Islam and America

A preview of The Public Square, forthcoming in the March issue of First Things.There is an understanding of liberal pluralism that is compatible with Islam. Sherman Jackson, a black American Muslim, argued the case well. Continue Reading »

Liturgy of Liberalism

The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societiesby ryszard legutko encounter, 200 pages, $23.99 In The Old Regime and the Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville described the French Revolution as a religious movement: The ideal the French Revolution set before it was not merely a change . . . . Continue Reading »

Gnostic Liberalism

The idea that human beings are non-bodily persons inhabiting non-personal bodies never quite goes away. Although the mainstreams of Christianity and Judaism long ago rejected it, what is sometimes described as “body-self dualism” is back with a vengeance, and its followers are legion. Whether in . . . . Continue Reading »

Never Waste A Crisis

A social conservative he ain’t, but that doesn’t mean the Trump bomb is meaningless for social conservatives. Pope Francis isn’t the only one to observe that a nation that produces a spectacle like this can’t be healthy. With so much shrapnel flying, with so many settled conclusions being questioned, Christians have a rare opportunity to take stock and ask some basic questions about our polity. Continue Reading »

Liberal Transcendence

It’s tough to be a Martin Luther King liberal. All his life he has believed that bias ends when we recognize people as unique individuals, not group representatives. He will talk about groups in big terms, the “black vote” and “equal pay for women,” but he knows that equality comes down to . . . . Continue Reading »


Wages of Sin The controversy surrounding capitalism was well represented by David Bentley Hart (“Mammon Ascendant”) and Francesca Aran Murphy (“Is Liberalism a Heresy?”) in your June/July issue. Both their essays were immensely interesting, but it is Hart’s missteps in describing . . . . Continue Reading »

Is Liberalism a Heresy?

The only viable vehicle of conservatism in modernity is a market-oriented liberalism that regards freedom within law as the means to the common good. Some religiously engaged conservative intellectuals cannot accept this. What drives their animus against the only workable form of conservatism in . . . . Continue Reading »

See No Evil

If there’s any good reason to distrust the self-awareness of contemporary progressives, it's the cultural epidemic of pornography. Of all the Sexual Revolution’s fruits, porn is arguably the one that has rotted fastest. It has defied the categorical wisdom of libertines by growing in users and . . . . Continue Reading »