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Keyword: firstthings

Brevity: Headers | « Text »

    02/11/2015 3:06:34 PM PST · by NYer · 12 replies
    First Things ^ | February 11, 2015 | Stephen Schwartz
    For some time, an argument has been made that the liberal left, in refusing to examine the problems of Islam, has betrayed its Enlightenment roots. That is, while secular, feminist, and protective of free speech in dealing with its Western peers, the liberal left has been accused of abandoning its heritage in its quest for political correctness regarding Muslims. In truth, however, the left has a distinguished background of courting Islam as a weapon against Western capitalism. Its most representative figures from the past did so frankly, as the following rehearsal of their statements demonstrates. Karl Marx supported the Ottoman...
  • Mark Shea’s Head Explodes

    01/09/2015 9:24:44 PM PST · by ebb tide · 14 replies
    The Remnant Newspaper ^ | 1-08-15 | Christopher A. Ferrara
    The “Francis effect” appears to be driving Mark Shea over the edge as he doggedly stays the neo-Catholic course of defending the indefensible no matter how indefensible it becomes. Given a Pope who has just cooperated with the Abortion President to sell out the oppressed Catholics of Cuba, with thanks from both Obama and Cuba’s communist dictator, and who approved a synodal document calling for appreciation of the “positive elements” in concubinage and “valuing” the “orientation” and the “gifts and qualities” of “homosexual persons,” Shea is now faced with a growing army of messengers that have to be shot, including...
  • Catholic Caucus: Four Things to Remember About the Pope’s Environment Letter

    01/08/2015 7:41:01 PM PST · by Coleus · 14 replies
    First Things ^ | 01.13.15 | Robert P. George
    So here we are waiting for Pope Francis to hand down his encyclical on our moral responsibility to care for the natural environment. Already there is lots of huffing and puffing, and ideological battle lines are being drawn. It seems that virtually nobody in the public media is interested in being taught by the Pope in his magisterial capacity. Instead, all the talk is about how the encyclical can or can’t be used to advance political agendas. Catholics who fear that the Pope is a secret (or perhaps not-so-secret) radical left-winger, are preemptively questioning the Pope’s authority as pope to address...
  • The Dangerous Mind of Peter Singer

    01/08/2015 7:27:16 PM PST · by Coleus · 20 replies
    First Things ^ | 6.22.11 | Joe Carter
    Bespectacled, balding, and thin, the Australian scholar Peter Singer has the looks of a stereotypical college professor. You would never be able to tell simply by his unassuming persona that his mind holds some of the most controversial ideas in American academia.  Singer has spent a lifetime justifying the unjustifiable. He is the founding father of the animal liberation movement and advocates ending “the present speciesist bias against taking seriously the interests of nonhuman animals.” He is also a defender of killing the aged (if they have dementia), newborns (for almost any reason until they are two years old),...
  • Yale’s Agony Over Social Justice

    04/20/2014 3:28:10 PM PDT · by Rashputin · 14 replies
    First Things ^ | April 17, 2014 | Matthew Gerken
    Yale’s Agony Over Social Justice The unsettling pro-life witness by Matthew Gerken 4 . 17 . 14 Last night Yale’s campus pro-life group—after a year in which they participated in meetings and even helped raise money for the organization—became the first group in living memory to be denied membership in the Social Justice Network of Dwight Hall. Billing itself as an “independent” and “non-sectarian” center for public service and social justice, Dwight Hall at Yale is a group that seeks “to foster civic-minded student leaders and to promote service and activism in New Haven and around the world.” Though legally...
  • Richard John Neuhaus

    01/06/2014 8:06:50 PM PST · by OddLane · 3 replies
    Mirror of Justice ^ | January 6, 2014 | Robert P. George
    On Wednesday of this week, January 8, 2014, we will mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. At the time of his death, many observed that he was irreplaceable. Certainly no one has replaced him. He was the great Christian public intellectual of the second half of the Twentieth Century. In a published tribute to him shortly after his death, I noted that he had begun his career as a liberal and was lionized by the liberal movement. But then something happened: Abortion. It became something it had never been before, namely, a contentious issue...
  • A Stem Cell Report

