Category Archives: Religion and the Public Square


by on July 6th, 2015

A true republic respects religious speech. Such speech represents a different authority from governing power and affirms its limited nature.

by on June 26th, 2015

If good morals are essential for a free republic to endure, and if a certain group of institutions successfully promote those morals, then it follows that a well-governed state may be friendly to those institutions—even if they are churches.

by on June 24th, 2015

Those who would follow in Father Richard John Neuhaus’s footsteps would do well to note these lessons of his life. Religion and vocation matter more deeply than political wrangling, and we must continue to build intellectual families that combine conviviality with fighting for the greatest causes.

by on June 22nd, 2015

The “Benedict Option” isn’t the only way for Christians to confront the reality of an increasingly hostile and secular culture.

by on June 19th, 2015

It’s not that in misery and suffering human beings grasp at foolish theories that give them some hope. Rather, amidst prosperity, human beings can blind themselves to the reality of the human condition and so never ask the questions that, once asked, cannot be plausibly answered except in theistic terms.

by on June 17th, 2015

There are some problems in the reasoning of Justice Scalia’s opinion in the 1990 religious freedom case. But in its holding, and in its rejection of a quarter century of jurisprudence that could not be squared with the First Amendment, the judgment was correct.

by on May 29th, 2015

Candida Moss’s book on the history of Christian persecution is a case study in how scholarship gives way to politicized polemic—but it’s also an important reminder for contemporary Christians.

by on May 8th, 2015

If law can declare certain reasons for a private business owner to refuse service—such as sexual orientation—invalid, then it can also designate other reasons as valid—such as religious convictions about the nature of marriage.

by on May 6th, 2015

In the old America, there were laws regulating sexual conduct, but freedom of association was largely unimpeded. In the new America, there will be no laws regulating sexual conduct, but freedom of association will be limited in defense of sexual liberation.

by on April 29th, 2015

Finding a right to same-sex marriage in the Fourteenth Amendment would threaten the religious liberty of citizens and organizations who support marriage and silence or chill the speech of dissenters.

by on April 17th, 2015

Antonin Scalia is one of the most brilliant, principled, sound, and thoughtful jurists ever to sit on the Supreme Court. But twenty-five years ago today, his legal skills utterly failed him.

by on April 9th, 2015

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life left a vital legacy of civil courage rooted in transcendent truth. His death is an example of joyful hope amidst suffering.

Religious liberty is precisely what allows a pluralistic society to live together in peace.

by on April 3rd, 2015

Justice Ginsburg praises the heroic women who defied Pharaoh’s authority to save the Hebrews’ baby boys from death. Apparently, she does not have an eye for contemporary parallels.

by on April 2nd, 2015

It’s fine for people to express disagreement with the Indiana RFRA—if they know what’s in it. We must not allow ourselves to be manipulated by political propagandists into mob hysteria.

by on March 26th, 2015

The ACLU is trying to deprive other organizations of freedoms that it would insist upon for itself. Their work is not a defense of equality—it is an effort to impose a certain view of morality on the country by law.

by on March 25th, 2015

We cannot address the unraveling of our culture without addressing the consequences of contraception and abortion. We must rightly understand the relationships between love, truth, freedom, and justice.

by on March 18th, 2015

Sexual orientation and gender identity are conceptually different from race, and beliefs about marriage as the union of man and woman are conceptually and historically different from opposition to interracial marriage. Adapted from testimony delivered on Monday March 16 before the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

by on March 13th, 2015

John Updike believed in a strange sort of Christianity that rejected the strictures of traditional faith, choosing divine comfort while rejecting divine commands. In other words, it was gospel without law, grace without repentance, the love of God without the holiness of God.

by on March 12th, 2015

The way that a culture understands the nature of God shapes its conception of man, reason, and society. Though this presents enormous challenges for the Islamic world, it also has significant implications for the sustainability of Western civilization.

by on March 5th, 2015

A shopkeeper who objects to sex-same weddings but who nevertheless provides services at such weddings generally acts in a morally permissible way if he acts to comply with a validly-enacted law, to preserve the goodwill of his business, and to make a just profit. Nevertheless, a law that in this way coerces a shopkeeper to cooperate with actions he reasonably believes immoral is gravely unjust.

by , and on February 22nd, 2015

It is morally indefensible for Catholic institutions to recognize and incentivize same-sex marriages by extending marriage benefits to employees who declare themselves legally married to a person of the same sex.

