Acton Institute Powerblog

PowerLinks 07.18.13

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Homeschoolers turn to high court for asylum
Baptist Press

A German homeschooling family has lost another round in their effort to avoid deportation, apparently leaving the U.S. Supreme Court as their last hope.

Libertarianism and Catholic Social Teaching: Convergence and Divergence
Patrick Clark, Catholic Moral Theology

Catholics need to consider the extent to which libertarianism as a general political philosophy coheres with the Church’s social doctrine. There are at least two main points to be made on both sides of this question

Why Great Teachers Are Fleeing the Profession
Rafe Esquith, Wall Street Journal

If the system is driving creative teachers to unparalleled levels of frustration, imagine what it’s like for young students getting up in the morning, knowing they face an endless day of rote learning.

Witnessing (but not reporting) Unethical Workplace Behaviour
Chris MacDonald, The Business Ethics Blog

A new study of ethics in Canadian workplaces suggests that 42% of workers have witnessed ethical breaches in the workplace, and nearly half of them failed to report such misconduct.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • RogerMcKinney

    Regarding “Libertarianism and Catholic Social Teaching: Convergence and Divergence”:

    “the constitution protected the sphere of individual freedom at stake in each case.”

    This conflation of abortion with gun rights is dishonest and disgusting. Does the author not notice that the Constitution does not mention abortion, but assumes that the state will protect the unborn from murder? Yet, the Constitution specifically mentions the right to own guns for self defense!

    The real question is who will determine what is the common good and have the power to enforce it? Catholics never say! Socialists want the state to do it while libertarians want individuals to do choose. Catholics remain conveniently silent on who will decide.

    “…what ultimately determines their arbitration is not any coherent legal tradition or substantive account of the common good, but rather the competing passions of those advocating for the protection or restriction of such “rights.”

    How can you separate the common good from individual rights? Do not the true rights promote the common good? In fact, I can’t see how one promotes the common good without individual rights.

    “…not only does libertarianism leave us vulnerable to this individualism, it actively promotes it.”

    I’m still waiting for a Catholic writer who will deal honestly with libertarianism. I don’t know if the problem is ignorance or dishonesty. Libertarianism promotes the individuality of Lord Acton. See Hayek’s “Individualism: True or False.”

    “It is the utopianism of Rousseau, Thoreau and Ayn Rand. “

    As Hayek points out, libertarianism is the conservatism of Lord Acton and the opposite of that of Rousseau and Thoreau. Ayn Rand follows Rousseau. It’s stupid, ignorant and dishonest to continue to conflate mainstream libertarianism with the atheistic, fake individualism of the Enlightenment.

    Yet, he hastens to add, “at the same time solidarity demands a readiness to accept the sacrifices necessary for the good of the whole world community.”

    Again, who decides what is “the good of the whole world community”? Catholics are totally silent, but someone has to decide.