Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Why Religious Liberty Became Controversial

From First Thoughts

At Public Discourse today, I explain what led the Left to rebuke the authentically American understanding of religious liberty after the 1993 passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Understanding why religious liberty became politically controversial requires more than just identifying . . . . Continue Reading »

For-Profit Free Exercise

From First Thoughts

Do for-profit businesses possess religious exercise protections? Mark Rienzi, of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and Catholic University of America, thinks they do and offers a detailed case for why in his new article, God and the Profits: Is There Religious Liberty for Money-Makers? . . . . Continue Reading »

In Praise of Edwin Meese

From First Thoughts

Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese announced that he’s “semi-retiring” from his leadership of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.  His legacy, both at Heritage and at the Justice Department, cannot be overstated, as I wrote in the . . . . Continue Reading »

A Compendium of Seidman’s Errors

From First Thoughts

Georgetown Law Professor Michael Seidman says in the New York Times that we should conclude, “the American system of government is broken” not because of political divisions, but because of the Constitution “with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.” . . . . Continue Reading »

The Limited Government Case Against Gay Marriage

From Web Exclusives

Same-sex marriage advocates frequently appeal to our country’s limited government tradition to urge redefining the age-old, cross-cultural understanding of marriage as the union of husband and wife into a union where a husband or a wife is unnecessary. “Government shouldn’t tell people who to marry,” they say. Notwithstanding this argument’s misleading claim (no one is “telling” you to marry anyone”though a society with gay marriage will have the force of law to tell some opponents to participate), its premise is still troubling… . Continue Reading »