My new article in Ratio Juris: “Justificatory Liberalism and Same-Sex Marriage”

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Earlier this week I was informed that my article, "Justificatory Liberalism and Same-Sex Marriage," has just been published in the journal Ratio Juris: An International Journal of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law 26.4 (December 2013): 487-509. Here is the abstract of the article: Supporters of Justificatory Liberalism (JL)—such as John Rawls and Gerard Gaus—typically maintain that the state may not coerce its citizens on matters of constitutional essentials unless it can provide … [Read more...]

Strengthen the Things That Remain (Thoughts on Chick-Fil-A and Religious Liberty)

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"Strengthen the Things That Remain" is the title of my most recent entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: "Counterfeit philosophies have polluted all of your thoughts Karl Marx has got ya by the throat, Henry Kissinger’s got you tied up in knots When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?" -Bob Dylan  (“When You Gonna Wake Up?,” 1979) Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee dubbed Wednesday August 1, … [Read more...]

The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken: An Analogy for Chick-Fil-A Skeptics

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I came cross this blog post last night via the Facebook wall of Hunter Baker. On that blog, called "The American Jesus," a young Christian man named Zack Hunt explains why he did not participate in "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day." (For some reason, "The American Jesus"  cannot be accessed right now. Hopefully, it is only a temporary glitch). Although I very much appreciate the thought that went into Zack's post, I want to focus on one claim he makes: "Regardless, for me, dedicating a day to … [Read more...]

The President, Jesus, and the Golden Rule

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That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: President Barack Obama just announced his support for same-sex “marriage”in an interview with ABC reporter Robin Roberts. In explaining his reasoning, the president offered this theological reflection: "[Y]ou know… we [the First Lady and I] are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our … [Read more...]

Taking Rites Seriously: Political Liberalism and the Problem of Marriage

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That's the title of my latest column over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: Political Liberalism, as we know it today, is not even three decades old. It began to develop in the early 1980s in the writings of several well-known philosophers that included Thomas Nagel, Ronald Dworkin, and John Rawls. The purpose of their project was to offer the political culture an intellectually respectable way to sequester the policy goals of the fledgling movement of religious conservatives while … [Read more...]

Government Forms (or Deforms) Your Soul

That is the title of an article I published last year (vol. 21, no. 5, September 2010) in This Rock (now Catholic Answers Magazine), the magazine of Catholic Answers. It is now available online. Portions of this article are adapted from portions of my most recent book, Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft (InterVarsity Press, 2010). Here's how the article begins: “Statecraft,” Aristotle instructed his pupils, “is soulcraft.” What he meant is that the state or government, by … [Read more...]

New word: Metaphornication

Here's the context. On Thursday evening I was in Denver. Over dinner I was discussing with friends Pat Robertson's claim that one can divorce a spouse with Alzheimer and begin dating others without violating the "in sickness and in health" requirement, because, according to Robertson, the spouse suffering from Alzheimer  is "a kind of death." As the conversation continued, one of the other dinner guests pointed out that Martin Luther had said that divorce for reason of adultery is not … [Read more...]

Interracial Marriage and Same-Sex Marriage: Why the Analogy Fails

That is the name of an article I published last year on the website, Public Discourse: Ethics, Law, and the Common Good, an online publication of The Witherspoon Institute. Here's how it begins: While doing research for an academic paper on the topic of same-sex marriage and political liberalism, I was struck by how many authors, including judges, draw an analogy between bans on interracial marriage and the present law in almost every state in the United States that recognizes marriage as a … [Read more...]

Are monogamy-only laws unconstitutional?

Apparently so, according to the Attorney General and the President. On Wednesday, they told us that they will no longer defend sec. 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court because it is unconstitutional, since it allegedly violates the 5th amendment and thus does not withstand heightened scrutiny. Here's what sec. 3 states: "In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the … [Read more...]


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