Real Neo-Paganism?

From First Thoughts

A friend sent me this piece by Alain de Botton celebrating pessimism, describing it as “your kind of article.” Leaving aside what this is meant to imply about me, I do think it warrants some attention. De Botton writes: The modern bourgeois philosophy pins its hopes firmly on two great . . . . Continue Reading »

Ground Rules for Civil Discourse

From First Thoughts

Diogenes proposes an apt analogy : I see nothing wrong with swatting flies. Let’s say that you have a different opinion. You think the lives of flies are sacred, and therefore you think that swatting flies is grossly immoral. You hold this view with the utmost sincerity. Unfortunately for . . . . Continue Reading »

A Divided Will

From First Thoughts

It’s a very odd thing (and many have remarked on its oddness) that in America today “conservatism” suggests both support for families and hostility to the claims of community, both intense opposition to a culture of choice and intense devotion to the ideal of the freely choosing . . . . Continue Reading »

Schumer Speaks at Fordham Commencement

From First Thoughts

In her open letter declining the Laetare Medal, Prof. Mary Ann Glendon worried that Notre Dame’s decision to honor a strongly pro-abortion public figure would create a “trickle-down” effect by which other Catholic schools would become less hesitant to do the same, thus obscuring the . . . . Continue Reading »

I Say, Jeeves—Here Comes Everybody!

From First Thoughts

Matthew Schmitz, writing for the delightfully quirky new blog called Plumb Lines , bemoans the proletarian invasion of what used to be the “exclusive club” of reactionaries: Conservatives have long decried the decline of standards, and rightly so. Nowhere is this decline more evident . . . . Continue Reading »

Until Death Do Us Part

From First Thoughts

Here’s a lovely story : Residents of a northeast Kansas town are mourning the deaths just hours apart of an elderly couple who were married 67 years. Arnita Yingling died in her sleep early Saturday at the family’s home in Troy. She was 93. Six hours later her 95-year-old husband, Lyle, . . . . Continue Reading »

Can Gay Marriage Save the Economy?

From First Thoughts

A novel solution to the economic crisis: Perhaps the most unexpected beneficiaries of same-sex marriage will be state economies. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) reports that extending marriage to gay couples brings tourism, spending on weddings and licensing fees. Same-sex marriage . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Am I Not Surprised?

From First Thoughts

Among high-profile Catholic politicians, dissent from Church doctrine may be a disease that proceeds through predictable stages. Tom Daschle and Kathleen Sibelius, for instance, having both rejected magisterial teaching against support for abortion, now seem to both reject the injunction to . . . . Continue Reading »