Dreher’s Benedict and the First Amendment

The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher’s much-discussed book, has largely been portrayed as a way to rethink Christian political and cultural engagement. How, exactly, the rethinking ought to play out has been debated incessantly, albeit often superficially, as only the Internet can ensure. Dreher does attempt to make clear, in any case, that Christians should focus “all the attention they have left for national politics” on expanding religious liberty. Religious liberty is naturally necessary for any religious undertaking and Dreher is right to recognize that without it no one could take his advice to focus on cultivating local politics and community. But…

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Friday Roundup, July 12th

Our Books section this week features James Gibson's review of Without Fear or Favor, a book that considers the ways states have tried to produce both judicial independence and accountability. The controversy of how state judges are selected is in the news. As the linked WSJ article recounts, my home state recently rejected its long time reliance on the Missouri Plan for selecting judges, which to my untutored eye looks like another invention of the progressive smart set that will purportedly eliminate politics from the bench. It didn't. Many would say it resulted, at least in my state, in a…

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