In the decades since the stirring successes of the 1960s civil-rights movement, opposition to discrimination has become a kind of benchmark social virtue, one embraced by all reasonable people of good will. Just as references to “human dignity” often seem designed to elicit cheers without the need for substantive argument, the proper response to discrimination is to shout “boo!” and join in the collective effort to root out the practice.

But what do we mean by discrimination? And do...

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About the Author

Robert K. Vischer, a frequent contributor, is professor of law at the University of St. Thomas and the author of Conscience and the Common Good: Reclaiming the Space Between Person and State (Cambridge University Press).