The Calm before the Storm

With the brouhaha over SCOTUS’s Hobby Lobby decision winding  down, I though it would be worth having a look at some fine commentary on the issues raised, as they relate to the decision itself, the broader question of religious freedom, as well as what can be said in the context of the culture war in which such questions are fronts of dispute.

The Decision:

Three clear and concise accounts of the decision where those given by Robbie George, Ryan Anderson, and Ilya Shapiro at First Things, Public Discourse, and The Federalist, respectively. Given the absurd reaction by many liberals, Damon Linker’s essay at The Week was a model of welcome sobriety.

Religious Liberty:

On the matter of religious liberty, the dispute between Hadley Arkes and Ryan Anderson as to the best approach when defending religious freedom into the future is fine fare.

Matthew Frank considers the immediate future of religious freedom.

For a wider view of the ebb and flow of religious liberty in the US, Ed Whelan reviews Steven D. Smith, The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom.

The Culture War:

The Hobby Lobby decision has received overwhelming attention, as opposed to other SCOTUS decisions delivered in the last fortnight, apart from the ruling on abortion buffer zones, precisely because both these issues are fronts in the culture war that is gaining pace both here in the US and abroad. At First Things, R. R. Reno concludes, I think rightly, that unless we win the battle over culture, all these legal wins achieve is buying us some time. Nonetheless, both the decision and the time bought are precious given the secular inertia that needs to be set aright. In light of this, Pete Spiliakos considers the importance of winning over public opinion.

At Bloomberg, Megan McArdle considers some of the issues at play in the culture war, with responses by Mark Movsesian and Rod Dreher.

More to come.

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