Inequality and the Hunger Games

When does inequality become unjust? In this week’s Acton Commentary, Jordan Ballor considers that question in the context of Pope Francis’s teachings and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy: Earlier this week, Pope Francis logged onto his @Pontifex Twitter account to declare that “inequality is the root of social evil.” This was of a piece with his November apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium,” in which he asserted that “inequality is the root of social ills.” Within the deeper context of his exhortation, it is evident that Francis is not advocating for equality in an absolute sense. Continue Reading...

Environmental Consciousness and Authentic Spiritual Practice

Beware of “environmental consciousness” masquerading as authentic spiritual practice, says Fr. Michael Butler and Prof. Andrew Morriss in this week’s Acton Commentary: It is important to clarify the Church’s teaching on asceticism because many voices in the environmental movement encourage a kind of ascetical lifestyle in the name of “ethical consumption.” Orthodox writers on the environment are not immune to the temptation of putting the ascetical tradition of the Church in the service of another agenda. Continue Reading...

War on Women: Hypocrisy and Paternalism under the Guise of Equality

“The equal pay issue is rife with myths,” says Elise Hilton in this week’s Acton Commentary. “The myths have a long history in American politics.” With more than a dozen smiling women looking over his shoulder in the East Room of the White House, President Obama signed a proclamation in support of National Equal Pay Day on April 8. Continue Reading...

Crony Capitalism’s Favorite Trick

Many who reject capitalism in favor of some “third way” do so because they often mistake it for government-corporate cronyism, says Jonathan Witt in this week’s Acton Commentary. But in countries that have begun extending true economic freedom to the masses, capitalist activity has already lifted hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty. Continue Reading...

What Would God’s March Madness Look Like?

“What would God’s March Madness look like?” asks David Mitchell in this week’s Acton Commentary. “Could competition focus churches and church members the same way a college tournament focuses people on basketball?” What counts as service to others? Continue Reading...

Everyone is Awesome

Everything, and everyone, really is awesome! In today’s Acton Commentary, “Everything Really is Awesome,” I make a connection between the LEGO movie and the latest film release by the Acton Institute, “For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles.” My point of departure is the ditty that appears in the LEGO movie, “Everything is Awesome.” Another implication of this connection is that everyone is awesome, in the same way that we recognize with the Psalmist: O LORD, our Lord,      how majestic is your name in all the earth! Continue Reading...

George Gilder and the Information Theory of Capitalism

The “information theory of capitalism”, says Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse in this week’s Acton Commentary, upends conventional thinking about free markets and statist economic theories. Ever since the rise of information theory in the 1940s, it is becoming increasingly clear that the universe is, in a sense, digital. Continue Reading...

It’s Not Only the Poor Who Need Moral Leadership

“Oral histories often paint a rosy picture of the moral fiber of previous generations,” write Anthony Bradley and Sean Spurlock in this week’s Acton Commentary. “But close attention to history reveals the truth about human condition: that regardless of our social status, everyone is in need of moral formation – and thus it has always been.” In Britain and elsewhere, as the contrast between the publicly held moral code and private behavior became clear, the code itself was discredited. Continue Reading...

Presuming the Best

Kierkegaard once wrote, “The majority of men are subjective toward themselves and objective toward all others, terribly objective sometimes–but the real task is in fact to be objective toward one’s self and subjective toward all others.” In this week’s Acton Commentary, “Discounting the Unseen,” I explore our responsibility to presume the best of others, particularly with regards to what remains unknown or assumed about them. Continue Reading...