Religion beat: The Church Has Its Own Rights
As Europe enters a second lockdown, “authorities are not imposing restrictions equally on churches and civil establishments,” seethes Gladden Pappin at First Things. “Instead, churches are arbitrarily subject to the harshest restrictions.” The disparities, especially glaring in France, “highlight the difficulty of settling this dispute between church and state on the grounds of religious liberty alone.” The French government, after all, insists it “respects religious liberty,” with churches open for private prayer and Masses available to watch online. But “in a situation where sanitary prescriptions are applied inequitably, the church would have the right to refuse them” — since these would violate the rights of Catholic Church as a unique “political society,” with its own collective rights, and not just one more private association like any other. Meanwhile, American Catholics might “resolve now to form an alliance in defense of the rights of the church.”
Police officer: Thanksgiving Is No Crime
Despite an onslaught of “often unconstitutional edicts” from governors trying to curb the COVID-19 surge, “no good cop is interested in enforcing tyrannical and unending lockdown orders from state and local executives,” a police officer from the Washington suburbs writes anonymously at The Federalist. The pandemic may have “increased the social and police power of the busybody” complaining about strangers not wearing masks properly, but “in a world where the police in the United States are routinely compared to Nazis, these officers look the other way.”
Libertarian: School Closures Doom Children
By shuttering schools again, Mayor de Blasio is once again proving that “public-school children and working-class families appear to be planners’ last priority,” fumes Reason’s Robby Soave. With the latest decision, “many parents are rightly infuriated, and even some district officials think the call might have been premature.” With children in low-income families falling through the cracks, “policy makers could be dooming a generation of at-risk students to years of suboptimal social and professional outcomes — and it’s all for nothing, since pandemic mitigation doesn’t actually require this course of action.” But the evidence has not convinced influential teachers unions that in-person learning is safe, “so many officials in blue cities feel they have little choice but to heed their demands.” And children pay the price as school closures have become one more example of politicians turning the pandemic into a game of “political football.”
Conservative: Wiping All Student Debt Is Dumb
Although “some on the left, perhaps most prominently Sens. Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, have encouraged Joe Biden to forgive loads of student debt via executive order,” National Review’s Robert Verbruggen points out the myriad reasons why that’s a bad idea. Because those who are unable to pay their loans tend to have smaller amounts of debt and lower incomes, “forgiving debt for everyone is a poorly targeted policy.” Instead of stimulating the whole economy, it “helps the wealthy” at the expense of the poor, and “it’s not fair to people who paid off their debts early.” And while it may be legal, forgiving student loans “would be a blatant abuse of the power the executive has been granted.” Less-educated Americans are the ones “having a particularly rough time” amid lockdowns imposed by and the behest of the managerial class — which means “shoveling tons of taxpayer money toward the college-educated would produce a major backlash.”
Culture critic: Is Sex Positivity Good for Women?
“Sex-positive liberal feminism is the order of the day,” observes Louise Perry at Unherd. Do as you please, it teaches, just ask for consent. Yet this ethic ignores “differences between men and women”: A mountain of research shows men want more partners, watch more porn, are more likely to harbor fetishes and to be generally beastly. Women, meanwhile, “mostly say they would prefer a committed relationship.” Yet all this is verboten information “in sex-positive circles,” whose worldview rests on a blank-slate sexual anthropology. Hence the paradox: Sex-positivism ends up working very well, indeed — for men.
— Compiled by Ashley Adams & Sohrab Ahmari