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Watching Liberals Give Way to Technocrats

Good for William Bowen. The former president of Princeton spoke at my alma mater Haverford College’s commencement on Sunday and has sharp words for the students who successfully campaigned against another commencement speaker, Robert J. Birgineau, former Chancellor of Cal Berkeley. They accused him of violating a sacred principle—thou shalt not require progressive protestors to obey the law—and issued a list of nine things he needed to do in order to properly repent and receive absolution. Continue Reading »

The Rise of Nationalism

It’s a global phenomenon. Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi won in India. Shinzo Abe in Japan hits nationalist notes. Svoboda, an ultra-nationalist party in Ukraine, has become an important player. The Golden Dawn in Greece is another ultra-nationalist party. Great Britain’s anti-EU party is on the rise, as are nationalists in France and the Netherlands. Continue Reading »

What’s So Bad About Editing DNA?

We cannot alter a person’s DNA without disrespecting the intentions of the Author and Creator of human life, Matthew Hennessey recently argued. To support this claim, he offered an account of what it means to be an editor: “When I edit, I attempt, to the extent possible, to conform my work to the author’s original intent. I know I must resist the temptation to rewrite every piece to suit my own ear.” For Hennessey, editing is about improving someone else’s writing, not about the editor exerting his or her own preferences. Continue Reading »

Allow Abortion—Or You’re Guilty of Torture

U.N. experts in Geneva were at it again last week telling the Holy See that Catholic teaching on abortion is a human rights abuse, revealing a chasm between the Church’s understanding of its mission and how U.N. officials perceive it. The episode is reminiscent of a time in history when secular leaders did not accept a separation of Church and State. Continue Reading »

We Need More First Amendment Freedom, Not Less

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously wrote that the answer to objectionable speech “is more speech, not enforced silence.” This seems a most reasonable proposition. If you are offended by someone’s position, you can counter it with your own arguments and expose their error for the world to see and reject. It is a concept that has served our Republic well in the fight for liberty and freedom. Continue Reading »

The Folly of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Advocates of a mass amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens, under the banner of “comprehensive immigration reform,” seldom fail to mention “church leaders” and “faith groups” as part of their “coalition.” One might think that the complex issues of how many and which aliens should be permitted to immigrate and how we should deter unlawful immigration by the millions who will not qualify comes down to a simple moral question: What would Jesus do? Continue Reading »

On the Importance of Place

One of the natural loves that humans possess is a love of place. Bubbling up from love for home and love for creation, the love of place shapes humans, conforming them to the topography of the landscapes they inhabit. As C. S. Lewis notes, to speak of a love of home is to conjure up images . . . . Continue Reading »

Yesterday’s Decision in the Legislative Prayer Case

Most of our fights about the Establishment Clause boil down to this: What can a religious minority reasonably require of the majority? Or, put differently, how far must the majority go to accommodate the sensibilities of the minority? Here, the Court seems to be saying, if a town is overwhelmingly Christian, non-Christians cannot legitimately expect that legislative prayers will be anything but overwhelmingly Christian. To insist on something else would be unreasonable. Continue Reading »

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