Americans need to pay attention to what is happening to the Uyghurs in western China. Failure to respond to the crisis could result in profound human suffering and damage to America’s strategic interests.
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.
We might call Neil Gorsuch a natural law originalist: a jurist who believes that the content, motivation, form, and impact of the Constitution that he’s called upon to uphold and of the laws he must fairly interpret are—for the most part—sound expressions of the account of human good and human dignity to which he subscribes.
The political theory of the American founding is not quite the “cure for what ails us,” but, as Thomas G. West’s books demonstrate, it can serve as a kind of preventive medicine against the psychological sickness of radical individualism.
Removing religious exemptions will not promote tolerance or inclusiveness. It will forcibly strip religious organizations of their ability to operate as religious organizations.
The problem with modernity’s conquest of nature is that it works toward obliterating the distinction between creature and creator, a distinction that is essential for maintaining a humane and non-totalitarian politics.
The new antiliberals are not wrong to worry about the dire state of American politics and culture. But they persistently fail to adequately ask, much less clearly answer, three pressing questions that must be part of any adequate treatment of the problem, and they virtually ignore the thoughtful conservative alternatives to antiliberalism that do address these questions.
All human beings share certain universal human rights. But I am not just a human. I am also an American, a Kansan, a university instructor, and a member of a church body. Each one of these relationships generates specific goods, rights, and responsibilities that are unique to me. The same is true for nation-states, each of which have a distinct culture and unique responsibilities to its own citizens.
Is there room in Canada for a “distinctly Christian” law school? Not unless it conforms to judicially determined “shared values,” according to the Supreme Court of Canada. But shouldn’t communities be permitted to hold different sets of values in a free and democratic society?
Though our political institutions are designed to be secular and non-sectarian, our laws rest on Christian ideas about what we owe each other as human beings made in the image and likeness of God.
Stephen Greenblatt’s new book is broad-ranging, accessibly written, and nominally dedicated to an interesting topic: tyranny in the work of William Shakespeare. Unfortunately, too much of the author’s energy is dedicated to expressing disdain for a particular contemporary politician in a way that detracts from his declared purpose.
Thomas More’s dying words teach us that zeal for God is compatible with loving, even zealous, service to less than utopian political rulers and realms.
Loving America well means taking her seriously—working to preserve what is lovely about her and to fix what is not.
We can’t undo the past, but we can avoid repeating its mistakes. Here’s how.
As the late Justice Scalia was fond of pointing out, the views of individual lawmakers in the midst of debate are not themselves the law we must interpret. Neither are the votes taken in a deliberative body rightly viewed as votes on anyone’s interpretation of the text under discussion. The text that they passed, not what they said about what they passed, is the law.
The majority’s refusal to address the free speech issue in Masterpiece explains the intractability of debates over the scope of its free exercise ruling because, surprisingly, the two issues are linked. Two concurrences implicitly address the free speech issue. There the conservatives’ case is stronger, and supported explicitly by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor in dissent. In light of it, the Court’s Masterpiece ruling should provide robust protection for other creative professionals.
The pardon power is the most significant and strongest power of the president, and the Constitution places almost no limits on it. In using it, the president can unilaterally nullify the legitimate authority of the legislative and judicial branches.
State officials and judges cannot comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Masterpiece simply by articulating facially neutral reasons for decisions that punish people for acting on the understanding that marriage is a man-woman union.
In drawing on the older teaching of the courts, Hadley Arkes argues that it is far more tenable for the Court to teach again the difference between epithets and arguments.
Jonah Goldberg’s new book is a poignant reminder that we should never allow discouragement to swamp our sense of gratitude. As Americans, liberalism is our patrimony. Even recognizing the drawbacks, we should maintain a proper respect for that heritage.
The confessing state exceeds the limits of its authority, either by acting to no good effect, or by acting contrary to good effect. Thus, the confessing state seems inappropriate as a matter not simply of prudence, but of principle.
The Trump administration must continue to push the United Nations to respect U.S. sovereign prerogatives not to support abortion in humanitarian efforts. It must not give abortion groups a pass to continue to implement their covert strategy to establish an international right to abortion.
The noble impulse to purge the public square of offensive and insulting language quickly degenerates into censorship of unpopular viewpoints. By contrast, the American experiment is founded on the view that a people capable of governing themselves are worthy of the trust that the First Amendment places in them.
If there is one truth that the entire philosophic tradition—including America’s Founders—may be said to embrace, in spite of all its disagreements, it is this: reason teaches that it is unreasonable to expect people to act by reason alone.
By calling our attention to the Founders’ political theory of the family, Thomas West’s new book leads us to ask whether a secular theory of natural rights and natural law can sustain the moral ecology necessary for self-government. If a secular natural-rights republic cannot sustain the family, it would seem to be neither a good nor attractive political theory.
One would think that a politician like Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who aspires to national office on a message of unity and inclusion, would push his party toward common ground—like the common ground that the Women’s Care Center occupies. Why, then, would he veto this pregnancy center’s zoning request?