B. D. McClay is a junior fellow at First Things.

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R.I.P. John Hollander

From First Thoughts

The American poet John Hollander has died , leaving a rich legacy of poetry and criticism behind him. Micah Mattix offers a heartfelt tribute to the man and his work in today’s On the Square : While his work is preoccupied with identity and reality, poetry for Hollander can never fully . . . . Continue Reading »

Pollution: Like the Holocaust, In a Way

From First Thoughts

In today’s On the Square , Mark Tooley discusses an Anglican priest who has decided that it’s perfectly appropriate to compare environmental issues to the Holocaust: The priest recalls the Garden of Righteous Gentiles in Israel that honors ten Boom, Schindler, and others who risked . . . . Continue Reading »

Pope Francis’ Theology of Sin

From First Thoughts

In today’s On the Square , William Doino wants to remind the press that Francis’ focus on mercy requires a theology of sin: Francis’ teaching on mercy is beautiful and inspiring, but clearly takes place within his full theology of sin, from which it can never be isolated. It . . . . Continue Reading »

A Triple Helping of On the Square

From First Thoughts

On this Feast of the Assumption, we bring you not one, not two, but three On the Square columns! In his piece for today’s On the Square , Russell E. Saltzman takes on that most famous (and most famously incorrect) of opening sentences: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family . . . . Continue Reading »

A Tribute to Robert Bellah

From First Thoughts

Richard J. Mouw gives a heartfelt tribute to the late Robert Bellah for today’s On the Square : I learned much from the late Robert Bellah. His widely discussed (and widely criticized) 1967 essay on civil religion chastened me for my habit of issuing unnuanced condemnations of civil religion . . . . Continue Reading »

The Taking of a Human Life

From First Thoughts

In today’s On the Square , George Weigel takes issue with Ruth Marcus’ comment that abortion does not qualify as “the taking of a human life”: Well, one wants to ask, what is it, then? What, precisely, are those creatures whose spinal cords Kermit Gosnell cut with scissors? . . . . Continue Reading »