Monthly Archives: May 2012


by on May 31st, 2012

Birtherism survives as an unreasonable surrogate for the public discussion that the left has stifled.

by on May 30th, 2012

Wordsworth denounces those who reduce human worth to utility and teaches us that the goodness of being is absolute. We must learn to love those incomparably useless and precious beings, the child, the elderly, the unborn, and the dying, because they and we are one.

by on May 29th, 2012

By showing the triumph of the therapeutic over the orthodox in American Christianity, Ross Douthat’s latest book gives Americans on both sides of the political divide much to consider.

by on May 25th, 2012

How many Solzhenitsyns are occupying the pipelines of novelists in America?

by on May 25th, 2012

Even if the marriage plot has dissolved, the human drama remains. It just resurfaces in a different context.

by on May 24th, 2012

The Matrix and The Karate Kid offer two competing views of the relationship between how we learn and how we understand human nature.

by on May 23rd, 2012

While Islam opposes same-sex marriage, its opposition to it and to President Obama’s stance is not a matter of hate or bigotry but a matter of principle.

by on May 22nd, 2012

Liberals and conservatives alike often complain hypocritically about judicial activism. If we are to avoid letting judicial activism become rule in favor of whatever causes justices approve, then we should make the presumption of constitutionality a basic principle of judicial review.

by on May 21st, 2012

Recent empirical research suggests that, in virtually every respect, polygamy is socially detrimental—to society in general, to men, to women, and to children.

by on May 18th, 2012

The views about faith and religion that President Obama expressed in his Commencement Address at Notre Dame pave the way for his HHS mandate. He would protect the state from the church, not by privatizing faith, but by redefining it.

by on May 17th, 2012

We should pass Unborn Child Protection Acts and begin the conversation about the pain of the unborn.

by on May 16th, 2012

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act does not deserve the support of the public because it is unconstitutional and represents poor public policy.

by on May 15th, 2012

The electorate will often forgive—and can even embrace—a clean conversion story, where a politician honestly changes his mind and admits to it. But on marriage, such a story should not be available for the President, who was either alarmingly befuddled for several years or merely lying.

by on May 14th, 2012

Given the legal principles involved in recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages, it’s hard to see any coherence in President Obama’s statement.

by on May 11th, 2012

Paul Ryan’s budget plan does not violate principles of Catholic social teaching; it is one prudent application of them.

by on May 10th, 2012

Yesterday’s statement about same-sex marriage by President Obama and last week’s departure of a gay-rights activist from the Romney campaign reveal important lessons.

by on May 9th, 2012

The failure to grasp the implications of intrinsic human worth plagues arguments for physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia.

by on May 8th, 2012

Though we feel that we human beings are meant for something, not individually and arbitrarily, but together and truly, we lack the language and even the political sanction to think along those lines.

by on May 7th, 2012

A thought experiment crystalizes the reality that the connection between sex and children is marriage’s central element, and consequently the contemporary idea of marriage as existing for the desires of adults makes little sense.

by on May 4th, 2012

Jeffrey Eugenides shows what happens to the novel when courtship and marriage lose their binding character.

by on May 3rd, 2012

Virtuous citizenship requires building moral consensus across religious and cultural divides. The third in a three-part series.

by on May 2nd, 2012

The largely forgotten history of evangelical political activism forces us to re-evaluate the rights and wrongs of the Religious Right movement. The second in a three-part series.

by on May 1st, 2012

The legacy of the great Protestant schism a century ago continues to hinder evangelicals from finding satisfactory ways to participate in America’s civic order. The first in a three-part series.

In Depth: Capital Punishment

On August 2, 2018, Pope Francis announced an update to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, making a prohibition on the death penalty official Catholic teaching. Prior to this change, many scholars believed that the historic teaching of the Church did not declare capital punishment intrinsically immoral, even if the practice is, as a matter of prudence, not required in countries with modern prison systems that can safely isolate dangerous criminals. Other scholars argued that the natural law duty to respect all human life does in fact render any intentional taking of human life morally unacceptable, and that this development of doctrine does not contradict any infallible teaching. The articles below lay out this debate, with clear summaries of the arguments on both sides.

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