First Things Magazine: Any piece of writing which is anti-gay marriage results in a host of comments castigating the author- while socially conservatives commenters are systematically censored

In this post:

“Opponents of gay marriage are now treated by the press in the same way queer-rights agitators were in the past: as strange, depraved creatures, whose repenting and surrender to mainstream values we await with bated breath,” writes Brendan O’Neill in Spiked! Which raises the question: “How do we account for this extraordinary consensus, for what is tellingly referred to as the ‘surrender’ to gay marriage by just about everyone in public life?”

“And is it a good thing, evidence that we had a heated debate on a new civil right and the civil rightsy side won? I don’t think so. I don’t think we can even call this a ‘consensus’, since that would imply the voluntaristic coming together of different elements in concord. It’s better described as conformism, the slow but sure sacrifice of critical thinking and dissenting opinion under pressure to accept that which has been defined as a good by the upper echelons of society: gay marriage. Indeed, the gay-marriage campaign provides a case study in conformism, a searing insight into how soft authoritarianism and peer pressure are applied in the modern age to sideline and eventually do away with any view considered overly judgmental, outdated, discriminatory, ‘phobic’, or otherwise beyond the pale.”

This “extraordinary consensus” or “conformity” was not achieved by gay rights activists changing public opinion, he argues, but by elites led by judges in particular.

William, a subscriber and reader of FT, wonders (May 17th, 2013):

No, not judges, but the media; both the old mainstream and the new social media. Why think this way? First Things is an academic-minded, rather conservative and orthodox journal, yet a piece of writing which is anti-gay marriage results in a host of comments castigating the author. As a subscriber I should be happy that my favourite magazine has such a wide range of readers yet I wonder if they are readers and, if not, where did they come from?


Well, if William and other subscribers would ever wake up and smell the coffee, they might start to wonder why many socon commenter are systematically censored and not allowed to comment in FT threads related to homosexuality and people normalizing homosexuality flood the comment section.

You don’t need more than two neurons to figure out this is deliberate. And that it is a disguised way for FT to push a homosexual agenda.

The question is: Who’s pink and pushing for this agenda inside FT?

As long as these subscribers continue to give their money to FT, the problem will only worsen.


8 thoughts on “First Things Magazine: Any piece of writing which is anti-gay marriage results in a host of comments castigating the author- while socially conservatives commenters are systematically censored

  1. I was surprised to discover recently that R.R. Reno has resigned from the faculty of Creighton University. He is not superintending First Things from Omaha with surplus time. Editing First Things is his regular job. David Mills was previously the editor of Touchstone, which was uninjured by his stewardship, so he is likely not responsible for the problems in editorial judgment. Per Midge Decter, the office suite in which the Institute on Religion and Public Life is located occupies eight rooms, so it cannot be that difficult to keep tabs on hiring and subordinates’ activity. Unless Dr. Reno is quite hopeless, he is the responsible party.

  2. It is quite normal for blogs to attracts persistent dissenters if not trolls. You should have a look at the comment boxes of National Review online. Also, people who fancy themselves the tribunes of the homosexual population (and vociferous queers themselves) are quite extraordinary in various forums in their impulse to express themselves and their manner of expression (as well as in their framing of everything). The presence of these these shnooks is not all that surprising, though I notice that analogues to them are absent from the other blogs operated by the Institute on Religion and Public Life. What is novel is the excision of the opposition. Three or four years ago, I was permitted to slice up the utterances David Goldman (“Spengler”) without interference (and he deserved it), and even Spiliakos does not put my remarks in the trash can. So, yes, what you and I are experiencing is novel.

    Homosexuality is an issue in the Church and various protestant congregations, so some attention to it in First Things is unsurprising. First Things under Fr. Neuhaus had a stereotyped format: an opening editorial, several pieces of commentary, several feature articles, a batch of book reviews, and The Public Square (an assemblage each month of 30-odd paragraph length apercus, all writen by Fr. Neuhaus). There might be one feature article a year touching on homosexuality in some regard – usually having to do with an intramural dispute in some denomination or a public-policy question raised by others &c. Maybe one of Fr. Neuhaus’ batch of brief commentaries would mention the subject. For all that (and with a remarkable lack of self-understanding), Andrew Sullivan called Fr. Neuhaus ‘obsessed’ with the subject. It is difficult to believe a creature like Joshua Gonnerman would have been permitted to bogart so many pixels if RJN were still running the place. Where does R.R. Reno come from? The theological academy, the same folk who recruited and provided for the ordination of all the wretched clergy we have been stuck with over a couple of generations.

  3. I had a look at the particular comment box in question. I do not recognize the handles of about 85% of those characters and David Nickol is absent. It seems almost akin to an old-style letter writing campaign. However, I cannot locate an unfriendly site which links to the article. It is peculiar…

  4. Again, repairing to here

    You find the author’s professional web page here:

    And the publisher’s description of his most recent work here:

    Remarks on the man’s undergraduate institution are here:

    Another wounded healer. I have an agreeable regard for David Morrison, but you get a critical mass of these chaps and I do not think it will end well.

  5. Hi.
    Just to add another to your clip file.

    I am no longer unconditionally persona non grata at Dreher’s but have now been banned at First Thoughts. What is mordantly amusing about that is that I purchased the 1st issue at the newsstand in March 1990, was a regular purchaser, and then was a subscriber for in excess of a dozen years. For whatever reason, they used to send me solicitations to attend their periodic fundraising dinner in New York. I am not sure what mailing list I was on to be treated to that, though perhaps all their subscribers were.

