Tag Archives: Conservatism

A cohesive environmentalism: Some preliminary concerns

In this paper, we are asked to consider what are, by my lights, four questions pertaining to the relationship of Christian faith to environmental concerns and that which is sometimes called the “eco-justice” movement. I would break the block of questions out this way: 1. Do you agree that we humans need to make dramatic […]

The day after: Now what?

“Conservatism is heading into a period of acute discomfort in which it will have to choose openly between standpatism (that is, sulking in its tent), reaction (that is, striking the tent and marching angrily into the past), and activism…. This cannot be a happy prospect for men of genuinely conservative temper and purpose … [I […]

Caution and conservatism

“The bad thing about conservatism,” says Tallis Piaget, “is that you guys refuse to fix something it it’s broken.” I think that a fair point. We hesitate to declare something broken, and we’re skeptical of radical changes. To my mind, caution and circumspection are core and distinctive conservative habits of mind; they are marks by which […]

Traditional government functions

President Obama’s said recently that “when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.” There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting […]

The conservative premise

In a discussion elsewhere, Noah Lenz tendered the suggestion that “until pretty recently, ‘conservative’ was a designation of the establishment, of the business community, guys in country clubs, lawyers with white shoes,” and suggested an interesting-looking book called The Reactionary Mind by Corey Robin. I think Noah mistakes “conservative” for “Republican,” but the conversation returned […]

Judicial conservatism and the Obamacare cases

On the whole, conservatives have greeted the Chief Justice’s opinion in NFIB v. Sebelius with either of two responses: Apoplectic accusations of unbridled heresy, or warm approbation for persuading the liberal justices to go along with an opinion limiting the commerce clause’s reach. Neither reaction makes sense. The second is easy enough to dismiss: The […]

Altar bells and keeping faith with tradition

At a recent class on the corrected translation, there was some discussion of whether altar bells would make a comeback; my parish doesn’t use them, and while some people are very happy about that, there are others who would prefer, often with equal passion, to have them back. I am firmly on the side of […]