Rev. Ben Johnson

Rev. Ben Johnson is Senior Editor at the Acton Institute.

Posts by Rev. Ben Johnson

The failure of ‘Homo Economist’

When Pope Francis denounced “libertarian individualism” last year, few people could find a flesh-and-blood example of the philosophy as articulated by the pontiff. However, the gimlet eye of Stream editor John Zmirak may have found a related species in a creature he identifies as Homo Economist – a theoretical person who contrasts almost completely with the human person as viewed by advocates of constitutional government, ordered liberty, faith, and adherence to the precepts of natural law. Continue Reading...

FAQ: What is Yom Kippur?

This year Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Tuesday, September 18, and lasts until sundown on Wednesday, September 19. Here are the facts you need to know about the holiest of Jewish holidays. Continue Reading...

A Jewish perspective on justice, for Rosh Hashanah

A poetic prayer (piyyut) recited on the Jewish New Year declares Rosh Hashanah (which is celebrated today) to be “awesome and terrible,” because “Your kingship is exalted upon it / Your throne is established in mercy / You are enthroned upon it in truth / In truth You are the judge.” But does the divine Judge have a standard of social justice that applies to economic affairs and the distribution of wealth? Continue Reading...

How Switzerland honors the Protestant work ethic and Catholic subsidiarity

In the U.S., Labor Day weekend celebrates the work ethic that made this nation the most prosperous in human history, and federalism is enshrined in our constitution. But Switzerland – so often overlooked by the West – may have much to teach us about how to honor and embrace the profound influence of the Protestant work ethic and Catholic subsidiarity. Continue Reading...

The church that lives by the State shall die by the State

In all the articles about last week’s 50th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Prague, few took note of one of its enduring scars: widespread and ubiquitous atheism. Some may be surprised to learn that the Czech people are the most irreligious people in Europe, not just because of decades of government-sponsored atheism, but because of centuries of government-enforced religion. Continue Reading...