Leaves and Fruit: The Spiritual Value of Manual Labor

In his Acton Commentary today, Jordan Ballor writes, All work has a spiritual dimension because the human person who works in whatever capacity does so as an image-bearer of God. “While the classic Greek mind tended to scorn work with the hands,” write Berghoef and DeKoster, “the Bible suggests that something about it structures the soul.” If we derogate work with the hands, manual and skilled labor, in this way, we separate what God has put together and create a culture that disdains the hard and often dirty work of cultivating the world in service of others. Continue Reading...

Of Ministers and Muck Farmers

In today’s Acton Commentary, “Mike Rowe and Manual Labor,” I examine the real contribution from a star of the small screen to today’s political conversation. Mike Rowe, featured on shows like The Deadliest Catch and Dirty Jobs, has written letters to both President Obama and Mitt Romney focusing attention on the skills gap and our nation’s dysfunctional attitudes towards work, particularly hard labor, like skilled trades and services. Continue Reading...

Presidential Campaigns and Soul Revival

“As Secularism Advances, Political Messianism Draws More Believers” is my commentary for this week. So much can be said about religion and presidential campaigns but for this piece I wanted to elevate some important truths about virtue and discernment in our society today. Continue Reading...

Acton Commentary: The Rich Don’t Make Us Poor

The “fixed pie” fallacy in economic thinking, as expressed by writers such as Hilaire Belloc, has served the class warfare crowd well despite lacking any basis in reality. “The historical reality of entrepreneurs gives the lie to two of Belloc’s assumptions: that the wealthy can maintain luxurious living standards by sitting on their wealth, and that capitalism prevents the poor from working their way up the economic ladder,” writes Charles Kaupke in the latest Acton Commentary (published August 8).  Continue Reading...

Acton Commentary: It Takes a Village to Raise a Business

President Obama’s speech last week in which he asserted to businesspeople, “You didn’t build that,” has been getting some pretty harsh and some pretty hilarious responses. In this week’s Acton Commentary, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Business,” I caution against responses that play into a simple individualist/collectivist dichotomy that underlays the president’s message: We all know at some level that we didn’t get where we are on our own, and that we have an ongoing responsibility and dependence on others for our continuing enjoyment of the goods of human existence. Continue Reading...

Commentary: Black Scholars Give Obama an “F”

Under the policies and leadership of the Obama administration, the economic lives of struggling blacks are now worse, not better, than they were three years ago. “If the president were to give an account of his administration’s advancement of African Americans he would be hard pressed to describe anything significant beyond funneling redistributed wealth into government bureaucracies, a traditional path to the middle class for blacks,” says Anthony B. Continue Reading...

Commentary: Reclaiming Fear

Perhaps no other adjective better captures the American political climate than fearful, says Andrew Knot in this week’s Acton Commentary (published May 25). “The past decade has witnessed a spike in fear-driven politics, at least accusations of such. Continue Reading...