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Religion & Liberty: Volume 33, Number 1

Editor's Note: Winter 2021

Politics divides; commerce and goodwill unite. That truth has been driven home as waves of politically motivated violence have swept the nation.

Ismael Hernandez observes that the underlying ideology driving much of our division “is not drawn from the perspective of black Americans as they collectively reflected on the American experience; this view is derived from applying the radical, socialist analysis of America to black citizens.” He writes, “With such theories spreading like wildfire in academic, cultural, political, legal, theological, and judicial circles,” it becomes difficult to “oppose violence by the ‘oppressed’ against the ‘oppressive’ system without being accused of abetting the oppressors.”

I focus on a few of the programs designed to end our cycle of recriminations. “According to researchers, the solution is solutions – specifically, focusing on solving national problems together,” I note, drawing attention to exciting psychological research that can decrease polarization and open the door for our nation to begin healing.

Wesley J. Smith of the Discovery Institute presents a well-researched and compelling portrait of the latest strategy to degrade human exceptionalism, property rights, and economic development: investing nature with legal “rights.”

Samuel Kronen and Nate Hochman survey Critical Race Theory. Their article makes an excellent supplement to “Critical Theory, critiqued” by Noah Warren Kelley in the Fall 2020 issue of R&L.

Dustin Siggins outlines commonsense healthcare reforms. Rev. Richard Turnbull previews the UK’s future outside the EU.

And Acton Institute President Rev. Robert Sirico argues the answer to our polarization lies in a Bible verse that Eastern Orthodox Christians sing every Sunday: “Put not your trust in princes, in a sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.”

As violence metastasizes across our political spectrum, it has never been more imperative for us to commit ourselves to principles, not princes, affirming that no earthly figure can command our ultimate loyalty.

This issue has been made possible in part thanks to a generous donation from Jeffrey and Cynthia Littmann. Jeffrey and Cynthia Littmann are champions of conservation and the good stewardship of our natural resources as a gift from God.

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Rev. Ben Johnson (@therightswriter) is an Eastern Orthodox priest and served as Executive Editor of the Acton Institute (2016-2021), editing Religion & Liberty, the Powerblog, and its transatlantic website. He has extensively researched the Alt-Right. Previously, he worked for LifeSiteNews and FrontPageMag.com, where he wrote three books including Party of Defeat (with David Horowitz, 2008). His work has appeared at DailyWire.comNational Review, The American Spectator, The Guardian, Daily Caller, National Catholic Register, Spectator USA, FEE Online, RealClear Policy, The Blaze, The Stream, American Greatness, Aleteia, Providence Magazine, Charisma, Jewish World Review, Human Events, Intellectual Takeout, CatholicVote.org, Issues & Insights, The Conservative, Rare.usand The American Orthodox Institute. His personal websites are therightswriter.com and RevBenJohnson.com. His views are his own.