A moral theologian urges Pope Francis to bring his forceful defense of prenatal children into a more central place of his pontificate. It is time to stand up firmly and forcefully for their dignity in a culture which increasingly seems them as disposable thing that can be violently discarded.
Pillar: <span>Politics & Law</span>
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.
It is hypocritical for secular critics to accept only those religious claims that conform to liberal sentiment and to label any disfavored religious claim as Christian Nationalism. Christianity cannot be permissible to polite society only when it meets with the approval of its cultured despisers.
To understand the connection of freedom, law, and arbitrariness, we must return to our eighteenth-century roots in Montesquieu.
I have awakened on too many days with gratitude on my lips for the blessing of living in a peaceful, orderly, democratic, and free society to see such hard-won advances thrown away for political ambition. Those who realized our inheritance was at risk saw more clearly than I did.
How to achieve a lasting peace in our cultural conflicts is the great difficulty remaining for us. We should not paper over important differences. But, as Andrew Koppelman and Adam MacLeod demonstrate, we can discuss them in a conciliatory spirit of friendship.
Nicholas Mathieu’s novel And Their Children After Them shows the effects of globalization and progressive idealism on a de-industrialized French town. Comparisons between Mathieu’s story and JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy offer insight into rural poverty and populism in France and America.
The American public deserves the truth, even if it is not as favorable or definitive as we would hope. If our policy leaders and scientists cannot put their faith in us with all our faults and shortcomings, why ought we put our faith in them with all their faults and shortcomings?
The dominant discourse on the left around race, around faith, and around what the working classes believe and want is fundamentally flawed. The GOP has an opportunity to build on these shifting trends to create a culturally dominant, multi-ethnic, working-class party. Can they pull it off?
Do we really want a tax system that encourages very wealthy individuals to give money to the arts but does not encourage middle-class taxpayers to give money to local, religiously affiliated soup kitchens? That is the system we will have if the CARES Act’s above-the-line charitable tax deduction is not renewed.
A culture of repression and fear obstructs the socially transformative goals of the antiracism movement. The tactics of wokeness hinder the pursuit of its professed aims.
It is not possible to properly love a person and act so as to unnecessarily jeopardize their health. If by the minimal burden of wearing a mask, we can potentially protect others from grave illness, then it seems we have a moral obligation to wear a mask. The same can be said for COVID-19 vaccinations. If by being vaccinated we can protect others from illness, then we have a corresponding obligation, given our Lord’s command to love neighbors, to be vaccinated. Vaccinations not only protect me, but also protect other vulnerable members of society.
Mary’s fiat is a magnanimous expression of receptivity and gratitude, rather than revolt. It is a humble and even joyous reception of something given that she did not choose: God’s will. In the broader cultural sense, adopting Mary’s receptivity would entail a thankful and receptive attitude towards a rich cultural patrimony, inherited tradition, and indeed given nature.
For a political order supposedly built on faulty philosophical foundations, liberalism has been surprisingly resilient. Political theorist David Walsh argues it is the political expression of the Christian epiphany of the person that has been differentiated by modern philosophy. Yet Even in Walsh’s defense of liberal modernity, the menace of Luciferian possibilities flickers at the edge of vision.
In the aftermath of the 2020 election, American conservatives should take advantage of the opportunity the 2020 election’s demographic breakdown offers. Now is the time to reorient the conservative idea of whom they are fighting for and trying to appeal to.
“Much American (and British) media depiction of faith—sadly, but perhaps inevitably – tends to be primary colored, inadequately nuanced, and at odds with what I have found to be the case from my fifty years’ engagement with the United States.” An interview with the British historian of America, Richard Carwardine.
Joshua Mitchell shows how identity politics distorts basic Protestant theological concepts of transgression and innocence while omitting forgiveness, humility, and charity.
What I learned from St. Katharine Drexel was that the first act is simply to see the truth. To really use our eyes and intellect and heart to see another as a fellow human, given dignity by God, is no simple act—but it can be done. And then to step toward those who are not being accorded this dignity and to offer it to them, to reach out the hand of charity, takes a monumental act, a decision often of serious self-sacrifice.
The problem France is facing with radical Islamism is not separatism, but conquest. To fight Islamic terror, France needs to recall the Christian roots of her culture and robustly defend them.
In the current moment, we critique and demand, but from a negation; we know—or some think they know—what they don’t want, but it is quite unclear if they know what they do want. And since they have rejected moral norms it is impossible for them to give a rational justification for their wants and dislikes. Theirs is an exercise of will, for they have exorcised the logos, and mere will—willfulness—remains.
When I interviewed people at Portland’s protests, I found that they rarely hold the views they are attacked for. They are usually not filled with hate, as their opponents believe. However, they often consume one-sided media and are victims of confirmation bias. They believe they know what their adversaries support, and are ready to fight to oppose it.
Americans need not accept an interminable status quo of indifference toward the rights of the child, due either to the timidity of our political elite or to the presumption of our judiciary class. The ‘Lincoln Proposal’ offers pro-life presidents the clearest way to confront Roe v. Wade’s jurisprudence of violence and doubt and to protect the constitutional rights of preborn persons.
Love in the Ruins speaks to our present moment in the United States like few other books. Most important is what Percy has to teach us about the dangers of moral superiority, ideological idealism, and the capacity of intellectual humility and hard work for achieving genuine progress.
It is easy to come away from Dare to Speak filled with confusion about whether, or even how, to take the title’s advice. Reducing minds to group representation is, in the long run, no way to arrive at either truth or justice. Instead, it first leads to conflict, and finally to a weary agreement that the groups can only live in peace separately—and in silence.
The sermons, political speeches, and protests about America’s origin rely on harmful myths. This is true not only of the 1619 Project’s, but also the traditional view of the Pilgrims. The task of history, however, ought to replace myth with the far more compelling chronicles of human complexity.
The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof addresses the debate over abortion from an external point of view, for he has not attempted to understand or imagine the pro-life position from the standpoint of someone who holds that view. If he’d like to try seeing it from within, Mr. Kristof is most welcome to join us for dinner and conversation at the Witherspoon Institute.