Trump Is No Pro-Lifer

When candidates for high office are faking it in order to persuade a party's base that, appearances and past record to the contrary notwithstanding, they really, really are “with the program,” they step into dangerous territory. They need to say what the base wants to hear. Indeed, they need to . . . . Continue Reading »

Trump and the American Alliance System

The cliché is that Donald Trump says what people think. On foreign policy, that cliché is actually true. Trump’s phone interview with the New York Times has been roundly mocked by political observers. In the transcript, he comes across more like a belligerent drunk than a potential president, . . . . Continue Reading »

Things That Can’t Change

When the Second Vatican Council was putting the finishing touches on one of its key documents, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), Pope Paul VI proposed that it include a statement that the pope is “accountable to the Lord alone.” The suggestion was referred to the . . . . Continue Reading »

An Ancient Clash of Civilizations

Whether or not we find these contemporary parallels apt, Rahe’s focus may help us understand Sparta’s important role in early modern Europe, on which he has written significant scholarship. Rousseau modeled his ideal communities on Sparta. American patriot Samuel Adams dreamed of his native Boston as “a Christian Sparta” that valued virtue over wealth, though New England ended up pursuing the more Athenian path of a democratic commercial republic. With the deindustrialization of America and the growth of a large standing army, we may come to appreciate the virtues of Sparta once again.

A Mormon Perspective on Religious Freedom

The following was delivered Friday, March 25, 2016, at Claremont Graduate University by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Religious Freedom in a Pluralistic Society I feel privileged to address this important religious . . . . Continue Reading »

Passion Play

At his ascension, Jesus told the eleven disciples that they would receive the Spirit to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. But for some time after Jesus’s ascension, and even after Pentecost, they stayed in Jerusalem.They were finally forced . . . . Continue Reading »

A Community Pledged in the Spirit

Mulling my Lenten way through the Apostles’ Creed, I have come to see that in defining what we do not believe, we come to know better what we do believe. While the Creed positively summarizes what Christians believe, it equally fences out what we negatively do not believe. I have been walking the . . . . Continue Reading »

Trigger Warnings and Academic Consumerism

I have been reading a lot of back-and-forth about “trigger warnings” lately. Students who see themselves as victims of discrimination and abuse are demanding that professors issue warnings about materials in courses they are teaching that might cause strong negative emotional responses in . . . . Continue Reading »

Easter is not a Question Mark

Excavating my desk recently, I found the program notes from a Tallis Scholars concert my wife and I had attended a few months ago. The Tallis Scholars are a marvelous a capella ensemble, but most of their music that night was rather too minimalist for my tastes. In any event, the author of the . . . . Continue Reading »