The War Against Abstinence: Blockers, American Pie, and the Last Great Sexual Taboo
The last great sexual sin of our time is not related to any specific sex act or forbidden partner. The greatest sexual sin of our time is not a sin of commission but of omission: the sin of not doing it at all.
Whose Conscience? What Protections? Conscience Provisions in Healthcare and Elsewhere
The Trump administration has launched several encouraging initiatives to strengthen conscience protection for healthcare workers. But the bills that would enshrine these protections into law are moving at a snail’s pace through the House and Senate.
Does Pornography Feed Sex Tourism?
Prostitution and pornography both teach that sex is merely a monetary transaction, focused on body parts and facilitated by consent.
Free Speech and the American Experiment
The noble impulse to purge the public square of offensive and insulting language quickly degenerates into censorship of unpopular viewpoints. By contrast, the American experiment is founded on the view that a people capable of governing themselves are worthy of the trust that the First Amendment places in them.
The Founders on Lifelong Marriage and the Limits of Reason: Reply to Muñoz
If there is one truth that the entire philosophic tradition—including America’s Founders—may be said to embrace, in spite of all its disagreements, it is this: reason teaches that it is unreasonable to expect people to act by reason alone.
Natural Rights, God, and Marriage in the American Founding
By calling our attention to the Founders’ political theory of the family, Thomas West’s new book leads us to ask whether a secular theory of natural rights and natural law can sustain the moral ecology necessary for self-government. If a secular natural-rights republic cannot sustain the family, it would seem to be neither a good nor attractive political theory.
Learning to Live with Same-Sex Marriage?
The city of Philadelphia is targeting Catholic Social Services for its policy, based on religious beliefs about marriage, of not placing foster children with same-sex couples.
Physician-Assisted Suicide and Personal Action: Responding to the Law
We can’t afford to live without physicians who are devoted to always healing and caring, and never harming. Requesting physician-assisted suicide, like legalizing it, erodes that devotion. A refusal to ask, even on the part of those not committed to the inviolability of human life, helps sustain that devotion.
An Open Letter to Mr. George Clooney on Hate and the Southern Poverty Law Center
Please use your influence as a major donor to persuade the Southern Policy Law Center to amend its embittering and unproductive campaigns to label any political or social issue opponent as a hate group. Although controversial, organizations that fight to protect the unborn and strengthen families are not motivated by hate. Vilifying them only worsens our toxic and polarized political climate.
Vetoing Life, Vetoing Women’s Care
One would think that a politician like Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who aspires to national office on a message of unity and inclusion, would push his party toward common ground—like the common ground that the Women’s Care Center occupies. Why, then, would he veto this pregnancy center’s zoning request?
On Christian Liberty and Lockean Liberty: A Grateful Response to Micah Watson, Samuel Gregg, and Anthony Esolen
If we want a different politics, ultimately we must offer a different moral imagination for ourselves, our children, and theirs.
Patrick Deneen, The Little Sisters of the Poor, and Libertas Idiotica
We are not Hobbesian atoms of self-will, not until liberalism makes us so. Human beings have ever been human by virtue of their relations with others, and by virtue of the bonds of duty and memory that these relations imply.
Patrick Deneen and the Problem with Liberalism
Patrick Deneen poses good questions but begs others. The second installment in the Public Discourse symposium on Why Liberalism Failed.
Prisoners in the American Cave
Patrick Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed is a provocative attempt to explain what’s wrong with our culture, how this came to be, and what might be done about it. Although his historical account of liberalism is unpersuasive, he offers a prescient analysis of the current moment and insightful prescriptions for constructive action.
Heart Religion, Tradition, and the Evangelical Chameleon
What can keep today’s young evangelical searchers in the fold? Only the recognition that their own questing puts them squarely in the lineage of martyrs, mystics, monastics, and the whole “cloud of witnesses.”
What’s Scariest: Facebook, Google . . . or Us?
Facebook or Google taking over the world is a distant, speculative fear. Being harassed, humiliated, shunned and unemployed are immediate fears. We increasingly live in a digital panopticon ruled as much by mobs as by the overseers.
Muslims and Christians Should Work Together to Support Family and Human Flourishing
It’s time for Christians to partner with conservative Muslims and others who share traditional views on key social issues. And American Muslims should leave behind their lockstep alliance with the social justice left.
Racism and the Pro-Life Movement
It is wrong to see the goals of the pro-life movement as being in competition with the need to address continuing manifestations of racism. Those who fight for life and against racism fight for the same thing.
The Merit Badge of Surrender: How the Boy Scouts of America are Succumbing to the Gender Revolution
With the recent decision to drop “Boy” from their fabled name, the Boy Scouts undermine the very foundation for their existence and exacerbate our society’s confusion about sexual difference and gender distinction.
King Solomon, The False Mother, and Alfie Evans
Like King Solomon, the courts in England were presented with a straightforward question: To whom does this child belong? In both cases, the true parent was unquestionably the one willing to sacrifice for the child, to safeguard his life even at the expense of never seeing him again, while the “false mother” did not care whether the child lived or died.
The Catholic Church, the State, and Liberalism
According to previous papal teaching, a Catholic confessional state is the ideal, even if in most modern situations it’s not a practical possibility, and prudence would steer us away from it. That teaching continues to be normative for Catholics.
Conforming to Good or Evil: More Moral Lessons in the Shadow of the Holocaust
Clear moral norms are crucial. But to be effective, those norms need to be embodied in moral communities and social practices, habituated in the virtues, and animated by a conviction that they are an essential part of human flourishing. We must create social structures and communities in which intellectual training and moral formation in the virtues can happen.