Heritage Expert Leads Debate in Defense of Traditional Values


Heritage Expert Leads Debate in Defense of Traditional Values

June 8th, 2017

Ryan Anderson, senior research fellow and William E. Simon fellow at The Heritage Foundation, speaks at an event.

“Be prepared to defend the truth,” Ryan Anderson recently advised graduates during a commencement address at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Pursuing and defending truth, he added, will be a lifelong task.

“When faced with secularist ideologies, we have the responsibility to show the world the harmony of faith and reason. And this only intensifies as you graduate today and enter a world that is simultaneously hungry for and resistant to your message.”

Anderson, 35, is Heritage’s William E. Simon senior research fellow. He focuses on religious liberty and marriage and family. His latest book, “Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination,” was released last week. 

Anderson regularly tours the country giving speeches at universities, debating on behalf of traditional values on television, and giving interviews for radio programs.

You might remember his performance on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live where he bravely debated Morgan and financial guru Suze Orman before an audience that was stacked against him.

Or perhaps you’ll recall his appearance on MSNBC’s now defunct “The Ed Show,” where liberal host Ed Schultz was so aggravated by Anderson’s argument he demanded producers “cut his mic off.”

In 2015 Anderson authored “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom.”

His book “What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense” was cited twice by Justice Samuel Alito in his defense of traditional marriage in his dissenting opinion in United States v. Windsor, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.

In his dissenting opinion in Obergefell v. Hoges, Justice Clarence Thomas cited Dr. Anderson’s brief to the court, defending traditional marriage, as influential for his reasoning.

The Washington Post profiled Anderson that same year calling him the Right’s “fresh voice on same sex marriage.”

“Ryan is one of the most important and respected voices in the country on the subject of religious liberty and why it matters for the good of society,” said Jennifer Marshall, vice president for Heritage’s Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity, and the Joseph C. and Elizabeth A. Anderlik Fellow.

“His new book is essential reading for those interested in preserving the freedom of all Americans to speak and act consistent with their convictions. As he explains, religious freedom policy is critical for helping navigate our differences. Ryan’s clarity of argument and skill in communicating it have shaped the policy debate and set an example for countless Americans advocating for religious freedom, life, and marriage.”

What’s next for Anderson, now that “Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination” is on bookstore shelves? He’s already well underway on his next book,  “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” to be released on February 20, 2018.

Anderson’s articles can be found on his profile at Heritage.org. His book, “Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination”, can be ordered at amazon.com. And, “What is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense”, can be purchased at amazon.com as well.