In the summer of 1993 I was in the library of a Marine Corps base in Okinawa when I stumbled across a new journal of “religion and public life.” Although I didn’t know what I had been missing, I knew that this was exactly what I had been looking for.
Since an officer had recently donated the subscription, the library only had the two most recent issues. It was frustrating knowing I might never be able to catch up on the three years of content I had missed.
At the time I never would have dreamed that I would later work for that same publication or get to know many of that issue’s contributors (Alan Jacobs, Gilbert Meilaender, Peter J. Leithart , Mark P. Shea). I also never would have dreamed that “in the future” we’d have machines that allowed me to read every issue of First Things whenever I wanted.
Now that the “future” has arrived, it’s easy to forgot how blessed we are to have over twenty years of this magazine’s contents available online. Although almost all of it is free for readers, it cost the magazine a not insubstantial amount of money to provide this service. As our editor R.R. Reno noted yesterday, “All of this costs money to produce, edit, and maintain, and unlike First Things magazine we receive no subscription income from you to underwrite the expense.”
If you’ve appreciated having access to this content I hope you’ll consider making a donation. No amount is too small and no amount (unless you are contributing a 6-figure sum) is too large. But everything you give is greatly appreciated.
You can also do it for the young soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, whose only access to First Things is through the website. Who knows, maybe one day they too will be able to share my good fortune and meet the intellectual heroes they discovered in this journal. You can help make that possible by clicking here to donate.