Blog author: jcarter
Friday, December 9, 2016

Why The Media Would Pretend Catholics Are Trading Abortion For Climate Change
Daniel Payne, The Federalist

‘Catholic leaders’ believe that ‘climate change’ is on the ‘same level’ as abortion and the death penalty? If you know about Catholics, you’d be skeptical.

Why Understanding Economics Is So Important for Christians
Joseph Rossell, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

We all think economically, Christians included, whether or not we know it. We all make choices about how to obtain and spend scarce resources. Most of us also care deeply about how to deal with scarcity, distribute wealth, and maximize prosperity throughout our society. The only difference is how clearly we think through these choices and valuations.

The Five Institutions of the Market Economy
Henry Hazlitt, FEE

Let us see what the basic institutions of the market economy are. We may subdivide them for convenience of discussion into (1) private property, (2) free markets, (3) competition, (4) division and combination of labor, and (5) social cooperation. As we shall see, these are not separate institutions. They are mutually dependent: each implies the other, and makes it possible.

Ap Explains: How Trump Plans To Punish Firms That Leave Us
Paul Wiseman, Associated Press

President-elect Donald Trump threatened in a series of early-morning tweets Sunday to punish American companies that move plants and jobs to other countries.

JohnGlennJohn Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, died today at the age of 95. Glenn was a U.S. Marine, a pilot, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio. He was also, at the age of 77, the oldest person to fly in space, serving in NASA’s Mercury and Shuttle programs.

In honor of his passing, here are six key quotes from Glenn on faith, service, and government:

On faith and opportunity: “I’m a Presbyterian, a Protestant Presbyterian, and I take my religion seriously as a matter of fact. I was brought up believing that you are placed on Earth here more or less with a 50-50 proposition, and that is what I still believe. We are placed here with certain talents and capabilities. It is up to each of us to use those talents and capabilities as best you can. If you do that, I think there is a power greater than any of us that will place the opportunities in our way.”

On civic participation: “To be a full participant in democracy, everyone should keep up with current events. Don’t let your view of government and politics and world events be formed through the filter of other people’s biases or ignorance. Develop your own ideas, for you are the government.”

Ryan Anderson delivers the annual Calihan Lecture

Ryan Anderson delivers the annual Calihan Lecture

Leading thinkers from around the world along with other attendees gathered at the Bloomsbury Hotel in London to attend the Acton Institute’s ‘Crisis of Liberty in the West’ conference on December 1st.  The theme of the conference was centered on the economic and political struggles that North American, European, and other Western nations are currently facing.  The conference featured many key leaders in the areas of theology, conservative social thought, and economics among others.  The entire conference was recorded and can be viewed online at the Acton website.

One of the key speakers at the event was 2016 Novak Award winner Ryan Anderson.  The Novak Award recognizes new outstanding research by scholars early in their academic careers who demonstrate outstanding intellectual merit in advancing the understanding of theology’s connection to human dignity, the importance of limited government, religious liberty, and economic freedom.  Every year, the Novak Award winner makes a formal presentation on such questions at an annual public forum known as the Calihan Lecture.  This year that took place at the ‘Crisis of Liberty in the West’ conference in London where Anderson was recognized for winning the Novak Award and was given the $10,000 that comes as a part of the award.

This year’s Calihan Lecture given by Anderson focused on different ways that liberty has been taken away and how liberty can be reconstructed.   First, Anderson explained three different ways that our liberty has been taken away; bad intellectual defenses of freedom, the collapse of civil society that promotes human flourishing, and cronyism.  Anderson says this about cronyism:

Many of the criticisms levelled at “free markets” are in reality directed at the exact opposite: crony capitalism, the collusion of Big Business and Big Government, frequently aided and abetted by Big Media and Big Law. Businesses that are too big to fail, that rig the economic system in their favor, that hire the best lobbyists to get government to regulate their industry in their favor, to create barriers to entry for competitors and newcomers, to weaken the labor market. Cronyism takes place whenever these groups collude to set the system up against the little guy and the new guy, when they go outside of transparent normal operating procedures to get a result in their favor, at the expense of the common good.


on_the_church“‘First rooted, then grounded, but both bound together at their most inner core!’ Let that be the slogan of the church living from God’s Word.” -Abraham Kuyper

What is the social nature of our relation to God? What is the church, and who is the church? How should it to relate to the broader society?

