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Matthew Schmitz is a former senior editor of First Things. 

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Leroy Huizenga on Advent

From First Thoughts

“The season of Advent often gets combined with Christmas, thanks to retail and academic calendars encroaching on the liturgical calendar and a general love for celebration and excess. Our duty as preachers and teachers, however, remains to remind our people that Advent is a time of quiet and . . . . Continue Reading »

New Homiletics Resource

From First Thoughts

The Christian Leadership Center at the University of Mary in North Dakota—-which is led by frequent On the Square contributor Leroy Huizenga—-is launching a new website on homiletics. An ecumenical endeavor involving Protestants and Catholics, it includes treatments of the Gospels, . . . . Continue Reading »

Pardon People, Not Turkeys

From First Thoughts

Today President Obama performs the annual light-hearted tradition of the turkey pardon. But behind the fluff is a chillingly stingy record of pardons for actual, you know, people . Brandon Watson lays it out: [T]he Office of the President has over the past several administrations been absurdly . . . . Continue Reading »

The Rise of the Anti-Mormon Left

From First Thoughts

The Washington Post  has come out with a piece on Mitt Romney’s role as a leader in the Mormon Church (retreading an earlier piece in the Times ) that is already being picked up by modern-day anti-Mormon zealots. On Twitter, Chloe Angyal of Feministing describes it thus: In which Mitt . . . . Continue Reading »

Ramesh Ponnuru on the 47 percent

From First Thoughts

Many writers (including, ahem, one guest poster to this blog) have fretted that the 47 percent of Americans who pay nothing in income taxes are freeloaders who pose a threat to the nation’s moral fabric. This worry has issued recently in the unusual spectacle of a Republican presidential . . . . Continue Reading »

The Skin #OWS Lives In

From First Thoughts

Stephen Colbert has conducted a brilliant interview of two representatives of Occupy Wall Street. One of them, a committed and articulate young woman, describes herself as a “female-bodied person”: (Skip ahead to the 5:15 mark for the quote.) How did such radical body-self dualism . . . . Continue Reading »

Babies Happen

From First Thoughts

Christopher White points out that contraception is not the most powerful way to promote maternal health: What about those women and girls in Africa who, as Kristof mentions, “have never heard of birth control”? Won’t they be faced with unwanted pregnancies and possibly die during . . . . Continue Reading »

David Frum is Wrong About Abortion

From Web Exclusives

Is the fight to protect the unborn as misguided”and ultimately as passing”as the push for Prohibition? So suggested David Frum in a recent column for CNN. After I objected to his column, Frum said that I, along with all pro-life advocates, should be willing to accept a regime where abortion is safe, legal and rare … Continue Reading »

Gay Marriage as New Coke

From First Thoughts

In an interview with Utah’s Deseret News,  New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan expresses hope in the wake of the New York marriage defeat: If traditional marriage advocates can find the right tone in making their case, Archbishop Dolan believes they will ultimately come out on top, . . . . Continue Reading »

Carter Snead to Head ND Center

From First Thoughts

Good news today out of South Bend. Carter Snead is the newly appointed head of Notre Dame’s Center on Ethics and Culture. The center takes up the central truths of Catholic moral and social teaching in order to build a culture where, “the dignity of human life is respected, the . . . . Continue Reading »