Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Matthew Schmitz is senior editor of First Things. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Spectator, and other publications. He holds an A.B. in English from Princeton University. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

RSS Feed

Homesick for Eternity

From the February 2020 Print Edition

In 2018, Barack Obama urged his Facebook followers to read Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen. We live, Obama said, in a time of “increasing disillusionment with the liberal democratic order.” He traced this disillusionment to a trend that liberal democracies ignore at their own . . . . Continue Reading »

God's Garbage People

From the December 2019 Print Edition

As the sun comes up, the men go out from Garbage City and into the streets of ­Cairo. Some walk alone, carrying empty plastic sacks over their shoulders. Some drive trucks whose bare beds will soon be piled high with waste. Others are already returning with the trash they collected overnight. They . . . . Continue Reading »

Bourgeois Vice

From the November 2019 Print Edition

While driving from Illinois to Iowa, ­Donald McCloskey had an epiphany. He had spent the previous night dancing at lesbian bars in Aurora and now was returning to his home in Iowa City, where he was known as a libertarian economist and conservative “by academic standards.” Once again he would . . . . Continue Reading »

Two False Newmans

From the October 2019 Print Edition

On October 13, Pope Francis will declare John Henry Newman a saint. Catholics from around the world will crowd St. ­Peter’s Square to see the greatest religious thinker of Victorian England raised to the altars. Amid the joy and apparent concord of that day, there will be at least two . . . . Continue Reading »

The True Con

From the Aug/Sept 2019 Print Edition

In June, an announcer on CBS observed, “George Will is essentially unchanged from the way he looked forty years ago.” He still wears Brooks Brothers. He still parts his hair on the left. And in politics, while lesser men have compromised with the ascendancy of ­Donald Trump, Will has stayed . . . . Continue Reading »