R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Islam, Christianity, and Secularism

From First Thoughts

A number of friends have pushed and probed, wondering if I’m not being overly simplistic when I say that Islam is largely irrelevant to the future of America. First of all, I am being overly simplistic. Islam and America—these are extraordinarily complex cultural realities. When I wrote . . . . Continue Reading »

A Weakness of Conservatism

From First Thoughts

As readers of my thoughts on Islam and American politics may have suspected, I’ve been beating my head against the wall lately, trying to understand why American conservatism allows itself to be ideologically outmaneuvered by liberalism, and this even as conservatism wins elections. But . . . . Continue Reading »

Islam and America

From First Thoughts

Today I weighed in on the Ground Zero mosque controversy , making a case that it’s not a big deal. A major premise of my argument is that Islam is not all that much of a factor in America. It’s something many of us fail to see, because we misread the behavior of the liberal . . . . Continue Reading »

To Mosque or Not to Mosque

From Web Exclusives

A friend asked. I was almost taken aback by my answer: “I don’t really care.” I can’t muster a great deal of concern about the proposed Islamic center in New York near Ground Zero. Maybe I’m callous. Maybe I’m out of touch with the American people. But the more I think about it, the less I care… . Continue Reading »

A Creepy Feeling

From First Thoughts

The National Conference of Catholic Bishops has released the Labor Day Statement by Bishop William F. Murphy, the Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. No breaking news, just some well-meaning sentiments and reasonably sound observations. For example, Bishop Murphy . . . . Continue Reading »

College and Conservatism

From First Thoughts

Last week Insider Higher Education offered a helpful summary of a new study that dug down a bit into the culture of higher education to see how conservative students survive and thrive . The study found that students at an elite liberal arts college tended to have positive experiences, even though . . . . Continue Reading »

A New Appointment

From First Thoughts

King’s College is an undergraduate institution in Manhattan.  Revitalized by Campus Crusade a decade or so ago, it was moved to the Empire State Building. The college was meant to bring Christ to Babylon, and to bring Christian students into the hurley-burley of a global city. Today . . . . Continue Reading »

The Need for Civility

From First Thoughts

R. J. Snell, philosophy professor at Eastern University, posted an interesting essay today on The Public Discourse: “ Universities and the Graciousness of Being .” In the main, Snell wants to draw attention to the important role that good manners play in social life. At a minimum, like . . . . Continue Reading »

China and the Future

From First Thoughts

After the accountants tallied up their figures, Chinese GDP surpassed Japan’s in the second quarter of this year. No surprises there. The torrid growth of the Chinese economy over the last two decades has made this milestone inevitable. The population of China is ten times greater than that . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pleasures of Self-Hatred

From Web Exclusives

“From existentialism to deconstruction,” writes Pascal Bruckner in his broadside, The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism, “all modern thought can be reduced to a mechanical denunciation of the West, emphasizing the latter’s hypocrisy, violence, and abomination.” I wouldn’t say that John Rawls or Jürgen Habermas or Benedict XVI fit that description… . Continue Reading »