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Constitutionally Catholic

The tension between American democracy, capitalism, and culture is acute—more acute, perhaps, than at any time in our history. Even the best human fruits of this nation’s founding principles are in peril. I mean the principles of natural rights and the internal constitution of checks and . . . . Continue Reading »

Thanking the Puritans on Thanksgiving

There’s little less fashionable today than praising the Puritans, especially for their egalitarian political idealism, their promotion of genuinely humane and liberating learning, and their capacity for enjoyment and human happiness. Praising the Puritans is especially difficult for us because . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pious Infidel

Though the most Deistic of the Founding Fathers, even Jefferson was not a full-fledged Deist if we accept that philosophy as having had two fundamental tenets: a rejection of biblical revelation and a conviction that God, having created the laws of the universe, had receded from day-to-day control . . . . Continue Reading »

The Deist Minimum

As Christianity spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, it became apparent that the biblical doctrines concerning God, morality, and future retribution had similarities with the philosophical speculations of the Platonists, Aristotelians, and Stoics. The Fathers and medieval theologians had no . . . . Continue Reading »

Publick Religion: Adams v. Jefferson

The civic catechisms of our day still celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s experiment in religious liberty. To end a millennium of repressive religious establishments, we are taught, Jefferson sought liberty in the twin formulas of privatizing religion and secularizing politics. Religion must be “a . . . . Continue Reading »

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