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Taking Machiavelli at his Word

In Redeeming the Prince, Maurizio Viroli, professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University and now at the University of Texas, adopts a bold strategy: He dares to take Machiavelli at his word. Viroli says that the most important chapter in The Prince is the last, “Exhortation to Seize Italy and to Free Her From the Barbarians.” Continue Reading »

The Conservative Principle in Obama’s Refusal to Act

Conservatives have been critiquing President Obama’s proposed executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. But the principle underlying the proposal is one that conservatives might want to accept rather than criticize. He is refusing, under certain conditions, to take action authorized by law. That is, he is choosing to allow certain categories of private action to stand by refusing to apply authorized responses. Continue Reading »

Marriage Pledge is Not an Imperative of Conscience

Last week, I wrote in favor of the Marriage Pledge and suggested that signing a government-provided document designating Spouse A and Spouse B is contrary to conscience. Ed Peters has rightly criticized me. There is nothing intrinsically evil about politically correct euphemisms in government documents, including ones pertaining to marriage. And thus there’s no complicity with evil when a pastor, priest, or laymen sign such documents.  Continue Reading »

The Role of Government Marriage?

Ryan Anderson and others (including Doug Wilson) wonder how I can support the Marriage Pledge. It asks pastors and priests to refrain from signing government provided marriage certificates, but allows and even encourages the newly wed couple to march down to the courthouse to get the government contract. Continue Reading »

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