Category Archives: Religion and the Public Square


by on April 16th, 2014

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.

by on April 10th, 2014

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?

by on March 31st, 2014

Why bother with American culture? Bottum recommends despair.

by on March 21st, 2014

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.

by on March 14th, 2014

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.

by on February 28th, 2014

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.

by on January 7th, 2014

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.

by on January 6th, 2014

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.

by on December 11th, 2013

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.

by on December 9th, 2013

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.

by on November 19th, 2013

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.

by on November 6th, 2013

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.

by on November 5th, 2013

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.

by on November 4th, 2013

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.

by on October 22nd, 2013

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.

by on October 18th, 2013

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.

by on October 16th, 2013

Faith-based dorms at secular universities offer a positive alternative to the indoctrination and debasement present on many campuses.

by on September 25th, 2013

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.

by on September 17th, 2013

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.

by on September 12th, 2013

The late Jean Bethke Elshtain understood that human beings are inherently relational, arguing that families are essential for human flourishing.

by on August 20th, 2013

Our right to religious freedom is best grounded in the universal duty to seek ultimate truth, and not in human autonomy.

by on August 5th, 2013

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.

by on July 24th, 2013

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.

by on July 23rd, 2013

For its protection and flourishing, religious freedom needs not only limited government but also a social order that gives plenty of room to civic institutions and associations.

by on July 15th, 2013

Prohibiting religious schools from using public facilities would not protect religious freedom; it would encourage further discrimination against religion and religious people.

by on July 12th, 2013

Those of us who value life over death, vibrant religious exercise, and the good of natural marriage need to find our voice again even though the powers-that-be are redefining words arbitrarily and avoiding reason.

by on June 28th, 2013

By failing to recognize the importance of religion and its relationship to human rights, European courts are progressively eroding religious liberty.

by on June 19th, 2013

The Left is adopting a Rousseauian view of religion’s role in public life: the state is to determine where, when, and how religious instruction should be permissible for citizens.

by on June 18th, 2013

Marriage and religious freedom will stand or fall together.

by on April 17th, 2013

Our public debate about religious liberty is missing a clear definition of religion. The absence of that definition has generated confusion, frustration, shrill voices, and short tempers.

by on April 2nd, 2013

It’s a myth that marriage law “bans” same-sex relationships because it treats marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

by on March 26th, 2013

Both sociological evidence and the teachings of Christianity show that religion is a powerful ally for promoting the equality and dignity of women. Adapted from remarks delivered at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

by on March 25th, 2013

America’s founding documents assume an implicitly religious anthropology—an idea of human nature, nature’s God, and natural rights—that many of our leaders no longer share. Adapted from testimony submitted to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

by on March 19th, 2013

The Bible says “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” The Constitution doesn’t.

by on March 14th, 2013

Is religious belief wrong, and are religious believers morally culpable for their false beliefs?

by on February 20th, 2013

Preserving the freedom to witness to the truths one believes, not merely avoiding cooperation with evil, is what’s primarily at stake in the HHS mandate debate.

by on February 7th, 2013

In the latest proposed version of the HHS mandate, the government presumes to say which employers get religious freedom and how much they get, but all religious employers are obligated to live out their beliefs and should have the freedom to do so.

by on February 5th, 2013

The latest proposed amendment to the HHS mandate still draws on empirically unsound data and violates religious freedom.

by on February 4th, 2013

Rather than cave to self-interested protests against school choice from teachers unions, we should do what we can to make Catholic schools a viable school option for low-income children.

by on January 30th, 2013

Religion isn’t outdated simply because some people claim that we can only know what the natural sciences tell us. Philosophy and theology are the next steps in our search for truth about nature, human nature, and God.

by on January 29th, 2013

If the HHS mandate is enforced, our government may provoke a schism in the American Catholic Church and will reduce faithful Catholics to second-class citizenship.

by on January 3rd, 2013

If we are to preserve our First Amendment rights, judges must refrain from telling plaintiffs challenging the HHS mandate that they’ve got their theology wrong.

by on December 19th, 2012

There is only one Thomas More: A man of tender nobility, subtle intellect, and forceful conviction, all rooted in profound fidelity to the larger commonwealth of Christendom outside and above Tudor England.

by , and on December 17th, 2012

Notwithstanding his unorthodox views of Christianity, Thomas Jefferson staunchly adhered to the rights of all religious believers, Christian and non-Christian alike, to free religious exercise.

by on December 6th, 2012

Poor women will bear the brunt of government promoted contraceptive programs, along with its problematic side-effects. While contraception does not manufacture female happiness as its proponents suggest, religion can. The third in a three-part series.

by on December 5th, 2012

Contraception isn’t the only way to plan a family, and it certainly isn’t cost-free: contraception leads to sexual disillusionment and weakens the marriage culture at the expense of the least well-off women. The second in a three-part series.

by on December 4th, 2012

An unprecedented campaign against religious liberty, characterized by a formidable alliance between the White House and Planned Parenthood, bolstered by money, power, and market branding, is threatening women’s well-being. The first in a three-part series.

by on November 6th, 2012

The Reformation unintentionally undid the medieval synthesis of faith and reason. Now we romantically seek a spiritual life free from authority and tradition, or rationalistically seek truth as if human beings were autonomous and self-sufficient.

by on October 24th, 2012

There is no good reason to be suspicious of people of faith. There is every reason to encourage them and to be grateful for them, because even by worldly standards they make good citizens. But the State does not want to keep separate from the churches. It wants to absorb them.

by on October 23rd, 2012

In a world where the government believes that the First Amendment’s religious freedoms don’t apply to churches, religious organizations, non-profit and for-profit businesses, health-care providers, and anyone outside the four walls of a church building, we are all at risk.

Featured


by Ryan T. Anderson on October 13th, 2008
An introductory letter from the founder and editor of Public Discourse.
by Mark Regnerus on December 20th, 2012
Young adult men’s support for redefining marriage may not be entirely the product of ideals about expansive freedoms, rights, liberties, and fairness. It may be, in part, a byproduct of regular exposure to diverse and graphic sex acts.
by Ryan T. Anderson on December 18th, 2012
How successful can a “new conversation on marriage” be when its leaders can’t even say what marriage is?
by Sherif Girgis on February 15th, 2013
Marriage as a human good, not marriage law, has an objective core whose norms the state has an interest in tracking and supporting—in a way that respects everyone’s freedom.
by Robert Oscar Lopez on February 11th, 2013
Whatever same-sex marriage is, that’s not what gays are after. They are after a symbolic vehicle that can make them equal to people who can do something they cannot—procreate.
by Patrick Fagan on February 6th, 2013
Family, church, and school are the three basic people-forming institutions, and it is no wonder that they produce the best results—including economic and political ones—when they cooperate.

Web Briefings



Select Publications