Christians today should participate in efforts to preserve our polity and ensure that our laws, policies, and political actions hew as closely to truth as possible in our time and context. But we need to acknowledge the potential limitations of our time and seek ways to make the case for truth in terms that our fellow citizens might accept. We should also recognize that the society for which are striving is unlikely to be much better than what we have had in America. To the extent we desire more we should seek it in the Church.
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Dobbs may be the most important, magnificent, rightly decided Supreme Court case of all time. It is restorative of constitutional principle. It upholds the values of representative, democratic self-government, and the rule of law, at the same time that it supports the protection of fundamental human rights. It is literally a matter of life and death. It is potentially transformative of American society, for the better. It is a rare act of judicial courage and principle. In every way, Dobbs is a truly great decision.
The past half century has seen the breakdown of institutional Christianity on which Jacques Maritain’s political project relied. Nonetheless, the limits of his thought do not vitiate the valuable insights Maritain offers for Christian politics in the twenty-first century. He reminds us that politics is about how to order our life together, not just creating ideals or defeating our enemies. He teaches us that we can order a society toward the temporal truths of Christianity, but that the temporal power of the state is no substitute for the spiritual power of the faith.
Examining the bodily autonomy argument for abortion highlights a crucial pro-life point: abortion is wrong not only because strangers shouldn’t kill each other but also and especially because parents have special obligations to their children, and it isn’t governmental overreach to require parents to fulfill those obligations.
Beauty, properly understood, offers us a way of self-transcendence. Beauty leads us to participate in a truth that’s bigger than us. When we learn to participate in that beauty, we experience joy, and in some ways experience the true meaning of freedom.
Today, Jacques Maritain’s optimistic vision of Christian liberalism is often contested or dismissed as outdated, but a revival of his emphasis on Christian participation in society and politics is urgently needed—and is in many ways already in evidence in Christian political activity in America.
For P. D. James, we are drawn to detective fiction because it shows that even when social evils such as war, terrorism, and pandemic cannot be conquered, individual crimes can be solved by rational means—thus confirming our hope that peace and order can be restored from disruption and chaos.
In a post-Roe America in which the question of abortion will likely be in the hands of citizens and state lawmakers, it will be particularly important for Kansans to undo their supreme court’s recent error of removing the legal foundation for basic regulations on abortion.
It is strange to reflect that someone who died in 1937 at the age of forty-six with no obvious legacy has exerted more cultural influence than most of his successors, but Antonio Gramsci’s “long struggle” of the intellectuals continues to shape our political, educational, and artistic landscape in regrettable ways.
In their rigorous sociological account of Christianity in America today, George Yancey and Ashlee Quosigk provide many important insights, particularly in relation to progressive Christians, though overall the book simply confirms the enduring truth that Christians have always disagreed among themselves about faith and politics.
The prospect of a post-Roe America calls not only for celebration, but also for a realistic appraisal of the road ahead, which will require the pro-life movement to rebuild itself as a movement that goes beyond partisan divisions and that also helps create a social, political, and economic order in which life is encouraged and supported.
The future of conservatism lies in building a program on political, policy, cultural, social, and educational foundations that can rebuild America from the ground up. Anything short of that will merely prolong our agony.
Peter Augustine Lawler was a rich, dialectical, and irenic thinker who strove to prevent fruitful tensions from transforming into dangerously implacable oppositions. His wisdom was attuned to the needs of the late modern age. It has been nearly five years since his unexpected death at the age of sixty-five, and his wisdom remains just as needed now as it’s ever been.
In his recent book, Roosevelt Montás offers an account of the university that is critical without being despairing, provides a way of talking about identity that is sensitive without being reductive, and articulates a hopeful vision for academic renewal through a recommitment to liberal education.
For the first time in forty years, we must confront the consequences of a rapidly depreciating dollar. To tame the inflationary beast and to build a more humane economy, especially for the poor, we need to grapple with inflation’s practical and moral effects.
Adrian Vermeule’s new book, an attempt to rescue American constitutional law by recurring to the “classical legal tradition,” is undone by the author’s unreasonable attack on originalism and his inattention to the Constitution and its history.
The focus of pro-life advocacy should always be on the fact that the unborn child is a human being, with a moral status equal to a born child, and not on distractions about social policy, sexual ethics, or other rights claims that overlook this biological reality.
How we treat imperiled newborns—not only after a failed abortion attempt, but also in a more traditional NICU setting—is essential for fully grasping the current understanding of the right to abortion. When we examine the central role ableism plays in both sets of issues, thinking about them together provides an anti-ableist critique that has important implications for both prenatal and neonatal justice.
In the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned this summer, pro-life legislators must act to protect human life in the womb. They should introduce legislation to recognize the personhood of the unborn, strip the ability of federal courts to hear challenges to this recognition, create a private right of action to help enforce anti-abortion policy, and use the taxing power to cripple the abortion industry.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, some judicial conservatives have eschewed the virtue of constraint in favor of an ahistorical and excessively libertarian notion of the free exercise of religion. To achieve the correct balance between liberty and order, and to prevent activist judges granting religious exemptions in areas outside of their expertise, conservatives should return to a more realistic view of the limited role of the courts in the regulation of religious practices.
Racial disparity is really only a derivative result of the larger social abandonment of a set of norms which manifests itself most immediately and most severely in the African American population, but which really is a larger question for all Americans.
In her recent book The Genetic Lottery, Kathryn Paige Harden makes flawed assumptions about the nature of moral agency and generalizes about how people value social status.
These days, major debates on the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives are exceedingly rare. For members of Congress to behave as proper legislators, the institution as a whole should be reformed. Members must strike a new bargain with leadership in both chambers that gives them the space to debate and legislate. We should expect more of Congress, and members of Congress should expect more of each other.
Andrew Doyle offers a splendid contribution to the ongoing debate over free speech, with a constructive approach that might surprise those familiar only with his Twitter alter ego. Though brief in length and focused on free speech in the West, the book is replete with thoughtful insights and relevant stories that provide the basis for his powerful advocacy of free expression.
In Part I of this essay, I outlined the key tenets of critical race theory and showed how popularized versions of this controversial theory have made their way into many public schools across the nation. Today, in Part II, I explain why the teaching of CRT-inspired ideas in public schools is contrary to parental rights; I propose school choice measures as a crucial part of the solution.