The Weakness of Laudato Si

Please enjoy this excerpt from “The Public Square” of the forthcoming August/September issue of First Things. To read more, subscribe here.Laudato Si addresses global warming and other environmental issues, as well as global development and economic justice. The conjunction of concerns is . . . . Continue Reading »

Liberal Limits—and Our Opportunity

Never has a piece of writing spread across my social media niche as prolifically as Mark Oppenheimer’s Time essay arguing for an end to federal tax exemptions for religious organizations. In the past few days, more than two dozen Facebook friends shared the article, each one appending either . . . . Continue Reading »

Bowdoin: One Year Later

One year ago I wrote in these pages about how the InterVarsity ministry at Bowdoin College, with a forty year history of ministering the Christian Gospel, was formally refused access to meet with students on campus facilities. Christian students in the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship were denied . . . . Continue Reading »

The Church and the “New Normal”

 In the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, these sober thoughts occur: (1) The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has rendered a decision that puts the Court at odds with the Constitution, with reason, and with biblical religion. (2) SCOTUS has gotten it wrong before. It . . . . Continue Reading »

Mournful Broken Hearts

Dylann Storm Roof, whose birthday is April 3, had just barely turned twenty-one. Twenty-one used to be the age of legal majority in America—the age at which society allowed one to vote, enter into a contract with someone else, get married without parental consent, drive a car, go to war. “I'm . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pope's Moment of Grace

When the Pope’s highly anticipated encyclical, Laudato Si finally appeared, Detroit’s Archbishop Allen Vigneron summed up its significance by calling it “a moment of grace.”The new encyclical has been widely described as “the pope’s encyclical on climate change.” But one shouldn’t be . . . . Continue Reading »

Euthanasia's Open Season on the Mentally Ill

A few years ago, I spoke about end-of-life care at a town-hall event; it quickly devolved into an intense debate on assisted suicide. When the time came for audience questions, a self-described “mentally ill” woman took the microphone and declared that she had a right to doctor-prescribed death. More than half the audience burst into applause. Continue Reading »

Neoliberal Education

With the publication of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to A Meaningful Life, William Deresiewicz's sober assessment of contemporary higher education was both praised and lampooned by commentators across the spectrum. He recently spoke with First Things about . . . . Continue Reading »