Category: Acton Commentary

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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acton-commentary-blogimage“Do voters have a ‘commitment problem’ with Bernie Sanders?” asks Dylan Pahman in this week’s Acton Commentary.

So why would someone who seems really to want to be President (unlike candidates who appear to be using their campaigns to promote a book, for example) tell Americans he’s a socialist when half the country says they wouldn’t vote for one? How does that serve his interest? Shouldn’t it hurt his electability?

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

acton-commentary-blogimage“What would happen when these populisms collide at the first Francis-Trump summit?” asks Kishore Jayabalan in this week’s Acton Commentary. “We may shudder at the thought, but if Catholicism and strident nationalism are indeed so opposed, we may be left waiting for another St. Augustine to resolve the tensions between the City of God and the City of Man.”

Augustine wrestled with the question of whether Christians can be good citizens and turned his attention to the vices of pagan Rome rather than trying to detail how Christians ought to practice politics. The example of the recently-deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia would seem to follow suit. A traditionalist in belief and practice, he rejected any sort of “Catholic” interpretation of the law and went so far as to deny the importance of natural law for judges. For Scalia, there was no contradiction between the US Constitution and Catholic morality, even in cases such as the death penalty, which he addressed in a First Things essay, “God’s Justice and Ours”. If he thought the Catholic Church demanded the abolition of capital punishment, he would have to recuse himself from such cases or resign in protest, but he would not pervert the law to fit his moral preferences.

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
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acton-commentary-blogimage“Although its roots are often attributed to Latin America, liberation theology was born in German schools of theology in the early twentieth century,” says Ismael Hernandez in this week’s Acton Commentary. “From this birthplace in the ivory towers of the Old World, priests and theologians brought it to the jungles and plains of the New.”

Troubled by the genuine needs of the natives, these populist theologians challenged the pre-capitalist system that perpetuated the poverty of Latin lands. Energized by their vision of change and social justice and eager to make a mark of their own, they went to the favelas and barrios where desperate poverty cried out to God. There they found no solid middle class and no traditions of democracy, only abject poverty on one side and heedless opulence on the other. In the Church they found the piety of folk Catholicism with no social conscience and a structural alignment with elites. They offered as a solution a concoction of Marxist analysis and Christian praxis.

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

acton-commentary-blogimage“Sociological determinism informs our public policy,” says Ismael Hernandez in this week’s Acton Commentary. “Those with a stake in the maintenance and expansion of government bureaucracies feed upon pathology and find a willing constituency among those who perceive the world in terms of victims and perpetrators.”

If men are not free, they are not responsible for their misdeeds and ought instead to be treated with pity for falling prey to tragic misfortunes. They are to be healed by those who understand their powerlessness. Such enabling has produced a host of psychotherapeutic terms and treatments attempting to explain every human condition and every degrading act.

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
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acton-commentary-blogimage“As all the media attention attests, the sad story of Flint is not limited to itself,” says Kishore Jayabalan in this week’s Acton Commentary. “The entitlement mentality is like a drug ruining not just American cities but spreading to the country as a whole. The entitlement mentality is like a drug ruining not just American cities but spreading to the country as a whole.”

As a native of Flint, Michigan, I am very saddened by the contaminated water crisis that has broken out in my hometown and has now gathered international attention. What’s even sadder is that I am not terribly shocked that such a crisis could take place there. Flint has long been Exhibit A in the story of the decline and fall of a once-proud industrial city in the age of globalization; it is also a prime example of why monopolies in politics, business and labor are inherently prone to collusion, complacency and even corruption. Flint is what happens when we avoid competition out of a false sense of “solidarity.”

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
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acton-commentary-blogimage“If the nation-state is passé,” asks Todd Huizinga in this week’s Acton Commentary, “why do “Europeans” cling to it?”

Current events have made it more crucial than ever to understand what makes the European Union tick. What are the ideological roots of the eurozone crisis? Why do so many EU leaders seem willing to risk exposing their people to more jihadist terror and to invite a potentially unmanageable de-Westernization of Europe by opening the floodgates to immigrants from a burning Middle East? To understand why these crises are affecting Europe, we need to look at the unique nature of European Union.

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

Blog author: jballor
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
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The_Odds
In this week’s Acton Commentary, I take a look at “The Moral and Economic Poverty of the Lottery.” I take a look at the main parties involved: the winners, the players, and the government, and conclude, “Far from a force for good, lotteries are a danger to society.”

The problems with lotteries and gambling more generally are various and sundry. But Gerda Reith captures a fundamental aspect when she writes that “the state-sponsored fantasy of the big win turns the ethos of production and accumulation on its head.” This is essentially what Edmund Burke’s problem with a gaming society involves, which I explore in more depth in this week’s piece.

And later today I’ll be on Chris Brooks’ program on Moody Radio, “Equipped,” to discuss lottery winners and losers. Tune in at 1pm Eastern.