Parents of very young, very sick children deserve the right to make medical decisions for their sons and daughters, no matter how difficult those decisions may be.
A note from the editor.
As we approach Memorial Day, we have an opportunity to reflect on how and why we remember the dead. Walt Whitman tried to restore individuality, dignity, and personhood to those “hundreds, thousands obliterated” by the violence of war.
The gross misappropriation of executive power to utterly remake the meaning of very basic legal terms threatens not only the structure of our government. It threatens the rule of law itself. This distortion of legal language is a particular threat to laws concerning women.
President Obama’s transgender directive isn’t about civil rights or bathroom use. It’s about state control over personal relationships.
A recent statement by the Attorney General provides a window into the intellectual history surrounding the concept of “human dignity” and the selfhood from which it arises.
Seeing in our contemporary politics the revival of Douglas Democracy in all its anxieties about freedom—and seeing it make such headway in Lincoln’s political party—is disheartening in the extreme. The imperative of learning from Lincoln, as Allen Guelzo’s work brings him to us, has never been stronger.
If you want to make America great again, you cannot afford to ignore the role stable marriage plays in motivating our labor force and in our nation’s economic growth as a whole.
The face that is emerging for the GOP is the ugly face we have always been accused of having—misogynistic, racist, and gratuitously authoritarian. If we assent to his nomination, how can we still consider ourselves the flag bearers of the attempt to harmonize virtue and the political life?
A play in three acts, each consisting of a meeting between the CEO of a religious charity and the agent representing her health insurance company.
Christianity has never seen the pursuit of virtue as incompatible with private possession of wealth.
Pro-abortion groups promote stories that present abortion as an empowering experience, but those in post-abortion recovery ministries know a different reality. Many women and men are deeply wounded by their experience of abortion.
If the federal government, via the interpretive activity of one of its executive departments, can issue mandates to the states regarding bathrooms, it is hard to imagine an area of local governance shielded from federal scrutiny.
It’s time for another Morningside Heights Declaration.
If we want a just society, we must begin by recovering the right understanding of prudence. We must not commit the idealist’s error of making the best the enemy of the good.
Political institutions force individuals to cooperate, to listen to opposing points of view, and to think about the decisions they are about to make. They delay and complicate the way that consent is expressed, but this is precisely why they are necessary: they help ensure that the public will is reasonable.
If a slogan can mean anything to anyone, who could oppose it?
While most Americans respect and appreciate mothers on an individual basis, we as a society devalue their vocation.
Vanderbilt is legally free to constitute itself as a non-religious university. The question is whether Gordon College will be left free to constitute itself as a Christian college. Will we have equal liberty, or only liberty for those who despise Christianity?
Becoming parents shocks us out of our normal state of being. It compels us to love others more deeply and to act upon that love more fully.
Christopher Kaczor’s The Gospel of Happiness brings new insight to Christian practice by applying the lessons of positive psychology to it. His approach shows how both religious and secular seekers of happiness can learn and benefit from the other tradition.
The students of Justice Scalia were not merely those who took his classes or served as his clerks. Through his opinions, he taught countless others the importance of the rule of law, republican self-government, and the virtue of courageous persistence in a good cause.
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.
Intentional killing is always wrong, and support of capital punishment often stems from a misunderstanding of the nature of human dignity.
If one accepts the legitimacy of punishment and the principle of proportionality, then it is impossible to claim that capital punishment is intrinsically wrong.
Nothing that a man does can change his nature as man, and so, considered in himself, it will always remain wrong to kill him. This should be the final judgment of practical reason when brought to bear on the question of capital punishment.
While not explicitly denying the principle of proportionality, Tollefsen implicitly rejects it, leaving his argument not only counterintuitive but incoherent.
The presumptive starting point in the natural law and, more specifically, Christian tradition is one of absolute opposition to intentional killing of beings created in the image of God, for which exceptions must be earned; but the traditional justifications for such exceptions fail.
Edward Feser and Joseph M. Bessette’s new book asserts that Catholics cannot legitimately reject the death penalty as wrong always and everywhere. They are wrong. Part one of a two-part essay.
Four conditions must be met for a teaching of the Catholic Church to be considered infallible. Acceptance of the death penalty meets none of them. St. John Paul II laid down theoretical markers that provide a clear basis for a Catholic teaching rejecting the death penalty in principle. Part two of a two-part essay.
Arguments against the death penalty can be made not only on the basis of theology but also on the basis of natural law philosophy. The first in a two-part series.
There is a genuine tension, not just in Aquinas but in Church teaching more generally, between claims about the intrinsic goodness, sanctity, and inviolability of human life, and claims about political authority to kill. The second in a two-part series.
E. Christian Brugger is wrong: neither scripture nor tradition could justify a reversal of the Church’s millennia-old teaching on capital punishment
If E. Christian Brugger is right, then the Church has been teaching grave moral error and badly misunderstanding scripture for two millennia. Nothing less than her very credibility is at stake.
Aquinas taught the principle that a punishment ought to be proportionate to the offense, where death is a proportionate punishment for the gravest crimes.
It’s three times more likely that you’ll die of lightning than that Aquinas will turn out to be wrong about something. The same cannot be said of New Natural Law philosophy.
Reason operating without error judges that no human being should ever intend the death of another human being for any reason whatsoever. No achievable good can justify such a choice. And that is the foundation for the case against the death penalty.