What John Locke Really Said

By |2019-08-22T15:49:44-05:00May 30th, 2016|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, John Locke, Natural Law, Willmoore Kendall|

By any reasonable standard of measurement, Willmoore Kendall would have to be included in a list of the most important political scientists of the post-World War II era. Moreover, as regards the American political tradition, it is easily argued that Kendall is the most original, innovative, and challenging interpreter of any period. I believe these conclusions [...]

The Role of Natural Law in the Constitution

By |2019-06-06T11:56:12-05:00March 4th, 2015|Categories: Constitution, Featured, Natural Law, Supreme Court|

Natural law seems an unlikely topic for extensive television coverage, nor would one expect United States senators to develop high anxiety over the subject. Yet the confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas brought both of those improbable events to pass. Justice Thomas and Senator Joseph Biden grappled repeatedly with the concept of natural law and [...]

C.S. Lewis and the Hope of the Natural Law: A Brief Remembrance

By |2016-08-03T10:36:34-05:00February 13th, 2015|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christendom, Christianity, Natural Law|

During England’s darkest days of World War II, hope emerged from an unlikely source. An Oxford don–a professor of English literature, who would later be best known for a seven-part children’s fantasy series–gave frequent public addresses to the English people. Their purpose was to bolster English spirits. In late February, 1943, he devoted three of [...]

America Divided: Positive vs. Natural Law

By |2019-11-27T14:11:33-06:00January 9th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, Featured, Natural Law, Rights|Tags: |

America is divided, with a line that is drawn between two ideological camps. Each of these two camps perceives America radically different from the other. On the one side, there are those who see America built upon certain unchanging principles that are connected to God. That is, these people believe man to be created and [...]

Natural Law at the Dinner Table

By |2019-06-06T12:17:24-05:00September 17th, 2013|Categories: Daniel McInerny, Natural Law|

Would that I had received the education of my children! Last night at dinner our family enjoyed an unusually rich conversation prompted by a question that had arisen during my wife’s homeschooling history lesson with our seventh-grade son. In recent days these two have been working through the major thinkers of the Enlightenment using an [...]

The Road to Same-Sex Marriage was Paved by Rousseau

By |2014-01-12T16:45:17-06:00July 24th, 2013|Categories: Homosexual Unions, Natural Law|Tags: |

There is more to same-sex marriage than politics. It only becomes plausible if you accept certain assumptions about how to distinguish what is natural from what is unnatural and what is right from what is wrong. The intellectual origins of the debate stretch all the way back to the Greeks, but radical changes in philosophy [...]

The Importance of Marcus Tullius Cicero

By |2019-12-03T12:38:02-06:00February 25th, 2013|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Classical Education, Classical Learning, Classics, Featured, Liberal Learning, Natural Law|

How do I define the Natural Law? Taking my cue from Cicero—especially from On the Republic, On Duties, and On the Laws—I can state that Natural Law theory argues that there is a supreme being who holds everything together through his love or his force or his will or whatever it might be that moves [...]

A Tale of Two Companies: HSBC, Hobby Lobby & Religious Freedom

By |2014-12-30T17:00:28-06:00January 8th, 2013|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Freedom of Religion, Natural Law|

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. It has the best of times for HSBC, the giant British bank caught using American personnel and facilities to launder money for Mexican drug cartels and various rogue states. How so? HSBC’s stock value has continued to rise since the U.S. government announced a [...]

A Marriage of Personal Convenience: The Unity of Economic and Social Conservatism

By |2014-12-30T16:55:37-06:00November 20th, 2012|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Civil Society, Conservatism, Natural Law, Neoconservatism, Social Order|Tags: , |

Over on the First Things blog, Robert George has blessed us, yet again, with the conventional and convenient wisdom of (Catholic) neoconservatism. The post, titled “No Mere Marriage of Convenience: The Unity of Economic and Social Conservatism,” is a sustained argument for just how convenient this marriage of utility and principle really is, and why [...]

Just Beyond Our Grasp: Personal Reflections on Christian Humanism

By |2016-08-03T10:37:23-05:00November 16th, 2012|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christendom, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Conservatism, J.R.R. Tolkien, Natural Law, Russell Kirk, Western Civilization|

Over the last decade and a half, as many readers of TIC have probably noted, I’ve had the blessed opportunity of researching and writing about Russell Kirk (1918-1994), generally agreed upon as the founder of post-war American conservatism. At first, I did this mostly as a hobby, having become intensely interested in Christian Humanism through [...]

Russell Kirk and the Tradition of Natural Rights, 1957

By |2017-06-29T15:45:13-05:00May 21st, 2011|Categories: Conservatism, Natural Law, Russell Kirk|

“From this concept of the dignity of man—dignity which exists only through our relationship with God—there has grown up recognition of what are called “natural rights.” These are the rights which all men and women are entitled to: rights which belong to them simply because they participate in human dignity. There are other rights in [...]

Homosexual Unions v. Incest – What’s the Difference? (Part II)

By |2017-06-26T12:28:21-05:00February 1st, 2011|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Homosexual Unions, John Creech, Marriage, Natural Law, Politics, Sexuality|

As I mentioned in my previous essay, although we still think incest is wrong, we appear to be reaching the point where we can’t explain why its wrong. We’re in this predicament because, at some point, we began to that think that extra-marital heterosexual sex is morally permissible, and, more recently, that homosexual sex is as [...]

Homosexual Unions v. Incest: What’s the Difference? (Part 1)

By |2017-06-22T15:42:12-05:00January 18th, 2011|Categories: Culture, John Creech, Marriage, Natural Law, Politics|

The short answer: none—that is, if all that’s required for a morally permissible sexual relationship is that it involve: (1) adult partners; (2) who are mentally competent; and (3) who fully consent to the relationship (for good measure, we could even add that the partners have a sufficient emotional bond and that their sexual acts [...]

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