    One of their most recent posts was by another wounded healer named Belgau which made use of George Rekers as an example. Rekers is a retired medical school professor who had had some association with Joseph Nicolosi and NARTH and has been accused of sexual immorality. The charges against him were suspicious and this fellow Belgau was using him as an example in a way that was dubious. They do not permit their readers to point out the reasons why either the factual contentions re Rekers are not to be taken at face value or why Belgau’s point is wrong.

    Per LinkedIn, their deputy editor David Mills – the former editor of Touchstone as well as a compilation on C.S. Lewis – still lives in Pittsburgh. They had him in a recent staff photograph, but it is a reasonable guess he telecommutes. Joe Carter, the lapsed Marine (or was he Army?) who was at one time their web editor, no longer works there. Someone else is on site in New York supervising the juveniles in that office.

  6. Hi Art Deco,

    Yes, I saw a comment of yours back at TAC. I still browse the site and read some of the articles/commentary and Dreher now and then – but it’s mostly for the commentary. There are a few commenters that I really like. Dreher is shameless about what a hypocrite he is. I almost emailed him recently pointing it out when I read his post on Dartmouth’s revocation of Bishop Tengatenga due to the latter’s traditional and socially conservative views on homosexuality.

    Dreher wrote: “Still, the African bishop abased himself fully before the P.C. gods at Dartmouth, and still got kicked in the teeth.”

    And Dreher does what to commenters that press on issues pointing out the problems with the current homosexuality agenda? Kicks them in the teeth just the same by kicking them out of his comment box.

    “What a gutless disgrace the Dartmouth leadership under president Philip Hanlon have shown themselves in this matter. ”

    Just like Dreher: gutless.

    Dreher: “But this is a sign of the McCarthyite times.”

    Yes, it is, and Dreher is a part of them.

    Dreher: ” Any support for traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality, even if you have changed your mind, will be enough to get you blacklisted, no matter what else you have to offer to a university and its community.”

    And the same philosophy applies to people questioning Dreher’s own homosexuality agenda.

    I believe TAC is run by Buchanan, is it not? I have gotten the impression given by some other TAC writers together with Dreher that they are trying to reach a much more libertarian/centrist section of Republicans/conservatives, who are often quite liberal. It’s all about gathering support for national elections.

    Dreher hates to have anyone point out the problems with his discourse and views – for which he is beside himself with admiration. He is no different than the rest in that respect. Debate is really not allowed; there is just a flimflam, cosmetic debate allowed.

    Dreher abhors any talk of mass actions of violence and harm perpetrated by the LGBT folks – and so does FT – as much as the CC abhorred anyone talking about any case of sexual abuse by its priests in the past, while they could still keep a lid on it.

  7. I think Dreher’s problem is that he is not inner-directed. He is reactive and emotional and undone by his understanding of what is au courant, making himself the bitch of people with more vehement opinions (Larison). He is also someone with a truncated (if not absent) sense of honor, which is why, I suspect, he is not repelled by some of the world’s crudniks (e.g. Damon LInker). He actually called Scott Lively, a minister in Massachusetts, a ‘bad man’. Just what did Lively do to earn that designation? ‘Bad man’ is a designation you might reserve for a member of our sociopathic political elite or a crime boss or a swath of the more dubious characters in the legal profession.

    As for First Things, it is a puzzle. Fr. Neuhaus’ successor had some odd editorial judgments (e.g. adding David Goldman and Jim Hoft as bloggers). David Mills has a considerable and defensible record. This fellow Reno is out of the theological academy. The print edition – which I see at one of the local libraries – seems terribly flat compared to what it was when Dr. Neuchterlein was editing it and even when J. Bottum was editing it. I have had occasion to see responses that Reno has written that were astoundingly pusillanimous. And, again, he appears to have turned over the electronic edition to a juvenile with an … interesting… collection… of… friends. If the board of the Institute on Religion and Public Life cannot locate someone capable of editing the publication (and they are zero for three over a nine year period), they need to shut down and stop sucking up scarce foundation money.

    It is all fairly demoralizing. Neither the cultural nor the political right seems to be able to maintain even small apostolates which engage and answer the secular culture and the rancid elements within it.

    • “As for First Things, it is a puzzle. ”

      It is weird! You know much more about it than I do. I was very surprised to see a comment from Joe Carter not supporting homosexuality recently – it was in the article trying to bash the “gag” reflect – the author is one of FT’s endless number of homosexual writers. Boo hoo, you can’t say it’s repulsive! Everyone must applaud the crap.

      So I don’t know much about Carter, but he was heading the editing awhile ago, and that’s when we had to put up with Nickols, Boonton, and RAy Ingles taking over every thread with their homosexuality agenda. Now Nickols is fortunately gone, but I ‘m too wary to think they’re curtailing Boonton, although I don’t see him write dozens of comments in every thread promoting his homosexuality agenda as he was doing before the change in this editor. Maybe there have been some changes?

      ” If the board of the Institute on Religion and Public Life cannot locate someone capable of editing the publication (and they are zero for three over a nine year period), they need to shut down and stop sucking up scarce foundation money. ”

      I totally agree, it’s terrible! And it’s sad to see how much these homosexuals have infiltrated churches all over and religious-associated organizations.

      FT would never allow someone like Anyabwile to write what needs to be written.

      It’s disgusting how they censor the people that need to be writing.

      “It is all fairly demoralizing.”

      I know, I feel that way too sometimes, but it only makes me value more the courageous writers who do not back down and stand firm.

      “Neither the cultural nor the political right seems to be able to maintain even small apostolates which engage and answer the secular culture and the rancid elements within it.”

      I’ve just discovered this site/mag last week:

      Are you familiar with it? I had a very good impression, but I just read the article on porn! (lack of time to read more) I happened upon the site because it appears linked to Joe Carter.

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