Gratitude, Now More Than Ever

As we close out this year and approach the next, we should remember that gratitude is not an incidental or secondary civilizational value. It is the backbone of a free and decent civilization. Those who embrace barbarism love destruction and revolution because they have been trained to detest everything that came before them. But just as the heroic and imperfect Americans who came before us moved history through reflection and choice, we can write the American future by recommitting our educational institutions to gratitude.
Of course the law gives Americans wide latitude to be nasty, unkind, and intolerant of one another. But that doesn’t mean we should strive to live in an uncivil and fragmented society. It certainly doesn’t mean that the NHL must continue hosting events that breed animosity and intolerance, the opposite of what they claim to aim for.
We already know that ChatGPT’s coding is biased. But even ChatGPT recognizes that logic is logic, and it is willing to admit the contradiction in the pro-choice position. If only our human interlocutors would be so honest.
States would have to choose between religious liberty laws and every other law they would enforce, nearly all of which burden someone’s conscience and limit behaviors some people consider obligatory. What appears to be a victory for religious liberty is really just the opposite.
In Part I of this article, we established that many of the reasons some Jewish Americans passionately oppose overturning of Roe v. Wade are either overblown or baseless. Today, we highlight one of the ways in which overturning Roe will help to foster a political culture of federalism and subsidiarity that benefits religious minorities.
This two-part article addresses how American Jews should think about looming changes in the Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence. Today, the authors discuss why many fears commonly expressed by Jews regarding a post-Roe world are overblown or outright false. Tomorrow, they will explain some of the under-appreciated ways that overturning Roe will benefit vulnerable religious minorities.
Thanks to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the government cannot use significant penalties to coerce a religious adherent into violating his faith, no matter how trivial the government considers the adherent’s beliefs to be, unless doing so is the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling governmental interest.
It makes no sense to claim that laws restricting abortion tread on the free exercise of religion because they do not allow abortions to be performed by people who have no religious objections to them. No serious interpretation of religious liberty allows people to do whatever they want simply because their religion allows or promotes it.
Although many Jews have been misled into thinking otherwise, Judaism is not compatible with political support for abortion.