R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Islamic Terrorism has Western Roots

From First Thoughts

At signandsight , a fine English language website out of Germany that covers the European scene, one can find all sorts of interesting material, including a recent interview with Olivier Roy, a French expert on Islam. Roy makes an observation that reinforces thoughts I’ve had for more than a . . . . Continue Reading »

Tradition and Interpretation

From First Thoughts

I’m catching up on my reading, and was struck by a witty and helpful discussion of biblical interpretation by Shalom Carmy in the Spring issue of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought . In his editorial for this issue, Carmy (a First Things contributor) uses the clever ambiguities . . . . Continue Reading »

More Postmodern Sex

From First Thoughts

Yes, folks, we’re entering a new era. I wasn’t surprised to see notice of a new social networking site geared toward gay men . I’m sure there are plenty already. What struck me, however, was this selling point. Users can tag themselves in any way they choose—a nice . . . . Continue Reading »

Who Defines Extremism?

From First Thoughts

Alternet.org functions as the Mother Jones of the internet, providing Lefties with Lefty content. Fair enough. But a recent article by Tana Geneva that gives a brief overview of the political and cultural view of Nevada GOP senate nominee Sharron Angle reflects an unfortunate tendency on the Left, . . . . Continue Reading »

Postmodern Sex

From First Thoughts

When I was reading this story about a bisexual husband, I was tempted to get all worked up about our therapeutic culture of infinite inclusion. But I couldn’t get past this quote from his wife, commenting on her own thoughts about his sexual orientation, which she’s not . . . . Continue Reading »


From First Thoughts

Over the years I’ve observed churches succumbing to the temptation to wrap the ordinary duties of life in the shiney foil wrapping paper of high theology. That seems to be the case with the Southern Baptist Convention. The NPR website gleefully reports that a couple of weeks ago the SBC . . . . Continue Reading »

More on the Witch Hunt in Belgium

From First Thoughts

One of our informed readers—and our readers are thankfully not only informed but also forthright—corrected me yesterday. It’s not the case that the Belgian police went around pulling bones out of crypts. No, they drilled a hole to insert a fiber optic cable. Point taken. But this . . . . Continue Reading »

Memory Redeemed

From Web Exclusives

William Faulkner once said, “The past is not dead. It is not even past.” Antietam Ridge, Bloody Lane, Little Round Top, Seminary Ridge: the scenes of carnage are now quiet parks overseen by mounted commanders frozen in bronze, but they remain alive with memory. One can almost hear the final fading echoes of the soldiers’ yells as men marched into battle as canister torn across open fields… . Continue Reading »

WASP Decline

From First Thoughts

Knowing my background, a friend recently sent me a column from the New York Times . Written by Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, the article provides a short reflection on the decline of WASP dominance—a decline much commented upon in the aftermath of Elena Kagan’s nomination to the . . . . Continue Reading »

More on the Belgian Church

From First Thoughts

Michael Liccione added a link to his comments about the recent police raid on the Catholic Church offices (and episcopal crypts!) in Belgium. His  posting provides helpful background. Moreover, Liccione makes the persuasive observation that the mainstream media has tended to give a . . . . Continue Reading »