What Have We Done to Our Young Men and Women?

From First Thoughts

Philadelphia Magazine has published a story about my beloved alma mater Swarthmore College that is so depressing I could almost not bear to read it. What it reveals about the sexual anarchy of campus culture is, however, by no means unique to Swarthmore. My students at Princeton and Harvard describe the same culture at those institutions. I suspect that it exists at all institutions, save, perhaps, the comparatively few which have maintained strong religious identities. It is unfathomably sad. Continue Reading »

So You Believe in “Marriage Equality”? Why Not For throuples?

From First Thoughts

The story of a female throuple in Massachusetts (with a baby on the way) provides further confirmation, as if any were needed, of the proposition that “ideas have consequences.” Once one has abandoned belief in marriage as a conjugal bond (with its central structuring norm of sexual complementarity) in favor of a concept of “marriage” as a form of sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership (“love makes a family”), then what possible principle could be identified for a norm “restricting” marriage to two-person partnerships, as opposed to polyamorous sexual ensembles of three or more persons? Continue Reading »

What Mozilla Means

From First Thoughts

Mozilla has now made its employment policy clear.No Catholics need apply.Or Evangelical Christians.Or Eastern Orthodox.Or Orthodox Jews.Or Mormons.Or Muslims.Unless, that is, you are the “right kind” of Catholic, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox Christian, observant Jew, Mormon, or Muslim, . . . . Continue Reading »

Here Comes Everybody

From First Thoughts

Those of us who are Catholics have had a rough few years. Well, make that a rough few decades. Horrific abuse scandals. Some weak, sometimes feckless, bishops. Wacky theologians. Boring homilies. Dreadful music. Widespread dissent, often rooted in appalling ignorance. I could go on. We envy our . . . . Continue Reading »

A Tribute to the Humble Hamentaschen

From Web Exclusives

Remarks delivered at Princeton University’s 2014 Annual Latke-Hamentaschen Debate. Our semi-official second national motto is e pluribus unum, famously mistranslated by Sarah Palin as “out of one, many,” but correctly translated as precisely the reverse: “out of many, . . . . Continue Reading »

Mr. Khalil Gets Fired

From First Thoughts

Let’s consider a hypothetical case. Imagine that a Muslim middle school—let’s call it Zaytuna Academy—hires Mr. Khalil as its Vice Principal. Mr. Khalil is an effective administrator and is very popular with teachers and students alike. Now, Mr Khalil happens to believe that the prohibition of alcohol consumption in Islam is wrong. So he doesn’t honor that teaching in his personal life. Continue Reading »

Muslims, Our Natural Allies

From First Thoughts

I am a Catholic. My Church teaches me to esteem our Muslim friends and to work with them in the cause of promoting justice and moral values. I am happy to stand with them in defense of what is right and good. And so I stand with the young woman in the above video in defense of modesty, chastity, and piety, just as I stand with Muslims like my dear friends Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. Suzy Ismail against the killing of unborn children and the evil of pornography, and with my equally dear friend Asma Uddin of the Becket Fund in defense of religious freedom. In the great document Nostra Aetate, we Catholics are taught the following by the fathers of the Second Vatican Council: Continue Reading »