Acton Institute Powerblog

Rev. Sirico on Faith-Based Budgeting

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Over at World Magazine, Lee Wishing cites a speech by Rev. Robert A. Sirico, president and co-founder of the Acton Institute, on the subject of putting our faith in God and our own abilities instead of the government to manage economies. He quotes Rev. Sirico: “Many thinkers throughout the ages have noted that we face a choice between holding a robust faith in God or putting faith in man and institutions such as the state.”  In such tough economic times, we are reminded that we need to put our faith and trust in God first.

Louie Glinzak


  • Roger McKinney

    I think this is too simple. The problem is much deeper. Two ideas underlie the faith in the state: 1) wealth is limited and people can become wealthy only by taking from others and 2) people are born good and oppression makes them bad.

    Limited wealth is as old as mankind and was true for most of history. Until the advent of capitalism, wealth was limited and those who became rich did so by taking it from others. The decline of the Roman Empire began when it could no longer conquer more nations and steal their wealth. The regime of limited wealth ended with capitalism because capitalism created new wealth, but most people don’t understand how it works. So they see wealthy people as having taken the wealth of poor people. The only institution powerful enough to stand up to the wealthy is the state.

    The idea that people are born good and only oppression makes them bad leads to the idea that the structure of society makes people either good or bad. There is no free will. We can look at the character of the people and determine if the structure is sound. If the people are bad, then something in the structure of society is oppressing them and making them bad. That element in society that makes people do bad things is private property, which is a pop version of Marxism. Marx believed that all evil issues from property and that removing property from society would eliminate all crime.

    The cure for the first is education. The cure for the second is a Biblical understanding of the nature of mankind.

  • Tracy

    Roger good comment: I think faith base organizations are finding ways to eliminate the government subsidy by finding other means to create wealth. Just like a capitalistic society churches for example create income by their staff writing books, speaking engagements, and performing at concerts. Unfortunately many churches and faith based organizaions staff have to find part time jobs to make ends meet.