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Matthew Schmitz is a former senior editor of First Things. 

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Two Generations on Gay Marriage

From First Thoughts

Joseph Bottum has  walked back  the most controversial assertions of his barnburner Commonweal  essay on gay marriage. For this, I’m glad: Several of them were unsupportable. Yet the essay was never about any point of fact so much as it was about a certain mood: one of surprise . . . . Continue Reading »

Are Protestants Bad at Monetary Policy?

From First Thoughts

Christopher Mahoney, former vice chairman of Moody’s, set back ecumenism by several years this week when he charged Protestants with being incapable of understanding monetary policy . His argument, or at least his assertion, was that Protestants refuse to countenance loose money policies even . . . . Continue Reading »

Is It Wrong to Say “Unborn Child”?

From First Thoughts

Are pro-lifers wrong to speak of the “unborn child”? A reader annoyed with Ramesh Ponnuru’s use of the phrase wrote him, saying, “There is no child until birth. Late in pregnancy the fetus may have some moral status but it is still not a child.” Ramesh replied: “Merriam-Webster’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Pulpit Fiction

From First Thoughts

Tim Powers In our August/September issue , Randy Boyagoda expresses a fatigue that many avid readers can relate to: “I’m sick of Flannery O’Connor. I’m also sick of Walker Percy, G. K. Chesterton, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, T. S. Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and . . . . Continue Reading »