Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Slick and Far From Truth

From Web Exclusives

Given the low standards of mainstream reporting on religious issues, it’s hard to publish an article that is truly disappointing, but Slate’s recent piece “Sick and Far From Home” manages to achieve just that. The article, which a Slate press release trumpeted as “a stunning investigatory . . . . Continue Reading »

Ruthless Optimism

From Web Exclusives

Mormon culture, especially in America, exhibits what I call “ruthless optimism,” which is the habit of unreasonable striving to be (or perhaps to appear to be) happy regardless of circumstance. This perpetual optimism is both ridiculous and endearing to outsiders, but for those within the faith, the association of righteousness with happiness can create incredible strain. If you’re not happy, is it because you’re doing something wrong? Congratulations: now you have two reasons to be unhappy. This pressure is compounded by the Mormon emphasis on evangelizing: how can you be an effective missionary if you’re depressed? Continue Reading »

Are Christians Obsessed with Sex?

From Web Exclusives

From time to time a member of the Christian left will admonish the Christian right to stop obsessing about sex. This is a clever move because in addition to undercutting traditional sexual morality it also suggests that those who are concerned with the topic are acting on some secret ulterior . . . . Continue Reading »