Kresta in the Afternoon – July 14, 2009

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    First Topic – Religious Practice and Family Stability

    Couples who are more religious tend to exhibit greater marital commitment than couples who are less religious. There is less likelihood of domestic violence among couples who attend church regularly than among those who do not. Communities with higher concentrations of various religious denominations tend to have a lower incidence of divorce. These are just a few of the findings of a recent Heritage Foundation study on Religious Practice and Family Stability. Jenifer Marshall, Heritage’s Director of Domestic Policy Studies is with us.

    Second Topic – Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction

    Natural law is a fact about human beings, and a theory that humbles itself before this fact. Yet it is something else as well-a sign of contradiction, something that exasperates, offends, and enrages. The transient cause of such rage is the suicidal proclivity of our time to deny the obvious, but a more enduring cause is the Fall of Man. Our hearts are riddled with desires that oppose their deepest longings, and we demand to have happiness on terms that make happiness impossible. Philosopher J. Budziszewski threads a path between these various abysses.  Among his questions are how the knowledge of good is related to the knowledge of God, how things that seem to run against the grain of human nature can become 'second nature,' and whether natural law can be reconciled with Darwinian evolution. Turning to politics, he takes up such topics as who counts as a human person, whether human dignity is compatible with capital punishment, what courts have made of the United States Constitution, and how an ersatz state religion can be built in the name of toleration. We look at natural law and its implications for both scholars and the general public.

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