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Editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune and nationally syndicated columnist

Images - Stephen Chapman
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1954, in Brady, Texas

Web Pages

About Steve Chapman - Chicago Tribune
Staff page at the Chicago Tribune; includes biographical summary
Steve Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune. His twice-a-week column on national and international affairs, distributed by Creators Syndicate, appears in some 50 papers across the country. ... Born in Brady, Texas in 1954, Chapman grew up in Midland and Austin. He attended Harvard University, where he was on the staff of the Harvard Crimson, and graduated with honors in 1976. He has been a media fellow at the American Academy in Berlin and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and has served on the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School.
About Steve Chapman | Creators Syndicate
Author page at; includes photograph, biographical summary and links to recent articles
Chapman has been a member of the Tribune editorial board since 1981. He came to the Tribune from The New Republic magazine, where he was an associate editor. He has contributed articles to several national magazines, including Slate, The American Spectator, The Weekly Standard and Reason. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio news programs, including The CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and National Public Radio's Fresh Air and Talk of the Nation. ... Chapman has three children and two stepchildren and lives with his wife in suburban Chicago.
Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education: Stephen Chapman - Libertarian
Includes picture, biographical summary from and quote from 30 March 2000 column titled "American Voters Are In No Hurry To Grow Up"
"Every time we insist that the government assume the duty of protecting us from life's many vagaries, the government is bound to insist in return that we stop doing things that could make its task harder or more complicated. They don't call it paternalistic government for nothing — you get taken care of, but Daddy tells you what to do, or else.
"If you want freedom for yourself and your fellow citizens, you have to be prepared to accept life outside the cocoon of government guarantees ...
"Americans used to understand that freedom and self-reliance are two sides of the same coin ..."
Stephen Chapman - Celebrity Atheist List
Short profile and quote from debate with Andrew Sullivan
Chapman debated former New Republic editor Andrew Sullivan in Slate on the question "Is there a God?". Chapman writes "What I no longer understand, looking back on my life as a Christian, is the capacity to believe in something so outlandish as the existence of an Almighty God—much less one who created us all one by one, cherishes our immortal souls ... and holds a place for his faithful in an everlasting paradise ... Our scientists can see stars that have been dead for a billion years ... But of God we have no trace, except for the testimony of scribes writing of events neither they nor those around them ever witnessed ..."
Related Topic: Atheism

Recent Column

Steve Chapman | Creators Syndicate
Includes links to author profile and archive

Archived Columns

Steve Chapman - Articles & Political Commentary
Columnist page at; includes picture, biographical summary and links to recent and archived columns
Steve Chapman Columns - Chicago Tribune
Columnist page at Chicago Tribune; includes links to columns for last three months

Archived Articles

Steve Chapman -
Staff page at; includes links to recent and archived articles


(((Steve Chapman))) (@SteveChapman13) / Twitter
Columnist and editorial writer, Chicago Tribune. Vaguely libertarian. I always heed my doubts.


Is There a God?, by Steve Chapman, Andrew Sullivan, Slate, 24 Sep 1996
A series of 11 letters from Steve Chapman to Andrew Sullivan and vice versa, from 24 Sep to 7 Dec 1996; quote is from the third one dated 8 Oct, others are accessible using the tag link at the bottom of the page
Dear Andrew:
You say belief in God is not an answer to a human need. I think it is–and I think the many uses of this myth explain why people persist in accepting it despite their inability to prove it by any rational means. Romantic love gives purpose to life, but romantic love is elusive and often short-lived. Though mentors can provide guidance, they are short on infallible truth. ... You say you have never had a moment of unbelief. But surely you have had the occasional doubt to resolve. Two questions that I think you have yet to address squarely: What makes you think God exists? And why should anyone else?
Related Topic: Atheism
The Triumph of Falsehood, 8 Dec 2016
Discusses the proliferation of falsehoods in the news and social media during and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election and why the "fake news" sources tap into voters biases
In 1644, the English poet John Milton made an eloquent case against censorship. Freedom of thought and inquiry was not only a God-given prerogative but also the best protection against error: 'Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?' ... fake news sites have a competitive advantage. Honest press outlets often present information their readers find unwelcome. Dishonest ones offer their customers the promise that their illusions will be preserved no matter what. Our system of government rests on the assumption that in the long run, the truth will prevail over falsehoods.
Related Topics: John Milton, Voting

Interviews (interviewer)

Takings Exception: An Interview with Richard Epstein, by Richard Epstein, Steve Chapman, Reason, Apr 1995
Topics include libertarian ideas, Epstein's book Takings, the public housing and inner city issues, and civil rights laws
I studied law in England. The great advantage of English law schools, at least in the 1960s, was that they left you alone. I didn't have teachers who told me what to think. The English system was to read a bunch of stuff and then talk to a tutor for an hour and then read another bunch of stuff and then talk again with the tutor for another hour. The only direction I got was being told to read the 19th-century judicial opinions. ... Trying to figure out what the optimal policy is with respect to the public sector is something which should always be regarded as a daunting task, verging on impossibility.