    01/26/2012 12:53:37 PM PST · by Coleus · 2 replies
    First Things ^ | 01.26.12 | Rebecca Oas
    Generally speaking, the American public is well accustomed to the concept of tissue and organ transplantation, as stories of life-saving heart and kidney transplants, or American Red Cross blood drives collecting blood and platelets for transfusions have become commonplace. Since these procedures typically require a transfer of tissue from one patient to another, physicians must be careful to choose well-matched donors to avoid rejection by the recipient’s immune system. But what about other specialized tissues that can be affected by disease, such as those of the eye? A recent study published in the journal Stem Cells by Winston Kao and...
  • Child sacrifice in 21st Century America

    01/27/2012 1:39:14 PM PST · by Coleus · 17 replies
    First Things ^ | 01.25.12 | George Weigel
    The Hebrew Bible is not for the squeamish. And its harshest maledictions are called down upon those who practiced the abomination of child-sacrifice. Thus the Psalmist: “They sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons/they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood./Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the harlot in their doings./Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage./… they were rebellious in their purposes, and were brought low because...
  • World Youth Day and Religious Freedom

    08/19/2011 8:12:47 AM PDT · by markomalley · 3 replies
    First Things ^ | Aug 18, 2011 | Charles J. Chaput
    I want to start by sharing a story. Once upon a time, a student at one of the world’s oldest universities took a break from her studies to visit the Catholic chapel on campus. As she sat there in silence—praying for a sick relative or trying to settle her nerves before a test—the chapel suddenly filled with noise. A mob of about seventy fellow students charged in chanting anti-Christian slogans. They shouted obscenities against the Church and insults about the Pope. Two females in the mob climbed on top of the altar. Then, according to the student who was trying...
  • First Things' Fr. Neuhaus Criticizes Archbishop Wuerl on Pro-Abortion Politicians Fiasco

    01/28/2007 6:44:58 PM PST · by A.A. Cunningham · 17 replies · 483+ views
    LifeSite ^ | 25 January 2007 | John-Henry Westen
      Home | Previous Page | Source URL: Thursday January 25, 2007 First Things' Fr. Neuhaus Criticizes Archbishop Wuerl on Pro-Abortion Politicians Fiasco By John-Henry Westen WASHINGTON, DC, January 25, 2007 ( - The fallout from the decision of new Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl to remain silent in the face of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's flagrant abuse of the Catholic Church continues.  On January 22, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette picked up on the story about statements by Human Life International Leader Fr. Tom Euteneuer and American Life League President Judie Brown criticizing Archbishop Wuerl for...
  • On Evangelicalism’s Fads and Fixtures

    10/13/2010 7:35:13 AM PDT · by Catholic Examiner · 5 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 10/13/10 | Joseph Speranzella
    "There are two types of evangelicals in America: those who naively embrace whatever trendy items happen to be hot sellers at “Christian” bookstores—WWJD? bracelets, Testamints, prayer of Jabez scented candles—and those who shun such kitsch. I am solidly of the second type. Like a good Pharisee, I thank God every day that I’m not like those people." ~ Joe Carter. read more...
  • The Signpost at the Crossroads

    09/02/2010 9:49:54 PM PDT · by iowamark · 1 replies
    First Things ^ | July 2010 | Joseph Bottum
    When it comes to politics, abortion remains at the intersection of religion and American public life You head down the road of public life in America, and you run up against religion. From the conversations in the barber shops and the coffee klatches, through the aldermen’s offices and the town halls, the school boards and the zoning commissions, the campaigns and the columnists, and eventually to the state houses and even, perhaps, to that white-domed Capitol building, far off in Washington—somewhere along the line you come to the crossroads where religion cuts across your path. You travel the long road...
  • The End of Intelligent Design?

