Tag: Natural Law

Marriage and Roles


When I played football, I wanted to be a running back. I wanted to be the bull that charges over and through opposition, pitting my strength against theirs.

Instead, the coach assigned me to tight end. My role was the less glorious — but no less important — job of blocking. At least in hindsight, I trust that the coach’s choice for me was the right one. But the dream of playing running back stayed with me.

Attorney General Barr Speaks up for Religious Liberty


AG BarrOn Friday, 12 October 2019, Attorney General Barr spoke at Notre Dame Law School. Notre Dame Law School advertises itself as America’s oldest Roman Catholic law school:

At the nation’s oldest Roman Catholic law school, students of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to broaden their social, spiritual, and personal lives while honing their intellectual and professional skills to serve the good of all.

Attorney General Barr took them seriously, and used the forum to deliver a call for defense of Christianity in the public square in the face of all-out attacks from militant secularists. I am pleased to see that the whole text of his remarks is posted on the Department of Justice website [emphasis added]:

This Chaos Without Tradition


New “traditions” are entrenching themselves in America. Spontaneous one-man Civil Rights movements and the desecration of historical monuments have become authoritative expressions of the character and legacy of our society. Of course, these are not real “traditions.” They are the product of the fiery passion of democracy, the ardor of Jacobin fiends who have redefined what it means to be American. This is the chaos of a country without Tradition.

Tradition is a gift–an inheritance handed down over generations and not particular to any one person, family, or nation. It includes the mores of ancestors, and their heroes and holidays (as we had in this week’s Columbus Day) that express shared historical foundations. Tradition addresses the little things, like the proper attire at an evening party, even as it maintains great institutions, like the family, marriage, and religion. Though it cannot be explained by pure reason and logic, Tradition is in harmony with Nature, allowing us to better understand man’s origins and the world around us.

Today, however, Tradition is deemed senseless superstition — an arbitrary and expendable personal preference to be rejected at every turn. One cause of this has been Americans’ shared overreaction to the tumult of the Civil Rights Era. Generations formed in the ’60s and ’70s were riveted by the great courageous heroes of this movement and, of course, the natural justice of its cause. But after relentless revisions of history, future generations have failed to learn many other aspects of our culture’s past that are worthy of reverence — historical virtues without which the Civil Rights Movement would not have been possible. Thus, when we welcome immigrants now, we seem so ashamed of our past that we prefer that they bring their own identity, heroes, language, and mores with them rather than share ours as their common inheritance.

Freedom Through Natural Law


While one bishop (the pope) offered a sadly forgettable speech before Congress, another bishop hit one out of the park at the World Meeting of Families.

Though I believe Christians of all sorts would appreciate Bishop Robert Barron’s full speech, this bit about acquiring freedom through adherence to natural law should be accessible to non-Christian Ricochet members as well. This is what is meant by the famous claim, “the truth will set you free.”

Member Post


It’s one of the baser traits of humanity that we sometimes oppose something we don’t like for the same reasons we appeal to in defense of something we do like.  A good example of this illogic is a Catholic politician who says both: “I’m pro-life, but I don’t want to impose my religious views on others; we […]

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Three Things Conservatives Believe


I take the following to be among the most important principles that inform and motivate conservatives. I am not giving an argument in hopes of persuading non-conservatives, just an explanation of some foundational principles.

I say “foundational” because a decent statement of conservatism might not actually contain any of them. These aren’t the principles that are conservatism, but principles that motivate conservatives. Sometimes one of them (especially one of the first two) is an unstated premise lurking behind a conservative argument that just doesn’t seem to reach non-conservatives.

Member Post


Plato’s Republic is occasionally–ok, constantly–mentioned as a book promoting communism.  Don’t believe the hype. For a start, the account of the declining democracy in Book 8 of the Republic is a goldmine if you’re interested in criticism of leftist redistributionist politics; see here for more on that.  (By the way, one of the laws Socrates recommends in Book 8 would have prevented the subprime loans […]

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