We need a more Spock-like politics

James Hodgkinson opened fire on a group of congressmen after ascertaining they were Republicans. He wounded several people and was killed himself by Capitol police, who were present to protect House Whip Steve Scalise. Continue Reading...

Kings without a king: Kuyper on the illusion of independence

“A human kingship imperceptibly came to power, leaving no place for the kingship of Christ.” –Abraham Kuyper The West prides itself on valuing freedom – political, economic, religious, and otherwise. For some, this leads to the promotion of a certain brand of libertinism: the freedom to do what we want. Continue Reading...

Why great men are almost always bad men

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is the most famous quote by the English Catholic historian Sir John Dalberg-Acton. But what exactly did he mean by it? That particular quote comes from a letter to Bishop Creighton in which Lord Acton explains that historians should condemn murder, theft, and violence whether committed by an individual, the state, or the Church. Continue Reading...

The Corruption of the Best is the Worst

This year will deliver major superhero ensemble films that provide alternative views of the limitations and proper exercise of power. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered this spring to uneven reviews, and Captain America: Civil War is due out later this summer. Continue Reading...

The Economy of Order: Justice Requires Love

Jean Valjean in “Ep. 4: The Economy of Order” “Seeking justice isn’t a matter of designing the right programs or delivery systems… Seeking order means acting in accord with a true vision of our brothers and sisters.” –Evan Koons American society and public discourse seem to be stuck in a state of feverish discord, rightly concerned with severe acts and systems of injustice, even as we continue to dig deeper cultural divides over everything from healthcare to sexual ethics, race relations to religious liberty, immigration to foreign policy. Continue Reading...

Power Tends to Corrupt Theologians Too

John Howard YoderPhoto Credit: New York Times Today at Ethika Politika, in my essay “Prefacing Yoder: On Preaching and Practice,” I look at the recent decision of MennoMedia to preface all of Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder’s works with a disclaimer about his legacy of sexually abusive behavior: Whatever one thinks of MennoMedia’s new policy or Yoder’s theology in particular (being Orthodox and not a pacifist I am relatively uninterested myself), this nevertheless raises an interesting concern: To what extent ought the character of a theologian matter to their readers and students? Continue Reading...

Justice Scalia Echoes Lord Acton’s Warning on Corrupting Power

Reading through Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court’s Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice, I came across this gem: “No government official is ‘tempted’ to place restraints upon his own freedom of action, which is why Lord Acton did not say ‘Power tends to purify.'” The comments from Justice Scalia emerged from Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Continue Reading...