Jim Breuer and Dave Chappelle are current darlings of the Right, because they refuse to bow to the orthodoxy of sexual identitarianism. Yet their own emphasis on autonomy and free speech shares in the same inadequate conception of modern humanity, which, in its never-ending quest for self-realization, inevitably descends into the very coercive behaviors it claims to eschew.
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A functioning constitutionalism that protects the people’s rights and fosters good governance requires a sound political theory behind it. Times have changed since the American Founding, but Thomas is right that the natural law teaching in the Founders’ political theory remains as sound and useful as ever.
The ideas that the truth about the human condition is radically contingent on history (historicism) and that we can speak rationally only about facts and not at all about “values” or moral principles (positivism) lead inexorably to a failure of all conviction, and ultimately to nihilism. What results is fanaticism: the impulse to bend others to one’s will, despite—or precisely because of—the lack of any rational foundation for one’s preferences.
If the New Atheists were able to convince people to leave, then we too might be able to convince some to come back. Ideas and writing can change lives. If the New Atheists did it, then we Christian writers can be a saving remnant and help write people back into the faith.
Today, white-coated professionals tell parents of children with gender dysphoria: affirm your child’s trans identity right away or prepare for suicide. Are those really the only two options? For a movement that decries the binary, its commitment to this false dichotomy is relentless.
One might wish that the Free Exercise Clause, as originally understood, had provided a basis for more judicial protection of religious rights than it does. But wishing doesn’t make it so. Judges don’t have the authority to interpret the Constitution to get better policy results, even if those are really, really important results.
Given modernity’s inability to realize Augustine’s thesis of the necessity of a common love, we have two options: we must either reject a universal socio-political vision as entirely unworkable, or the world—or at least the West—must learn again that a transcendent foundation and telos are essential to political order.
Although the ideas presented in The Concept of Social Justice are just a start, they provide a crucial foundation for the salvific and eternal work that Catholics must complete in the political arena.
If conservatives are to abandon truth-seeking and engaging with political rivals, what then is the alternative? If we resign the enterprise of reasoned debate, of at least attempting to persuade, then where do we go from here? Do we simply line up with the one in six Americans in favor of military rule and hope that our side prevails in the coup?
Robert P. George is the leading conservative advocate of the importance of good faith dialogue with those he calls “reasonable people of good will” on all sides of the political spectrum. But is such dialogue still possible in our new woke environment?
Today at Public Discourse, we are featuring brief responses to Abigail Favale’s essay, "Feminism's Last Battle," by four writers: Erika Bachiochi, Margaret Harper McCarthy, Leah Libresco Sargeant, and Angela Franks.
We are witnessing a kind of last battle, a feminist Armageddon that will determine whether feminism, as a movement centered upon the wellbeing of women and girls, will endure into the future or self-immolate. Only a return to realism can provide a stable definition of woman, the requisite ground for effective feminism.
When gendered embodiment is treasured, maleness and femaleness are understood not as acts we perform, but as our very bodily essence. Being a man or a woman is not simply what one does, it is who one is.
It is wrong to force religious individuals who are highly skilled medical and mental health professionals to violate their core religious convictions by compelling them to support and participate in terminating life, or in elective therapies that seek fundamentally to alter the human person, whether to achieve transgender ends or transhumanist ones.
“Medicine is a humanistic discipline that uses science to accomplish what all human beings would like to see for themselves, in their capacity to sustain themselves. Ultimately it is to aim for a person who could be what God intended him to be.”
Free market dogmas are inapplicable to the managerial oligarchy. A politically coordinated cabal of opaquely owned companies is not private property in the way a local coffeeshop is. To do nothing while a managerial mob uses the wealth we have entrusted to them to seize power over us is a betrayal of ourselves, our nation, and our posterity.
The Arkansas legislature knows something the governor apparently does not: hormonal treatment of adolescent gender dysphoria yields little across samples and studies. Transgender youth medicine involves numerous known and serious risks that are already identifiable, while the long-term effects and possible harms of off-label drug uses are completely unknown.
The inadequacy of online education reminds us of our embodied nature as human beings. We yearn to experience reality as the integrated persons we are.
There are far more egregious consequences of the Equality Act than its lack of protections for religious freedom. It celebrates and legitimizes a way of life that is fundamentally destructive, both on an individual and societal level. The Equality Act would not merely alter legal code. It would engender and nourish a burgeoning assault on any who publicly dissent from the new secular orthodoxy.
It may seem strange to pair Lawrence Ferlinghetti with Ryan Anderson, who argues against virtually everything for which Ferlinghetti stood. What they have in common is the courage of their convictions, a willingness to challenge the conventional pieties of their respective ages, and to do so in ways that conformist critics are quick to label offensive, obscene, unsafe, or misframed.
The Equality Act goes far beyond the noble desire to protect vulnerable people. It burdens consciences, severely curtails the rights of people to practice their faith, smuggles in an abortion mandate, and explicitly exempts itself from respecting religious freedom.
The passage of the Equality Act would mean the death of religious liberty. It would force all religious institutions and citizens to prove to the government’s satisfaction that their convictions merit constitutional protection.
After decades of struggle, the conservative judicial project has finally produced a possible working majority of five originalists on the Supreme Court. There are plenty of reasons to wonder how consistently they will coalesce in practice and how willing they will be to revisit wrong precedent. But trashing Antonin Scalia’s originalism and replacing it with Josh Hammer’s idiosyncratic, results-oriented version isn’t likely to help matters.
Our nation’s morally formative institutions are weak and weakening further, thanks in no small part to the enormously destructive effects of social media. The single type of institution best suited to resist these and other pressures of our times is the mission-driven, tech-skeptical K–12 school. The successes of our best countercultural colleges and universities, viewed in the light of Yuval Levin’s invaluable work on the nature of institutions, show us how the incentive structures of an excellent K–12 school make it the formative institution our time needs most.
The lastingness of each person’s reality as male or female is so integral to the faith’s architecture, that to deny it—even to equivocate about it—is to undermine Catholic faith itself. No Catholic institution should risk that effect.