religious liberty

Five Lessons from the Christmas Market Attack

On December 11, a Muslim named Cherif Chekatt opened fire at the famed Christmas Market in Strasbourg, killing three and wounding thirteen. There are several important lessons to be learned from the incident. Here are five of them: I. The attack was aimed at Christians. It was no coincidence that the terrorist chose to target [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Politicizing God

Whatever their conception of God, politicians seem ever intent on convincing others that he is on their side. For if God is with them, their principles, policies, and practices must be right, and their competitors’ must be wrong. In the ongoing immigration debate, Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the practice of separating immigrant families at [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

“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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

New Book Offers Sophisticated Defense of Religious Liberty

We are living in a moment of peril. It is also a moment of opportunity. Our liberal friends are currently gnashing their teeth, worrying that the end may be near. In their minds, dark forces of tribalism and hatred are descending from all sides to obliterate them. After years of having similar feelings ourselves, it’s [...]

US Civil Rights Commission Targets Religious Liberty

On September 7, 2016, the US Commission on Civil Rights issued a report entitled Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties. The report has not received the attention it deserves. Should the next president appoint and the Senate approve judges and justices that agree with its findings, the report will serve as a playbook [...]

The ABA’s Attempt to Muzzle Lawyers

We hear more and more about the attack on conscience rights in the health care and counseling professions: the Obama administration early on moved to reverse federal protections from health care workers having to take part in morally objectionable procedures; Washington State’s requirement (sustained by the U.S. Supreme Court) that pharmacies sell abortifacients; the new [...]

Radical Clinton Drops Her “Old-Fashioned Methodist” Faith

When conservatives and many Catholics first learned back in 2007 that I had the temerity to write a book on the faith of Hillary Clinton, especially after books on the faiths of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, they looked at me with a mix of amazement and annoyance. Why would you do that? I [...]

The Vanishing United States

One of the great legacies of Union victory in the Civil War was the preservation of “these United States.” Historian Shelby Foote noted in the Ken Burns PBS documentary The Civil War, “Before the war, it was said, ‘the United States are…’. Grammatically, it was spoken that way and thought of as a collection of [...]

The Narrowness of Martyrdom

A broad justification for martyrdom is preferable to a narrow one. A person would prefer to die for something grand, sweeping, and generally held. Perhaps world peace, or what used to be called the fellowship of man. Martyrdom is in practice narrow. When St. Thomas More died on a scaffold in Henry VIII’s kingdom, it [...]

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