the next five or fifty years of their lives with? It is none of the governments business in the first place except the People let it happen. All applicable laws should have been repealed by the Civil Rights Amendments to the Constitution. ... That is why I am a Libertarian!
Religion vs. Politics: The rule of law is sovereign in this country and trumps my pulpit or your pew every time but that isn't why I am a Libertarian. On the third of January, 1797 the Treaty of Tripoli was signed into law and has the same force of precedent as the Constitution which states in Article Eleven, "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." So much for the War on Terror, except the People let it happen by not controlling their government. ... That is why I am a Libertarian!
I will shut up now and give everyone else time to respond to the question "Why are/aren't you a Libertarian?" or feel free to berate me for my answers, politely of course.