    02/09/2010 3:15:53 PM PST · by cornelis · 94 replies · 1,358+ views
    First Things ^ | February 9, 2010 | Stephen Barr
    It is time to take stock: What has the intelligent design movement achieved? As science, nothing. The goal of science is to increase our understanding of the natural world, and there is not a single phenomenon that we understand better today or are likely to understand better in the future through the efforts of ID theorists. If we are to look for ID achievements, then, it must be in the realm of natural theology. And there, I think, the movement must be judged not only a failure, but a debacle. Very few religious skeptics have been made more open to...
  • Natural Law Revealed

    06/23/2009 9:49:42 AM PDT · by NYer · 8 replies · 425+ views
    First Things ^ | December 2008 | J. Budziszewski
    The relations among nature, reason, and revelation are mysterious for both Protestants and Catholics. Consider John Paul II's remark that “the primary and definitive source for studying the intimate nature of the human being is the Most Holy Trinity.” Read carelessly, this might seem to imply the utter futility of philosophizing about the constitution of the human person; nothing would be left but ­theology. Not so, for revelation shines at least five different kinds of light on nature. First is the light of precept: God commands or forbids something that the mind itself can recognize as right or wrong. Certain...
  • Confessions of a Coward

    05/16/2009 10:01:17 PM PDT · by ventanax5 · 2 replies · 596+ views ^ | David P. Goldman aka Spengler
    Early in April, with the publication of the May issue of First Things, I stepped out from behind the pseudonym Spengler to begin arguing my more considered ideas under my own name. The experience has been an interesting one: constricting in some ways and yet freeing in others. My Spengler columns actually began as a joke. In 1997 the Asia Times asked me to write a humor column, and the name Spengler seemed a funny touch: the author of The Decline of the West as a comic writer for an Asian daily. The print edition of the newspaper soon went...
  • The Passing of Richard John Neuhaus (1936 - 2009)

    01/10/2009 4:23:16 PM PST · by ReligiousLibertyTV · 10 replies · 386+ views
    ReligiousLiberty.TV ^ | 01/10/2009 | Michael Peabody
    On January 8, 2009, Richard John Neuhaus, 72, the intellectual force behind an influential coalition between Catholics and Protestants passed away after a long battle with cancer. A Lutheran pastor who converted to Catholicism in 1990 a priest in 1991, Neuhaus served as the president of The Institute on Religion and Public Life, the conservative think tank that publishes First Things magazine. Neuhaus was active in liberal politics until Roe v. Wade was handed down. His view on the importance of upholding religious orthodoxy is sumarized by “Neuhaus’s Law”, which states that “Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or...
  • Richard John Neuhaus, 1936-2009

    01/08/2009 7:41:46 AM PST · by AnAmericanMother · 2 replies · 479+ views
    First Things ^ | Joseph Bottums
    Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away today, January 8, shortly before 10 o’clock, at the age of seventy-two. He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer he was suffering. He lost consciousness Tuesday evening after a collapse in his heart rate, and the next day, in the company of friends, he died.
  • Richard John Neuhaus, 1936–2009 (Rest in Peace)

    01/08/2009 7:24:21 AM PST · by NYer · 56 replies · 1,440+ views
    First Things ^ | January 8, 2009 | Joseph Bottum
    Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away today, January 8, shortly before 10 o’clock, at the age of seventy-two. He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer he was suffering. He lost consciousness Tuesday evening after a collapse in his heart rate, and the next day, in the company of friends, he died.My tears are not for him—for he knew, all his life, that his Redeemer lives, and he has now been gathered by the Lord in whom he trusted.I weep, rather for...
  • R.I.P.: Father Richard John Neuhaus Dead at 72

