Mansfield on Atheism

Here at First Things , we’ve managed, more or less, to avoid talking about the new atheism tracts that seem to have infected the blogs and the bestseller lists. Partly because they’re so bad. And partly because they’re so old-fashioned, as though their authors had rediscovered a . . . . Continue Reading »

Blame It on W

We play a game in my family called Blame It on W. At first, we were a little slow to understand the rules, but, living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, we pretty soon got the hang of it. To take an obvious example, even if Bush didn’t actually fly the planes into the Twin Towers (and the . . . . Continue Reading »

On Canons

I Literary, Philosophical, Theological In one of my lectures last spring, I happened to mention an oddity about canons. For those who are unfamiliar with the usage, canon nowadays refers to any standardized body of texts that someone being trained in a certain discipline is required to know. In . . . . Continue Reading »

Pandering to Prejudices

You usually know that somebody is losing the argument when he loses his cool and resorts to bluster, abuse, caricature, and the invocation of authorities who agree with him. The New York Times Book Review , for reasons that surpass charitable explanation, gave Michael Behe’s most recent book, . . . . Continue Reading »

Is Amnesty International Incoherent?

Ryan Anderson argued persuasively last week that Amnesty International’s new position on abortion laws makes AI effectively pro-abortion, and that AI is being disingenuous in denying this. This is his important point, and I agree with it completely. I am concerned, however, that one of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Zen in Venice: An Interview

On July 22, 2007, Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong lunched with Benedict XVI in Lorenzago di Cadore to update the pope on the reception of his Letter to Chinese Catholics . Later that day, the cardinal returned to Venice, where Raphaela Schmid discussed with him the current state of play in . . . . Continue Reading »