In this episode of the First Things Podcast:
New survey findings from Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research for the Apostolate update us on rates of ritual participation among American Catholics. Editor Rusty Reno, literary editor Matthew Schmitz, and associate editor Julia Yost discuss whether we are witnessing the much-heralded “Francis Effect.” Find out why Lenten ashes are like tattoos, and why millennial Catholics need more, not less, incense.
Then Hamilton, “an American musical,” is up for debate. Winner of eleven Tonys, a Grammy, and a Pultizer, Broadway’s hip-hop retelling of the career of our first treasury secretary is “the best piece of art” Michelle Obama has “ever seen in [her] life.” It has also launched a thousand think-pieces. Is it a “bag of tricks we play on the dead”—retrojecting multicultural ideology onto the Founding? Or is it a morally informed work, benignly correcting our postmodern suspicion of the American past? Assistant editor Alexi Sargeant and junior fellow Connor Grubaugh cross swords.
Finally, the Marquis de Lafayette will be channeled, rapping very fast about guns and ships.