Year: 2019

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Sailing on the Ship of Fools

The values America’s elites cherish are not the incontestable truth of things, and they may even run counter to the deeper truths of American politics and human life. Those who aspire to lead our country—and to deserve to lead it—would do well to ponder these lessons by reading Tucker Carlson’s Ship of Fools.

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Redemption Revisited

I had done This Thing for the simple reason that I felt I couldn’t be a single mother—because I was desperately scared of being ostracized by my community, judged for my irresponsible fornication.

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Conscience, Fertility, and Holocaust Education

Strange as it may sound, the Holocaust education at my school shaped my sexuality and fertility well into adulthood by teaching me that the Holocaust brought about a complete break in the continuity of mankind. In the face of such immense suffering and slaughter, no responsible woman would choose to have children.

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Building A Culture of Religious Freedom

Serve the poor. Help the weak. Protect the unborn child. Speak the truth about the beauty and order of creation: Male and female he created them (Gen 5:2). Fight for your right to love and serve God, and for others to do the same. Defend the dignity of marriage and the family, and witness their meaning and hope to others by the example of your lives. Adapted from an address delivered at the Alliance Defending Freedom Summit on July 9, 2019.

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Politics as Usual

In Rucho v. Common Cause, the Supreme Court’s recent case on gerrymandering, both the majority and the dissenting opinions were heavy on pragmatics and light on constitutional interpretation. The heart of their disagreement is a difference of visions of how the judiciary ought to interact with the electoral process.

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Is Billy Graham the New Jim Crow?

Laws like the Equality Act fail to acknowledge the reasonableness of Christian belief, assuming that only irrational bigotry can animate those who hold traditional views on marriage and sexuality. This loss of reason and regression to emotion-based policymaking is at the heart of our civic mistrust and zero-sum policy prescriptions.

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Notre-Dame de Paris and Architectural Culture

The cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris is not simply an illustration in an architectural history textbook whose value is limited to documenting a style that was popular between 1190 and 1425. Rather, it is evidence of a way of conceiving and making buildings embedded in a culture and a religious faith that retains a hold on our imaginations and affections.

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Immigration Realism without Abandoning Ideals

Concerns about the effects of immigration on social cohesion and democratic sovereignty are legitimate, but we should avoid false moralistic narratives that pit pro-immigration elites against the American people. These narratives mask the diversity of “real Americans,” simplify the American people’s complex views on immigration, and downplay democratic politics’ potential to empower excluded groups and redefine the political community.

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Returning to Land of Hope

Wilfred McClay rightly senses that part of our current political confusion results from a lack of a common historical narrative, an ability to talk about the American past coherently. In our current moment there is thus a need to recapture important stories and narratives about America.

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Cash for Kids: Does Public Assistance Undermine Family Life?

Currently, public assistance in the United States damages vital social institutions like marriage. But the problem is not the public assistance itself: the problem is that we only provide guaranteed financial support to single people. When you don’t punish people for being married or reward them for being unmarried, but just provide simple, flat benefits to support family life, these benefits actually support family life.

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Gender Ideology and the Catholic Church

Many people have difficulty with the Catholic Church’s teaching on sex and gender because they fail to recognize its philosophical dimension. As inheritors of twentieth-century positivism, many today assume that the quantitative sciences are the arbiters of truth, and that any other way of knowing, except that privileged and direct access to one’s own internal subjectivity, can be no more than private opinion or pseudoscience. This philosophical error silences objection and shuts down dialogue by defining disagreement with itself as hateful and anathematizing.

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Cross Purposes

The Supreme Court has long channeled the views of a very particular sort of religious and elite class interest in its Establishment Clause jurisprudence concerning religious displays. Cases like American Legion v. American Humanist Association suggest that it is—gradually and haltingly, but nevertheless steadily—withdrawing from this field of cultural combat.

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Measles, Mumps, and Religious Freedom: Mandatory Vaccination and the Limits of Parental Rights

It is a mark of responsible governance, not authoritarian overreach, for states to act when the demands of public health call for such measures. It is true that the presumption of freedom, religious liberty, and parental authority are all at risk in an increasingly regulatory, secular, and statist culture, but it is an error to see vaccination policy as an essential battleground for defense of these important rights.

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False Choices: Religion’s Role in the American Revolution

In eighteenth-century political reasoning and rhetoric, ministers and statesmen were not obliged to choose between pragmatism or piety, orthodoxy or heterodoxy, reason or revelation. As we grapple with the role of religion in the American Revolution, we should not impose false dichotomies routinely used by modern scholars but were unknown to their subjects.

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Our Little Platoons Need Reinforcements

In Alienated America, Tim Carney paints a picture of a nation riven by a social capital divide, a divide that has led to the rise of populism and socialism. Our task is to rebuild civil society. This work need not wait for enabling legislation, the seizing of the means of production, or a national declaration of fealty to Rome. It can—and should—be undertaken today.

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Why the Gay and Lesbian Equality Movement Must Oppose Surrogacy

As gay people, we cannot insist on the right to carry out practices that harm the rights of others. Rather than being an LGBT rights issue, surrogacy is a women’s rights issue and a children’s rights issue; and like the sale of human organs, it is not an activity that should be promoted or indeed permitted.