The Pious Infidel

Though the most Deistic of the Founding Fathers, even Jefferson was not a full-fledged Deist if we accept that philosophy as having had two fundamental tenets: a rejection of biblical revelation and a conviction that God, having created the laws of the universe, had receded from day-to-day control . . . . Continue Reading »

Revisiting the February Issue

With the April issue of First Things about to appear on the newsstands, we have unlocked the February issue ¯making the text available online even to non-subscribers. Of course, the sheer existence of non-subscribers is something of a mystery, one of those things that make us scratch our heads . . . . Continue Reading »

A Tale of Sound and Fury

Macbeth is Shakespearean tragedy at its scariest. It opens with a crash of thunder and a flash of lightening, with a hurly-burly of fog and filthy air, with three spellbinding wicked witches¯and it only gets worse from there. Notoriously difficult to produce, Macbeth has been christened . . . . Continue Reading »

The Demographic Winter and the Barren Left

The Nation , a hard left publication of secular bent, is no friend of faith, life, or family. Still, I was expecting to be more amused than outraged by the lead article in the March issue, profiling the work of the Population Research Institute (PRI) and several other groups collectively concerned . . . . Continue Reading »

Worth Dying For

Yes, I know today is officially Saint Patrick’s Day, its having been transferred from next Monday because nothing takes precedence in the Church’s calendar over Holy Week. That makes sense. I thought of doing an item on how Irish Catholicism, which Tom Cahill tells us once saved . . . . Continue Reading »

Deciphering the Mind of God

The seventeenth-century German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is my philosophical hero. I am proud (but not quite happy) that I share with this great philosopher at least one feature. He was a master in spreading, not to say dissipating, his genius into too many fields of . . . . Continue Reading »

The April Issue of First Things Is Here!

“I don’t propose to revisit the question of whether what we call the Sixties was in fact born in the Fifties, or whether it unfolded its full plumage in that low decade, the Seventies,” writes George Weigel. “Rather, I want to examine six crucial moments in the Sixties with an . . . . Continue Reading »

The Secular Conscience

Do not be put off because it is published by Prometheus Press, the source of a seemingly endless flood of secular humanist and anti-religious propaganda. Nor by the fact that the book is endorsed by the notorious Peter Singer, Princeton’s contribution to helping us make our peace with . . . . Continue Reading »

Why the Fuss About Shari’a Law?

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, recently created quite a stir when he advocated the limited use of Islamic law, known as Shari’a, by English Muslims. In some quarters, he was embraced as a visionary. In others, he was excoriated as a weak-kneed dhimmi ¯or supplicant¯who . . . . Continue Reading »