religious liberty


Time to Knock the Supremes Down a Peg or Three

Besides doing something about certain lawless decisions made by our black-robed masters, something must also be done about how we came to such a place where they can cast their gaze across the fruited plain and whatever catches their fancy becomes the law of the land, indeed higher than the Constitution. Roe was bad enough, [...]

Augustine, Aquinas, or Kant? Pope Francis at the UN

One of the world’s worst-kept secrets is the Holy See’s high regard for the United Nations. Since Paul VI, popes have appeared before its General Assembly to express their “great esteem,” as Francis remarked in his recent UN address, for its work. Not all Catholics entertain favorable views of the UN. They point, for instance, [...]

Efforts to Silence Clergy Continue Apace

Christians in the U.S. worry that the day may be coming when they will no longer be able to freely speak their minds about their faith. But that day has already arrived in Canada, Europe, and the U.K. In 2008, a Canadian Human Rights panel imposed a $5,000 fine on the Reverend Stephen Boisson for [...]

After Obergefell: The Effects on Law, Culture, and Religion

“You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds…. What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can.” ∼ St. Thomas More, Utopia In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court didn’t just confect a new right to same-sex civil marriage. In some ways, it inaugurated [...]

Court Rules Against Little Sisters of the Poor

Tuesday afternoon, a three-judge panel in Denver effectively told the Little Sisters of the Poor that they would be forced to go along with the contraceptive provisions of Obamacare and relevant regulations regardless of conscience.   If not, the sisters would be so severely fined by the federal government that they would have to close their [...]

Corporate America: A Friend of the Family?

One of the interesting features of the recent public debate over same-sex "marriage" (SSM) has been the high profile support for it by large American corporations. Such support has included sharp attacks against assorted “religious freedom” state laws ostensibly designed to protect those with faith-based scruples. Indeed, Fortune magazine recently described what it termed “an [...]

Court May Deny Religious Liberty of Catholic Schools

The key battleground for the federal government’s twenty-first-century assault on religious freedom may be Catholic education—in particular, those faithful Catholic institutions that refuse to surrender and remain committed to Christ and His teachings as they come to us through the Church. On Tuesday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., told the Supreme Court that religious colleges [...]

Religious Liberty Is Not Enough

I want to thank those who took the time to respond to my recent article, “Why Religious Liberty Arguments Aren’t Working.” Our focus at the Ruth Institute is crafting sound arguments and clarifying the proper context for their use. Religious liberty arguments are a case in point. While there is merit in religious liberty arguments, [...]

Opposing the Sexual Revolution Requires Freedom

In a recent Crisis magazine column, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse—a valued leader in the pro-marriage and family movement—contends that “religious liberty arguments aren’t working” in the effort to retain marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In fact, she says the religious liberty argument in the marriage arena “weakens our case.” Instead, Dr. Morse [...]

New Jersey Catholic Teacher is Reinstated

Faithful Catholics who have supported Patricia Jannuzzi, the embattled New Jersey Catholic high school theology teacher, who had been suspended from her job at Immaculata High School for using her Facebook page to present authentic Catholic teachings on homosexuality and same-sex “marriage,” were happy to hear that she finally was returned to the classroom. It [...]

Why Religious Liberty Arguments Aren’t Working

I am a very committed, very public advocate of marriage as a gender-based institution. Many of my fellow proponents of man/woman marriage cite religious liberty as an argument against redefining marriage. While I have great respect for those who promote this view, I must respectfully disagree with their assessment. The uproar over the Indiana Religious [...]

Is Indiana Really Full of Christian Haters Eager to Hate Gays?

Just once wouldn’t you like to see some gay guy ask a Muslim baker to make a sheet cake with an image of Mohammed—Peace Be Upon Him? Gay guys are awfully brave when they bully meek Christian bakers with the full force of the federal and state governments behind them. But let them belly up [...]

Will Notre Dame Continue to Betray its Catholic Identity?

Indiana has shown that it values religious freedom. The University of Notre Dame has a moral obligation to embrace it. On Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which says that government may not “substantially burden” religious exercise, except when using the “least restrictive means” of advancing a [...]

A Catholic School Removes Teacher for Defending Faith

Chesterton once wrote that “War is not the best way of settling differences—but it is the only way of preventing them from being settled for you.”  If the Catholic Church is to continue to teach the timeless truths about the dignity of all human persons from conception to natural death, and the sanctity of marriage [...]

Religious Liberty 50 Years After Dignitatis Humanae

Vatican II ended in December 1965 with an outpouring of enthusiasm and hope. The Council's hope was grounded in two things: a renewed Catholic faith; and confidence in the skill and goodness of human reason. Half a century has passed since then. A lot has happened. The world today is a very different place from [...]

A Proposal from Milan: Making Space for Religion

Christendom may have begun with an edict from Milan; now, in the waning days of Christendom, another voice from Milan, Angelo Cardinal Scola, in his little book Let’s Not Forget God: Freedom of Faith, Culture, and Politics, “brings back to our attention the issue, more relevant than ever, of religious freedom.” Initially a speech celebrating [...]

Did Vatican II Endorse Separation of Church and State?

This year, 2015, marks fifty years since the close of the Second Vatican Council. Yet the “battle” for the Council, the battle for its authentic meaning, which began even before the bishops concluded their deliberations in 1965, continues still today. A particular area of controversy is the Council’s teaching on the Church’s relationship to the [...]

Catholics Fight for Freedom in Washington, D.C.

The Catholic University of America and the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., are the latest targets of legislative and judicial moral relativists who severely threaten the religious freedom of Catholic educational institutions from pre-schools to universities, as well as other Catholic services. The center of the issue are two bills, both approved unanimously by the D.C. [...]

Clerical Freedom and Academic Freedom

As my readers will have heard, the recently re-elected mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, tried to subpoena the sermons and e-mailed messages of various Christian clergymen in the city in early October only to reverse course following public outrage. Miss Parker is a lesbian living in a pseudogamous relationship with another woman. The clergymen had [...]

John Locke and the Dark Side of Toleration

“A Church then I take to be a voluntary Society of men, joining themselves together of their own accord, in order to the publick worshipping of God, in such a manner as they judge acceptable to him, and effectual to the Salvation of their Souls.”  ∼ John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration It seems likely [...]

New Study Sees Threat to Religious Liberty

In legal scholarship, as in any literature, style matters as much as content. The subjects authors explore, their manners and patterns of thought, the metaphors and idioms they select, the grace with which they address the audience and carry it along—in sum, the personal qualities that emerge in the telling of the tale—are remembered long [...]