The February Issue Is Here

From First Thoughts

Wondering why Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and Aurelius Prudentius Clemens seem to be the talk of the town lately? It’s because the February issue of First Things is arriving in mailboxes across America and all your friends have already read George Weigel’s chronicling of The End of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Affirming Authority

From First Thoughts

In one of his Holy Sonnets, John Donne prays this paradox: “For I, except you enthrall me, never shall be free.” Today On the Square R.R. Reno explains just why it makes sense, why authority helps us be free: We often discount the way in which authority and hierarchy contribute to our . . . . Continue Reading »

The Eve of New Year’s Eve

From First Thoughts

Happy eve of New Year’s Eve! For the occasion, R.R. Reno explains in his On the Square column why he’s never liked New Year’s Eve celebrations and why you shouldn’t either: New Year’s Eve is an essentially pagan holiday of renewal, one that celebrates our collective . . . . Continue Reading »

Rancorous Rap Music

From First Thoughts

“That’s not music, it’s just noise” is the easy argument to make against rap music. But this morning in our second On the Square essay , Christopher Walker examines the genre more closely and comes to the conclusion that while it may not be music it’s not just noise. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Year in Books

From First Thoughts

In our second On the Square essay today—and just in time for last minute Christmas shoppers—Christopher Benson offers his take on some of the most Notable Books of 2010 ’Tis the season when major transatlantic publications, such as the New York Times , Washington Post , Atlantic , . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Lives Are Worth Living

From First Thoughts

Last month, to the surprise of all, a bill to legalize euthanasia in South Australia was voted down by the upper house of the SA parliament. In the weeks leading up to the vote, proponents of the bill argued that it would secure the rights of the terminally ill to end their lives at a time and in . . . . Continue Reading »

Tearing Down Fences

From First Thoughts

Chesterton wisely advised would-be reformers to know what a fence is for before tearing it down. You never know what it might be keeping out. This morning On the Square, R.R. Reno considers the worth of the American Empire and comes to the conclusion—contra Julian Assange—that it should . . . . Continue Reading »

Signs in the Heavens and on Earth

From First Thoughts

In our second On the Square essay today, Patricia Snow reflects on the story of the thirty-three miners rescued from the San José copper mine in Chile this past October and sees a parable of Christian life: But for Christians, and especially for Catholic Christians, who share the faith of the . . . . Continue Reading »

The American River Ganges Revisited

From First Thoughts

In our second On the Square article today, Melissa Musick Nussbaum and L. Martin Nussbaum recall the publication of Thomas Nast’s anti-Catholic cartoon “The American River Ganges” and see a likeness between the nativist anti-Catholic sentiments expressed in editorial cartoons, . . . . Continue Reading »

What’s Missing from Modern Poetry

From First Thoughts

A few weeks ago, Losana Boyd, our director of marketing and a poet herself, wrote a positive review of Kathleen Graber’s new book of poetry The Eternal City for On the Square. The review drew sharp disagreement from some of our readers who felt Graber’s verse read less like poetry than . . . . Continue Reading »