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Lockdowns, Mandates, and Conservatives: Remembering the Good of Government

Given the overreach of government, and perhaps especially given the failure of so many elected officials to remember that they do not rule us, it’s all too easy to slip into libertarianism by default. But government is not alien or unnatural to our condition and needs. It emerges from the community’s associations, affections, bonds, and mutual sense of self-responsibility.

The Therapeutic Evangelism of Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson’s project is not, at root, about biblical interpretation, metaphysics, theology, or even free speech. It is therapy for people bereft of meaning and purpose. Peterson may not be a prophet, but he is something just as rare: a bloody good clinical psychologist grounded in Christian archetypes and values and focused on treating the existential despair in our society.

Miscarriage in the Shadow of Abortion

The most foundational evidence for the value of the human person is the child in the womb, whose life creates beauty and obligations, possessing all the hope of humanity. When life in the womb has an ambiguous civil, social, and legal status, how can the fabric of our civilization hold together? The unborn child is the most singular affirmation we possess that our existence is not pointless.

The Bookshelf: Who Is in the American Canon?

Moving books home has turned my mind toward publishers that seem to be of high value because of the enduring importance of their books. One such is Liberty Fund, which specializes in classic conservative and libertarian texts in politics and economics. Another is the Library of America, which has a broad mission to publish (in its own words) “America’s greatest writing.”

Public Education and Liberal Neutrality

Attempting neutrality in public education ends up creating a systemic preference for a particular ethical standpoint—a rather controversial one at that. Ironically, this creates a tension between public schools and the principle of liberal neutrality. Fortunately, this tension can be resolved without abandoning government-financed education through policies that are both popular and effective: school vouchers and education savings accounts.

After Zoom Church: Restoring the Real in Christian Worship

Church is not just a place to sing, listen, think, or emote. It is where God delivers Christ and his forgiveness through Word and Sacrament into the whole human person. Privatized, digital worship services subtly spurn physicality and community, unintentionally endorsing a mind–body dualism that runs counter to Christianity’s holistic view of the human person.

Public Monuments and Public Memory

Monuments answer questions about which parts of our history we choose to make into a public heritage—which strands of the past we choose to bring into the present in order to shape and form the future. Taking down monuments is not a choice to forget the past. It is a choice not to honor certain elements of our past in public.

The Smith Case, Religious Freedom, and Originalism

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.