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I am happy to report a successful conclusion to our end-of-year campaign. Very successful, in fact. Our goal was to raise $500,000. Because of your commitment and generosity, we brought in more than $640,000.

This is our best result ever. More people donated than ever before, and more of you increased your donations. First Things is extraordinarily fortunate to have such a committed community of readers.

The last two years have been remarkable. Our political culture is in turmoil. That can be disorienting and sometimes disturbing. But I see our time as one of great opportunity. We are seizing that opportunity at First Things, which is why subscriptions are on the rise, along with financial support from readers like you.

We can make a difference in 2018. To be frank, the conservative movement had become captive to a utilitarian, economistic spirit. Our concerns about matters of moral and religious substance were being sidelined. Now, however, a great deal is up in the air. This provides us with a new opportunity to be heard. We can renew the voice of faith in the public square.

A free society is not based on GDP growth, as the Chinese have demonstrated. We are not going to de-regulate our way to renewed self-government. Freedom—political and personal—arises from a strong moral culture, one that galvanizes individuals and inspires them to resist dominion.

This dominion is not just governmental. We also suffer from subservience to our baser impulses. We are more human—and freer—when we give of ourselves in the service of something higher. This means that a free society needs a strong culture of marriage. It should cultivate civic-mindedness and a service to the common good. And a free society must be leavened by faith’s supernatural orientation toward the transcendent.

Along with the entire staff at First Things, I pledge to remain faithful to our shared commitments. We will illuminate the spiritual challenges we face and seek to renew the moral and religious foundations of our culture.

Thank you again for your support.

R. R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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