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Matthew Schmitz is a former senior editor of First Things. 

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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 »

Richard Dawkins’ Ersatz Atheist Liturgy

From First Thoughts

At the five-minute mark of this video, we see a sort of ersatz secular liturgy done with all the intelligence of Richard Dawkins and all the taste of Charles Saatchi. Next time your church music director’s choices tempt you to atheism, remember the sort of liturgy that awaits you on the other . . . . Continue Reading »