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Are We All Baptists Now?

From First Thoughts

That’s the question blogger Camassia asks in an intriguing post about why the Baptist-style ecclesiology and voluntarism came to be a dominant form of religion in America: When the Baptists came into being in England in the early 1600s, there were several church-state models around Europe: . . . . Continue Reading »

Toward a Bioethics of (God’s) Love

From First Thoughts

Helen Rittelmeyer, one of our bloggers at Postmodern Conservative , has written a compelling essay at Doublethink titled ” Toward a Bioethics of Love .” Rather than building an argument on abstraction, she brings—in true Burkean fashion—her own real-world experience to bear in . . . . Continue Reading »

Intellectuals Who Support Human Dignity

From First Thoughts

MercatorNet—whose mission is “reframing ethical and policy debates in terms of human dignity”—has compiled a list of twenty public intellectuals who promote some aspect of human dignity : After asking friends and contributors to nominate public intellectuals who support human . . . . Continue Reading »

The Poetic Work of Good Prose

From First Thoughts

This part of your post , Sally, helped me see both what I had been missing and (somewhat shamefully) what it was I was admiring about the work of Billy Collins: The thing is, though, that this isn’t really like reciting poetry. I’m not sure what these poems look like on the page, but they . . . . Continue Reading »

The Mr. Potato Head Constitution

From First Thoughts

Along with the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, comes—once again—the age old judicial question, “Is the U.S. Constitution a ‘living document?” At the American Spectator , Jonathan Witt answers with a qualified “yes”: This brings us to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Is Billy Collins Killing Poetry?

From First Thoughts

Compile a list of topics Americans feel compelled to form an opinion about—global warming, the job performance of Obama, the fate of Jon and Kate—and “contemporary poetry” will rank near the bottom. Most Americans, though, are not ROFTERs . If you’re a ROFTER you’re . . . . Continue Reading »

Garden Gnomes and Nazis

From First Thoughts

As the National Post ’s Robert Fulford points out, on the back jacket of Roger Scruton’s new book, Beauty , you can find a tiny drawing of a garden gnome while on the front there’s a woman’s face by Sandro Botticelli. “The two illustrations point us toward the sharp line . . . . Continue Reading »

Stephen vs. Stephen vs. Stove

From First Thoughts

I’m eager to hear Stephen Webb’s reply to Stephen Barr’s response to Webb’s earlier post on Darwin . And while it would be foolish for me to include myself in a debate between a scientist and a philosopher, I see no reason not to throw another philosopher in the mix. . . . . Continue Reading »