    01/08/2009 10:58:22 AM PST · by tcg · 17 replies · 1,362+ views
    Richard John Neuhaus, prominent Catholic priest and founder of the religion magazine First Things, died today after a short battle with cancer. He was 72. According to a note sent out by Joseph Bottum, editor of First Things, Father Neuhaus died shortly before 10 a.m. at Manhattan's Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In a post on the First Things blog after Christmas, Bottum reported that Father Neuhaus was diagnosed with serious cancer over Thanksgiving. At the time he said the long-term prognosis was not good, but that the priest would be undergoing outpatient chemotherapy treatment. The day after Christmas, however, Father Neuhaus...
  • An Unworkable Theology

    01/04/2009 8:43:58 AM PST · by Huber · 29 replies · 766+ views
    First Things ^ | June/July 2005 | by Philip Turner
    It is increasingly difficult to escape the fact that mainline Protestantism is in a state of disintegration. As attendance declines, internal divisions increase. Take, for instance, the situation of the Episcopal Church in the United States. The Episcopal Church’s problem is far more theological than it is moral—a theological poverty that is truly monumental and that stands behind the moral missteps recently taken by its governing bodies. Every denomination has its theological articles and books of theology, its liturgies and confessional statements. Nonetheless, the contents of these documents do not necessarily control what we might call the “working theology” of...
  • Father Richard John Neuhaus: The Pro-Life Movement as the Politics of the 1960s

    01/03/2009 8:27:58 AM PST · by wagglebee · 12 replies · 517+ views
    First Things ^ | January, 2009 | Father Richard John Neuhaus
    Whatever else it is, the pro-life movement of the last thirty-plus years is one of the most massive and sustained expressions of citizen participation in the history of the United States. Since the 1960s, citizen participation and the remoralizing of politics have been central goals of the left. Is it not odd, then, that the pro-life movement is viewed as a right-wing cause? Reinhold Niebuhr wrote about “the irony of American history” and, were he around to update his book of that title, I expect he might recognize this as one of the major ironies within the irony. These...
  • Abortion After Obama

    12/31/2008 11:31:35 AM PST · by Salvation · 23 replies · 834+ views ^ | January 2009 | Joseph Bottum
    Abortion After Obama by Joseph Bottum Copyright (c) 2009 First Things (January 2009). It happens every four years—maybe every two years: Anytime there’s an election in this country, the pundits and political experts take to their soapboxes and proclaim the death of pro-life politics. The unwashed yokels in Utah, Alabama, South Dakota, Oklahoma: They’re an embarrassment, you see, and the sooner we stop paying attention to them, the sooner the nation’s politics will regain its equilibrium. The fact that we heard exactly this after the elections in 1986 and 1990 and 1992 and 1996 and 2006 suggests it’s more a...
  • Father (Richard John) Neuhaus Hospitalized

    12/31/2008 10:40:08 AM PST · by NYer · 17 replies · 873+ views
    NCR ^ | December 30, 2008 | Tom McFeely
    (CNS) Father Richard John Neuhaus, editor in chief of First Things, is currently undergoing treatment for cancer in Manhattan’s Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Father Neuhaus disclosed his cancer at the end of this post on the First Things website in early December. The Daily Blog spoke today with pro-life advocate Chris Slattery, who visited Father Neuhaus yesterday afternoon at the hospital. “I got a call yesterday morning from his office, saying that he was put in on the weekend and please go visit him,” said Slattery, who is founder and president of Expectant Mother Care. Said Slattery, “He’s clearly had a...
  • A Vote for Sarah Palin (By Former Democrat)

    09/07/2008 2:53:56 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 34 replies · 253+ views
    First Things ^ | September 3, 2008 | Suann Therese Maier
    Three memories have shaped my approach to this year’s general election. Here’s the first. In the late 1970s, during a two-year break from teaching to raise our second son, an adopted child, I found myself at a Los Angeles dinner party filled with DINKs, the “double income, no kids” crowd who were just emerging as a self-aware and upwardly mobile social group. I fell to talking—or more accurately, listening—to a chatty young female attorney who said she was putting in eighty hours a week as a junior associate on a variety of important cases. After twenty minutes or so, she...
  • Why They Hate Her (Four Reasons The Deranged Left Hates Sarah Pallin Alert)

