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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A City upon a Hill: Nationalism, Religion, and the Making of an American Myth

In his new book, Daniel T. Rodgers argues that the myth inspired by John Winthrop’s famous seventeenth-century “city upon a hill” metaphor was actually a product of the conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States in the Cold War. Winthrop’s sermon was largely forgotten until it was put to use for nationalistic purposes to inspire the nation against global Communism.

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Politicizing Pediatrics: How the AAP’s Transgender Guidelines Undermine Trust in Medical Authority

The five-year-old boy who transitions to identify as a girl has taken a major step on a road that may lead to treatment with cross-sex hormones, castration, and infertility. Most five-year-old boys who say they are girls will not persist: fifteen years later, in the great majority of cases, that boy will say he is a man, not a woman. But the American Academy of Pediatrics is now on record prioritizing the opinion of a five-year-old over the considered judgment of the child’s parents.

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John Quincy Adams contra Patrick Deneen: Marriage, Family, and the Story of the American Founding

Can we hold to the truths of the Declaration of Independence—that we are endowed by our Creator with natural rights and that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed—without undermining respect for those natural duties and natural relationships that do not depend on our consent?

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It Is Never Necessary to Intentionally Kill a Fetal Human Being to Save a Woman’s Life: In Support of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act provides a scientifically sound, medically accurate, and respectful approach to ensure that the innocent human being who survives an attempted abortion will be treated with the same human dignity and respect that similarly aged human beings receive in the course of good neonatal medical care. It also ensures that human beings with disabilities are not targeted for intentional killing at the moment of birth.

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The Conservative Disadvantage

If the status quo is the end game for conservatives, then there can never be hope for a long-term political victory, only momentary setbacks to the progressive agenda. The victories of social progressivism have less to do with the ideology of the founding than the moral failure of men and women in every generation to stop evil from progressing.

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Yoram Hazony, “Conservative Democracy,” and the Classical Tradition of Reason and Liberty

If we are to correct the wayward course of contemporary democratic societies, we must preserve what is true and good and mitigate what is false and harmful in both liberalism and nationalism. We would do well to embrace core principles of the Anglo-American constitutional tradition—principles grounded in and sustained by the virtue of prudence.

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The Many Harms of Gender Identity Laws: A Mother of a Trans-Identifying Teen Speaks Out

All people should be protected from harassment and harm, no matter how they identify. But we as a society must be allowed to reasonably act on the basis of sex when medical treatment, privacy, and safety are at stake. If “gender identity” becomes a protected class, women and children are the ones who will suffer most.

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The Virtues of Judicial Self-Restraint

To faithfully apply the original public meaning of liberty protected by the Constitution—that is to say, to be a faithful originalist—one must acknowledge that both a contractarian view of individual liberty and a Whig view of the liberty to make laws were held by the founding generation.

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Rewilding Civil Society

In conservation biology, a complex ecosystem whose health was slowly compromised over time can be revivified through a cascade of positive changes set in motion by reintroducing one of that system’s previous components. That’s exactly what today’s civil society needs, and conservative policymakers can help. We mustn’t shy away from using policy to achieve important ends—not just freedom, but the lessons, beliefs, and norms that make a free society succeed.

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The Real Lesson of the Dust Bowl: Communities as Bulwarks Against Atomism and Statism

The alternative to the ideology of radical self-sufficiency is not reliance on the state, but the kind of community-based brotherly love and mutual aid that could be found even during midwestern American farmers’ darkest days. In the end, neither individuals nor governments, but communities, are the real vehicles for peace, harmony, and human flourishing.

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The Supreme Court Should Protect Unborn Children with Down Syndrome

This Friday, the Court will decide whether to review a case about an Indiana law that prohibits abortions performed solely because the unborn child has Down Syndrome or another disability. Regardless of our nation’s polarized views on the policy and politics of abortion, it is clear that our Constitution does not include a right to abort children merely because of disfavored characteristics.

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Church and State in a Time of Scandal

In the midst of a Church sex abuse scandal, many serious questions arise about the Church’s relationship to civil authorities. Any question of the state’s role or the freedom of the Church is obviously secondary to the moral urgency of ensuring that children are kept safe. Now is the time for the Church to contend deeply and thoroughly with its sins and to build structures consistent with the call to holiness.