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

The precepts of the Lord are pretty clear—
What’s right or wrong is plain enough to see.
And yet the question that we often hear,
Is who are we to judge what shouldn’t be.
It seems the ban on judgment trickled down
From other people to the deeds performed;
To say, “that’s wrong,” will likely draw a frown—
Excusing all’s the choice of the informed.
Again the easy way is taken out;
We’re given props without a price to pay.
If this were really what life was about,
Then who would ever fear the judgment day?
That day when judgments due the greatest blame
May be the evils we refused to name.

—Joseph Mirra

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