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Matthew Schmitz is senior editor of First Things. 

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Vatican Doc Reax

From First Thoughts

The recent note on the financial crisis from the Vatican’s Council on Justice and Peace offers us yet another chance to reflect on the Church’s longstanding social teaching. It is the kind of document that is meant to advance a conversation rather than settle questions, and it will no . . . . Continue Reading »

Frank Gehry’s Black T-Shirt

From First Thoughts

Frank Gehry’s proposed design for an Eisenhower Memorial—-featuring large screens surrounding a statue of Eisenhower as a barefoot boy—-has drawn a great deal of controversy. This came to a head in a recent public meeting when Gehry was confronted by an audience member. From . . . . Continue Reading »

Public Discourse

From First Thoughts

If you haven’t already noticed,  Public Discourse , the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute, has had a banner week: Robert P. George on pornography and law, William Carroll on science and ethics, Helen Alvaré firing back at Linda Greenhouse, Maggie Gallagher bringing some . . . . Continue Reading »

This Too Shall Pass

From First Thoughts

Charles Moore, the former editor of the Daily Telegraph , the Sunday Telegraph , and the Spectator , notes the commitment of the UK’s Conservative Party to gay marriage and registers an objection: Arguments on these subjects are tricky to make, particularly in the rough world of . . . . Continue Reading »

First Things on Twitter

From First Thoughts

I’ve started a Twitter account, from which I’ll be offering links and updates on matters of interest to First Things readers. You can follow me at @matthewschmitz . Of course, there are other members of the First Things family on Twitter. You would do well to follow  Alan Jacobs . . . . Continue Reading »

Incumbent on Every Jew

From First Thoughts

Robert P. George looks at Jewish opposition to David Weprin, the pro-SSM Democrat who lost the race to replace Anthony Weiner, and finds a parallel with Catholic controversies over denying communion: As a member of the New York state legislature, Weprin, despite his Orthodox Jewish beliefs, voted . . . . Continue Reading »

David Brooks on Haimish

From First Thoughts

Via Matt Yglesias , David Brooks argues in favor of the communal and slightly chaotic over the comfortable and over-refined. He describes this kind of joyous messiness with the Yiddish word “haimish”: Often, as we spend more on something, what we gain in privacy and elegance we lose in . . . . Continue Reading »

Market Rationing

From First Thoughts

Writing in Public Discourse  today, Yuval Levin argues that it is both possible and necessary to curb entitlement spending and broaden the provision of healthcare in a manner that respects the equality and dignity of all. His piece covers a good deal of ground, but one of its most . . . . Continue Reading »