The Perils of Religious Liberty

On January 24, 1774, the young James Madison, twenty-two years old and two years out of Princeton, wrote an exasperated letter to his college friend William Bradford, who lived in Pennsylvania. In Virginia, Madison wrote, a season of intolerance had dawned. “That diabolical, hell-conceived . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Tolerate Religion?

Brian Leiter's Why Tolerate Religion? is a crucial book in the area of law and religion—published in 2013, it defends the view that there is no compelling moral or legal reason to provide special protection to religion as such.

Toasting the Conscience

In Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, Blessed John Henry Newman suggests gamely that religion should never be the subject matter for after-dinner social toasts. But, he says “if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts, I shall drink—to the Pope, if you please—still, to Conscience . . . . Continue Reading »

A Benign Reading of a Confusing Paragraph

When I was asked to sign the Appeal critiquing Paragraph 137, I initially agreed with the reading of the authors of the Appeal—but as I studied the paragraph more carefully, it became clear to me that it could be read in a much more benign fashion, and that the benign reading is the correct . . . . Continue Reading »

An Appeal

An Instrumentum laboris (working paper) was prepared for the XIV Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and published on June 23, 2015. It covers a range of topics germane to the Synod’s theme of the family. Paragraph 137 addresses a key document of the modern Magisterium, Humanae Vitae, in a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Dangers of Anti-Sharia Laws

The law in several states now requires pro-life pharmacists to dispense the morning-after pill, Christian adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples, and religious entities to pay for their employees’ contraceptives. The list of such violations of religious freedom keeps growing, . . . . Continue Reading »