Category Archives: Religion and the Public Square


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.

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.

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.

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