Rights in Common

The dazzling efficiency with which corporate America exchanges its turkeys and pumpkins for snowmen and reindeer each year confirms that our society is fully post-Christian. The occasional earnest performance of “O Holy Night” is a rule-proving exception. For the most part, endless ranks of . . . . Continue Reading »

No Patrimony

The age-old distinction between schoolchildren and university students is fast losing its meaning. On many campuses, the infantilization of university students has become institutionalized. College administrators treat students as if they were biologically mature children rather than young men and . . . . Continue Reading »

The Touchstone Effect

Everyone should have a copybook of maxims. So I tell my students at the start of freshman year. “You will meet priceless bits of wit and wisdom in the next eight semesters—write them down and tap them often.” They hear it as bad advice, though. Don’t they have enough to do already? But the . . . . Continue Reading »

Learning to Play

My piano tuner is well over eighty years old. Each time I call him, I fear I’ll learn that he has died. So far he is still with us, though at each visit a little more white-haired and frailer than before. I worry that he will hurt himself when he lies under the instrument or takes out the . . . . Continue Reading »

Tradition and the Constitution (October 20)

Here's an event announcement that will interest readers of First Things in the New York area. On Thursday evening, October 20, Stanford Law Professor Michael McConnell (left) will deliver a lecture, “Tradition and the Constitution,” to inaugurate the Tradition Project, a new research initiative of the St. John's University Center for Law and Religion. Continue Reading »

Between the Hipsters and the Hasids

O n a Saturday afternoon, I survey the offerings of the Bedford Cheese Shop. This gourmet store at the center of hip Brooklyn bills itself as being “based on old-world ideals with a loyalty to our family . . . dedicated to the time honored traditions of the culinary and agricultural world.” . . . . Continue Reading »

Christian but Not Religious

Recently, a pastor at an Evangelical church in New York City (we have them) told me about a young man in his congregation who had joined an online dating site. The young man was a Christian believer who wanted to find a woman with the same values. Yet when it came to telling prospective mates about . . . . Continue Reading »