Pillar: Politics & Law

Politics & Law

The third pillar of a decent society is a just system of politics and law. Such a government does not bind all persons, families, institutions of civil society, and actors in the marketplace to itself as subservient features of an all-pervading authority. Instead, it honors and protects the inherent equal dignity of all persons, safeguards the family as the primary school of virtue, and seeks justice through the rule of law.

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Sweeney Trump and the Hollow Men

There are reasons to care which denizens of the wasteland hold political authority, but rejuvenating the wasteland is the more important task. Without recognizing the decadence of our culture, denouncing (or defending) the latest tweet from the president is just a desultory wind swirling dust and ashes.

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Faithful Living in a Fractious Age: Evaluating “Fairness for All” in Light of Christian Theology

Christians cannot support so-called “Fairness For All” for this overarching reason: it is grounded in an unbiblical conception of the human person. The Scripture will not allow us to see any ungodly “orientation” or “identity” as essential to our humanity, as directed toward our flourishing, and thus enshrined in law as a protected category.

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Nationalism as Religion: The Proper Love of Place in Today’s Politics

Christians should be wary of the substitution of the nation for the church. Instead, they should seek a vibrant localism allows people to find meaning in their local communities—especially religious communities—and impart that sense of purpose and belonging that nationalists rightly perceive is missing for many citizens.

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False Dichotomies, the Common Good, and the Future of Conservatism

David French, Sohrab Ahmari, and others who are debating the future of conservatism are right to think that the challenges facing our nation are grave. Still, we need not feel forced into cheering for one side or the other, into viewing this as a matter of “teams.” We conservatives need to keep the main focus on ideas, not personalities, and engage each other both robustly and charitably. We need to think prudently about practical steps we should take—here and now, given all the givens—that will promote the common good.

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The 3395 Project: American National Identity Includes Both the Ideals of 1776 and the Legacy of 1619

The 1619 Project points us to the need for the 3395 Project—the project of constructing a new and stronger American identity that incorporates both the experiences, perspectives, and distinctive contributions of the descendants of enslaved Africans (1619) and also the aspirations and ideals enunciated by European Americans in the Declaration of Independence (1776).

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Too Many Abraham Lincolns

Like Abraham Lincoln, a growing number of our young people are “unchurched.” As a result, our “us vs. them” politics functions as a substitute for religious observance, membership, and devotion. If there were more authentic religious practice in our society, there might be less of the bitterly partisan politics that divide our country.

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Assisted Suicide: The Ethics, the Laws, and the Dangers

The people most harmed by this agenda are seriously ill people hearing from society and physicians that death by overdose will end their problems; other patients suffering from a reduced commitment to care; people with disabilities who are next in line to be seen as a “burden” on others; and lonely and depressed people of any age, seduced by the message that suicide is a positive solution. Adapted from a lecture delivered in June 2019 at the Vita Institute, an educational program for pro-life leaders sponsored by the University of Notre Dame's de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture.

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Between Gods and Men: Natural Law and Religious Pluralism

Only natural law stands “between gods and men.” It employs human reason and observation, yet it admits of a divine creator behind nature—and therefore something inherently normative about naturally given ends. Without this intermediary, neither conflicts between divine law and human law nor conflicts between different religions can end in anything other than continuous conflict.

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Pro-Lifers Should Be Wary of Empty Pro-Life Rhetoric

Pro-life Democrat Michael Wear is right to be concerned about the 2020 Democratic candidates’ radical positions on abortion. But Wear’s suggestions for those candidates are long on political expediency and short on actual pro-life conviction. Pro-life voters shouldn’t let themselves be taken in by the deceptive “messaging” he recommends.

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The Misery of Democratic Socialism

Bernie Sanders has openly declared “democratic socialism” as his guiding political and economic vision. Yet democratic socialism is incoherent as a philosophy and toxic as a way of economic and civil organization. It inevitably collapses into the abusive and destructive twentieth-century socialism we are familiar with. We should reject it unconditionally.