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Joseph Bottum is the former editor of First Things.

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The Bible in the Public Square

From Web Exclusives

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth,” Christ declares in the Gospel of Matthew. “I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” The Bible is full of hard sayings like this”too many, too hard, to be entirely exegeted away … Continue Reading »

Publicizing Privacy

From Web Exclusives

The teenaged girl at the next table was typing away on her laptop, which seemed to irritate her parents, though they were trying”in that well-worn and slightly mad aren’t-we-all-having-a-good-time-on-our-vacation? mode of parents”not to show it. “What you doing, honey?” the mother asked. “Telling my friends about this awful breakfast on Facebook,” she answered. “You misspelled putrid,” the father observed, leaning over to look. “Dad,” the girl despaired, “it’s only Facebook.” … Continue Reading »

The Freeloader’s Culture

From Web Exclusives

I hardly ever lock my door”which makes me, I think, a pretty extreme example of a freeloader. I may be wrong, of course. Perhaps lots of people don’t lock their doors. It can’t be so many that the word gets around. If too many of us didn’t lock our doors, then the criminals would lose their assumption that the average door is locked. But as long as enough people lock their doors, I can ride along on the locked assumption. Even in New York… . … . Continue Reading »

Rice’s Release

From Web Exclusives

Poor Anne Rice. Always a day behind the fair. Always a beat behind the crowd. Mind you, that can be a very profitable position to hold: You can catch the popular wave, when you’re not too inventive, and you can ride it to good sales. As she did with her novels. Anyway, in 1998 she announced that she was returning to Catholic Christianity, and in 2010 she announced that she was leaving Christianity… . Continue Reading »

Saro’s Love Song

From the Aug/Sept 2010 Print Edition

In May 2010, the body of Zardasht Osman, a twenty-three-year-old journalist who wrote under the name “Saro Zardasht,” was found in Arbil, the capital of Kurdistan. He had been kidnapped and murdered after writing exposés of the ruling party, led by Kurdish president Masud Barzani. . . . . Continue Reading »

Pullman Sleeper

From the Aug/Sept 2010 Print Edition

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ By Philip Pullman Canongate, 256 pages, $24 Teenage sex will save the world”teenage sex, in all its precocious power, in all its precious emotion, in all its self-confirming belief that, because something is felt so deeply, it must be a deeply . . . . Continue Reading »

Drifting Toward the Rocks

From Web Exclusives

He drifted on the water, the man dozing on the inner tube, and didn’t wake till he nudged the wall of scree and shattered rocks at the far end of the reservoir. Not that there is much of a current in that little lake, formed by piling earth and broken boulders across the neck of a red-rock canyon. Just enough to coast him slowly, peacefully, inexorably down the hundred yards to the stone-littered hill of the dam”where he woke with a yelp and a startled leap at the touch of those sharp-edged stones… . Continue Reading »