The Good Life

In a letter to the editor of the New York Times, William Motley, a geneticist of Oxford University, writes, “Fighting Down syndrome with prenatal screening does not ‘border on eugenics.’ It is a ‘search-and-destroy mission’ on the disease, not on a category of citizens . . . . ” . . . . Continue Reading »

Big Science, Little Consequence

As I’ve observed in a previous posting, brain science is a hot new area of research, and some of the experts are absolutely convinced that new knowledge about brain function will lead to big changes in how we view ourselves. Once we know that what seems to be free choice is, in fact, a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Complementarity of Man and Woman

The brilliant lay philosopher of Judaism, Dennis Prager, has written lucidly about the utter distinctiveness of Judaism among the nations of its time in its understanding of human sexuality. Prager writes: The gods of virtually all civilizations engaged in sexual relations. In the Near East, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Support First Things

First Things is holding its annual fundraising drive . As Richard John Neuhaus writes, “I well know that some of our readers have very limited means. Even a small gift is a real sacrifice. Others, however, have been blessed with very considerable means. To all I say: Please give as you are . . . . Continue Reading »

The January 2009 Issue is Here!

In “ The Pro-Life Movement as the Politics of the 1960s ”¯the opening essay in the January issue’s Public Square¯Richard John Neuhaus writes: Whatever else it is, the pro-life movement of the last thirty-plus years is one of the most massive and sustained expressions of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Ghost of Christmas Past

It’s almost impossible not to know how it opens. “Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.” Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been filmed at least forty-two times and dramatized for the stage in dozens of versions¯the first almost . . . . Continue Reading »

Christmas in New York

There was a woman screaming on Park Avenue, flecks of saliva spraying from her mouth as she raged into her cell phone, “It’s not my fault.” Over and over, like the high-pitched squeal of a power saw cutting bricks: It’s not my fault and a run of foul names, It’s not my fault . . . . Continue Reading »

Anglican, or Episcopalian?

“Are you Anglican, or Episcopalian?” As an Episcopalian interloper studying at a Methodist seminary, I get the question a lot from my puzzled friends. Each time I’m asked, part of me wants to launch into a mini-primer on Anglican ecclesiology¯to wit, that Episcopalians are . . . . Continue Reading »

Science and Religion

According to the conventional narrative, science and religion have been at war for some three hundred years. But the reality is deeper and more complex. The English philosopher Alfred North Whitehead wrote in his Science and the Modern World (1925) that without devotion to the God of Israel, modern . . . . Continue Reading »