    09/04/2008 5:56:58 PM PDT · by goldstategop · 48 replies · 942+ views
    First Things ^ | 9/04/2008 | Jonathan V. Last
    There are reasonable criticisms that can be made of Sarah Palin, both as governor and a vice presidential selection. Yet little of what we have seen in the last six days has been either reasonable or critical (in the traditional sense of the word). Instead, much of the left and many in the media simply lashed out at Palin, particularly at her family. And not only the fringiest parts of the political fringe: A writer at the Washington Post attacked Palin for the fact that her seventeen-year-old daughter was going to have a baby. A writer for The Atlantic openly...
  • The Politics Of Blood (The Left's Descent Into Total Derangement Alert)

    09/02/2008 6:58:28 PM PDT · by goldstategop · 78 replies · 560+ views
    First Things ^ | 9/1/2008 | Joseph Bottum
    Film-maker Michael Moore has apparently praised the gulf weather for its chance of disrupting the Republican convention: “This hurricane is proof that there is a god in heaven.” Another low point in politics, though possibly one that could be passed off with a laugh—a partisan irony, rather than a serious derangement. But over on the leftist Daily Kos website, there is a post that sinks much lower—so low that it caused many of the commentators to denounce it. Which led another commentator to make this remark: I am prepared to do whatever is necessary to destroy the Republican Party as...

    11/24/2006 9:17:01 AM PST · by Rummyfan · 74 replies · 3,710+ views
    Steyn Online ^ | 27 Nov 2006 | Mark Steyn
    More and more, I wonder whether lefties mean it, any of it. Take Rosie O’Donnell. The other day, one of her co-hosts on “The View” was musing on current events and opined, “If you take radical Islam and you want to talk about what is going on there you have to…” And at this point Rosie interrupted. “One second. Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state.” Does she really believe that? That “radical Christianity” is “just as threatening” as “radical Islam”? These terms are...
  • Sympathy For The Devil (Catholic Establishment's PC Anti-DP Crusade Exposed Alert)

    11/20/2006 4:25:28 AM PST · by goldstategop · 79 replies · 1,450+ views ^ | 11/20/2006 | Joseph D'Hippolito
    If today’s Catholic bishops lived during the Nuremberg trials, they would have condemned the execution of nine of the defendants – including Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Hans Frank. Kaltenbrunner was responsible for mass executions of civilians and prisoners of war as Heinrich Himmler’s chief SS lieutenant; Frank oversaw the Nazis’ numerous atrocities as the governor of occupied Poland. Such a presumptuous proposition seems plausible given two Vatican officials’ opposition to Saddam Hussein’s death sentence – and the Catholic Church’s moral revisionism concerning capital punishment. Iraq’s High Tribunal convicted Saddam of committing crimes against humanity and sentenced him to death on Nov....
  • On the Square: Ted Haggard. Gays and Hypocrisy

    11/10/2006 1:22:09 PM PST · by madprof98 · 30 replies · 1,147+ views
    First Things blog ^ | 11/10/06 | Richard John Neuhaus
    Richard John Neuhaus writes: This is but an addendum to Robert Miller?s fine reflection on the meaning of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is not easy. It is a very deliberate and specific practice that takes some working at. To cite a recent instance, the revelation that German novelist G?nter Grass?lauded for years as the conscience of his country?willingly served in the Waffen-SS may qualify as hypocrisy. For decades he relentlessly insisted that anyone tainted by Nazism should be excluded from the moral community of public discourse, knowing all along that he was complicit in what he condemned in others. He was lying....
  • Cultural suicide by Europe and the Democrats (long)

