Category Archives: Religion and the Public Square


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.

by on July 2nd, 2014

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.

by on July 1st, 2014

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.

by on June 30th, 2014

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.

by on June 27th, 2014

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.

by on June 20th, 2014

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.

by on June 5th, 2014

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.

by on May 29th, 2014

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.

by on May 28th, 2014

What threatens human flourishing today are governments inspired by authoritarian progressivism.

by on May 27th, 2014

The new world of civil rights turns the old one on its head.

by on May 22nd, 2014

A policy that disempowers university officials from prohibiting student events on the basis of the viewpoint they express demonstrates institutional genius.

by on May 21st, 2014

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.

by on May 19th, 2014

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.

by on May 12th, 2014

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.

by on April 25th, 2014

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.

by on April 24th, 2014

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.

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.

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by Mark Regnerus on August 11th, 2014
Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions.
by Anthony Esolen on April 23rd, 2013
The Boy Scouts are en route to holding that there is nothing to being a boy, and nothing to the boy’s becoming a man; they might as well be the Unisex Scouts, as they are in Canada, where the scouting movement has collapsed.
by Serena Sigillito on February 14th, 2014
Valentine’s Day is usually associated with romance, but love matters in politics, too. In working to change our culture, we must remember that our opponents, like our allies, are human beings whose individual conversions can only be wrought through a combination of love, truth, and free will.
by Alana S. Newman on December 3rd, 2013
“Eggsploitation” reveals the predatory practices of the fertility industry, which lures young women in need of money to undergo medical procedures that carry the risk of severe long-term health problems.
by Charles J. Chaput 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.

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