From Too Big to Fail to Too Big to Flourish

“We hear a lot about ‘too big to fail’ banks and other financial institutions,” says Jordan Ballor in this week’s Acton Commentary. “But what about a federal government whose size and scope have become so vast as to crowd out civil institutions?” The existence of banks that are too big to fail is in significant ways the result of the actions of a government that is too big to flourish. Continue Reading...

Gaia’s Vengeance: The Caustic Cliché of Environmentalism

In this week’s Acton Commentary, Ryan H. Murphy asks, “Why don’t we bat an eye when extremists hope a pagan god will smite SUV owners?” TV Tropes, a Wikipedia-style website, catalogs many clichés of fiction, including this, which the site calls “Gaia’s Vengeance.” Some variation on this theme can be found in major Hollywood movies like The Happening, The Day After Tomorrow, and Avatar. Continue Reading...

The Spending Splurge and the End of Sacrifice

America’s debt is creating not servants of higher things but slaves to government, says Ray Nothstine in this week’s Acton Commentary. As our nation’s $17 trillion debt spirals out of control, and spiritual disciplines decline in the West, we need to face the reality of America’s inability to collectively sacrifice. Continue Reading...

An Eastern Orthodox Moral Case for Property Rights

While Chrysostom speaks in terms of the morally good use of wealth, says Rev. Gregory Jensen in this week’s Acton Commentary, it is a standard inconceivable apart from private property. As a pastor, I’ve been struck by the hostility, or at least suspicion, that some Orthodox Christians reveal in their discussions of private property. Continue Reading...

Commentary: Self-Discipline Today or Hardship Tomorrow

“Wishful thinking will not fix our nation’s spending and debt problem,” says Dylan Pahman in this week’s Acton Commentary. “The longer we procrastinate, the harder it will be for us to actually do it.” In the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, a collection of wise stories and sayings from the first Christian monks, the following is attributed to one Abba Zeno: “Never lay a foundation on which you might sometime build yourself a cell.” This saying has at least two possible applications: 1) Do not start something you do not intend to see through. Continue Reading...

Immigration and the Soul of America

In a new book, Roman Catholic Archbishop José H. Gomez proclaims that immigration is always about more than immigration. It’s about families, national identity, poverty, economics and the common good. Elise Hilton reviews the book in this week’s Acton Commentary. Continue Reading...

The Purpose of Catholic Education and the Role of the State

“Young people graduating from Catholic schools should have a keen understanding of being called as Christians to work for the common good — and to do so through a life that is deeply rooted in Christ,” says Christiaan Alting von Geusau and Philip Booth in this week’s Acton Commentary. Continue Reading...

The Social Responsibility of Business

When business corporations are created, the community does not give something away, says Robert G. Kennedy in this week’s Acton Commentary. Instead, in order to pursue the economic benefits offered by the corporate structure, the community offers something in exchange. Continue Reading...

Bonanza’s Adam Cartwright, a Cowboy in Black

In this week’s Acton Commentary, I adapt a section from my latest book focusing on an instance of “cowboy compassion” we find in an episode of Bonanza. I focus on the example of Adam Cartwright, who helps out an economically-depressed family faced with the tyranny of a greedy scrooge, Jedediah Milbank. Continue Reading...