    11/03/2006 7:57:08 AM PST · by Jakarta ex-pat · 26 replies · 914+ views ^ | 3/11/06 | Fred Hutchinson
    This essay asks two questions: Are Europeans in the throes of passive cultural and political suicide as they ignore the threat of fanatical Muslims in their communities? And if so, have the leaders of the Democratic Party in America joined the Europeans in sleepwalking towards a precipice? My main source for answering the first question is a book review titled Suicide of the West, by Theodore Dalrymple which appeared in the Clairmont Review of Books, Fall 2006. Dalrymple reviewed three books in pursuit of his theme of the "Suicide of the West" — namely, Why the Continent's Crisis is America's...
  • Father Richard John Neuhaus Weighs In on Pope's Remarks on Islam

    09/18/2006 11:38:47 AM PDT · by rrstar96 · 42 replies · 2,893+ views
    First Things ^ | September 18, 2006 | Father Richard John Neuhaus
    (abridged version) Herewith a potpourri of reflections on the Regensburg lecture by Pope Benedict and reactions to it, intermixed with a bit of my own commentary. As many commentators, Muslim and other, do not know because they manifestly have not read the lecture, it was not chiefly about Islam. It was a considered reflection on the inseparable linkage of faith and reason in the Christian understanding, an incisive critique of Christian thinkers who press for separating faith and reason in the name of “de-Hellenizing” Christianity, and a stirring call for Christians to celebrate the achievements of modernity and secure those...
  • On the Square: "Beyond Gay Marriage" [multi-partner households]

    08/02/2006 9:56:24 AM PDT · by madprof98 · 12 replies · 670+ views
    First Things (blog) ^ | 8/2/06 | Robert P. George
    For years, critics of the idea of same-sex “marriage” have made the point that accepting the proposition that two persons of the same sex can marry each other entails abandoning any principled basis for understanding marriage as the union of two and only two persons. So far as I am aware, our opponents have made no serious effort to answer or rebut this point. Their strategy has been to dismiss it as a mere slippery-slope argument (although the truth is that it is a more fundamental type of argument than that) and to accuse us of engaging in “scare tactics.”...
  • Theocracy, Theocracy, Theocracy

    07/24/2006 7:21:53 AM PDT · by Dumb_Ox · 16 replies · 702+ views
    First Things ^ | Aug/Sept 2006 | Ross Douthat
    This is a paranoid moment in American politics. A host of conspiracies haunt our national imagination, and apparent incompetence is assumed to be the consequence of a dark design: President Bush knew about the attacks of 9/11 in advance, or else the Israelis did; the Straussians took us to war in Iraq, unless the oil companies did; the federal government let the levees break in New Orleans, unless it dynamited them itself. Perhaps the strangest of these strange stories, though, is the notion that twenty-first-century America is slouching toward theocracy. This is an old paranoia: Back in 1952, the science-fiction...
  • Did God Create The World, Or Darwin; The Play Recreated In (ECUSA)... ["Inherit the Wind" exposed]

    02/09/2006 5:52:30 PM PST · by sionnsar · 8 replies · 332+ views
    Drell's Descants ^ | 2/08/2006 | Brad Drell
    On the HOBD listerv, one of the usual challenges to those that would hold to the biblical standards of sexual morality involves belief in the theory of evolution, as if to say that the failure to recongize homosexuality as part of the evolutionary understanding of sexuality means that you are stupid. Well, homosexuality ought to not-breed itself out of existance, so surely, such a thing is not genetic and doesn’t fit within Darwinian theory. But, the play and movie, “Inherit the Wind”, has often provided a basis for protest against so-called biblical fundamentalism. Indeed, with trials occuring in our country...
  • The Designs of Science

    01/11/2006 6:08:46 PM PST · by Ma3lst0rm · 17 replies · 419+ views
    FIRST THINGS ^ | January 2006 | Christoph Cardinal Schönborn
    In July 2005 the New York Times published my short essay “Finding Design in Nature.” The reaction has been overwhelming, and not overwhelmingly positive. In the October issue of FIRST THINGS, Stephen Barr honored me with a serious response, one fairly representative of the reaction of many Catholics. I fear, however, that Barr has misunderstood my argument and possibly misconceived the issue of whether the human intellect can discern the reality of design in the world of living things. It appears from Barr’s essay—and a number of other responses—that my argument was substantially misunderstood. In “Finding Design in Nature,” I...
  • The Liberalism of John Paul II

