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     In most cases the only effective way we can hope to get a handle on that which plagues our public life is if our representatives choose to either ban the problematic behavior (e.g., smoking in public) or regulate it (e.g.,…

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    Don’t Let Social Engineers Define Normality

    by James Kalb

    The great political, social, and moral issue of the present day is the authority of the natural and normal. Accepting that authority means accepting a vernacular form of natural law, and thus a belief that the world has an innate…

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    Inclusiveness: A Harmful Ideology

    by James Kalb

    We hear a lot about inclusiveness, but the topic is never discussed analytically. The idea seems to be that it’s warm and fuzzy and what Jesus would do, so it’s obviously a good thing. The result is that our world…

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    Bipartisanship, Compromise, and Leftist Ideological Imperatives

    by Stephen M. Krason

    Many people complain about the “gridlock” in Washington and about how the two parties need to work together, compromise, and come to agreement about things. They decry the lack of bipartisanship. What they don’t realize is that the main culprit…

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    Conservatism: Its Meaning and Prospects

    by James Kalb

    Conservatism at bottom is resistance to the technocratic project, the modern attempt to turn the social world into a sort of universal machine for the maximum satisfaction of preferences. That project has been growing up for a long time. It…

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    Sex and the Public Order

    by James Kalb

    Sex and the institutions, customs, and restraints related to it are basic to social order. That claim shouldn’t be controversial, and it’s odd that it has become so. Older political philosophers such as Aristotle, who viewed man as naturally social,…

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    The Perils of Liberal Moralism: On Syria and Thomas More

    by Carson Holloway

    Law is inevitably informed by morality, but it is not the same thing as morality. When we forget this, when we insist that what is wrong must be unlawful, or that it must be lawful to punish every wrong, we…

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    The Future of Marriage Reconsidered

    by Rachel Lu

    Among American conservatives it seems to be common knowledge now that marriage is on the rocks. According to the Pew Research Center, just over half of American adults 18 and older are now married. This is a record low, and…

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    Hopeful News from the Marriage Front

    by Rachel Lu

    America is a pro-marriage country. After debating the value of matrimony for several decades, Americans have come down firmly in favor of tying the knot. Cue the wedding bells. Some readers may be scratching their heads at this point. That…

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    Be Hopeful: The Lunacy Can’t Last Forever

    by James Kalb

    In a recent piece published in Crisis I commented on the features of our public life that led the Supreme Court to assert that support for the natural definition of marriage is simply an attempt to harm people. One reader…

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    Conscience Freedoms Denied by Liberal Courts

    by Anthony Esolen

    Two recent court cases illustrate the incoherence and remarkable intolerance of “liberal” views regarding conscience. One involves the bottomless pockets of the atheist Michael Newdow, who most recently joined several plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department demanding…

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    Why We Should Respect Someone Else’s Conscience

    by Anthony Esolen

    The scene is from C. S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength.  The callow young sociology professor, Mark Studdock, an atheist and a social climber, has been detained in a cubicle deliberately fashioned with odd annoying angles and not-quite-right pictures on the…

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    How Long Will Secular Liberalism Endure?

    by James Kalb

    Secular liberalism is at odds with Catholicism. The point seemed obvious to most people until the postwar period, when the thought took hold that an essentially harmonious relationship could be established that would draw on the American model. America, it…

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    How Modern Post-Christian Liberals Watch Movies

    by Joseph Schaeffer

    As Christianity became less and less a cultural force over the last several decades, one of the great losses is our ability to make art that appeals to our common humanity, largely because a common humanity no longer seems to…

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    Liberalism Depends on That Which It Destroys

    by James Kalb

    Why does it seem that orderly, prosperous, and well-run societies are usually less religious, but the less religious a society becomes the more disorderly it gets? The situation is complex, it’s hard to do comparisons, and polling results are subject…

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    Should the U.S. be a Catholic Society?

    by James Kalb

    At the close of the Second Vatican Council, Paul VI noted that the Council had displayed an unparalleled desire “to know, to draw near to, to understand, to penetrate, serve and evangelize the society in which she lives.” That desire reflected a…

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    The Radical Meaning of “Gay Marriage”

    by James Kalb

    Sixty-five years ago Richard Weaver wrote about the destruction caused by the triumph of nominalism, the denial of the reality of transcendentals such as the good, beautiful, and true. He wanted to reverse it, and insisted on the importance of…

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    The Church’s Growing Role: Oppose Anarchy & Totalitarianism

    by James Kalb

    Is the world getting better or worse? It’s an important question, since the value of current social policy depends on the answer. Ordinary people tend to see current tendencies as a problem, but opinion leaders are more likely to discredit…

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    The Intolerance of Liberal Toleration

    by James Kalb

    D. A. Carson, a well-known Reformed theologian and exegete, has written a clear and well-reasoned analysis of today’s imperialistic tolerance from an Evangelical and classically liberal standpoint. He tells us that the new understanding of tolerance has meant a shift…

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    Why “Value” Families?

    by Bruce Frohnen

    In responding to a recent post of mine criticizing our liberal culture for its hostility toward the traditional family, a commenter wrote: “I don’t know a single liberal who … doesn’t value (and participate in) both traditional and non-traditional families.”…

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