Religious publication First Things announced on Monday that it does not plan to cower to the mob that tried to cancel a book promotion for “Feminism Against Progress” author Mary Harrington, who frequently tells the truth about biological sex.
In the span of just a few weeks, an online crowd successfully convinced a self-proclaimed “inclusive” venue in New York to cancel its event contract with the magazine. Mere days after the venue incident, a hacker tried to infiltrate and erase the First Things website, which boasts “nearly four million yearly visitors” and seeks “to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.” The First Things team thwarted that effort “within hours” but is already raising funds to reinforce its online security system against other digital ambushes.
“Attacks against those who hold the line for orthodox faith should come as no surprise,” First Things Editor R.R. Reno wrote in a letter on Monday.
Reno affirmed that First Things does “not intend to go down” or surrender to radical activists like authors such as Judy Blume do.
“We’ve observed enough cancelations to know that much depends on how the cancelée responds. You can capitulate with a groveling apology and wait for the swarm to move on, but it’s never the same after that. Not to mention, you’ve given the mob exactly what it wants,” Reno noted. “Or, you can stand firm, recognizing that the mob’s power is wholly connected to its ability to instill fear.”
Reno said First Things “will always” take the second approach and keep standing for “the truth of religious orthodoxy.”
First Things was scheduled to host an event with Compact and Harrington on April 26 at a lounge in Manhattan. The venue had already accepted a deposit and contract from the publications when an online mob criticized the venue on its social media pages for daring to host an author that criticized the left’s radical gender ideology.
“My immediate offense was a tweet criticizing child gender-reassignment surgery, an irreversible act that can permanently sterilize the patient. My criticism was strongly worded, because some things deserve to be strenuously opposed,” Harrington wrote in an explainer for Compact.
In the tweet, which she wrote still stands by, Harrington described anyone who agrees to irreversibly mutilate and mangle people, especially children, as “butchers.”
Soon after, the Georgia Room canceled the venue contract “without notice.” Harrington said the abruptly severed tie came not necessarily because of her tweet but because of the Georgia Room’s “broader discomfort with my insistence on the inescapable reality and political importance of the physical differences between men and women.” The author deemed that decision “a sign that the city is losing its intellectual robustness.”
Despite the ongoing intimidation campaign it faces, First Things and Harrington plan to move forward with its event at a new venue and without the type of apology its attackers covet.
“Sadly, many institutions have wilted in the face of the storm, either shying away from contentious issues or actively burning a pinch of incense to our new regime,” Reno wrote. “Not First Things.”
Harrington shared similar sentiment at the conclusion of her letter.
“The show will go on. Somehow, somewhere we will hold the book launch. In the face of powerful resistance, we will defend reality,” she confirmed.