Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Churches that Fail at Being Awful

What does a typical American Catholic church look like? In something I was working on last night, I wrote about a set of (usually suburban) churches: “Not even distinguished enough to be bad examples of their kind, they just are —each one vaguely modern, vaguely brick, vaguely . . . . Continue Reading »

More on Modern Aesthetics

A reader wrote to correct my recent observations about the contemporary culture of transgression. It was not Robert Mapplethorpe who put the cross in a jar of urine; it was Andres Serrano. I’ll admit that most contemporary art blurs in my mind. A few months ago, I toured the Chelsea galleries. . . . . Continue Reading »

Pearce: Teen Magazines and Gangsta Culture

A recent news story from England highlights the sickness at the very core of our “liberated” society. It seems that a 21-year-old Canadian man had contacted young girls in the English county of Kent, via the Internet, and had managed to persuade several of them to commit sex acts live in . . . . Continue Reading »

WJS: The Two Greatest Threats

There are two great evils against which our generation has been called upon to contest. The first is the threat of Islamo-fascist terrorism, a struggle that has grown increasingly intense since the atrocity of September 11. The second is an issue of law, ethics, and morality, and is nothing less . . . . Continue Reading »

Novak on Happy Danes

A new survey of 178 nations by the University of Leicester in England reports that the Danes are the happiest people in the world, followed by the Swiss, Austrians, and Icelanders, etc. Happiness is correlated with wealth and education, the study suggests. “Here we have social security, so . . . . Continue Reading »

Wesley J. Smith: Relativizing human life

Like Fr. Oakes , I am intrigued by the pope’s warnings against “the dictatorship of relativism”¯for relativism poses a far more profound problem than behavioral license. The value of human life itself is being relativized. Indeed, it strikes me that the most crucial question . . . . Continue Reading »

Thoroughly Modern Modigliani

Those visiting England between now and October 15 will have the opportunity to visit an exhibition, at the Royal Academy, of works by the Italian-born artist Amedeo Modigliani. One of the prodigies of Eliot’s Wasteland generation, Modigliani died, as he had lived, in sordid squalor. Having . . . . Continue Reading »

CA: Episcopal disintegration

Back in early July, right after the Episcopal Church USA finished its general convention, declining to “repent”—as requested by the Archbishop of Canterbury—of its confirmation of the openly gay, openly cohabitating V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire, I wrote an . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: Big Brother is watching your womb

"The path to prison starts at conception," explains Kaye McLaren , a researcher helping New Zealand investigate its crime problem. And so, she—along with the nation’s top Youth Court judge and its Children’s Commissioner—propose setting up national databases of (1) . . . . Continue Reading »



Filter Web Exclusive Articles