DeGirolami on That Arizona Law

From First Thoughts

At the Center for Law and Religion Forum today, my colleague Marc DeGirolami has a trenchant post on the controversy over that Arizona law on religious freedom: The media coverage of the now-vetoed Arizona bill amending the existing Arizona RFRA has been abominable. The claim that the bill would . . . . Continue Reading »

A River Runs Through It

From First Thoughts

As a young woman in 1968, American Wallis Wilde-Menozzi moved to Rome, leaving behind a troubled first marriage and a tenured faculty position in the UK. In The Other Side of the Tiber, she reflects upon that experience and the decades that followed, in which she developed as a writer, married again and raised a family, and became acculturated to her new home. Her metaphor for remembering is the Tiber, the river that runs through Rome, carrying with it the residue of earlier times and civilizations. Like the river, she writes, one’s memories are always a fluid part of one’s present. Continue Reading »

Abraham Lincoln, None?

From First Thoughts

Today is Presidents Day in the United States, a national holiday. Actually, that’s not quite right. Officially, the federal holiday is still called Washington’s Birthday, and that’s the official name here in New York, too. (Who knew?) But, unofficially, America uses this day to . . . . Continue Reading »

Is the Vatican Violating Children’s Rights?

From First Thoughts

Here is the latest evidence of the clash between contemporary human rights norms and traditional religions. Last week, the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child reported on the Vatican’s compliance with an international treaty, the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention, which virtually every UN member, including the Holy See, has ratified (though not the US), lists universal rights of children, including the right to be protected from discrimination; the right to be free from violence, including sexual abuse; the right to health and welfare; and so on. Continue Reading »

Also, They Will Need to Use Electric Typewriters

From First Thoughts

This is rather silly. Inside Higher Ed reports that the International Studies Associationu2014according to its website, “the most respected and widely known scholarly association dedicated to international studies”—has proposed a ban on personal blogging by editors of its journals. The proposal would allow editors to blog only at official sites affiliated with their journals. The ISA’s President says the association is concerned about the lack of professionalism at many academic blogs and that it doesn’t want readers to confuse editors’ personal posts with the association’s official products. Continue Reading »

Christians and Circumcision

From First Thoughts

My post last week about a movement in Scandinavia to ban the non-therapeutic circumcision of boys drew many comments. I’d like to respond to one of them. At Patheos, Joel Willitts criticizes Christians, like me, who oppose such bans. Willitts suggests that we are being inconsistent, perhaps . . . . Continue Reading »