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Matthew Schmitz is a former senior editor of First Things. 

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Limits of Religious Freedom

From the March 2020 Print Edition

In the face of determined assaults on religion, conservative activists and intellectuals have offered increasingly strident defenses of religious freedom. This “first freedom” is presented as an inviolable principle, an absolute “right to be wrong.” Such rhetoric oversells religious freedom . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »