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The Benedict Option for Evangelicals

If American evangelicals are to succeed at Christian formation under the new cultural regime that the Supreme Court has just instituted in law, they must re-learn the Gospel of Christ as the word of an external authority worth loving, not the inner voice of their experience.  Continue Reading »

On Retreat

David Mills, inspired by a Facebook post from Robby George, has exhorted mostly unnamed proponents of the “Benedict Option” to reverse their various avenues of retreat and remain in the political fight. Now I can only guess the identity of the defeatists who have “left the front lines to read books in the library and argue causes and effects in the coffee shop.” But the charge puts me in mind of the colloquium discussion in the January issue of First Things which treated the debate between so-called “liberal” and “radical” Catholics, perhaps because my contribution to that discussion has elicited similar accusations of political irresponsibility or moral cowardice from people sympathetic to the liberal line of thought. Continue Reading »

Christian and Countercultural

Over the past decade, especially in the struggle over same-sex marriage, some of my friends and allies among social and religious conservatives have called me a defeatist for my culture-war pessimism. I believe that pessimism today is simply realism, and that it is better for us to retreat . . . . Continue Reading »

The Dominican Option

There’s been a long conversation in America about the degree to which Catholic Christianity is compatible with liberalism. From the beginning of the American founding, bishops and theologians claimed that for all the flaws of liberal political philosophy, the American founders “built better than they knew.” And yet Pope Leo XIII could warn Cardinal Gibbons to avoid the errors of an “Americanism,” which would distort the teaching of the Church on the proper relationship between politics and the church. Continue Reading »

Scattered Preliminary Thoughts on Ephemerisle

Those looking for the full-Gonzo narrative account of some of the more interesting 48 hours of my life will have to look elsewhere, if I ever get around to writing it. Short version: It was fun, nobody died. What follows is more like a post-mortem that includes things that surprised me, things that . . . . Continue Reading »

Politics without Politics

I was very privileged to be able to attend a lecture by Alasdair MacIntyre at Catholic University here in DC over the weekend. The topic was “Ends and Endings”, and the speech was a delightfully rambling overview of the connections between teleology and literature, ethics and . . . . Continue Reading »

Questions for Ephemerislers

In a few weeks, I’m heading to Ephemerisle — the Seasteading Institute’s first annual anarcho-capitalist convocation on the high seas. Call it a fact-finding expedition. A few words of explanation: While I’m probably the most libertarian of the PoMoConners, I’m not . . . . Continue Reading »

The Best and the Brightest

Bryan Caplan expresses his surprise at Geoffrey Miller: I’m impressed that after proclaiming himself “a secular humanist, an antiwar internationalist, an animal-rights environmentalist, a pro-gay feminist, a libertarian on most social, sexual, and cultural issues, and a registered . . . . Continue Reading »

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