Category: General

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 22, 2012
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Morality and Markets: The Humane Balance
Ralph E. Ancil, The Imaginative Conservative

To protect the market system against these destructive abuses, a commitment to permanent values is required by market participants, both consumers and producers, and to what German economist Wilhelm Roepke called a “terror regime of decency” as well as to a public policy rooted in that decency.

Minnesota Relaxes on Online Ed
Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest

On Friday, we remarked on the outrageous story that online education startup Coursera was being banned in Minnesota on the grounds that it hadn’t registered with the state government.

The Clarity and Specificity of Thomistic Natural Law
Howard Kainz, The Catholic Thing

Natural law theory has had a long and honorable history – from ancient Greek philosophy to the Stoics, St. Thomas Aquinas and other scholastics, as well as Protestant “natural lawyers” such as Grotius, Cumberland, and Pufendorf.

The Virtue of Business
Kevin Lowry, Integrated Catholic Life

We can probably agree that business is a major driver of not only economic, but social change. Not that it’s all good, but that’s exactly why we need to consider the bigger picture: what is the purpose of business in our world? How can we harness its value for the good of mankind?

Blog author: mhornak
Friday, October 19, 2012
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Is the “secular vs. sacred” worldview struggle just another first-world problem? Join us in a discussion of this topic in the AU Online series Freedom and Virtue in the Developed World. The first lecture of this AU Online series will be held on Tuesday October 23 at 6:30pm EDT. Don’t miss your chance to explore this important topic!

In the Freedom and Virtue in the Developed World series, Acton’s Director of Research, Dr. Samuel Gregg, will lead us through a theoretical and practical reflection of the far ranging economic, social, and political causes and impacts of the West’s identity crisis.

If you’re interested in participating but might not have the extra time in your schedule, don’t worry! Everyone who registers for an AU Online series will have access to recordings of the live online lectures to view at their convenience. Visit the AU Online website for more information or to register. For further questions about AU Online, please contact the AU Online team at auonline@acton.org.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 19, 2012
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State-by-state advocacy of U.S. religious liberty launches
Anne Reiner, Baptist Press

Representatives from nine state legislatures have announced the formation of state-level religious freedom caucuses in a new nationwide effort to combat religious discrimination.

Voting According to Catholic Principles, Not Partisan Politics
Arland K. Nichols, Crisis

How do we cut through the rhetoric so that we might become aware of and guided by Catholic principles and priorities? In answering this, we must be aware that it is virtually impossible to address election related matters without being accused of partisanship.

Why We Need More Religion in Politics, Not Less
Timothy Dalrymple, Philosophical Fragments

Where do people get this notion that the Right has claimed ownership over Christianity? It’s best understood historically. And while there are certainly points in this story on which to criticize the Right, the story has just as much to do with poor decisions on the Left.

Q&A: Peter Greer on Poverty, HOPE International, and Economic Development
Values & Capitalism

Peter Greer recently answered questions for Values & Capitalism related to economic development, the importance of combating both physical and spiritual poverty, and more.

In his excellent post yesterday on the presidential debates and how both candidates misrepresents facts, my colleague Dylan Pahman wrote:

Wishing to be charitable, I might characterize the politicians vying for our nation’s highest offices as “repeatedly mistaken,” but somewhere along the line someone on both sides is simply choosing to overlook the facts, unless we are to believe that both our president and his challenger have hired utterly incompetent researchers to support their campaigns—hardly a concession that instills me with much confidence in either of them.

Had Dylan not included this sentence I likely would have whole-heartedly agreed with his diagnosis (it doesn’t take much to convince me that both candidate are less than honest). But that line forced me to do some soul-searching since I have been a researcher for two different presidential candidates during two different primary seasons.

While it might be the case that I should be included among the “utterly incompetent researchers,” I made an honest effort when preparing debate prep materials to provide my candidates with accurate and wholly truthful information. The problem is that what constitutes “accurate and wholly truthful information” is far from obvious. Some facts are straightforward. When I included data such as “the economy grew by X% in quarter Y,” I had sufficient references to back up the claim. But other assertions, particularly about a candidate’s prior statements or political record, required relevant context in order to be established as truly “factual.”

(more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 18, 2012
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NHS Age Discrimination A Warning About Obamacare
Wesley J. Smith, Human Exceptionalism

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service rations care and, evidence shows, discriminates against the elderly. Now, the Royal College of Surgeons finds that elderly patients are being denied life-saving surgery based on age rather than fitness.

5 Myths About Voting
Ericka Anderson, The Foundry

If you think early voting is a healthy trend, just read on, as we explode five myths about voting.

Can Only Priests and Pastors Make An Impact?
Art Lindsley, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

How many of us feel our work is not “spiritual” enough or doesn’t matter in God’s grand design? Understanding this concept of a priesthood of all believers can help us see how all our vocations bear great importance.

Godly Stewardship versus Environmentalism
E. Calvin Beisner, Economics for Everybody

In the last twenty years, the American evangelical church has jumped on the “green” bandwagon and embraced environmental stewardship as an ethical responsibility. In principle, this is good.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
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The Church and Social Programs
James Kalb, Catholic Word Report

Christians in the US are not under hard totalitarianism, but we are in the midst of a struggle for the soul of our country.

Report: ‘Christians Flee Bosnia Amid Discrimination, Islamization’
Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

Christians are massively leaving post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina amid mounting discrimination and Islamization, according to a new report released Friday, October 12.

Free Markets as a Fruit of the Gospel
Joseph Sunde, Remnant Church

In our discussions of the pros and cons of various socio-economic models, Christians have a common tendency to forget what should be our more fundamental aim: spreading the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and living as Christ would have us live.

The Constitution: Model, Resource, or Outlier?
Daniel Dew, The Foundry

The United States Constitution is the oldest written constitution still in use. A little more than 225 years ago, there was a meeting of the greatest political minds that had ever been assembled. Each American colony sent its brightest citizens to revise the failing Articles of Confederation.

“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?”