Thomas Jefferson

Metropolitan Hilarion meets Pope Francis March 20, 2013

What Would the Conversion of Russia Look Like?

For much of the twentieth century, Catholics around the world prayed after every Low Mass for the conversion of Russia. Called the Leonine Prayers, originally they were conceived as a protection of the sovereignty of the Papal States, which were then under attack. This intention ended with the Lateran Treaty of 1929 but the prayers [...]

Rescuing American Civilization: A Response to Stephen M. Krason

Yesterday, Crisis published a piece by Stephen M. Krason in which he argues that “the strong exertion of presidential power may be the best way after Obama to restore liberty and begin to mend the social fabric whose erosion has accelerated during his administration.” This appears to be part of an ongoing tendency, recently and [...]

Obama’s “Right to Worship” Ushers in New State Religion

The constitutions or laws of many nations provide for what is called “religious liberty.” In practice, this liberty is under severe restrictions in numerous countries, if it exists at all. The fact is that no one can really talk about religious freedom without examining what the “religion” holds. Grace builds on nature but does not [...]

Can a Generation Own the Earth?

“The earth belongs always to the living generation.” These are not Thomas Jefferson’s most famous words, but they are quite famous among students of politics. They have been used for generations to justify radical political change. And, like the soaring rhetoric of the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, these Jeffersonian words have gained him [...]

Cultural Amnesia and the Separation of Church and State

One of the sadder aspects of Christmastime in America is the display of ignorance on the part of so many Americans regarding the constitutional tradition of our country.  Why at Christmas? Because it is at this time of year that we hear the whining call of “that song” or “that play” or “that display” violates [...]

For Liberals, Religious Freedom Means Freedom from Religion

As the presidential campaign came to a close, religious questions sneaked surreptitiously into the national debate.  The Democrats had an easy target: Governor Romney's unusual religious affiliation, though since few Democrats know anything about any religion, particularly Christianity, they found it difficult to distinguish Mormonism from other not quite so strange semi-Christian sects.  Watching national [...]

The Shores of Tripoli: The Libyan Tragedy and Our Historically Challenged President

In a frequently misquoted line from the Life of Reason, George Santayana said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Cultural amnesia, helpless or deliberate, does enable people to rewrite history without compunction, and it also makes it easy for others to believe the fiction as fact, or to suppose in [...]

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