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Nuanced Patriotism

I love my country – I fear my government. I first saw that mantra as a bumper sticker in the Clinton nineties. It then began to sprout as billboards and rock-paintings in the Obama years, and it has now become the chorus to almost every song of complaint composed by American conservatives. It is . . . . Continue Reading »

The Tragedy of the Republic

We French have for some years been overcome by a furor for republicanism and for citizenship. There is no activity so humble that it cannot take on an intimidating nobility as soon as it is associated with citizenship. The republic calls us, besieges us, smothers us—but where is the republic? Are . . . . Continue Reading »

Equality Across Borders

In what sense are all men created equal? America’s Declaration of Independence calls it a self-evident truth. But to look around the world, nothing could seem to be less the case, empirically speaking. Some of us are born to wealthy parents, others into poverty; some of us with 170 IQs, others a little slow on the uptake. The genetic lottery, as some call it, does not distribute prizes equally. 

Mother Church or Uncle Sam

Wyoming ­Catholic College, of which I serve as ­president, recently ­determined that it has a duty to abstain from federal student-loan and grant programs. As a new college that received the accreditation necessary for federal funding only this year, Wyoming Catholic faced a stark choice for or . . . . Continue Reading »

A Good Word for Locke

The lecturer was setting forth a biblical perspective on the role of government, with special attention to the Pauline text in Romans 13. At one point he introduced a rhetorical flourish with a passing negative reference to John Locke. The Bible sees the authority to govern as coming from God—“and not,” the lecturer said, “from a human contract, as John Locke insisted.” Continue Reading »

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