Richard John Neuhaus

Was Jesus a Secularist?

Did Jesus legitimize the concept of a secular state? Many people, including well-intentioned Christians in today’s polite society, seem to think so. The “proof-text” they point to is Christ’s famous retort in St. Matthew’s Gospel, “render unto to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but render unto God that which is God’s.” Yet a closer examination, [...]

Islam in the Public Square

Secularists like to advise Christians that, for the sake of social harmony, they ought to keep their religion to themselves. Religion, they argue, is a private affair between an individual and his designated deity, and ought not to be dragged into the public square. Moreover, they helpfully add, it’s an imposition on others to confront [...]

Ash Wednesday in the Public Square

  Rev. Richard John Neuhaus long wondered about the phenomenon of innumerable Catholics, pious and not, practicing and not, who throng to churches at all hours of Ash Wednesday to receive ashes on their foreheads on the first day of Lent. He was unable to pinpoint a reason why the annual ashes exceed both the [...]

Richard John Neuhaus, 1936 – 2009

    About 25 years ago, I had the first of many dinners with the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, when he was still a Lutheran. He objected to the term "converting" for a baptized Christian who became Catholic: Rather, such a one "embraced" Catholicism. I demurred, as I thought I had converted, albeit not from [...]

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