A Reply to Bill Mefford

From First Thoughts

Last year I wrote a post criticizing Bill Mefford, then the “Director of Civil and Human Rights” for the United Methodist Church, for mocking anti-abortion marchers. This morning, he sent me the following message on Twitter: Hi Matthew, I wanted to see if you would be willing to take down the . . . . Continue Reading »

Thoughts by the Metal Detector

From First Thoughts

Last night Rabbi Jonathan Sacks delivered an uplifting talk at the Center for Jewish History. He argued that the Jewish nation had blessed the world through words. Its commitment to wide literacy nurtured an ethic of equality on which our civilization rests (“And in thy seed shall all the nations . . . . Continue Reading »

Trump Is a Fool

From First Thoughts

Donald Trump is a fool—not because he is wrong about so many things, but because he is right about a few others. The fool is not only one who speaks nonsense, but one who speaks sense on the topic no one else will touch. He is the court jester pointing out the king’s failings. Were any sane man . . . . Continue Reading »

How To Celebrate Easter

From First Thoughts

Like Patrick Leigh Fermor did: with red eggs and firearms, alongside one's comrades. From Abducting a General, Fermor's account of his anti-Nazi resistance work in Crete:I got back to the hideout at last on April 16th, which was Orthodox Easter Sunday, the greatest feast of the Greek year . . . . . . . Continue Reading »

Hurrah for Baronius!

From First Thoughts

As someone raised in the scripture-centered precincts of Evangelical Protestantism who later found his way to Rome, I am particularly susceptible to frustration and shame at the state of the Catholic bible. It's not just the use of terrible translations like the NAB that grates, but also the low . . . . Continue Reading »

Mosebach's Art

From the February 2016 Print Edition

What Was Before by martin mosebach translated by kári driscoll seagull, 248 pages, $27.50A woman asks a man what his life had been like before they met, and he tells her of a glittering world now gone: A group of well-to-do Germans gathers for poolside parties in the countryside near Frankfurt, . . . . Continue Reading »