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Pillar

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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For future CPD outcome documents and political declarations to be truly consensual and reflective of the priorities of all countries, states must ensure that the UN system as a whole stays away from ideological agendas and meets the authentic needs of the world.
Canada’s infamy has led many to rethink their support for assisted dying, no matter how strong the purported safeguards may be.
The public bioethics conversations of the twenty-first century will be much more nuanced and complicated than the abortion debate of the last fifty years. If we want to speak thoughtfully about how these and other technologies are shaping our future, we will need to move beyond a reductionist approach to human dignity.
The protests are not simply about Gaza, but concern incompatible ways of life and value. They are another moment in the long rejection of Western metaphysics, anthropology, ethics, and epistemology by Westerners coming of age in a culture that teaches them to despise their own civilization.
Maier’s love for the Church comes through in this book and is why others who love the Church will want to read it. Perhaps we can hope for a sequel in which we will get to hear more of Maier in his own words. 
The new Alabama IVF provider immunity law, recently praised by former President Trump, will have pernicious national consequences on parents’ rights to hold IVF providers accountable and will negatively affect Republican unity over pro-life issues.
Faithfully living what we claim to believe as Catholic Christians shapes the future. And the fact is, we can no longer afford a sclerotic Church, a comfortable Church, a get-along Church. We need to be a confessing Church, not just in our diocesan structures, but in the pews and family homes of every parish.
As we enter the third year of the war, Western nations—with the U.S. in the lead—seem unwilling to get to the heart of the matter. Yes, Ukraine has miraculously survived, but this cannot be for long. We have deluded ourselves into thinking that a compromise with Russia is possible, but it is not. Vladimir Putin will not rest until Ukraine is either subjugated or eliminated. 
If the stories can change, it stands to reason that they can improve—or deteriorate. Responsible cultural elites of the Left and Right alike would do well to consider not only what claims they make explicitly, but what kinds of stories underlie those claims, and whether these are the right stories to tell.
Self-interest in a democracy is not necessarily an evil. It only becomes an evil when democratic government grows so intrusive in ordinary life that self-interest can only be interpreted as a kind of dissent from a general—but now all-pervasive—good.
We must be clear that nothing in the search for the truth entails that we recede in any way from the surety that we have with us, now as ever, the standards for judging evil ends to be truly evil.   
The parallel to vital conflict cases is clear: do not too quickly assume that death is inevitable. Do not too quickly assume that active rather than passive harm needs to be inflicted, even as a side effect.
The plight of the Palestinians is indeed a tragic one. Peace with their stronger neighbor will not come easily to them. Only a cessation of terrorism, of attacks on civilians, and of demonization of the Jewish people will enable them to make any substantial progress. Sad to say, the first steps may have to be taken by the Western elites who have learned to make anti-Semitism fashionable again, and have a great deal of unlearning to do. 
Conservative political action can, in fact, be a bulwark of counterrevolution. This is why Whittaker Chambers was a “conservative of the heart,” even if he did not consider himself a “conservative of the head.” In the final analysis, he was a witness to the permanent things.
Although one might find oneself disagreeing with Smith, as I have on occasion, one will be better for it. And I can say that with a clear conscience.  
Ultimately, the defeat of these terrorist groups is the primary ethical imperative. This will benefit not only Israel but also the Gazan civilians who suffer longer under their terrorist leaders and the continuous warfare that they breed. There is a moral cost to not acting decisively, and a strategic cost to forgetting the moral justification for killing in war.
Religion is a basic good for all human beings everywhere, therefore religious freedom is a universal human right. It is neither unfair nor parochial, but a requirement of justice.
A major problem is that in these dangerous times, without strength there will be no lasting peace.
If we were to adopt Yoram’s call for censorship in areas where I am calling for freedom of speech, I invite him—and you, gentle reader—to consider the following question: Would the result be anything other than the further entrenchment of current campus orthodoxies, and the further weakening of protection for dissent and dissenters?
Location is simply one more of those many factors that make no difference where the most foundational moral principles are concerned. The human embryo is a human being, whether in utero, undergoing cell division in vitro, or temporarily (or permanently) in frozen stasis in a “nursery,” as the Alabama Supreme Court tellingly, but somewhat ironically, calls it.
If you want to boil this essay down into one question for the soft integralist, it is this: You say you don’t want integralism now, but if not now, when? Answering that question is harder than you think.
If local politicians expect to be reelected, they have to focus on solving problems that are immediately relevant to their communities and the real people who live in them.
Alicea repeats often and correctly the age-old insight that responsibility to care for the common good belongs to each member of the political community. But an equal sharing of authority does not follow from that shared responsibility, and no account of the Constitution’s moral authority will succeed if it presumes otherwise. 

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