Obama’s Niebuhrian Moment (Part I)

In his December 10, 2009, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, President Barack Obama offered a vigorous defense of the just war tradition in response to problems of evil and injustice in the world. More than this, however, he offered a moral vision that closely followed, without any direct reference, the ideas of perhaps the most influential American theologian of the twentieth century… . Continue Reading »

He Is Not Here

The past year has not been abundant with fortune for the world or our nation”which made it precisely a time when one ached for commentary from Richard John Neuhaus. We waited, by an instinct that thought he would reply quickly. But there was an uncharacteristic silence.… . Continue Reading »

An Anniversary
01.08.2010
Robert Louis Wilken

In 1961, Richard John Neuhaus was installed as pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Brooklyn. Several days later he wrote me. “Installed Misericordias Domini”much pomp, ceremony, and incense.” It was the last word I heard from him for almost six months… . Continue Reading »

An Anniversary

In 1961, Richard John Neuhaus was installed as pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Brooklyn. Several days later he wrote me. “Installed Misericordias Domini”much pomp, ceremony, and incense.” It was the last word I heard from him for almost six months. It was as though he had been swallowed up by the city and his new congregation. For Fr. Richard as well as for the people of St. John’s the day of installation was a glorious occasion… . Continue Reading »

A New Year of First Things

Start your year off right with First Things. Yes, subscribe now to receive it at home; that way, you’ll receive every issue without delay, hot off the presses. Issues such as the January 2010 issue”full of articles both weighty and light-hearted… . Continue Reading »

Sympathy for Hook: Toward a Christening of Peter Pan

It was in 1904, at Christmastime, that American impresario Charles Frohman first staged James M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan: or, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre. Perhaps the astute Jewish producer had noticed, as David Goldman put it in his December 2006 essay “Sympathy for Scrooge,” that “the Christmas season [is] a moment when the entire Gentile world is given over to a child’s view of things.” … . Continue Reading »

Santa Claus and the Christmas Wars

What ought to be a time of meditative joy and happy celebration has become a time for combat. December, say scores of the faithful, is a time for war—the Christmas wars. Happy holidays is denounced as a godless substitute for Merry Christmas. The Christmas wars are now as much a part of the season as mistletoe and reindeer…
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New Healthcare Options for NY Women

Last week”on the feast of the Immaculate Conception”St. Vincent’s Hospital here in New York opened a Catholic women’s healthcare center… . Continue Reading »

Dakota Christmas
12.23.2009
Joseph Bottum

Late afternoon on Christmas Eve, the year I was eleven, my father took me with him across the river. I can’t remember what the urgency was, but he was a busy lawyer, and he needed some papers signed by a rancher who lived across on the other side of the Missouri from Pierre… … . 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 and another run of names, It’s not my fault, you (blank)ing (blank). It’s not my fault, you evil (blank). It’s … not … my … fault… . Continue Reading »

Advent and the Pregnancy Narratives—a Season of Joyful Expectation

I fear I may have missed some of the beauty of Advent. I missed the lessons from two pregnant cousins as they reveal for us the blessing of a joyful expectation”lessons from the pregnancy narratives. We are at a decided advantage over Elizabeth and Mary… . Continue Reading »

The Ghost of Christmas Past
Joseph Bottum

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… . Continue Reading »