Today is Election Day …

From First Thoughts

[caption id=”” align=”alignnone” width=”508”] Photo from the New York Daily News [/caption] . . . here in New York City, and reader John McGinnis points me to an interesting  New York Times  column on the election’s likely effect on some . . . . Continue Reading »

Religion without God

From First Thoughts

Religion without God  is the late Ronald Dworkin’s last work, published posthumously in September. It’s a short book; a publisher’s note explains that Dworkin planned to expand the work greatly before he fell ill. Still, the book is important. Not that it says anything . . . . Continue Reading »

An Easy Case

From First Thoughts

Often, in my class on law and religion at St. John’s, we address difficult questions about where to draw the line on religious autonomy. How far should the state go in accommodating religious practices that conflict with state rules? Or, put in reverse, how much freedom from state control can . . . . Continue Reading »

Mannaggia!

From First Thoughts

You know that interview Pope Francis gave to Eugenio Scalfari of the Italian newspaper,  La Repubblica ? The one in which the pope made some puzzling comments about conscience and proselytism? The one that so many people,  including me , have been poring over for insights into the . . . . Continue Reading »

A Non-Political Pope? (Part 2)

From First Thoughts

Well, I said you couldn’t tell much from one interview. Last week, I  posted  about Pope Francis’s much discussed interview in an Italian Jesuit journal. I observed that the Pope seemed to be a mystic trying to place the Catholic Church outside politics–either progressive . . . . Continue Reading »