On September 2, 1939, the House of Commons debated the British government’s response to the German invasion of Poland the previous day. The ruling Conservative Party was badly divided between those demanding that Britain fulfill its obligations to Poland and those addicted to the habits of appeasement. “Party loyalty” was being invoked to drown out Conservative opposition to Conservative prime minister Neville Chamberlain when the deputy leader of the opposition Labour Party, Arthur Greenwood, rose to speak. Then, from the Tory back benches, came the voice of an anti-appeasement Conservative, Leo Amery, who cried, “Speak for England, Arthur!” Continue Reading »
Like many social conservatives, especially Christian ones, I spend a lot of my time reading and writing about religious freedom, especially how it might be affected by the legalization of same-sex marriage and the campaign for “gay rights” more generally.Yet at the same time, I harbor doubts about the position we are staking out.You see, I sometimes think that Justice Scalia’s majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith may have been correct. Continue Reading »
NCAA President Mark Emmert has announced a new commission to study how its handling of fouls called in men’s basketball can help state governments determine the proper balance between religious freedom and civil rights: Continue Reading »
There is only one reasonable response to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s executive order banning state-funded travel to Indiana. Because he thinks Indiana’s religious freedom law opens the door to discrimination, he forbids any Connecticut state employee to travel on official business to the state of Indiana. “We are sending a message that discrimination won’t be tolerated,” he declared. Hoosiers are agreeable people, so I want him to know that I hear his message loud and clear. We, too, will not tolerate discrimination. For that reason, I urge all Hoosiers to support a ban on any publicly funded travel to Connecticut. Continue Reading »
We’re in a moment of mass hysteria, one that vindicates Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s decision to sign his state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This law establishes a strong standard for religious liberty: A person’s free exercise of religious can be “substantially burdened” by a law only if that law advances a “compelling government interest” in a way that involves “the least restrictive means.” Continue Reading »
Legal disputes over the definition of marriage, such as the recent case U.S. v. Windsor striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, raise urgent questions about religious liberty rights in a pluralistic society. Windsor relies implicitly upon the “public reason” philosophy of John Rawls when considering such questions.
Yesterday, in a brief order published at the head of an otherwise miscellaneous list, the Supreme Court made a summary disposition of University of Notre Dame v. Burwell, the case involving the university's resistance to the HHS contraception-sterilization-abortifacient mandate under Obamacare. Here is the whole of what the Court said: Continue Reading »