Happy Thanksgiving

From First Thoughts

I have over the years become something of a connoisseur (if I’m permitted to use such a French word for such an American thing) of presidential Thanksgiving proclamations .  My reason for an interest in a thing so potentially banal (and trust me, some of the proclamations are beyond . . . . Continue Reading »

Religious Freedom in Afghanistan

From First Thoughts

Four years ago, I wrote about the case of Abdul Rahman , an Afghan convert to Christianity who was charged with apostasy (punishable by execution under Islamic law).  Thanks to worldwide pressure on the Karzai government, he was released and offered asylum in Italy. As I noted in my earlier . . . . Continue Reading »

Something Terrible and Wonderful

From First Thoughts

One of the more interesting educational efforts going on in the world today is taking place in Sulaimani, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.  A number of dedicated educators have established a university , at the core of which is a very strong liberal arts program.  The language of . . . . Continue Reading »

So…Whaddya Know?

From First Thoughts

Not much, apparently. The Pew Research Center has posted the results of its latest survey of our knowledge of current events.  The results are not heartening.  On average, Americans got 42 percent of the answers right (5 of 12); college graduates did a little better (6.8 of 12—still . . . . Continue Reading »

Religious Hiring Rights

From First Thoughts

Here is a remarkably poorly argued and tendentious (not to say profoundly misleading) column by Marci Hamilton , making the case against religious hiring rights.  A sample: Social service providers, like other employers, are subject to the federal civil rights anti-discrimination laws. . . . . Continue Reading »

Simplifying the Presidency?

From First Thoughts

When I read the headline of this article on RealClear Politics , I thought the authors were making a familiar conservative case—that Barack Obama’s learning curve in the Oval Office is impossibly steep, that he was (and remains) underqualified for the job.  I think I know the . . . . Continue Reading »

You Keep Believing That

From First Thoughts

Politico asks and answers the question: “Was abortion a wave-stopper for Democrats in 2010?” As many of the anti-abortion Democrats elected over the last four years were going down in defeat, the party made abortion a central concern in a handful of battleground Senate races — and . . . . Continue Reading »