Living with Uncertainty
It is a cliché to say that religious faith helps people to cope with stress. As with many clichés, this one is both true and false. How one uses religion to cope with stress is key.
Isolation Bookshelf: Words Matter
Each of the books I mention here can help us to be conscious—to be “in the know,” which is what Austen meant by the word—thus using the gift of speech in ways that accord with our nature as “the reflexive animal,” as Lewis calls us, governed by “the inner lawgiver” (Lewis again) of our conscience. And these conjoined obligations—to our nature and to our speech—are why even pronouns are a field of battle that truth-tellers should not surrender.
Amid Cries for Justice, a Surge of Mercy
Justice, in the Bible and in the Christian tradition, demands that we protect and remember every vulnerable and isolated person, made in the image of God. As reopening moves ahead, a surge of mercy to protect the elderly and others who are confined might prove a healing tonic for a bitterly riven society—and for the Christian church.
Research Using Cells of Illicit Origin and Vaccines from Fetal Tissue
What happens if a possible future vaccine for COVID-19 is developed unethically, by using contemporary tissue from aborted children? Could pro-life citizens morally use such a vaccine?
Moral Guidance on Using COVID-19 Vaccines Developed with Human Fetal Cell Lines
If a COVID-19 vaccine is developed with the use of cell lines derived from an aborted fetus, should a citizen of conscience who is opposed to abortion avail herself of it to protect herself and her loved ones during this time of pandemic? Using such a medical therapy would be morally justifiable only if its use did not contribute to future evil acts and if its use was occasioned by a grave proportionate reason.
COVID-19 Relief and Saving Catholic Schools
Catholic schools, along with other faith-based schools, are a vital gift to the families they serve and to our country. America’s COVID-19 relief efforts should support the educational choices of all families and work to save Catholic schools.
Introducing our New Contributing Editor, Andrew T. Walker
Through being a Public Discourse reader, I’ve made friendships I would not otherwise have made. The joy of any movement is the relationships it fosters, and my life would be less fulfilled were it not for the intellectual camaraderie that is enjoyed by many within the Public Discourse readership.
Isolation Bookshelf: Laugh Out Loud with P.G. Wodehouse
Wodehouse’s work, from virtually any period of his long career, is amazingly consistent. One learns after a while that when one begins a Wodehouse story, satisfaction is guaranteed. Like a fresh whisky and soda, his work promises an easing of the tensions of daily life, an invitation to merriment, and a quiet contentment that in the end all will be well.
Reviving the Freedom of Association
A competent First Amendment jurisprudence must adequately account for the rich web of associations that enable human flourishing. To live in communities according to shared values is essential to our humanity.
The McHugh Factor: The Ideology of Transgenderism Will Brook No Dissent
The point of recent attacks on Dr. Paul McHugh is not to take him down. Rather, it is to signal to every other mental health and medical professional in the country—from psychiatrists to endocrinologists to surgeons to therapists and counselors—that the ideology of transgenderism will brook no dissent.
Reclaiming Social Justice
The term “social justice” is typically associated with an aggressively progressive political agenda led by a muscular Uncle Sam. But there is an alternative understanding of social justice—one that is especially well-suited to helping the nation address many of today’s most troubling challenges. It’s time for conservatives to explain this approach and articulate an agenda for the future based on it.
Alone Together, or Just Alone? Social Conservatives Are Right
Social conservatives are not just moralizing when they reject so much of what passes for liberation in our time. It’s not that we’re against self-determination, but rather that we are for the flourishing and well-being of persons, and thus we insist on fostering the institutions that are essential to this task.
Social, Political Animals: Embodied Learning and the Limits of Online Education
Technology may permit us to supplement, but it should not lead us to discard, the personal Socratic education that does full justice to human nature and has contributed so much to the development of our civilization.
Isolation Cinema: The Films of John Ford
John Ford’s America is a good deal like Ford himself—loud, brawling, and hard-charging. Ford’s Americans are also honorable, self-sacrificing, and faithful to their promises. That’s not the whole truth about America, not by a long shot. But it’s true enough that in John Ford’s films, we will forever see something of ourselves.
Virgil, Pope Francis, and the Wisdom of Memory
In responding to the current crisis, the great pandemic, we can follow the example of Aeneas: we can reject despair in the face of horrible suffering and find strength in “the roots of our traditions.”
How Social Capital Helps Communities Weather the COVID-19 Storm
Social capital mediates the severity and spread of COVID-19. In order to be effective, public-health interventions in response need to be connected to the social forces that are already at play in communities.
Christopher Caldwell Is Not Here to Give You Hope
In The Age of Entitlement, Christopher Caldwell chronicles our increased willingness to eat our seed corn and inability to propagate the future. But the questions he raises require a treatment other than borrowing the frameworks of progressive theorists and drawing different conclusions that suggest an inescapable logic of racial resentment.
Bullish on the Common Good?
The common good is the final cause of political association, not least because practical decisions are always decisions about achieving what is good and avoiding what is bad. But invoking the common good under the influence of De Koninck, Maritain, or even Aquinas doesn’t on its own advance the political conversation that characterizes a healthy polity.
The End of Campus Education? Virtually Impossible
Our current national experiment reveals how unpopular online education is. Its proponents on the political right should admit its limitations and end their infatuation with its novelty and presumed efficiency.
Integralism, Political Philosophy, and the State
Integralism delivers a more realistic view of how states actually function—including states that are secular—than do models currently dominant in political and legal philosophy.
Isolation Bookshelf: Escaping into Historical Fiction
There is a great deal to be learned about the virtues and vices by following the long and eventful lives of D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. And isn’t this finally what good novels of any kind do for us—present the fullness of human characters for our consideration, so that we may reflect on our own characters?
Can Social Conservatives and Libertarians Still Be Friends?
American Compass and younger conservatives need to do more than complain about doctrinaire libertarians. There is a large need for careful thinking about the societal and cultural implications of economic policies, but blanket declarations of war against “libertarian fundamentalists” or “market fundamentalism” are no substitute for thoughtful analysis.
Carrying Jesus into the Public Square: A Reflection on Faith and Partisanship for Young Catholics as They Graduate from College
To be Catholic is to be completely comfortable in neither party. I know. I live this every day. If you really want to change the world, you must choose to be Catholic, and carry Jesus into the public square. Adapted from a May 2019 commencement address Representative Lipinski delivered at Ave Maria University.
Pandemic Lessons: Homecoming, Homeschooling, and the Home Economy
A powerful antidote to such atomistic existence, loneliness, and alienation, is found in the family: productive, resilient, and together. A family-centered life with the home as the engine of education and economics orders one’s vocations and roles in ways that build lasting familial bonds and provide stability amid a changing world. COVID-19 quarantining provides an opportunity for this reality to sink in.