A Conservative Case for the Paulson Plan

As I write late on Thursday evening, some conservative Republican senators and representatives are opposing the Paulson bailout plan because they think that the government should not intervene in the market¯that it is better to let financial institutions that took risks that turned out badly . . . . Continue Reading »

Friends of the Unrighteous Mammon

What is the theological significance of wealth and its production? The debate rages over this issue in American public life today. But the debate is not new. It is quite ancient, and it has only grown in complexity and precision in recent times.A particularly fruitful period of discourse occurred in . . . . Continue Reading »

Sin & Cinema

People are basically good, right? It’s a truism drilled into us by any number of self-help books, magazines, talk-show hosts, and pop therapy. When, from time to time, people do terrible things to each other or themselves, we are assured that just the right combination of education, medication, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Wall Street Crisis

After more than a year of nasty gurgling and stomach churning over sub-prime mortgages, the financial markets have recently shown themselves to be very, very sick. Normally sober folks with no investment in the media shock-a-day culture of endless hype have expressed frank worries. The current Wall . . . . Continue Reading »

The Real Problem with Bishops

This just in: It turns out that the problem with America’s Catholic bishops is that they’re not Protestants. Or so we can reasonably surmise from Amy Sullivan’s recent Time /CNN commentary on the plight of Catholic Democrats, titled “Does [Sen. Joseph] Biden have a Catholic . . . . Continue Reading »

T.S. Eliot on Religion without Humanism

I recently needed to track down a reference in a long out-of-print anthology called Humanism and America: Essays on the Outlook of Modern Civilization , published back in 1930. Having got my citation, I was going to return the book when I caught sight, in the table of contents, of a contribution . . . . Continue Reading »

Me and YouTube

I’m not a heavy user of the Web. But sometimes I get a few odd words of an old song or fragments of a melody stuck in my head. I fire up the computer, go to YouTube, type this or that into the search field, and presto, I’m listening to a recording of a half-forgotten song that until only . . . . Continue Reading »

The October 2008 Issue Is Here!

The October issue of First Things has arrived¯a big-tent issue, a three-ring extravaganza of essays, poems, letters, and reviews.Under the big top, for instance, Richard John Neuhaus looks back at the Second Vatican Council. In his essay-length review of two new books¯John W. . . . . Continue Reading »