Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Insulting social convention
Has been your stock in trade,
But I doubt you’ll be forgiven
The scandal you’ve now made.

Iconoclasm’s brought you fame
But now you’ve gone too far.
Your days may well be numbered
As a multi-media star.

You’ve sailed close to the wind before,
You’ve cut it mighty fine.
But now you’ve really done it,
You’ve really crossed the line.

They’ve loved your every outrage,
Whoever you’ve cursed or kissed,
But they’ll not love your latest words:
“When I was an atheist . . .”

—Hal G. P. Colebatch

Dear Reader,

We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.

Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on

Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.

Will you give today?

Make My Gift