Category: Politics

limits-of-policy

The Importance of Political Theology

Western societies are at something of a paradoxical moment in which it feels as though our politics is captive to cynicism and naiveté in equal parts. Everyone else has a “hidden agenda.” Everyone else believes everything they hear. Everyone else...

/ April 24, 2020

What the Coronavirus Reveals: An Invitation to American Evangelicals Who Have Been Quoting that C.S. Lewis Essay

The argument of this essay is simple. I want to invite Christians, particularly American evangelicals, to a new consideration of how the coronavirus might cause them to rethink what kind of healthcare policy ought to mark a flourishing society. I...

/ April 23, 2020

We’re All Legalists Now: Notes on Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard Address

Alexander Solzhenitsyn opens his Harvard commencement address with a statement that is characteristically Russian, something Dostoyevsky would probably say — “The truth is seldom pleasant; it is invariably bitter.”

/ April 17, 2020

Moral Realism, Public Health, and Truth-telling Amid COVID-19

As the lockdown proceeds with no official end date in sight, we must turn our attention to a new reality confronting us: It is impossible to proceed with a lockdown to prevent COVID-19 deaths without other harms resulting. This was...

/ April 14, 2020

What America Needs Now: A Williamson National Unity Cabinet

By the Mere O Editors In the last Democratic debate, Joe Biden declared that he would nominate a woman as his vice-presidential running mate. That felt right at the time. But times have changed. Biden needs to go much, much...

/ April 8, 2020

Our Lives or Our Freedoms: The Fear of Tyranny in a Time of Pandemic

There’s a famous scene in the movie, Braveheart, a 1995 film that became something of a classic among embattled Christian conservatives who liked to see our own battle with “Big Government” in the romanticized terms of a Scottish epic. Riding...

/ April 8, 2020

The Church Speaks to the World: On Pope Francis’s Urbi et Orbi Blessing

Pope St. John XXIII’s 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris broke new ground with its greeting: It was the first encyclical addressed not just to the Church but to “all men of good will.” Thus, in the midst of his Second...

/ April 6, 2020

Waiting for Conservative Renewal

Estragon: We always find something, eh Didi, to give us the impression we exist? Vladimir: Yes, yes, we’re magicians. In Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, there is a much promised advent that dominates the lives of the hapless Vladimir and Estragon....

/ April 3, 2020

Deaths of Despair and Lives of Hope in a Cynical Age

Upon falling into the hands of Giant Despair, Christian and his friend Hopeful were imprisoned without any provisions for days on end and while enduring beatings. In John Bunyan’s 17th-century allegory Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian eventually laments, “Brother, what shall we...

/ April 2, 2020

Common Good Constitutionalism Considered

Right. I read it. And by “It” I mean, of course, Adrian Vermeule’s Atlantic piece. Here’s the thing: Vermeule’s “Common good constitutionalism” is not actually that different from, for example, Hadley Arkes’ natural law constitutionalism. That tradition of Finnis-inspired Lincoln-loving...

/ April 1, 2020