Category: General

“There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the [economic] growth of their own countries.”

If such a statement were made by an activist at an Occupy Wall Street rally, most adults would chuckle and recommend the budding young Marxist take a course in economics. But what do we do when the claim is made by Hillary Clinton at an event hosted by a former U.S. president and in front of an audience of global leaders?

As Secretary of State, Clinton is the U.S.’s top diplomat and a key spokesperson for America’s interest across the globe. What interest is being promoted by such absurd, economically illiterate class warfare rhetoric?

Does Secretary Clinton think we’d be better off without the wealthy? As Gene Veith asks, “if you do believe the rich are such shiftless, lazy freeloaders why should any country want them to stay around?”

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shut up and play nice: How the Western world is limiting free speech
Jonathan Turley, Washington Post

Free speech is dying in the Western world. While most people still enjoy considerable freedom of expression, this right, once a near-absolute, has become less defined and less dependable for those espousing controversial social, political or religious views.

Muslims protest ‘age of mockery’ as thousands descend on Google HQ
Jennifer O’Mahony, The Telegraph

Thousands of Muslims have pledged a series of protests against Google HQ for a “hateful and offensive” anti-Islam video, saying they now live in an “age of mockery”.

Plaintiffs Against the HHS Mandate Reach More Than 100 Strong
Sarah Torre, The Foundry

The number of plaintiffs that have joined legal challenges to Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate reached over 100 this week.

America’s Endangered Religious Liberty
Rick Plasterer, Juicy Ecumenism

Same-sex marriage and the Health and Human Services contraceptive/abortifacient mandate are emerging as the greatest threats to domestic religious liberty, according to panelists at a half-day conference on legal protection for liberty of conscience, held by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 15, 2012

The Christian Exodus From Egypt
Samuel Tadros, Wall Street Journal

For Copts, a persecuting dictator was preferable to the Islamist mob.

Sell All That You Have
R.C. Sproul, Jr. Ligonier Ministries

Jesus told the rich young fool that he must sell all that he had, give it to the poor, and follow him. Is this true for all who would follow Jesus?

The Entrepreneurial Vocation
Elise Amyx, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

Everything we do in Christ contributes to the Kingdom he is building, and will bring in full when he returns. That refers to the work of mothers and fathers, the missionaries and pastors, the construction workers and janitors, even the investment bankers and entrepreneurs. Each vocation is seen as equally important and honorable in the eyes of God.

California’s Crony Capitalism Problem
Steven Greenhut, Reason

Gov. Jerry Brown and the redevelopment scam.

There’s more to voting than tallying up the number of yays and nays. Although you’d never guess it by the numbingly perfunctory attitude taken toward voting by most Americans—especially in this late hour—who see it either as the highest duty of a good citizen, or as an inconvenient inevitability.

What makes voting worth it, anyway? Is it the possibility of shaping our nation’s future? The opportunity to express our deepest-held principles? Or is it worth it precisely because not doing it would be a civic or moral failure that we wish to avoid?

A recent conversation at Ethika Politika draws some of these questions together. Responding broadly to my characterization of Alasdair MacIntyre’s now somewhat popular case for non-voting, Acton’s own Dylan Pahman offers a perspective that emphasizes real-life consequences stemming from our attitude toward civic choices. Pahman takes as a philosophical basis for this approach William James’s idea of genuine options, suggesting that voting meets all the criteria, and that to not vote is, strictly speaking, not a real option.

As the defensor MacIntyri, here—at least for the sake of argument—I submit that Pahman’s analysis, while logically consistent, introduces a false assumption about the nature of morals vis-à-vis public life. In other words, I think that favoring a “duty to consider the consequences” need not take precedence over—and certainly needn’t extinguish—one’s “focus upon the personal, moral value of voting.” What are personal morals, after all, if not deeply connected to reality?


Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 12, 2012

School Choice Marches Forward
Jonathan Butcher, EcucationNext

2011 a year of new laws and new lawsuits

Bartholomew I: Witnessing Together To The Message Of Salvation
Vatican Information Service

During the course of this morning’s ceremony in St. Peter’s Square for the opening of the Year of Faith, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I pronounced an address, extracts of which are given below.

Baptist Colleges Sue Obama Admin Over HHS-Abortion Mandate
Steven Ertelt,

Further proving that opposition to the Obama administration’s HHS mandate is not limited to Catholic groups, two Baptist-affiliated colleges filed their own lawsuit today against the HHS mandate that promotes abortion.

Communist China Manages Christian Charity
Jillian Kay Melchior, Doublethink Online

Beijing may be reluctantly warming up to Christianity, if its recent overtures toward religious charities are any indication.

Don’t miss out on your chance to apply for a scholarship for the spring 2013 semester!

If you or someone you know would like to be considered for a Calihan Academic Fellowship, the deadline to submit application materials is Monday, October 15. Eligible candidates include graduate students or seminarians pursuing fields such as theology, philosophy, economics, or related themes promoted by the Acton Institute. Visit the Calihan Academic Fellowship page on Acton’s website for more detailed information on eligibility and the application process. Contact Michelle at with any scholarship-related questions.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 11, 2012

C.S. Lewis may not have written specifically about economics, but as Harold B. Jones Jr. explains, there’s reason to consider him a defender of the free market:

. . . C. S. Lewis had much in common with the great free-market thinkers of his time. He is discovered on careful examination to have been writing about many of the same issues as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek and on these issues to have been in perfect agreement with them. The dates are worth considering. Bureaucracy, one of Mises’s critiques of governmental economic intervention, came out in 1944. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom came out the same year. Lewis had released The Abolition of Man only a year before, and in the year that followed his That Hideous Strength made its debut. All these books were written to defend the idea of the individual human being as the locus of rational choice and moral responsibility. Mises and Hayek wrote as economists and Lewis as a lay theologian, but all three wrote to challenge the assault on human nature in the name of a false ideal.

Read more . . .