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Judgment Day

From First Thoughts

A great deal is up for judgment today: assisted suicide in Washington; marriage and family in California, Arizona, and Florida; and the dignity of the unborn throughout the United States. Not to mention a host of other issues demanding thoughtful consideration. These three, however, lie at the . . . . Continue Reading »

On Faith and Love

From First Thoughts

In honor of today’s holiday—Reformation Day—I have been rereading Luther’s 95 Theses , which he nailed to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. A few of his theses, in particular, stood out this time around: 41. Apostolic pardons are to be preached with caution, . . . . Continue Reading »

Vote Your Conscience, Revisited

From First Thoughts

“Vote your conscience” said a recent election message aimed at Catholic voters, and I’ve heard more than one objection. The number of believing Americans without a proper understanding of ethics and civic duty is, I’d venture to guess, devastatingly large, and the last thing . . . . Continue Reading »

Love, Hope, and Self-esteem

From First Thoughts

The romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, for all his earnest and ethereal musings, his Skylarks and his West Winds , is sometimes wonderfully funny. To read some of his poems, one would think he was satirizing himself and his age, only he writes—no, wafts, soars, swoops, descants—with such . . . . Continue Reading »

Tin-Cup Urbanism

From First Thoughts

With rising poverty and unemployment, the War on Poverty would seem an incontestably humane and urgent cause. In the words of Bob Geldof, “Something must be done, even if it doesn’t work.” It’s the sort of remark one would expect from a pop musician, but he has a point: We . . . . Continue Reading »

Dollars and Sense of Global Warming

From First Thoughts

“Global warming was blamed for 35,000 deaths in Europe’s August 2003 heat wave,” reports George Will in Newsweek today. Never mind that cold causes seven times as many deaths in Europe each year. We must take up the eco-friendly, non-carbon-emitting torch, and fight to end global . . . . Continue Reading »

Divine Mercy Care

From First Thoughts

Healing, Service, Reverence for the Person, Respect for the Family, Commitment to the Poor: In the medical world today, these principles—asserted and upheld—can’t be taken for granted. Which makes the opening , yesterday, of Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy, noteworthy not just to the . . . . Continue Reading »

A Man for This Season

From Web Exclusives

“Your conscience is your own affair; but you are a statesman!” “When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.” Sir Thomas More may indeed be a “man for all seasons,” but there is no season . . . . Continue Reading »

“Oregon Plus One”

From First Thoughts

Attending the Human Life Review ‘s Great Defender of Life Dinner last night, I heard some chilling news from pro-life advocates Wesley Smith and Rita Marker. In the coming days, the people of Washington State will be voting on Initiative 1000, the Washington Death with Dignity Act. . . . . Continue Reading »

Congenial Contrition (cont’d)

From First Thoughts

An FT reader notes that Theodore Dalrymple’s diagnosis of FAS (False Apology Syndrome) was, in fact, identified by C.S. Lewis. The year was 1940, and it was the thing among young British intellectuals and Christians—”last-year undergraduates and first-year curates”—to . . . . Continue Reading »