Such questions are explored at length in On the Church, a newly translated, newly released collection of essays and speeches by Abraham Kuyper on the nature of the church. Published by Lexham Press in partnership with the Acton Institute, the anthology highlight’s Kuyper’s unique ecclesiological vision of the church as both “institution” and “organism” — or as the Apostle Paul puts it, “rooted and grounded.”

“’Rooted and grounded’ unites organism and institution,” Kuyper says, “and Scripture itself refuses to allow any separation — it weaves them together. By means of the person who sows and plants, the metaphor of vital growth overflows into that of the institution; by means of the living stone, the metaphor of the building flows over into that of the organism.”

Kuyper’s doctrine of the church was not developed or delivered in a vacuum, but in response to his own social context and the challenges of his day. The disestablishment of the church in the Netherlands and the resulting social pluralization was one thing; the external challenges to the doctrine of Scripture by “higher criticism” and “modern science” were another. “Enlightenment rationalism continued to challenge Christian epistemology,” explains John Halsey Wood Jr., the anthology’s editor. “In addition, a changing social landscape, as much as the changing intellectual one, also posed a challenge to theology and the church.” (more…)

Useful idiots for collectivism posing as French intellectuals -- Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone Beauvoir entertain the butcher Ernesto "Che" Guevara in 1960.

In his novel The Age of Longing, Arthur Koestler skewers many so-called French intellectuals as useful idiots for collectivism, including presumably Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone Beauvoir shown above entertaining the butcher Ernesto “Che” Guevara in 1960.

Don’t retire this book! Although Arthur Koestler’s The Age of Longing was published in 1951 – officially making it 65 this year – it’s far too invigoratingly fresh to remove from the anti-Marxist workforce. In fact, the message delivered by Koestler in this novel couldn’t be more relevant than in our contemporary political environment.

Koestler’s penultimate endeavor in literary fiction and the final entry in his quartet of political novels on the inherent dangers of collectivism, The Age of Longing revisits the religious theme prevalent in the author’s first novel, The Gladiators, but subdued or nonexistent in Darkness at Noon and Arrival and Departure. A fifth novel, 1946’s Thieves in the Night, details the political landscape of post-World War II Palestine, which falls outside the convenient rubric of the present conversation – as does The Call Girls, a novel he wrote and published 22 years after The Age of Longing.

Compared to his previous novels and works of journalism, The Age of Longing received short-shrift upon its publication. Since then, it has been granted only brief critical consideration – if at all, considering it’s the only Koestler novel not granted its own Wikipedia entry. This is unfortunate, as this novel-of-ideas is a corker, positing the only salvation of humanity from the allure of collectivism is religious faith. (more…)

trump-carrierRecently, when asked if intervention by the White House into private enterprise was presidential, President-elect Trump responded, “I think it’s very presidential. And if it’s not presidential, that’s okay … because I actually like doing it.”

Writing for the Library of Law and Liberty, Greg Weiner asks, “On what authority is the President of the United States pressuring, which is to say intimidating, the leaders of private enterprise to determine where goods are made and sold? Answer: sheer personal will. ‘I actually like doing it.’” This is a serious threat to the Constitutional rule of law, notes Weiner:

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Trump’s 35 Percent Internal-Tariff is Economic Fools’ Gold
Tom Rogan, Opportunity Lives

As is his passion, President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday fired off some tweets. He promised a 35 percent internal-tariff on U.S. manufacturing companies that relocate jobs abroad.

Ten Reasons to Retain Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions
Michael J. DeBoer, ERLC

The tax-exempt status of religious institutions remains a topic of discussion in American public life, and from time to time, public debate regarding this issue flares up and becomes more intense. This appears to be one of those times, which is evident from several recently published articles and opinion pieces in prominent news outlets debating the wisdom of tax exemptions.

Profits and an ‘Economy of Mutuality’
Tom Nelson, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

A corporation that has corporate social responsibility, not only to its shareholders but also toward the value supply chain of the local and global neighborhood, is even better.

266 Christians ransomed and freed from Islamic State
Associated Press

The millions in ransom money came in dollar by dollar, euro by euro from around the world. The donations, raised from church offerings, a Christmas concert, and the diaspora of Assyrian Christians on Facebook, landed in a bank account in Iraq. Its ultimate destination: the Islamic State group.