How to Misunderstand Your Own Country

From First Thoughts

The other day Joe Carter linked to a BBC item about a debate that was held in Philadelphia, on the question whether the Declaration of Independence was “illegal.”  Evidently there were legal scholars on both sides, the British arguing that the Declaration (hence the American . . . . Continue Reading »

Keeping Our Consciences Awake

From First Thoughts

On Saturday, this site ran my “On the Square” essay, ” Anaesthetizing America’s Conscience ,” in which I faulted two university presidents, Fr. John Jenkins of Notre Dame and John Garvey of Catholic University, for a missed opportunity to speak the whole truth to power . . . . Continue Reading »

Anesthetizing America’s Conscience

From Web Exclusives

As readers may know, the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services is proposing to require every health insurer in the land to pay for, and thus to be complicit in, the provision of contraceptives, including some that would be more accurately described as abortifacients. The rule offers a potential exception on religious grounds, but this “exemption,” as previously discussed by Christopher T. Haley, Ryan Anderson, and others on this website, is exceedingly narrow and inadequate. … Continue Reading »

Embryo, second edition

From First Thoughts

Three years ago, my friends Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen (both senior fellows at the Witherspoon Institute and familiar to FT readers) published a short and powerful book called  Embryo: A Defense of Human Life —a wonderful combination of scientific and philosophical . . . . Continue Reading »

What Are They Smoking at the Times?

From First Thoughts

That’s what went through my mind when reading this op-ed by Matthew Avery Sutton, who is bylined as an associate professor of history at Washington State University, and author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America .  The essay is a bizarre train wreck . . . . Continue Reading »

It Depends How You Ask the Question

From First Thoughts

A couple of days ago at NRO , the estimable Michael Barone ruminated on the subject of same-sex marriage.  He casually professed himself in favor of this revolution in the institution of marriage—giving an extremely bad reason that suggests he has not thought a great deal about . . . . Continue Reading »

Liberty, Justice, and the Common Good

From First Thoughts

Readers of First Things and of this blog are no doubt familiar with Public Discourse , the online journal published by my employer, the Witherspoon Institute .  Today PD begins a two-week daily series under the title you see above.  As editor Ryan Anderson says, the series looks ahead to . . . . Continue Reading »