As our public debate coarsens and weakens, Public Discourse will continue to publish respectful, rigorous arguments. We will continue to stand up for the rights and dignity of the most vulnerable members of society.
The first pillar of a decent society is respect for the human person, which recognizes that all individual human beings have dignity simply because of the kind of being they are: animals whose rational faculties allow them to know, love, reason, and communicate. It also recognizes that human beings are persons, members of the human family who flourish in a community that respects their fundamental rights and who long to discover transcendent truths about the nature of reality.
For the past ten years, Public Discourse has been a different kind of website—thoughtful, calm, and civil, even while defending unpopular truths. In our next decade, we want to keep improving, reaching more people, and addressing a broader array of topics.
Christian Miller’s scientific approach to understanding moral character is impressive, and it allows him to reach a public that is inclined only to trust the empirical. Yet this method severely restricts the conclusions Miller feels justified to make.
National politics has its place, but the more important and urgent task for Christians is the construction and maintenance of actual communities in which the personal and social implications of the Christian Confession can be realized.
The language of “orientation” is not neutral with respect to the nature of human beings. It makes a fundamental claim about human nature—one that rejects the given order of reality.
Three prominent theologians—one Jewish, one Christian, and one Muslim—have published a ground-breaking document that affirms the Noahide values as the foundation for all three religions.
A culture of disdain for disabled and elderly persons is more likely to come about if we embrace a right to assisted suicide. Each endorsement of suicide endangers not only the lives but also the human dignity and quality of support relationships of persons with burdensome infirmities.
America has rescue systems in place for every potential catastrophe and every group of people— except preborn children at risk of being killed by abortion.
Abraham Kuyper’s teachings help us to rightly value the created order. They also help us understand the ways in which the “common grace” of God preserves the social order through the state, the family, and the dignity of individual work.
Silence is not enough. The wounds of the Church cannot begin to heal until Pope Francis honestly responds to Archbishop Viganò’s allegations. He has a responsibility to do so.
Any serious critique of abortion must acknowledge what many abortion advocates do not: freedom does not require women to become like men.
Fans of the Benedict Option and the Option-averse alike will benefit from reading Leah Libresco’s peppy, prayerful, practical handbook.
Fr. James Schall’s recently published collection of essays on Islam and violence suffers from reductionist arguments, non-existent evidence, and historical ignorance. It is a book that defeats itself, and is an unfortunate addition to the legacy of an otherwise great scholar.
What are the ends of education? How do various conceptions of the human person influence our understanding of education? What does a liberal arts education look like in an educational system dominated by specialized fields of study and focused on credentials and skills? How do friendship and community relate to education? As I wrote recently...
Nothing asserted in Scripture read in light of the New Testament excludes the conclusion that capital punishment is inherently wrong. Nor does any definitive Church teaching. But the new revision of the Catechism, while removing from view an evident instability, remedies none of the underlying tensions and seems likely to obscure the only path to a teaching fully stabilized by adopting that conclusion authoritatively, as an authentic development of doctrine. And the revisionary documents are in other ways disconcerting. Part two of a two-part essay.
A new collection of essays, Aquinas Among the Protestants, demonstrates the impact that Thomas Aquinas has had on Anglican, Lutheran, and Reformed thinkers and explores the ways in which contemporary Protestant Christianity could benefit from Aquinas’s insights, particularly regarding natural law and virtue ethics.
The greatest threat to Christianity is found not in the arguments of the atheist but in the assumptions of the apathetic. The “new apathy” is a more dangerous threat than the new atheism.
States that do not recognize both natural law and the transformation of law and public reason brought about by the raising of religion to a supernatural good will become confessors of false belief opposed to Christianity, and their great power will turn from supporting Christianity to opposing or even repressing it, especially in relation to its moral teaching.
Despite the vast amount of ink spilled in the current controversy over capital punishment, there’s been a real hesitancy to make explicit its analogy with the longer-running and arguably more important debate respecting the Church’s teaching on religious liberty.
For C.S. Lewis, the body and the erotic procreative relationship between men and women are not mere nature, to be manipulated and embellished. They are not mere matter, to be shaped in any way that we please. They are, rather, an indicator of a larger order, something that offers us a clue to that larger order and that has to be understood in the light of it.
The Church’s own history teaches us that her theology matters more than her politics. Now as in the past, those who make robust arguments that coherently develop our understanding of Christ and his message will endure, while those whose arguments diminish the meaning of the cross and resurrection are likely to pass away.
Rebecca Todd Peters’s new book is titled Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice. Yet she totally dismisses the arguments and decisions of pro-life women. Perhaps a better title would have been “trust pro-choice women to make pro-choice decisions.”
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.
Although many Jews have been misled into thinking otherwise, Judaism is not compatible with political support for abortion.
Catholics today are not required to believe in a Catholic confessional state. If anything, they are required to believe that everyone has a right under the natural law to religious freedom, that the state has no authority in religious matters, and that coercion of religious activity by the state is morally wrong. In short, integralism is contrary to Catholic doctrine.