Benedict’s Sartorial Legacy

From First Thoughts

In perhaps the most unexpected commentary on Benedict XVI’s legacy, the U.K.’s liberal Guardian has a fashion column on the significance of Benedict’s sartorial and liturgical choices. And they get it exactly right : The root of his need to rediscover some of the more traditional, . . . . Continue Reading »

Refocusing Conservatism

From First Thoughts

In the  Wall Street Journal , Arthur Brooks calls on conservatives to care about the poor, and to make the public argument that what they believe and work for is good for the poor : The answer is to make improving the lives of vulnerable people the primary focus of authentically conservative . . . . Continue Reading »

Sorrow unto Death: A Lenten Motet

From First Thoughts

Recently a friend introduced me to the Orlando di Lasso motet “Tristis Est Anima Mea,” a beautiful piece that captures in words and music the quiet, expectant sorrow of Lent and the coming sacrifice in which Christ is handed over to sinners for the salvation of sinners. The words are . . . . Continue Reading »

Catechizing Garry Wills

From First Thoughts

Garry Wills—-whose latest book raises a call against the priesthood—-claims that he can remain a Catholic while espousing the common doctrines of low-church Protestantism, without the theologically nuanced arguments that most low-church Protestants make. And he throws out the book of . . . . Continue Reading »

Conservative Environmentalism

From First Thoughts

At Public Discourse , Peter Blair reviews Roger Scruton’s intriguing case for a conservative environmentalism: In the conservative vision, threats to one’s home, environmental or otherwise, are met by public spiritedness, by volunteering efforts united by what Scruton calls “ . . . . Continue Reading »