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Joe Carter is Web Editor of First Things.

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APA vs. APA or AP vs. WSJ?

From First Thoughts

Can you spot the differences between these two news stories? Associated Press (Aug 6): “ Psychologists Reject Gay ‘Therapy’ ” The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients they can become straight through . . . . Continue Reading »

The Faith of Our Forefathers

From First Thoughts

An intriguing new Gallup survey reveals that the religious identification for most states tends to match the immigration patterns of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The distribution of Catholics across the states, for example, is heavily skewed toward the New England and Mid-Atlantic . . . . Continue Reading »

Pynchonesque Beach Reading

From First Thoughts

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Joseph Bottum reviewed Thomas Pynchon’s new novel Inherent Vice : “Inherent Vice” is the closest to beach reading that Thomas Pynchon has ever produced. Of course, take-to-the-beach best sellers are nearly always genre fiction: thrillers and . . . . Continue Reading »

Congress and the Brown M&M Test

From First Thoughts

You’ve probably heard the decades-old tale about how the band Van Halen included a provision in their backstage concert rider that stipulated that brown M&M’s were to be banished from the band’s dressing room. I had always assumed it was another arbitrary and outlandish demand . . . . Continue Reading »

The Ideological Triangle

From First Thoughts

Economist Arnold Kling reframes an ideological metaphor : Think of three points on an ideological triangle: 1. Point L, where you believe that markets are effective at processing information and solving problems. This position is to take a radically pro-market view, and to let markets fix their own . . . . Continue Reading »

Re: Cheering and Fearing Science

From First Thoughts

In his post on Michael Crichton , Joseph asked, “Was there ever a popular writer more in love with the gadgets of science—and more suspicious of science itself, or, at least, of scientists?” Crichton’s complicated feelings about science reminded of Francis Bacon’s claim . . . . Continue Reading »