RJN: The Times and the Church

Those sixteen words have taken a terrible beating in the past fifty years. For most of our history, they occasioned little controversy. That was when our culture and our polity seemed to be on more or less amicable terms. There are several possible datings of the change, but I think we can settle . . . . Continue Reading »

Rutler: Words and Reality

Lewis Carroll anticipated the word games that demagogues play when he had Humpty Dumpty say, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.” There are a lot of Humpty Dumptys around in our time, turning words inside out to turn the moral order upside . . . . Continue Reading »

Oakes: Nihilism and Iraq

Midterm congressional elections in the United States are barely two weeks away, and all the polls I’ve read (as here ) predict a severe rout for the Republicans, largely because of the chaos in Iraq. In the lead-up to the U.S.-led invasion, I recall two columns by the New York Times columnist . . . . Continue Reading »

Barr: Dawkins, Unfortunately

A small price that I have paid for the privilege of writing book reviews for First Things is that I have ended up reading four of Richard Dawkins’ books. That is more than anyone should have to read, for though Dawkins writes extremely well, his repertoire of ideas is quite limited. Indeed, . . . . Continue Reading »

Anderson: Majority Action Ads

From the "I can’t believe my eyes and ears" file:A group called Majority Action ¯which describes itself as being "led by veteran Democratic activists and [having] a leadership board that consists of prominent political figures, including several former Members of Congress, . . . . Continue Reading »

Anderson: Read This Ad

“So,” asked Father Neuhaus, “why don’t they take out an ad in First Things ?” I explained that the deadline for applications is November 15, and I had just found out about it, and it wouldn’t do any good to have an ad in the December issue. Father looked . . . . Continue Reading »

Rose: Jenkins, Regensburg, and Balthasar

It was standing-room-only on Monday night when Philip Jenkins delivered the annual Erasmus Lecture at the Union League Club here in Manhattan. Jenkins discussed the current explosion of third-world Christianities and what it means for the future of the religion¯a fascinating topic.Among the . . . . Continue Reading »

Rose: Abortion and Public Reason

Tucked away in the back of last week’s New York Review of Books , Michael Sandel and Thomas Nagel partook in an exchange on liberalism and abortion rights , itself in response to Nagel’s review (subscription necessary) of Sandel’s latest book.A nonreligious anti-Rawlsian, Sandel . . . . Continue Reading »

Anderson: The Family vs. the State

Last month, Britain’s Telegraph ran stories telling of two elderly sisters who brought the British government before the European Court of Human Rights. The sisters, both in their eighties, lived and worked on their family farm all their lives, caring for their parents and aunts as they grew . . . . Continue Reading »

Rose: Wilson, Dawkins & Co.

Christians look at creation and see the handiwork of the Lord. Nonreligious environmentalists marvel at what natural selection has produced. Despite their differences, the two can agree we have a moral responsibility to care for our earth. Such is the truce E.O. Wilson calls for in his new book, The . . . . Continue Reading »