R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Digging Up Galileo, Again

From First Thoughts

Last week the New York Times carried one of those slow news, feel good, summertime stories . The recently renovated museum of the history of science in Florence was christened the Galileo Museum, honoring one of the most famous scientists of the early modern era. Simple story, it would seem. But . . . . Continue Reading »

Glenn Beck and the Future of Punditry

From First Thoughts

Yesterday I posted some thoughts about Byron Williams, a wannabe Right Wing revolutionary, pointing out that a false rhetorical urgency in political discourse is likely to contribute to the unbalanced thoughts of people like Williams. I want to clarify the obvious. In no way should we pin the blame . . . . Continue Reading »

Worse Than Boorish

From First Thoughts

Earlier this week, Byron Williams headed out with his private arsenal. (See the San Francisco Chronicle article) Stopped by police for speeding, a gunbattle ensued. Now, as initial police reports reveal, “His intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing . . . . Continue Reading »

Cultural Background of Pedophilia

From First Thoughts

Mercatornet recently posted an interview with Fr. Giovanni Cucci, S.J., who, along with Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J., is the author of ŒChiesa e pedofilia. Una ferita aperta. Un approccio psicologico-pastorale (The Church and Paedophilia. An Open Wound. A Pastoral-Psychological Approach) Milan, . . . . Continue Reading »

Divorce Breeds Divorce

From First Thoughts

OK, surely this is a man bites dog story. A new study shows that if a close friend gets divorced, then you’re more likely to get divorced . Gee, who would have imagined that we’re influence by other people’s behavior. We’re, er, social animals? Long ago Aristotle recognized that . . . . Continue Reading »

Boorish Behavior

From First Thoughts

Politics evoke passions, and cultural politics passionate passions. That shouldn’t surprise us. After all, unlike tax policy, questions about abortion, marriage, raising children, the role of religion in public life, and so forth touch on our deepest beliefs. Which makes this story of boorish . . . . Continue Reading »

Islam in the German Universities

From First Thoughts

Paul Hockenos has a fine article in The Chronicle of Higher Education detailing plans by the German government to establish institutes for the study of Islamic theology. In Germany, the universites have faculties of Protestant and Catholic theology responsible not only for academic study but also . . . . Continue Reading »

College Admissions and Race

From First Thoughts

Yesterday, Ross Douthat has a thoughtful column that brings forward data that confirms what everybody knows. In the race for admissions to fancy private colleges and universities it doesn’t help to be a white and relatively poor Jane or Joe “For minority applicants,” Douthat writes, . . . . Continue Reading »

After the Scandals

From Web Exclusives

Last year, the Irish government published the Murphy Report detailing sexual abuse cases among the clergy, and more damningly, cover-ups by the bishops. Then there was the dustup over a cleric from Pope Benedict’s old diocese in Germany, who was reassigned while in sexual rehab. Now we see very sad and ugly revelations about a Belgian bishop, along with the usual history of negligent oversight … Continue Reading »

The Conspiracy of Silence on Islamic Riots

From First Thoughts

Am I the only one who reads stories from Europe and scratch my head over the conspiracy of silence? Consider this little news item about riots in the French city of Genoble . It seems the BBC, Reuters, and others can’t bring themselves to mention that the fleeing suspect shot by the police was . . . . Continue Reading »