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Joseph Bottum is the former editor of First Things.

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Socially Speaking

From First Thoughts

Down at the end of this post , about Connecticut’s attempt to fine Catholic protesters for not being registered as lobbyists, Jeff Milyo makes the obvious—but new to me—observation that, used as a modifier in a fused noun phrase, the word social should basically be read as meaning . . . . Continue Reading »

Fatherhood 2010

From First Thoughts

In the official White House proclamation for Father’s Day, President Obama throws in what looks like a surprisingly casual cheer for same-sex unions, as “two father” families: “nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single . . . . Continue Reading »

Riding Away

From Web Exclusives

The cost of even a small state university’s embarrassment, of its hunger to be just like everywhere else, is paid by abortions and the knocked-up, messed-up young women who were thrown to the wolfish boys, unconstrained by either manners or morals… . Continue Reading »

There Will Be Blood

From First Thoughts

My friend Stephen Barr is one of the gentlest people I know, and I’m surprised but grateful to have him weigh in on the death penalty . I only wish he were replying to my actual argument—as mentioned in my online discussions of the Ronnie Lee Gardner case on Monday and on Friday , and as . . . . Continue Reading »

They Did It

From Web Exclusives

They did it, the blood-hungry fools. Last night, just after midnight out in Draper, Utah, they trussed up Ronnie Lee Gardner like a scarecrow, pinned a target on him, and pumped four .30-caliber bullets into his chest. This execution was so unnecessary, and because it was unnecessary, it was simply and completely wrong. They shouldn’t have done it”because they didn’t have to do it… . Continue Reading »

Catholic Yoga—with the Beautiful Shoes

From First Thoughts

My friend Manolo the Shoeblogger—one of the great Internet prose stylists of our time— has an idea : It is Monday, and coming back from the Pilates this morning you ran into your old frenemy, Jenny, who described for you at great and exhausting length her new workout regime: the form of . . . . Continue Reading »

No Clemency

From First Thoughts

As expected, the parole board in Utah has unanimously rejected Ronnie Lee Gardner’s appeal for commutation of his death sentence. I’ve written on Gardner this week , part of my ongoing attempt to build a political-theory argument against the barbaric and unnecessary punishment. We live . . . . Continue Reading »

Blood for Blood

From Web Exclusives

Absent a Board of Pardons intervention today, or some other unlikely event, Ronnie Lee Gardner will die this Friday, June 18”shot by firing squad in Utah as the penalty for his 1985 conviction for the murder of a lawyer during his failed attempt to escape while on trial for another murder… . Continue Reading »