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Kevin Staley-Joyce is an Assistant Editor at First Things.

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Profiles in Aloofness

From First Thoughts

There’s a strangely nonchalant line at the beginning of yesterday’s New York Times profile of the thousandth US troop to die in Afghanistan: He was an irreverent teenager with a pregnant girlfriend when the idea first crossed his mind: Join the Army, raise a family. She had an abortion, . . . . Continue Reading »

Yes to Mao Zedong, No to Mother Teresa

From First Thoughts

Those of us who catch a glimpse of the Empire State Building each day—just about everyone in First Things ’ New York editorial office—can’t help but notice its nightly evolution, with a new color scheme illuminating the top third of the tower each evening. A billboard to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Episcopal Church is Going to the Dogs

From First Thoughts

Calvary Episcopal Church of Danvers, Massachusetts, has just announced it will begin offering a monthly worship service for dogs. Besides being driven to the service by Starbucks-jittered suburban elites in trademark Volvo station wagons, the canine faithful will enjoy the unique pleasure of being . . . . Continue Reading »

Does Prayer Shut Off Your Brain?

From First Thoughts

According to a  study released by researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark, the brain’s executive network—the portion of our neural circuitry devoted to complex problem solving and truth seeking—is less active during certain modes of religious experience, especially those . . . . Continue Reading »

Suicide Attempt Thwarted By Freak Wave

From First Thoughts

The occasional signs and wonders can, well, do wonders to keep faith alive. In some cases, they actually keep you alive. An Australian newspaper reported just recently that a man who attempted suicide at a notorious cliff in Sydney was saved from death by a rogue wave which—by at least one . . . . Continue Reading »