    12/02/2005 5:46:55 PM PST · by annalex · 45 replies · 1,323+ views
    First Things ^ | May 1997 | Richard John Neuhaus
    The Liberalism of John Paul II Richard John Neuhaus Copyright (c) 1997 First Things 73 (May 1997): 16-21.It is no secret that when Centesimus Annus appeared in 1991 some of us viewed it not only as an important teaching moment but also as a vindication of our understanding of Catholic social doctrine. There was a great temptation to declare triumphantly, "I told you so." That temptation was not always resisted as it should have been. This contributed to a degree of polarization over the encyclical. Liberals who paid any attention at all to the document were not convinced of the...
  • The Design of Evolution

    10/21/2005 5:04:40 PM PDT · by cornelis · 68 replies · 887+ views
    First Things ^ | stephen barr
    The Design of Evolution -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stephen M. Barr -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Copyright (c) 2005 First Things 156 (October 2005): 9-12. Catholic theology has never really had a quarrel with the idea that the present species of plants and animals are the result of a long process of evolution—or with the idea that this process has unfolded according to natural laws. As the 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia put it, these ideas seem to be “in perfect agreement with the Christian conception of the universe.” Catholic theologians were more hesitant with respect to the origin of the human race, but even here, the old encyclopedia...
  • The First Crusade: A New History (Book Review)

    09/02/2005 6:53:30 AM PDT · by Valin · 12 replies · 662+ views
    Frist Things ^ | June/July 2005 | Thomas F. Madden
    (snip) As the title suggests, Thomas Asbridge’s The First Crusade: A New History begins at the beginning. The First Crusade was called in 1095 by Pope Urban II in response to an urgent plea for assistance from the Byzantine Empire, the last Christian state in the East. Things had been going badly for Christians for several centuries, ever since the explosion of Muslim warriors out of Arabia in the seventh century. Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North Africa—the core of the Christian world—had been conquered by Muslim jihad warriors and subjected to Islamic rule and law. When Turkish jihad warriors invaded and...
  • The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life

    08/13/2005 11:21:53 AM PDT · by Constitution Restoration Act · 13 replies · 509+ views
    First Things ^ | June/July 2005 | James Hitchcock (Reviewed by Russell Hittinger)
    In the sport of religion jurisprudence, the cats sometimes catch the mice. In October 1997, for example, federal district judge Ira DeMent issued an injunction forbidding religious activities in and around public schools in Alabama. Forbidden activities included “Bible and religious devotional or scriptural readings; distribution of religious materials, texts, or announcements; and discussions of a devotional or inspirational nature, regardless of whether the activity is initiated, led by, or engaged in by students.” The injunction set up a system of monitors to enter classrooms, visit athletic events, and observe activities—in order to collect complaints and verify compliance. Public schools...
  • Neuhas on Ratzinger

    04/21/2005 9:22:28 PM PDT · by JasonC · 20 replies · 925+ views
    First Things ^ | January 1999 | R.J. Neuhas
    Joseph Ratzinger, Christ’s Donkey Born in Bavaria on Holy Saturday of 1927, Joseph Ratzinger’s life has been entirely within and for the Church, which, he is convinced, is the way of greatest service to the world. This and much else become evident in his remarkable account just published by Ignatius, Milestones: Memoirs 1927–1977 (300 pp., $14.95 paper), which takes the reader from his childhood to his appointment as Archbishop of Munich. The years in Rome as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will, one hopes, be the subject of another memoir. But there is a great...
  • Conciliating Hatred

