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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.

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The revolutionary priests bear more responsibility for the Church’s present hardship. They did not merely violate canon law; they did so for the sake of revolution. Now the Church is suffering under a dictator that that revolution produced. This should serve as a cautionary tale to would-be revolutionaries of all political stripes. To make revolution is to set in motion unpredictable and destructive forces from which one may not escape.
Surely one way of fending off the Right, a way that does not involve waiting for a charismatic savior, is to reject policies that are destroying American cities. There is not an iota of criticism of such tendencies of the contemporary Left in Brown’s book; yet she would like to assure us that the next leftist charismatic leader will be animated by an ethic of responsibility.
I’ll certainly offer advice—my best account of what seems reasonable in the situation. But it is only advice: everyone who writes needs to make an independent assessment about whether the guidance I offer is sound.
Government may be able to provide material assistance, but it has failed to address the deeper causes of poverty. Worse, it has discouraged the most important defenses against poverty in America—work and marriage.
It is a natural thing for southerners to be drawn to Lee’s memory and to look up in admiration at a statue in his likeness. But the fact remains: such statues say to black Americans, in the voice of the unreconstructed white majority, “We’re back in charge, and don’t you forget it.”
In the past fifteen years, we’ve published articles on the moral, cultural, religious, and political issues of our time, including the most controversial and sensitive; but we have done so in a manner of which we can be proud, respecting the intellect and personhood of our readers, interlocutors, and intellectual contestants.
The silent disappearance of the presidential bioethics council breaks fifty years of tradition. Sadly, this break came at a perilous time for bioethics.
Various trends in American religion and right-wing politics further indicate that as the political influence of Christian nationalism is waxing, that of religious conservatism is waning. This need not be a fixed situation, but it does mean religious conservatives will have ample need of God’s grace as they consider how to avoid moral and spiritual compromise while navigating a particularly treacherous political landscape.
These desires—freedom, virtue, and safety—were the underlying impulses of the libertarian, traditionalist, and national security elements of the “fusionist” conservative movement during the Cold War era. And, it seems to me that when you look at it this way, you will recognize that these yearnings persist on the Right to this day.
This book illuminates the path the modern conservative movement has taken heretofore and therefore will be an important aid to conservatism’s ongoing quest for self-definition.
The liberal tradition is an ongoing conversation in which participants speak in a wide range of accents, reflecting the various “nouns” to which speakers are committed: liberal individualists and liberal communitarians, liberal nationalists and liberal internationalists, liberal believers and liberal skeptics, liberal socialists and—yes—liberal free marketeers.
We do not need more self-conscious crusaders for the nation or even for Western Civilization, but instead more priests, teachers, businessmen, artists, writers, and parents who perform their own activities faithfully, serving—to borrow a phrase from Russell Kirk—as “leaven for the whole lump.”
As 2024 approaches, there will be tremendous temptations to go still further in taking the gloves off in an attempt to prevail by any means necessary. There will be power at stake, but also tremendous profit as the purveyors of opinion seek to build audiences and sell advertisements. But we are not helpless. We can be more fair to each other and thus create the conditions for a more fruitful discourse.
Such a substantial proportion of this book is devoted to textualism, originalism, and traditionalism that it is hard to escape the sense that Sunstein protests too much by repeatedly claiming that his moral-philosophizing “reflective equilibrium” is “the only game in town.” And in truth, he leaves his own preferred approach woefully underdeveloped.
In his new book, William Inboden clearly regards Reagan as indispensable to something coming close to a miraculous chain of events surrounding the peaceful end of the Cold War. He rejects the popular notions of Reagan as clueless, all form and no substance, gullible, or hopelessly and sentimentally patriotic. This is a sympathetic biography, but one that is copiously researched and laden with fresh and insightful nuances that treat Reagan as a complex figure, a man with limitations, paradoxes, and weaknesses.
Mark David Hall’s Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land represents a landmark contribution to the debate over the impact of Christian faith on American law and culture. It is high time for Christians to reframe this debate, asking not “How much do we have to apologize for?” but “How much can we take credit for?”
A growing number of doctors, patients, and whistleblowers are beginning to question the medical establishment’s recommendations for children with gender dysphoria.
For the foreseeable future, there will be no institutional barrier to demagoguery, viciousness, or incompetence to be found within the nominating processes. The only barrier will be the voters themselves.
The militant Russian religious conservatism of the twenty-first century, paradoxically, mirrors the Soviet anti-religious socialism of the twentieth century. Their common feature is a shameless instrumentalization of religion, with the consent of the latter.
The United States must apologize for treating blacks with contempt and compensate with reparations those American blacks who lived through racial segregation. But reparations for all black Americans will not erase the wealth gap between blacks and whites, nor improve the significant educational achievement gap rampant throughout the black communities in this country.
Slavery, Jim Crow, and distributive discrimination assaulted natural rights and the dignity of persons made in the image of God on which these rights are based. They leave behind wounds, the most central of which is the standing victory of injustice, the moral fact of injustice itself that persists in time unless it is repudiated. While constitutional amendments, legislation, and policies have countered and delegitimated these injustices, the lack of a formal apology and reparations has left them still standing.
Trump—and more broadly, the style of politics he represents—did not rise to power on the shoulders of the religious right, but rather the post-religious right. Indeed, his presidency was made possible by the very process of secularization that the religious right has long sought to combat.
303 Creative prevents a First Amendment violation where it would be most keenly felt—the government commanding an individual to use her creative talent to create and promote a message antithetical to her conscience or beliefs. The relative rarity of prior cases involving attempts to compel creative commercial speech may have reflected a tacit consensus that this was a First Amendment redline, not lightly to be crossed.
Conservatives are defenders of traditional communities, not atomized individuals fending for themselves. We do not oppose the growth of the federal government merely because it is dangerous to individual liberty, but because the bureaucratization of American society violates our conception of the human good.

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