The Obama administration has failed to advance the cause of international religious liberty, and that failure has endangered American national security. But there are concrete steps Congress can take to improve implementation of the International Religious Freedom Act. Adapted from testimony delivered before the National Security Sub-Committee of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, September 18, 2014.
In a society in which the profit motive tends to make all other interests subordinate to the almighty dollar, Chick-fil-A’s founder declared that the store would not be open on the Sabbath.
The secular state cannot be neutral in matters of religion.
The totalitarian temptation can never be entirely overcome, and there is always a possibility that barbarism will return. Thus, we must ceaselessly strive to pursue love, dignity, and freedom.
Traditional religion, with its reliance on an authoritarian God, its understanding of humans as sinners, and its grounding in particular times and places, provides the only stable foundation for affirming the sanctity of human life and enabling human flourishing in new cosmic situations.
It’s in seeking Jesus Christ with all our hearts that culture is built and society is renewed. It’s in prayer, the sacraments, changing diapers, balancing budgets, preaching homilies, loving a spouse, forgiving and seeking forgiveness—all in the spirit of charity—that, brick by brick, we bring about the kingdom of God. Adapted from an address delivered August 6th at the Archdiocese of Toronto’s “Faith in the Public Square” symposium.
Provided agencies meet basic requirements protecting the welfare of children, they should be free to operate according to their values, especially their religiously informed beliefs about marriage. New legislation introduced this week would protect this right.
Requiring all colleges and universities to adopt the same practices and policies would destroy their institutional identities and prevent them from achieving their diverse missions.
The Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case missed an important point. As with churches, the government has no compelling interest in coercing businesses and organizations with religious objections to carry out the HHS mandate.
The contradictory reasoning of Justice Sotomayor’s Wheaton dissent exposes a glaring weakness in the legal argument requiring religious non-profits to comply with HHS’s regulatory scheme.
The right to religious freedom is for everyone, not just those with the “right” beliefs.
For the common good, we must remember the ways in which church and state can mutually benefit each other—and watch for the ways in which the state threatens that relationship.
According to the structure of the Court’s logic, all objecting employers should receive the same religious freedom protection given to churches and religious orders.
Yesterday’s decision demonstrates that the Supreme Court understands what Congress set out to do when it passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Religious freedom is for all, regardless of the popularity of the belief. Congress, in passing RFRA, has said that if the belief can be accommodated, then it must be.
Respect for religious conscience is not an afterthought or luxury, but the very essence of the American political and social compact. Adapted from testimony presented before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
Common sense can tell us whether particular citizens should be exempt from certain government policies for religious reasons. Codifying such instinctive judgments into formal statutes is more difficult.
A future without religion will be a future diminished, for faith—but only a certain kind of faith—is absolutely necessary in the space age.
The role of economic liberty in contributing to human flourishing and the common good remains deeply underappreciated, even by those who are dedicated to religious liberty.
Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Greece v. Galloway is the Court’s best piece of Establishment Clause work in decades—and a happy omen for religious liberty in our country.
What threatens human flourishing today are governments inspired by authoritarian progressivism.
The new world of civil rights turns the old one on its head.
A policy that disempowers university officials from prohibiting student events on the basis of the viewpoint they express demonstrates institutional genius.
The University of Notre Dame is unwilling to bear an “uncompromising witness,” as Pope Francis challenged it to do, to the moral truths of marriage and sexuality. This is a subtle but certain pastoral failure on the university’s part.
Ideas should never be banned from an academic community, even if some find them offensive. Yet some actions and events are so hateful that they tear at the fabric of a community.
The only form of marriage that existed before the fall was between one man and one woman. The narrative trajectory of the Old Testament shows that all other versions were the result of sin.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has based her conclusions on her own and other Muslim women’s experiences of trauma and torture, forces us to confront uncomfortable facts. Brandeis’s treatment of Ali represents a troubling trend that limits freedom of speech on college and university campuses.
Civic freedoms come hand-in-hand with responsibilities. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has the right to criticize Islam, but she fails to fulfill her responsibility to do so without resorting to sensationalism and overgeneralizations.
Steven Smith’s new book implies that it is still possible—though difficult—to recover what made the U.S. a land of free and flourishing belief.
If we have to make proof of Christian faith dependent on a willful attitude about politics in order to wage the culture wars, are they really worth fighting?
Why bother with American culture? Bottum recommends despair.
A business owner brings his values and his entire self—his faith no less than his race—to his daily work. The government shouldn’t force him to violate his conscience.
The struggle against Catholicism in today’s culture is not particularly about religion. It is a revolt against reason and reality. Many have internalized such resentment that they are unable to see truth.
Christians have nothing to fear and everything to gain from good social science. It provides a way to talk normatively about human flourishing in terms that are intelligible, legitimate, and persuasive to those outside the community of faith.
Every economic system is based upon an implicit vision of the human person. Maciej Zieba’s new book provides an introduction to Catholic social thought that examines the anthropologies of Catholicism, liberal democracy, and the free-market economy.
Same-sex marriage may pose a grave threat to religious liberty, but the cultural conditions and assumptions that make that threat possible are rooted in heterosexual behavior and the idea that everyone has a right to consequence-free sexual intimacy.
The association of Protestantism with capitalism, famously articulated by Max Weber and now widely accepted by many, is theologically dubious, empirically disprovable, and largely incidental. An edited excerpt from Gregg's new book, Tea Party Catholic.
Québec wants to define itself in terms of a Christian past while setting a course for a secularism that is profoundly hostile to all religious believers.
In Lincoln’s day, America’s dedication to human equality was contested, but its embrace of God’s providential role in the world was a given. Now, the reverse is true.
Judicial precedent, historical awareness, and the very nature of prayer all make it clear: legislators have the right to begin their assemblies with a prayer.
Just as an engineer can work out the purpose of a machine by examining its structure, reason can discover the proper end of human action by examining human nature. Yet there is also a supernatural morality that subsumes and exceeds natural moral standards.
In most cases, Catholic social teaching provides the correct principles for resolving complex social and economic questions, not specific policy requirements. Nathan Shlueter reviews Sam Gregg’s new book in the voice of Paul Ryan.
We don’t need to know that God exists to know good from bad. It is enough to know human nature—what kind of being we are and what kind of actions will bring us to fullness of being.
National Coming Out Day’s emphasis on “celebrating” students’ self-identification as LGBT undermines Notre Dame’s pastoral responsibility to help students develop an integrated sexual identity and a true understanding of human dignity.
Faith-based dorms at secular universities offer a positive alternative to the indoctrination and debasement present on many campuses.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC shows that we need a workable legal framework for self-proclaimed religious organizations to claim protection under the Free Exercise Clause.
The political and spiritual journey of a black Catholic staffer at the Democratic National Committee who quits his job in response to the Obama administration’s aggressive pro-abortion tactics and becomes a proud Republican.
The late Jean Bethke Elshtain understood that human beings are inherently relational, arguing that families are essential for human flourishing.
Our right to religious freedom is best grounded in the universal duty to seek ultimate truth, and not in human autonomy.
Unless Americans respond to the Supreme Court’s recent marriage decisions with greater protections for the rights of conscience, our first freedom is sure to lose force, just as it has in the UK.
In its fullest and most robust sense, religion is the human person’s being in right relation to the divine. All of us have a duty, in conscience, to seek the truth and to honor the freedom of all men and women everywhere to do the same.