Hannah Arendt has been unjustly transformed into a political partisan for the liberal causes that are in vogue today. Letting Arendt speak for herself recovers her intellectual independence as someone who defined herself apart from and against the political traditions of her day—including progressive liberalism.
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.
A sexual orientation discrimination case could upend religious freedom for all the countries in the Americas in the near future . . . and nobody knows about it.
Whole blocks in densely populated cities like New York are designed primarily for the movement and storage of vehicles. These massive amounts of land would be better used as community parks.
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.
If we are wondering why conservative women are not “showing up,” we should start by revisiting the concept that women’s nature is uniquely oriented toward private, family-oriented pursuits—and asking whether it’s worth holding onto.
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.
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.
National conservatives need to help create an America that knows who she is, one that can give immigrants more than just a place to get a job—an America that can draw them in, giving them a sense of belonging. This essay is based on remarks delivered at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, DC, on July 15, 2019.
Could a new national conservative coalition enable Burkean conservatives to harness populist energy, using public policy to strengthen the core American institutions of family, religion, and country? Or will it inevitably degenerate into dehumanizing racism and xenophobia?
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.
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.