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Don’t Even Think About It

From First Thoughts

Br. Thomas More Garrett, writing at Dominicana , points out an irony in the new California statute proscribing the use of “reparative therapy” by anyone under the age of eighteen: The legislation is sweeping in effect. What if an individual under the age of eighteen  . . . . Continue Reading »

Saint Ted Kennedy?

From Web Exclusives

Has Ted Kennedy been canonized? “I knew that when he left us he would go to heaven and help pass the bill,” Nancy Pelosi proclaimed recently, going on to assure us, “And now he can rest in peace. His dream for America’s families has become a reality.” There is a problem here, which has more to do with theology than politics, and it provides a good opportunity to think about last things: four of them, to be precise… . Continue Reading »

Remembrance of Things Past

From First Thoughts

As we near the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, George Weigel considers the legacy of Fr. Francis Murphy (alias Xavier Rynne), who covered the Council for The New Yorker , and who (it is argued) gave birth to the “good guys vs. bad guys” hermeneutic. Weigel . . . . Continue Reading »

Distinction With A Difference

From First Thoughts

Many are understandably disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the ACA. But while the overall merits of the act and its implementation continue to be discussed and analyzed, a lot of people remain concerned and confused about how, precisely, the decision relates to the HHS . . . . Continue Reading »

Laws and Orders

From First Thoughts

Ramesh Ponnuru believes that Justice Roberts has ignored the normative dimension of law: The difference between a mandate and a tax is precisely the difference between, on one hand, a command that the citizen is morally obligated to obey and, on the other hand, a set of options open to the citizen . . . . Continue Reading »

High Society

From First Thoughts

Many people wonder what will happen with the Society of Saint Pius X. With the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite more available (and enjoying Papal support) will the SSPX be brought into full communion with the Catholic Church? It’s not clear. It’s more than a liturgical issue that . . . . Continue Reading »

USCCB on the Affordable Care Act

From First Thoughts

The USCCB has issued a very clear and reasonable response to yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act as a tax. The Bishops reminded us that, while they have for many years been advocates of health care reform, they opposed the ACA’s final passage . . . . Continue Reading »

Sweet Land (and Church) of Liberty

From First Thoughts

George Weigel, commenting on Theodore Maynard’s The Story of American Catholicism , highlights the commitment that early American Catholics had to religious freedom: Because of their own theological tradition, Maryland Catholics (and their brethren in Pennsylvania) could have embraced . . . . Continue Reading »

Integrity (Physical and Otherwise)

From First Thoughts

The United States isn’t the only country seeking to restrict religious liberty. A German court has ruled that circumcision is illegal unless done out of medical necessity, calling it a “severe and irreversible interference into physical integrity.” I wonder if abortion is an . . . . Continue Reading »