The “Do No Harm” Act would gut the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by removing religious liberty protections that result in “harm” to others. That would be a mistake. Protection of any First Amendment rights inherently involves balancing competing harms on both sides of the ledger.
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.
The values America’s elites cherish are not the incontestable truth of things, and they may even run counter to the deeper truths of American politics and human life. Those who aspire to lead our country—and to deserve to lead it—would do well to ponder these lessons by reading Tucker Carlson’s Ship of Fools.
Can the US Commission on Unalienable Rights help correct the international human rights paradigm? It all depends on how brave the Trump Administration and Secretary Pompeo are in translating the suggestions of the commission into public policy—both for the State Department and the United Nations.
Bernie Sanders has done a favor for conservatives. He has highlighted the harm that a bloated and unaccountable federal government can cause. In doing so, he has provided an opportunity for conservatives to build a strong alliance with millennials.
When the champions of human rights promote rights that are not grounded in natural law, they undermine their credibility to speak for all human beings. Those who understand the truth about human rights—as every rational person has the capacity to do—will cease to trust the human rights community.
Serve the poor. Help the weak. Protect the unborn child. Speak the truth about the beauty and order of creation: Male and female he created them (Gen 5:2). Fight for your right to love and serve God, and for others to do the same. Defend the dignity of marriage and the family, and witness their meaning and hope to others by the example of your lives. Adapted from an address delivered at the Alliance Defending Freedom Summit on July 9, 2019.
In Rucho v. Common Cause, the Supreme Court’s recent case on gerrymandering, both the majority and the dissenting opinions were heavy on pragmatics and light on constitutional interpretation. The heart of their disagreement is a difference of visions of how the judiciary ought to interact with the electoral process.
Concerns about the effects of immigration on social cohesion and democratic sovereignty are legitimate, but we should avoid false moralistic narratives that pit pro-immigration elites against the American people. These narratives mask the diversity of “real Americans,” simplify the American people’s complex views on immigration, and downplay democratic politics’ potential to empower excluded groups and redefine the political community.
Currently, public assistance in the United States damages vital social institutions like marriage. But the problem is not the public assistance itself: the problem is that we only provide guaranteed financial support to single people. When you don’t punish people for being married or reward them for being unmarried, but just provide simple, flat benefits to support family life, these benefits actually support family life.
The Supreme Court has long channeled the views of a very particular sort of religious and elite class interest in its Establishment Clause jurisprudence concerning religious displays. Cases like American Legion v. American Humanist Association suggest that it is—gradually and haltingly, but nevertheless steadily—withdrawing from this field of cultural combat.
It is a mark of responsible governance, not authoritarian overreach, for states to act when the demands of public health call for such measures. It is true that the presumption of freedom, religious liberty, and parental authority are all at risk in an increasingly regulatory, secular, and statist culture, but it is an error to see vaccination policy as an essential battleground for defense of these important rights.
In eighteenth-century political reasoning and rhetoric, ministers and statesmen were not obliged to choose between pragmatism or piety, orthodoxy or heterodoxy, reason or revelation. As we grapple with the role of religion in the American Revolution, we should not impose false dichotomies routinely used by modern scholars but were unknown to their subjects.
In Alienated America, Tim Carney paints a picture of a nation riven by a social capital divide, a divide that has led to the rise of populism and socialism. Our task is to rebuild civil society. This work need not wait for enabling legislation, the seizing of the means of production, or a national declaration of fealty to Rome. It can—and should—be undertaken today.
The right to the pursuit of happiness is coherent only in the full theological context of the Declaration of Independence.
Kansas’s Supreme Court randomly festooned its recent decision on abortion with impressive terms, without making the slightest effort to learn the terms’ meanings. The court identifies “common law” with judicial opinions and thus shoehorns innovative judicial decisions into its discussion of “natural rights.”
Women have an understanding of conservatism that goes deeper than policy ideas, because we uniquely understand human relationships. The men that are the standard-bearers of conservatism need to make a greater effort to cultivate conservative women’s voices in the public square.
Helena Rosenblatt’s The Lost History of Liberalism correctly identifies liberalism’s need for moral virtue, but does not draw the further conclusion that her book suggests: liberalism is failing because it has rejected orthodox Christianity.
No one affords a greater understanding of American exceptionalism—what it is and what it is not—than Alexis de Tocqueville.
Arthur Brooks is right that we urgently need to learn to disagree better, but he’s wrong about what it will take to do that. Brooks demonstrates just how easy it is to slip from the transcendent and infinitely difficult command that we love our enemies to the comforting illusion that we have no enemies.
It’s not enough to teach our children that life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. We must also teach them to declare the truths of our faith in the public square. Inside the loving embrace of the family, the faithful need to raise a new generation of Christians that stands up for life and boldly proclaims their faith, understanding that no one, not even an elected official, has the right to stand in their way.
Vice President Mike Pence has been invited to deliver the 2019 commencement address for Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. However, a severe backlash against the former Indiana governor demands that his invitation be rescinded. The accusations against Pence are fallacious, slanderous, and contrary to both a biblical worldview and a liberal-arts education.
Niccolò Machiavelli’s imprudence is surprisingly similar to that of Thomas More’s fictional character Raphael Hythloday. Since prudence is the virtue that finds practical means to moral ends, imprudence may consist in rejecting either practical realities (as does Raphael) or ethical principles (as does Machiavelli). To achieve justice, political regimes must reject both idealism and utilitarianism.
In the wake of last month’s decision, the only remedy left to the people of Kansas is to pass a constitutional amendment to declare that there is no “fundamental right to abortion” in the state’s constitution and to allow the legislature to make reasonable laws about abortion.
Terry Eagleton attempts to offer us a gentle revolution, a soft “transition” from Catholicism to Marxism. This is as theoretically and theologically impossible as it is historically unprecedented. Any “radical sacrifice” on anything other than God’s terms will lead to mass bloodshed and human suffering, as it has whenever and wherever such a project has been tried before.
The adversarial system of litigation—in which attorneys with opposed interests present their respective cases to a jury—is now the best paradigm through which to understand modern-day journalism. We must assume the role of jurors, making sure to hear from all sides before reaching our verdict.