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David Mills is former executive editor of First Things.

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The Sedate South Dakota

From First Thoughts

In today’s “On the Square,” South Dakota Dreamin’ , our senior editor R. R. Reno reflects on why South Dakota, and by extension much of “fly over country,” developed into such the buccolic Midwest of the cultural stereotype, when the historical and sociological . . . . Continue Reading »

Henry VIII, (Perhaps) Saved By Grace

From First Thoughts

I’m a great believer in ecumenical generosity, but I would have thought damning the founding figure of your own tradition was taking things too far. In a sermon commemorating the martyrdom of several Carthusian monks during the English Reformation, the heir of that Reformation said, “If . . . . Continue Reading »

Alphabet Sexualities

From First Thoughts

For the six people who might still be interested, the Episcopal Church’s house of bishops has released a report on Same-Sex Relations in the Life of the Church . My former colleague Grant LeMarquand’s summary of the “conservative” position can be found here . The . . . . Continue Reading »

Another Responsibility

From First Thoughts

For those interested in the Republican primary I mentioned in “Other Responsibilities” , the father-of-six walloped the lawyer who worried that he had too many children to be a congressman. Fox News reports that Keith Rothfus has won with 67% of the vote, with 84% of the precincts . . . . Continue Reading »

A Chicago-type Question

From First Thoughts

As my wife and I were leaving to go down to the town hall to vote in the primary, my wife told our twelve-year-old that she was going to vote for the candidate she favored. He asked, perfectly seriously, “How many times?” And he’s never even been to Chicago.  Or else he . . . . Continue Reading »

Heavy Dissidence

From First Thoughts

The novelist Piers Paul Read (a devout Catholic and author of an enjoyable book of popular theology called Hell and Other Destinations )  describes The Face of Catholic Dissidence : There is no irony or humour in his writing. The style is heavy, relentless, academic: the author comes across as . . . . Continue Reading »

Facts Don’t Save

From First Thoughts

Free Inquiry is a magazine in whose title the word “free” seems to mean freedom from having to include God in their inquiries, but not the freedom to include Him. The magazine is published by the Council for Secular Humanism, and as their homepage says, “The Council promotes . . . . Continue Reading »

Honoring Ralph McInerny (Next Year)

From First Thoughts

Very long-term notice: A conference honoring Ralph McInerny, the late philosopher (novelist, poet, essayist, activist, journalist, etc.) and friend to this magazine and many of its editors and writers, and in fact a man who seems to have been a real friend of almost everyone he met. . . . . Continue Reading »