Religious Diversity on Campus

From First Thoughts

Eboo Patel argues that colleges and universities should begin paying attention to religious diversity. I want to agree with him, but the fine print makes it almost impossible. What if campuses took religious diversity as seriously as they took race? What if recruiting a religiously diverse . . . . Continue Reading »

Shouting Fire in a Crowded Theater

From First Thoughts

Former government employee Sarah Chayes makes the case that speech—like the notorious “Innocence” video—that might likely incite a violent and deadly response could well stand outside our First Amendment guarantees. The point here is not to excuse the terrible acts . . . . Continue Reading »

Homo Sapiens and Homo Economicus

From First Thoughts

By now, I assume that you, dear reader, have heard about Mitt Romney’s surreptitiously recorded comments , offered in response to a question at a Florida fundraising event this past May. I have a number of observations to make about them. First of all, the context for his answer is provided . . . . Continue Reading »

Our European Future?

From First Thoughts

Cash-strapped governments in Europe are looking to properties owned by the Roman Catholic Church as a source of revenue . This troubles me in at least two ways. First of all, the more functions the government takes on, the greater its need for revenue. If, having exhausted its individual and . . . . Continue Reading »

Public Diplomacy in the Middle East

From First Thoughts

We know a lot more now than we did yesterday when I wrote my first response to the horrific events in Cairo and Benghazi. We know, for example, that Cairo embassy’s twitter post was issued before the violence unfolded in front of and on the embassy grounds. To be sure, we have to suspect . . . . Continue Reading »

The Arab Autumn and American Principles

From First Thoughts

I’m still trying to come to terms with my feelings (mostly angry) regarding the vicious attacks on American diplomatic posts in Benghazi and Cairo. Like the author of the American embassy’s twitter feed , I certainly deplore gratuitous insults directed at any religion. But I would have . . . . Continue Reading »

A Silver Lining in the DOMA Cases?

From First Thoughts

This article points to the ways in which current legal challenges to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act rest upon assertions of traditional state authority to define marriage. Here, for example, is how New York, Vermont, and Connecticut put it in their amicus brief in Windsor v. U.S. , a case in . . . . Continue Reading »

The Sky Isn’t Falling

From First Thoughts

. . . yet. But it could, if the recent Supreme Court health-care ruling is exploited a certain way. So says my friend Stanley Carlson-Thies, president of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance . He is concerned, as are others , about the long-range consequences of NFIB v. Sebelius , which . . . . Continue Reading »