religious liberty

Religious Liberty: The Long View

Believers won the latest battle concerning the free exercise of religion in these United States. The Supreme Court again proved amicable in its 7-2 decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Association, ruling that the 40-foot Peace Cross standing on a public cemetery for nearly a century can remain, largely because it was erected in … Read more

What Makes America Great?

The current occupant of the Oval Office got there on the promise to “Make America Great Again.” And while Lady Liberty lost some of her luster from the rearguard position of the last Administration, her greatness endures and is the reason America has an immigration problem—scratch that, crisis. Foundations Five decades after America gained independence, … Read more

Ginsburg’s “Neutrality” over Religious Liberty

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (joined by Justice Sotomayor) wrote the dissenting opinion in last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding the presence of Bladensburg’s Peace Cross on public land. The Court, fractured about the basis for its ruling, nevertheless managed to cobble together a 7-2 split (with Justices Breyer and Kagan as part of … Read more

Catholic Schools Are Right to Use Morality Clauses

Recently, I have noticed an increasing amount of news reports challenging morality clauses in employment contracts for Catholic school teachers. While yet another example of a teacher breaking a morality clause popped up this spring, another one struck my eye in late 2018, a little closer to home. This latter one didn’t only challenge the … Read more

A Catholic School Stands Its Ground

There have been plenty of examples of our secular culture’s antagonism toward Catholic education: from the Covington School-Nick Sandmann debacle, to activism against the admissions policies of Kansas City’s Catholic schools, and to numerous lawsuits by employees fired from Catholic schools for moral indiscretions. The greatest danger in these situations is not the secularist’s desire … Read more

No Reciprocity: On the Papal Visit to the UAE

Pope Francis is planning a pilgrimage to Arabia, a land of no reciprocity. Unlike in the West, no religious equality is to be had there, and, for the most part, in practice, no religious freedom either. It is doubtful that the Pontiff will be able to remedy the situation. Aside from Iraq and Yemen, which … Read more

Religious Freedom vs. Religious Feelings

After nine years in prison, a Christian woman was acquitted of blasphemy by the Pakistan Supreme Court in mid-October. Almost immediately, however, massive street rallies and protests organized by Tehreek-e-Labaik—the anti-blasphemy party—forced the government to reconsider. The government agreed to ban Asia Bibi from leaving the country, and it agreed to allow her blasphemy acquittal … Read more

Political Implications of Religion as a Moral Virtue

A good deal of what the Catholic Church teaches about the state and her relationship to it belongs to the province of philosophy. It belongs to those truths of the faith that are naturally knowable and don’t require revelation. This distinction should be familiar. There are some truths that the Church teaches which we can’t … Read more

Would a Justice Kavanaugh Defend Religious Liberty?

If one overarching theme emerged from the decisions handed down in June in the most important cases of the 2017-18 Supreme Court term, it was that the First Amendment matters. Or rather, that one particular clause of the First Amendment—the guarantee of the right of freedom of speech—matters. Whether other clauses, in particular the right … Read more

The Burqa, the Baker, and the Bishops

Denmark has become the latest European country to ban the Islamic full face veil in public. Wearing the niqab, which shows only the eyes, or the burqa, which covers the entire face, will result in a fine of 1,000 kroner ($156) for the first offense. In addition, anyone who coerces a person to wear a … Read more

Justice Kennedy Enshrines into Law the Infamous Legacy of JFK

As Catholics, we want to be treated fairly and we certainly need the freedom to live our faith outside of our mind, our home and our church buildings. What progressives seem to presume is that we want an advantage over other faiths and ideologies. This is not the case. We believe that non-Catholic Christians, Buddhists, … Read more

A California Judge Protects the Wedding Baker

In the summer of 2016, Cathy Miller, the owner of Tastries Bakery in California, was faced with a difficult decision. As part of its business, Tastries makes wedding cakes, and for the first time, a same-sex couple came in and asked for a wedding cake. Cathy, however, is a devout Christian. As a result, she … Read more

“We’re Going to Punish the Wicked”

With gay ersatzrimony having the imprimatur of the State, and homosexuality enjoying a positive swing in popular opinion, the only thing standing athwart homosexualism is the Church, which is finding itself increasingly the object of neosexualist agitations. Two weeks after Obergefell v. Hodges, a liberal firestorm erupted when a Catholic priest in Louisiana withheld communion … Read more

The Crisis of the Christian Colleges

We are often told these days, quite plausibly, that Christian universities and colleges are in acute crisis. The threat comes from campus radicals in alliance with the federal government’s educational machinery, itself operated by radicalized functionaries. “The expansion of the scope of Title IX legislation by the Obama administration makes colleges that hold to traditional … Read more

Religious Liberty Wins Again in the Supreme Court

In its decision in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer this week, the Supreme Court took another significant step in furthering its contemporary jurisprudence emphasizing the free exercise of religion. Trinity Lutheran Church operates a daycare and early-learning center on its church property in Boone County, Missouri. The church explicitly states that its early learning program is one of … Read more

When Secular Elites Demand Religious Tests for Public Office

One piece of news in the wake of the surprise election results in the United Kingdom was the announcement that Tim Farron would resign as leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, in large part because of the tension he felt between his party’s platform and his Christian faith. “To be a political leader—especially of a … Read more

Taken for a Ride? Islam and Religious Liberty

President Erdogan, who is rapidly turning Turkey into a Caliphate, once said that “Democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination.” Is religious liberty also a train that Islamists ride until they reach their stop? That’s an increasingly urgent question now that mosques are popping up all over the landscape of Europe, … Read more

Repeal the Johnson Amendment to Free Religious Speech

At the National Prayer Breakfast February 2, President Trump pledged to repeal the “Johnson Amendment,” a provision added in 1954 to the Internal Revenue Code that is the statutory basis for the IRS to deprive a church of tax-exempt status if it does not comply with the Amendment’s absolute prohibition on any political engagement that … Read more

Catholic Ties to the American Public Order Continue to Unravel

It has been clear for quite some time that a new and different public order is taking shape in America in which Catholics (or at least Catholics faithful to the magisterium of the Church) will have serious difficulty finding a comfortable place. The recent election does nothing to change this fact because it does not … Read more

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