Christians are called not only to pray but also to act for justice, because faith without works is dead. Today, we are called to give new birth to the civil rights movement, to finally fulfill the promise of the American civil rights project for which so many fought and died.
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The common good is the flourishing of a community qua community. Every community is built around a common end, which is simply that it excel, in justice, as whatever kind of emergently real community it is. The common good is primarily a practical idea, but if our starting point is too practical we are apt to miss the challenge that the common good poses to the modern political imaginary. On the other hand, a starting point that is too metaphysical will fail to engage the real questions of common life.
Through being a Public Discourse reader, I’ve made friendships I would not otherwise have made. The joy of any movement is the relationships it fosters, and my life would be less fulfilled were it not for the intellectual camaraderie that is enjoyed by many within the Public Discourse readership.
To be Catholic is to be completely comfortable in neither party. I know. I live this every day. If you really want to change the world, you must choose to be Catholic, and carry Jesus into the public square. Adapted from a May 2019 commencement address Representative Lipinski delivered at Ave Maria University.
A crisis like a pandemic forces citizens to confront what they hold in common. But the coronavirus has revealed that many, whether boomer or millennial, do not even see themselves as citizens—as participating in and being partially responsible for the common good.
Free markets and a limited state require a culture of liberty that says “yes” to responsibility and “no” to soft despotism.
Robert Miller’s defense of free speech risks removing the moral ground that could explain the rightness or goodness of the freedom we seek to preserve. In place of a moral defense in principle, we would simply have a set of utilitarian guesses: that if we pretend we have no standards of judgment, things will work out better for us in the long run.
The Pediatric Endocrine Society recently issued a statement claiming that the effects of puberty-blocking medications on normal puberty are reversible. Has the FDA determined that there is scientific evidence to validate this claim? Have there been any rigorous long-term studies addressing this question? Is social transition truly harmless? Is it ethical to continue this experiment on children? The answer to all of those questions is no.
Father Theodore Hesburgh was a dedicated priest and a leader who possessed enormous ambition, charm, intelligence, and dedication. But for all his many gifts, Father Hesburgh lacked the vision and imagination necessary to realize the goal of making Notre Dame into a great Catholic university in the modern world.
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.
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.
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.
If the new conservative consensus emphasizes putting real Americans first, who are these real Americans? Are some Americans more equal than others?
Today, the fanaticism of activists, the ambitions of elite political operatives, and the passive passions of an apolitical public combine to determine our nation’s immigration policy.
Our personal habits and our political culture are not unconnected. When personal debt is at an all-time high, it seems unreasonable to expect that thrift would somehow become a public virtue. If we do not act responsibly with the budgets of our own families, it seems unrealistic to expect fiscal responsibility from those who are entrusted with spending other people’s money.
If there is one thing that the prophets of egalitarian ideology cannot abide, it is the true and sincere believer in normativity—the person who judges that we are, each and every one of us, beholden to exercise our freedom in keeping with a higher law.
For ten years, Public Discourse has drawn on the insights of academics and scholars, political and legal advocates, and men and women of letters to offer the reading public thought-provoking reflections on the timeliest issues and the most timeless dilemmas of our public life.
Though Legislated Rights is primarily written for legal philosophers, it bears important lessons for all who work to secure human rights in law. It challenges conventional views about the supremacy of courts in specifying and vindicating rights, arguing that legislatures can best accomplish this task.
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 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 we want a different politics, ultimately we must offer a different moral imagination for ourselves, our children, and theirs.
Westerners should neither exaggerate our problems and forget how good we have it nor exaggerate our blessings and neglect the defense of religious freedom. We’re not inherently better or more deserving of religious freedom than anyone else in the world, and we should not take our good fortune for granted. The first in a two-part series.
In a paradoxical new book, Columbia University professor Mark Lilla correctly identifies the defects in contemporary liberalism and identity politics but cannot free himself from them.
The Supreme Court is about to decide whether a baker has a First Amendment right not to be compelled to design and create cakes celebrating same-sex weddings. The baker’s best legal argument is simple, and it survives the best objections filed by the ACLU and Progressive scholars.