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The Rise of “Psychological Man”

The notions that human flourishing is found primarily in an inner sense of wellbeing, that authenticity is found by being able to act outwardly as one feels inwardly, and that who we are is largely a matter of personal choice not external imposition have become common intuitions that lie at the heart of our society’s many ills. The first of a two-part essay.

The Lincoln Proposal: Pro-Life Presidents Must Take Ambitious and Bold Action to Protect the Constitutional Rights of Preborn Children

Americans need not accept an interminable status quo of indifference toward the rights of the child, due either to the timidity of our political elite or to the presumption of our judiciary class. The ‘Lincoln Proposal’ offers pro-life presidents the clearest way to confront Roe v. Wade’s jurisprudence of violence and doubt and to protect the constitutional rights of preborn persons.

Walker Percy’s Prescient Dystopia

Love in the Ruins speaks to our present moment in the United States like few other books. Most important is what Percy has to teach us about the dangers of moral superiority, ideological idealism, and the capacity of intellectual humility and hard work for achieving genuine progress.

Qualifying Free Speech Out of Existence: Dare to Speak and the Danger of Polite Self-Censorship

It is easy to come away from Dare to Speak filled with confusion about whether, or even how, to take the title’s advice. Reducing minds to group representation is, in the long run, no way to arrive at either truth or justice. Instead, it first leads to conflict, and finally to a weary agreement that the groups can only live in peace separately—and in silence.

Double Visions: Marilynne Robinson’s Jack

Marilynne Robinson’s “Jack” dives deep into the protagonist’s mind in order, paradoxically, to show how our lives mean things that are only apparent to other people. She depicts Jack’s redemption as something that occurs partly outside his conscious awareness. By giving us Jack’s consciousness illuminated but not wholly transformed by his wife Della’s love, Robinson achieves an artistic analogue to forgiveness.

Questions on Abortion: A Dinner Invitation to Nicholas Kristof

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof addresses the debate over abortion from an external point of view, for he has not attempted to understand or imagine the pro-life position from the standpoint of someone who holds that view. If he’d like to try seeing it from within, Mr. Kristof is most welcome to join us for dinner and conversation at the Witherspoon Institute.

Erika Bachiochi on the Future of Pro-Life Feminism

The question that divides us is how we ought to respond to reproductive asymmetry: the reality that women carry disproportionate burdens due to our special role in human reproduction. What makes one a feminist is the view that this basic inequality at the heart of reproduction is one that deserves, in justice, an affirmative cultural response. We wish not only for maternity to be celebrated for the true privilege it most certainly is, but also for women to be encouraged and supported in other contributions they make. This requires that the burdens of childbearing ought to be shared not only within the family, but also across the wider society too.

Clarifying Fetal Tissue Policy Contradictions

If the president and his administration are to be credibly accused of inconsistency with respect to their stance on using fetal cell lines from abortions, it would not be because the president personally received a dose of Regeneron’s drug, but rather because of a very different ethical failure: his administration’s channeling of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds directly into the development of COVID-19 vaccines that utilize abortion-derived cells for their production.

Pope Francis, Civil Unions, and Moral Truth

More deeply understanding the truth about marriage and human sexuality will help all of us flourish. And that is what a pastor like Pope Francis desires. We can understand—indeed we share—the frustration of our fellow Catholics with the ways in which the Holy Father conducts interviews and the ways in which the media distorts them, but we must not do anything to undermine the truth that sets us free.

The Primacy of the Spiritual and the Obligations of the Church: On the Suspension of Public Worship

When we deliberate about how the Church, the state, various institutions, and all individuals should navigate the crisis of COVID-19, we are in fact deliberating about what ultimate common good we collectively belong to. Yes, we are called to protect our own bodily life and the lives of others, but we are also inclined by nature to participate in communities of friendship, extended family life, truth-seeking, meaningful work, gainful employment, liturgy, and contemplation.