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As one institution after another joins the woke regime—I just read that the National Hockey League genuflected to the trans activists—I promise First Things readers and listeners that you will not find this magazine doing the same. No trimming or dithering, no reexamination or rethinking, not of the grounds of our faith. We stand where we've always stood, on creator and creation, tradition and custom, fundamental truths and high art.

I can make that promise because I've worked alongside the boss, R. R. Reno, since summer 2014, and I've never seen him waver on the first things. No matter how aggressive the secular left and the identity politicians have become, no matter how many politicians, CEOs, college presidents, and celebrities have taken a knee before the bullies—the editor-in-chief doesn't care. He has a spine.

I hope that First Things readers have the same confidence in him. It's hard, I know, when so many people in whom conservatives placed their trust in the past have behaved more like weathervanes than generals. People in the pews sense it's only a matter of time before their leaders give in and sell out. Dismay is their chronic condition, pessimism and powerlessness.

At First Things, we have ideas to espouse, faith to uphold, and also this negative mood to overturn. Yes, your dismay is one of our targets. In our pages, we aim to inspire and embolden, with intelligence based on conviction unwavering and exuberant. The woke tide is daunting, but Reno is dauntless. We're not fazed, and you shouldn't be, either. We have truth and beauty, joy and faith on our side. They have ressentiment. Let's have some fun. Stay strong, stay with us, help us contend. Your contributions to First Things keep it going. 

Mark Bauerlein is contributing editor of First Things

Resist junk food journalism. Support journalism that nourishes the mind and soul by contributing to our year-end campaign today.

Image by Internet Archive Book Images licensed via Creative Commons. Image cropped. 

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