Rebecca Todd Peters’s new book is titled Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice. Yet she totally dismisses the arguments and decisions of pro-life women. Perhaps a better title would have been “trust pro-choice women to make pro-choice decisions.”
The new antiliberals are not wrong to worry about the dire state of American politics and culture. But they persistently fail to adequately ask, much less clearly answer, three pressing questions that must be part of any adequate treatment of the problem, and they virtually ignore the thoughtful conservative alternatives to antiliberalism that do address these questions.
All human beings share certain universal human rights. But I am not just a human. I am also an American, a Kansan, a university instructor, and a member of a church body. Each one of these relationships generates specific goods, rights, and responsibilities that are unique to me. The same is true for nation-states, each of which have a distinct culture and unique responsibilities to its own citizens.
The beautiful, happy 2018 Gerber Baby, Lucas, is lucky to be alive. Most children diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero are now killed before birth.
Is there room in Canada for a “distinctly Christian” law school? Not unless it conforms to judicially determined “shared values,” according to the Supreme Court of Canada. But shouldn’t communities be permitted to hold different sets of values in a free and democratic society?
Reflecting on the experiences behind #MeToo teaches us that something is deeply broken at the heart of the sexual revolution.
The Spiritual Friendship project is not primarily about sexual desire. Rather, it is an attempt to think deeply about Christian love.
Though our political institutions are designed to be secular and non-sectarian, our laws rest on Christian ideas about what we owe each other as human beings made in the image and likeness of God.
Although many Jews have been misled into thinking otherwise, Judaism is not compatible with political support for abortion.
Catholics today are not required to believe in a Catholic confessional state. If anything, they are required to believe that everyone has a right under the natural law to religious freedom, that the state has no authority in religious matters, and that coercion of religious activity by the state is morally wrong. In short, integralism is contrary to Catholic doctrine.
Stephen Greenblatt’s new book is broad-ranging, accessibly written, and nominally dedicated to an interesting topic: tyranny in the work of William Shakespeare. Unfortunately, too much of the author’s energy is dedicated to expressing disdain for a particular contemporary politician in a way that detracts from his declared purpose.
The progressive left is working to overcome what it perceives as the out-of-date premises of the Judeo-Christian ethic previously reflected in scouting.
Rumors of God’s death may have been greatly exaggerated, but the prevalence of a materialistic philosophy that cannot give an adequate account of human freedom and moral responsibility has put in jeopardy many of the core ideas at the base of our civilization. Without metaphysics we are left simply with physics, and physics is about power, leverage, and force.
How should we understand hierarchies, markets, freedom, happiness, anthropology, and spiritual formation? Three Christian thinkers respond to each other.
Market economies are not inherently hostile to Christian spiritual formation. And expanding the scope of Church authority into the temporal realm is no substitute for traditional spiritual practices such as prayer and fasting.
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.