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Putinism and the Ukrainian Catholic Church

From Web Exclusives

On March 25 of this year, Sviatoslav Shevchuk was elected head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC). Are those crickets I hear? The sound of one hand clapping, perhaps? Put another way: Why does this matter? To begin, the election entrusts to his care the souls of some four and a quarter million Christians, all heirs to a lineage of tragedy that spans centuries and includes the Soviet-perpetrated monstrosity of the HolodomorContinue Reading »

MSNBC-Ya Later?

From First Thoughts

There’s blood in the water of the MSNBC snark tank. Friday it was announced that Keith Olbermann had been suspended—indefinitely. He apparently violated a corporate policy that forbids newsies making contributions to political campaigns without prior approval. As of now, it’s unclear . . . . Continue Reading »

Lunch With Mr. Sorensen

From First Thoughts

Years ago, my mother and father, brother and I spent our summer vacations at the Downingtown Motor Inn in Pennsylvania. To me it was Shangri-la; a place of enchantment and matrix to many happy memories. One night, the hotel held a Jeopardy-type contest for kids that I wound up winning. From the . . . . Continue Reading »

What’s My Line (Of Scrimmage)

From First Thoughts

In yesterday’s On The Square, El Jefe offers an admittedly ambivalent musing on the disappearance of a once-unified culture, captured by the once-popular, What’s My Line? Dorothy Kilgallen was a perennial presence on that show’s panel and since I “murdered” her in a TV . . . . Continue Reading »

Go Left on Religion Street

From First Thoughts

In case you haven’t yet heard, Annuntio vobis aenigma magna: the Huffington Post has inaugurated a religion section! Should it choose to take the Washington Post ’s “On Faith” as a model, the project would make about as much sense as pre-Yeltsin Pravda launching a section . . . . Continue Reading »

Here Comes Immortality?

From First Thoughts

From the U.K.’s Telegraph comes an article that is a four-course feast for thought. If scientist Ray Kurzweil is to be believed, we will all be capable of immortality within twenty years . How’s that for health care reform? The idea here is that through nanotechnology, we will swap the . . . . Continue Reading »

Thomas King, S.J. – An Enchantment

From First Thoughts

I was in his room one afternoon and he asked me to try on a suit jacket he’d recently come by. He was clearly excited for me to do this. So, I pulled it on and tried to puzzle out his enthusiasm. Beige and a little threadbare, it wasn’t a bad-looking coat really. Maybe even vintage enough . . . . Continue Reading »

An Invitation to Artists

From Web Exclusives

How do you get an actor to complain? Hire him! An old joke, but I first heard it from television’s iconic Robert Conrad (a fact that allows me to name-drop, another thing actors are prone to).

In the May issue of First Things, I was introduced as New Media Editor, a unique opportunity to serve this journal. I am sincerely honored. Now, let me complain.

Every day I seem to scour the news looking for irritation. I find myself keeping score: tallying insults to my gender, ethnicity, race, country, church”even my favorite quarterback. I have one snarl in the barrel and another in the chamber as I click to the websites of the New York Timesand the Washington Post. If I’m really in the mood for a barroom brawl, I’ll check in with The Huffington Post or Daily Kos… . Continue Reading »


From Web Exclusives

I wanna, I wanna, I wanna vote Obama! It infuriates me that I can’t.One of the more remarkable things about the so-called single-issue vote controversy is that it’s been cast as a “Catholic” issue at all. The ironic, forehead-smacking, thing is that the bishops who are weighing . . . . Continue Reading »