    05/21/2004 8:40:43 PM PDT · by Huber · 21 replies · 145+ views
    First Things ^ | June/July 2004 | Steven D. Smith
    These days, if you announce that the Supreme Court is doing politics rather than law you will provoke more yawns than protests. But what sort of politics is the Court doing? Justice Antonin Scalia frequently charges the Court with stepping out of its judicial role and taking sides in the culture wars. That is eminently plausible. Still, we are admonished to have charity, and a more charitable interpretation is at least possible. Some of the Justices, including some who are most centrally placed on the Court, seem to have a very different self-understanding. They seem to see themselves as performing...
  • The Politics of Partisan Neutrality

    04/24/2004 12:41:08 PM PDT · by Valin · 6 replies · 56+ views
    First Things ^ | May 04 | Louis Bolce / Gerald De Maio
    Americans who want to understand conflicts between Democrats and Republicans during the election season have received precious little help from the media. While reporters usually recognize that there is some sort of problem about “values” and about “faith-based” principles, and that the Democrats and Republicans are often on opposite sides, writers and editors tend to publish news and analysis as if the situation were as follows: The Christian right, having infiltrated the Republican Party, is importing its divisive religious ideas into our public life, whereas the Democratic Party is the neutral camp of tolerant and pluralistic Americans. This way of...
  • Europe’s Problem—and Ours

    01/31/2004 7:41:26 AM PST · by independentmind · 13 replies · 288+ views
    First Things ^ | February 2004 | George Weigel
    Go back in your mind’s eye to the fall of 1940, the fateful period that Winston Churchill called Britain’s “finest hour.” Having subdued the Low Countries and France, Adolf Hitler now turned his attention to the last remaining democratic power in Europe. Hermann Göring convinced Hitler that Britain could be bludgeoned into submission on the cheap, so the Luftwaffe unleashed a fierce aerial blitz intended to break the British will to resist. Night after night, London burned. One of the most famous photographs from those desperate weeks was a nocturnal silhouette of St. Paul’s Cathedral, its great dome standing strong...
  • Immigration and the Common Culture (Mexifornia: A State of Becoming)review

    01/28/2004 2:52:25 PM PST · by Federalist 78 · 9 replies · 235+ views
    First Things ^ | January 2004 | Reviewed by Peter C. Meilaender
    Mexifornia: A State of Becoming. By Victor Davis Hanson. Encounter. 150 pp. $21.95.In his latest work, Mexifornia: A State of Becoming, Victor Davis Hanson offers a report from immigration’s front lines. An unusual but appealing mix of argument and autobiography, Mexifornia provides a compelling—and frightening—portrayal of the transformations that decades of mass immigration have wrought in the cultural and political fabric of California. Hanson’s anecdotal account of his own life there—from attending grade school with mostly Mexican-American classmates and working alongside Mexican laborers on his generations-old family farm, to confronting Mexican trespassers stealing fruit or dumping garbage on his property—proves...
  • The End of Courtship

    01/20/2004 4:34:02 PM PST · by KDD · 24 replies · 207+ views
    First Things ^ | 05/97 | Richard John Neuhaus
    The above is the title of a splendid article by Leon Kass in the Winter 1997 issue of the Public Interest. Leon and his wife Amy, both professors at the University of Chicago, are preparing a book on the subject of marriage and courtship for one of our institute projects dealing with what we call "everyday ethics." In this article, Kass declares himself rather pessimistic about the prospects of rebuilding cultural patterns that have been undermined by dynamics so deep and pervasive. "Here is a (partial) list of the recent changes that hamper courtship and marriage: the sexual revolution, made...
  • Lincoln on Judicial Despotism

    03/04/2003 3:31:18 PM PST · by Remedy · 14 replies · 952+ views
    FIRST THINGS ^ | February 2003 | Robert P. George
    After the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education ordering the desegregation of public schools in Topeka, Kansas, lawsuits promptly were brought to dismantle legally sanctioned segregation in other states. One of these was Arkansas. There, Governor Orville Faubus and other state officials maintained that they were not bound by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown. That decision was constitutionally incorrect, they insisted, and amounted to a federal court’s usurpation of the constitutional authority of the states. Moreover, Arkansas was not a party in the case. Therefore, they contended that a lower federal court in Little...