by on February 18th, 2015

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo recently argued that rights are a simply matter of “collective agreement and compromise.” His remarks are evidence of a desire on the part of America’s intellectual and cultural elite to divorce America from its traditional political identity and from the notion that politics has any connection to God.

by and on February 4th, 2015

For parents with LGBT children, Christianity offers an alternative to false dilemmas of affirmation or abandonment.

by on January 29th, 2015

It isn’t too late for America’s noble experiment to succeed. But that depends on the courage and commitment of American people of faith. Adapted from a homily delivered on January 15, 2015, at the Red Mass of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.

by on January 28th, 2015

In the real world, human goods are often in conflict with one another. This reality forces us to make difficult choices and trade-offs that cannot be eliminated or adjudicated by following simple rules.

by on January 27th, 2015

When conscience flirts with the idea of accommodating an unjust law, it must politely, yet firmly, reject the sirens of seduction.

by on January 16th, 2015

The terrible massacre in Paris could be a “teachable” moment on the meaning of tolerance, but it will require soul searching by America’s cultural leftists.

by on January 8th, 2015

In the wake of Islamist attacks, non-Muslims express concern and confusion not because they are indifferent, but because they are afraid. They want to understand. Muslims have an opportunity to embrace this opportunity for understanding.

by on December 19th, 2014

Christmas isn’t tasteful, isn’t simple, isn’t clean, isn’t elegant. Give me the tacky and the exuberant and the wild, to represent the impossibly boisterous fact that God has intruded in this world.

by on December 17th, 2014

One option for pro-marriage business owners: obey the law and serve gay weddings, but make it known publicly that you believe that the law forcing you to do this is unjust, needs to be changed, and is obeyed only out of your respect for law and the democratic process.

by on December 15th, 2014

The dream of a sex-positive socialist Catholicism based on Marx and liberation theology tells kids to stop complaining when they suffer the consequences of adults’ sexual selfishness. Sexual radicalism and extreme pro-LGBT advocacy have no positive role to play in Catholic higher education.

by on December 3rd, 2014

The Abrahamic religions provide a radical interpretation of the importance of speech: it is the primary way in which God reveals himself. Because persons of faith believe that God has spoken, they are called to develop and deepen their capacities for listening. This aspect of free speech is often overlooked when concentrating on laws about what can or cannot be said.

by on December 2nd, 2014

A new book by George Marsden offers a fresh analysis of American culture and religion in the 1950s. It also presents a way forward, based on the concept of “principled pluralism.”

by on November 13th, 2014

Evangelicals are learning to model both grace and truth when discussing homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

by on October 22nd, 2014

For conservatives, a retreat into self-imposed isolation isn’t a responsible option. We need more conservatives publicly witnessing that humans are wired to know and freely choose truth, and that this has implications for the political order.

by on October 15th, 2014

Amid reports of “earthquakes” and “seismic” shifts, we ought to remember the Catholic Church’s moral teachings in their wholeness, which have not shifted.

by on October 14th, 2014

US religious liberty law is not perfect, but it still deserves our support. Religious exemptions witness to the value of religion as a transcendent good. And nothing in the Supreme Court cases requesting religious liberty exemptions for Muslim citizens undermines that effort.

by on September 19th, 2014

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.

by on September 18th, 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.

by on September 11th, 2014

The secular state cannot be neutral in matters of religion.

by on September 3rd, 2014

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.

by on August 14th, 2014

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.

by on August 7th, 2014

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.

by and on August 1st, 2014

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.

by on July 30th, 2014

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.

by on July 11th, 2014

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.

by on July 8th, 2014

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.

by on July 7th, 2014

The right to religious freedom is for everyone, not just those with the “right” beliefs.

by on July 3rd, 2014

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.

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by Nuriddeen Knight on June 4th, 2015
Supporters of transgender ideology believe that they are freeing people from restrictive understandings of gender. In reality, the more our society tries to free itself from gender stereotypes, the more it becomes enslaved to them. By saying that people can be born in a body of the wrong gender, transgender activists are saying there is a set of feelings that are only allocated to women and another set for men.
by Dawn Stefanowicz on April 24th, 2015
Americans need to understand that the endgame of the LGBT rights movement involves centralized state power—and the end of First Amendment freedoms.
by Walt Heyer on April 27th, 2015
The dark and troubling history of the contemporary transgender movement, with its enthusiastic approval of gender-reassignment surgery, has left a trail of misery in its wake.
by Katy Faust on February 2nd, 2015
Take it from the adult child of a loving gay parent: redefining marriage promotes a family structure in which children suffer.
by Jean Lloyd on December 10th, 2014
May I make two requests? Love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it.

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