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We Need to Ban Meat

From First Thoughts

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports that anti-incest laws in Germany could be struck down on the grounds that they constitute an unacceptable intrusion into the right to sexual self-determination. The narrow context is the case of a brother and sister who have lived together for years and have four children. The wider context is the very meager basis upon which laws relating to sexual ethics are now built. Continue Reading »

More on Pornography

From First Thoughts

I am grateful to Greg for his thoughtful supplement to my post on porn because this is certainly the single biggest pastoral problem in the church.  I say ‘supplement’ because I do not see his observations as at all antithetical to my own. Indeed, the Pascalian notion of distraction . . . . Continue Reading »

The Purpose of Pornography

From First Thoughts

Pornography degrades women (those cocksure feminists who claim otherwise have fallen for the biggest male confidence trick of all time). It alters the neural pathways of the brain and literally changes the way its consumers think. It hinders men from developing mature emotional relationships with . . . . Continue Reading »

A Church for Exiles

From the Aug/Sept 2014 Print Edition

We live in a time of exile. At least those of us do who hold to traditional Christian beliefs. The strident rhetoric of scientism has made belief in the supernatural look ridiculous. The Pill, no-fault divorce, and now gay marriage have made traditional sexual ethics look outmoded at best and . . . . Continue Reading »

Terf Wars

From First Thoughts

This week’s New Yorker carries an instructive essay by Michelle Goldberg, ‘What is Woman?’, which addresses a matter I predicted some months ago here and here. Feminists are apparently engaged in internecine warfare over the status of transgender people. Are women who used to be . . . . Continue Reading »

More Thoughts on Exile

From First Thoughts

was delighted to see that Rod Dreher has used my article on the church in exile as the starting point for a discussion of which Christian tradition will prove most helpful to Christians in the U.S. in the coming years. It also triggered a twitter exchange between Ross Douthat and Alan Jacobs, both of whom are significant voices in the current religious climate and both of whose work has been a great stimulus to my own thinking over the years. Continue Reading »

Bursting the Blog Bubble

From First Thoughts

I link this blog simply as a piece of light entertainment and because it refers to three of the First Things team—myself, Peter Leithart, and the editor. And I am rather afraid that the author manages to sum each of us up in a single sentence. I might also add that he seems to do the same with all the other names on the list which I recognize. It should save readers a lot of time in the future.

Traditional Troubles

From the May 2014 Print Edition

Vincent of Lérins and the Development of Christian Doctrineby thomas g. guarinobaker, 192 pages, $26.99The language of the Church has changed over time. The Bible contains no word for Trinity or Incarnation. It does not teach about the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption. These are all . . . . Continue Reading »