A Response to Fr. James Martin on the Orlando Massacre

From First Thoughts

On Tuesday, Fr. James Martin, the Jesuit journalist and editor-at-large of America, posted a video on Facebook about the recent massacre in Orlando. In his video, Fr. Martin expresses his dismay over the responses of the American Catholic bishops, not because the bishops failed to express sorrow, outrage, and solidarity with those suffering, but because they did not direct their condolences explicitly to the LGBT community. Continue Reading »

Uncertain Dissonance

From First Thoughts

On Thursday, First Things will be hosting a musical performance and art talk, “Microtonality and the Fragmented Face.” Fragmentation, the breakdown of the unities and coherences that make the world intelligible, is one of the great themes of contemporary life. Our understanding of the world is . . . . Continue Reading »

The Future of American Catholicism

From First Thoughts

Every practicing Catholic in America is stuck between two worlds. On one hand, he inhabits a broadly secular culture, one indifferent to claims about the transcendent, in which the currency of human exchange is always some mix of money, pleasure, and power. His participation in that culture is nearly constant—it surrounds him in mass media, on the internet, in patterns of speech, in social expectations, and in the aims and operations of his government. The modern Catholic in America is swimming in secularity. Continue Reading »

Our Mighty Rearguard

From First Thoughts

In his dissent to the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor, Justice Antonin Scalia took a moment to describe how the majority ruling, which struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, characterizes those who would dispute it: In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its . . . . Continue Reading »

Forgetting Social Justice

From First Thoughts

Last week at First Things we were very happy to host Michael Novak and Paul Adams as they discussed their new book on social justice. One of the themes Novak and Adams touched on in their presentations was how poorly Americans today seem to understand the concept of social justice. On both left and . . . . Continue Reading »

A Quiet Ideological Initiation

From First Thoughts

In mid-summer 2007 a package arrived in the mail containing the reading assignment for Yale’s freshman orientation week. The assigned book, by Beverly Daniel Tatum, had quite a title: “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversations About Race. Tatum was . . . . Continue Reading »

Social Justice According to Michael Novak

From First Thoughts

First Things and Encounter Books are excited to be hosting an upcoming event with Michael Novak and Paul Adams, at which they will be discussing ideas from their new book Social Justice Isn't What You Think It Is. This is not the first time Mr. Novak has addressed the topic of social justice at . . . . Continue Reading »

Against Chesterton Quotations

From First Thoughts

I was wandering through Facebook and noticed a quote by G.K. Chesterton at the top of someone’s profile. The quote was exceptionally stupid. And I thought to myself, So many people repeat these little quips, and so many of them are awful. So I decided to start a collection. I made it through the . . . . Continue Reading »