Montesquieu and the Monetary System
We take our monetary system for granted, complacently trusting that the experts are doing their jobs well. Yet our current system strays very far from what the public would actually prefer.
Casualties of Surrogacy
We have no business building a multi-billion-dollar fertility industry at the risk of the health and well-being of women and children. A woman’s body is not designed to carry another woman’s baby. This essay is adapted from remarks delivered at the Heritage Foundation.
Liberalism Is Failing Because It Rejected Orthodox Christianity
Helena Rosenblatt’s The Lost History of Liberalism correctly identifies liberalism’s need for moral virtue, but does not draw the further conclusion that her book suggests: liberalism is failing because it has rejected orthodox Christianity.
Pro-life Laws Don’t Establish Christianity and Religious Liberty is Not a License to Kill
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.
Ben Shapiro and the West’s Moral Vision
One might expect a book by Ben Shapiro to be about the task of “owning the libs” or “drinking liberal tears.” In fact, the reader comes away with a starkly different impression. In The Right Side of History, Shapiro argues that the cultural and political malaise of contemporary America is due to its being severed from its Judeo-Christian roots.
The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time? In Defense of School Choice
Faced with a national educational disaster that permanently cripples so many of America’s neediest children’s life chances, it is not “anti-public school” to advocate for voucher experiments. It is true to our republican aspirations to enable at least some of these kids the chance to attend a private school.
Tocqueville on Liberty, Inequality, and American Exceptionalism
No one affords a greater understanding of American exceptionalism—what it is and what it is not—than Alexis de Tocqueville.
The Book History Teachers Have Been Looking For: Wilfred McClay’s Land of Hope
Wilfred McClay’s new textbook on American history outshines the competition, thanks to its balanced approach, its superb narrative style, and its reintroduction of topics and themes that have long since fallen from the pages of most classroom editions.
Of Convocations and Coming Out: What Arthur Brooks Gets Wrong about Our Cultural Divide
Arthur Brooks is right that we urgently need to learn to disagree better, but he’s wrong about what it will take to do that. Brooks demonstrates just how easy it is to slip from the transcendent and infinitely difficult command that we love our enemies to the comforting illusion that we have no enemies.
It’s Time to Teach Our Children to Stand Up for Life—No Matter Who Stands in Their Way
It’s not enough to teach our children that life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. We must also teach them to declare the truths of our faith in the public square. Inside the loving embrace of the family, the faithful need to raise a new generation of Christians that stands up for life and boldly proclaims their faith, understanding that no one, not even an elected official, has the right to stand in their way.
In Defense of Pence: Commencement Controversies in an Outraged World
Vice President Mike Pence has been invited to deliver the 2019 commencement address for Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. However, a severe backlash against the former Indiana governor demands that his invitation be rescinded. The accusations against Pence are fallacious, slanderous, and contrary to both a biblical worldview and a liberal-arts education.
Understanding the Vatican’s New Rules on Sex Abuse
There are a number of praiseworthy provisions in the Vatican’s new rules, which are meant to root out abuse by bishops and prevent further cover-ups, but there are glaring problems and omissions as well. Troublingly, the new rules apply only to coerced sexual acts, not consensual ones. In addition, while reporting abuse is now mandatory, investigations will still be conducted by the Church hierarchy, not lay people or civil authorities.
Rooting Out the Vermin: Bishop Robert Barron’s Letter to a Suffering Church
In his new book, Letter to a Suffering Church, Bishop Robert Barron provides a necessary mixture of teaching and empathetic rage. Barron is right: we should refuse to be mollified by pathetic excuses and baseless claims that everything is fixed. Yes, we need to pray and pursue holiness, to safeguard those parts of the vineyard that are in blossom. But we also need to root out the vermin and destroy their lairs.
It’s Time to Promote Good Social Science on Same-Sex Parenting
Social scientists who conduct research on the politically charged question of the wellbeing of children in the care of same-sex parents have emphatically asserted unqualified and universal support for the finding of “no differences.” In his meticulously researched new book, Professor Walter Schumm turns this scenario on its head. Through a detailed review of virtually all extant research, Schumm demonstrates decisively that contrary evidence not only exists, it is abundant and methodologically strong.
Thomas More’s Antidote to Modern Ideologies
Niccolò Machiavelli’s imprudence is surprisingly similar to that of Thomas More’s fictional character Raphael Hythloday. Since prudence is the virtue that finds practical means to moral ends, imprudence may consist in rejecting either practical realities (as does Raphael) or ethical principles (as does Machiavelli). To achieve justice, political regimes must reject both idealism and utilitarianism.
The Kansas Supreme Court Has Declared a “Natural Right” to Abortion
In the wake of last month’s decision, the only remedy left to the people of Kansas is to pass a constitutional amendment to declare that there is no “fundamental right to abortion” in the state’s constitution and to allow the legislature to make reasonable laws about abortion.
What Makes People Have Babies? The Link Between Cultural Values and Fertility Rates
If fertility declines because child mortality is falling, then almost any moral system would encourage most people to accept the trade-off. But if fertility is falling because Western countries promote a set of cultural narratives telling women in Africa, Asia, and Latin America that children are antithetical to a happy life, that the lifeways of their national communities are outdated and backwards, and that cultural legitimacy comes from emulating the family patterns of white Westerners, then there may be strong reasons to reject this model.
We Cannot Be Both Christians and Marxists
Terry Eagleton attempts to offer us a gentle revolution, a soft “transition” from Catholicism to Marxism. This is as theoretically and theologically impossible as it is historically unprecedented. Any “radical sacrifice” on anything other than God’s terms will lead to mass bloodshed and human suffering, as it has whenever and wherever such a project has been tried before.
An Age of Adversarial Journalism: To Reach the Truth, You Need to Hear Both Sides
The adversarial system of litigation—in which attorneys with opposed interests present their respective cases to a jury—is now the best paradigm through which to understand modern-day journalism. We must assume the role of jurors, making sure to hear from all sides before reaching our verdict.
Four Things Every Woman Should Know about Birth Control
How much longer are we going to believe the lie that women need to suppress or even harm their healthy, properly functioning bodies in order to be successful women? How much longer are we going to let pharmaceutical companies and abortion providers determine what is best for women?
The Coming Anti-Catholicism
If influential Catholics continue to insist that their faith is incompatible with the liberal tradition, none should be surprised if that conclusion is increasingly accepted.