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Archives

In Defense of Liberalism

Francis Fukuyama offers a useful account of the pathologies of liberalism and argues that it still has the internal resources necessary to resist its critics. But his defense of liberalism seems designed only to appeal to likeminded centrists. Liberalism today should not be about splitting differences and seeking moderation, but staking out its ground and affirming its beliefs.

Why Radical Feminists Have to Go Further: A (Friendly) Critique of Helen Joyce’s Trans

Helen Joyce’s Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality is a tour de force, taking the reader through the recent history and current state of transgenderism. By tracing the development of gender ideology, and the mechanisms of its contagion among staggering numbers of young people, especially girls, the book does much to restore our collective sanity. But in the end, Joyce’s argument for the importance of the sex distinction is too thin.

Third Places: Restoring Civic Life and Resisting Consumerism

The drive for maximal efficiency and convenience has impoverished the fabric of our daily lives. As we forget the value of place, we occupy increasingly thin, homogenized, placeless environments. The role we can play in these sterile settings is only one of consumption, not citizenship. That is why we must turn to third places: they help us form close friendships and increase our civic involvement, and they compose the social infrastructure of a community.

Why Religious Freedom Can’t Protect Abortion

According to a recent complaint filed by the Jewish congregation L’Dor Va-Dor, Florida’s new law restricting abortion limits the free exercise of religion for Jewish women in Florida who wish to have an abortion after fifteen weeks. But this complaint misunderstands the nature of religious liberty: no religion, or any adherent thereof, has the lawful or moral claim to kill an innocent person in the name of that faith.

Thomas Jefferson’s Religion of Reason

Readers of Thomas Kidd’s book, Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh, are left with a portrait of a brilliant, morally flawed, and often contradictory, overindulgent, and undisciplined man—a combination not uncommon in great men. The biography is careful and balanced in its presentation of the evidence, revealing a man of monumental achievements and profound failings.

Why Students Must Stand for Speech

We Princeton students should recognize that each of us has a critical role to play in making sure our common good—the truth-seeking ideal—is cherished and protected by our shared culture. No matter how impressively our institution formally stands behind free speech, and no matter how spot-on our president is in his defense of it, the truth-seeking endeavor will be decimated if Princeton’s students—you and I—fail to foster an atmosphere in which the vigorous exchange of ideas is considered sacred.

Patriotism in a Polarized Age

We’re not born being patriots. It’s not something that’s inscribed in our moral DNA; rather, it’s something that has to be cultivated. It is love of country. But as Edmund Burke famously wrote, “To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.” What does it mean to have a lovable country, and what should the honest patriot do or think?

Monkeypox, Sexual Health, and the Limits of Medical Technology

Our culture seems to think that almost no behavior is off limits, no matter how dangerous or even deadly, if engaged in for erotic reasons. We’ve forgotten the harsh lessons about our bodily limits that HIV/AIDS taught us, and instead we embrace a sexual ethic of non-judgmentalism and autonomy. Monkeypox reminds us of our natural limits—and the consequences of ignoring them.

Don’t Panic

For the rationalist or fundamentalist character, hope cannot but seem inadequate, even corny. Such a character has a rage for order and cannot but suffer an anxious repulsion for disorder. Hope, on the other hand, is not blind, or merely optimistic, nor is hope something we churn up in ourselves as a kind of subjective attitude. Hope, rather, is a virtue. It is a state that perfects us, makes us well, capable of thinking, living, and acting in the freedom of excellence.

Catholic, Black, and Pro-Life: An Interview with Gloria Purvis and Robert P. George

Someone who is subjected to racist treatment is negatively impacted. That child of God is treated as less than who he or she is. Those engaging in racist behavior are negatively impacted too. Why? Because they are behaving beneath the dignity of who they are. Too often people look at racism as a one-way thing when it’s an all-the-way-round thing because it’s a human family issue. Racism is a rebellion against God’s plan for the human family and for human flourishing.

Our Bodies, Our Selves: Gender Dysphoria and the Longing for Wholeness

Gender dysphoria needs to be acknowledged and treated as a psychological illness. I understand the resistance to language of disorder and pathology, motivated by a fear that such language is stigmatizing. I understand, but I disagree. To reclassify disorder as order forecloses the possibility of recovery. I think of my own battles with anxiety, depression, self-harm. I don’t want someone telling me those things are normal and good. I want to be healed.

Al Wolters’s Conservatism

Albert Wolters’s conservatism, based on his metaphysical view of the structure of creation, encourages us to view America with neither optimism nor pessimism but with an eye toward healing and cultivation. As a counterweight to ideological extremes and rigid traditionalism, his approach promises the chance of real progress.