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Following its 2014 debut, we are pleased to invite you to the 2015 First Things Lecture in Washington D.C., “The Perils of Religious Liberty” delivered by Yuval Levin.

As religious communities seek to defend America’s “first freedom” they would be wise to consider what it means to make religious liberty their preeminent public issue.

In the wake of battles over the HHS contraceptive mandate and the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage, religious liberty has become the foremost priority of many believers. While religious freedom plays a central role in our country’s history, the prominence now being assigned to it and the way in which some conservatives have advanced the issue are not without risks. This approach exacerbates a key challenge that traditionalists already face in our forward-looking society: It confounds pluralism with moralism, undermining the vision of society that many religious Americans seek to advance, and misleads our fellow citizens into believing that traditionalists are asking for a “naked” public square—and it hangs an awful lot on constitutional foundations that are not as sturdy as they once appeared.

To see how a case for religious liberty can become part of the broader task of building thriving moral cultures in 21st century America, without undermining that essential cause, we need to consider the historical roots, the philosophical foundations, and the practical limits of religious liberty in American life.

Yuval Levin, Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Editor of National Affairs, will take up these questions in a public lecture held at The George Washington University campus on Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. Levin’s talk will explore the meaning and history of religious liberty within the Western democratic tradition and will outline what American political thought might teach those now struggling to revitalize our society’s moral foundations amid dizzying change.

Please sign on to the guest list using the RSVP form below. No tickets will be issued.

The 2015 First Things Lecture in Washington DC
The Perils of Religious Liberty
delivered by Yuval Levin


Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Seven o’clock in the evening
Complimentary reception to follow

Where (click for map):
Jack Morton Auditorium, Media & Public Affairs Building
George Washington University
805 21st Street NW - Washington DC 20052

Yuval Levin is the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the editor of National Affairs. He is also a senior editor of The New Atlantis, and a contributing editor to National Review and the Weekly Standard. He has been a member of the White House domestic policy staff (under President George W. Bush), executive director of the President’s Council on Bioethics, and a congressional staffer. His essays and articles have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Commentary. His latest book is The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left. He holds a BA from American University and a PhD from the University of Chicago.

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