I, iPhone

The latest episode of This American Life follows the story of Mike Daisey and his investigation into the origins of Apple products, especially the iPhone which is “Made in China.” What might the iPhone say if it could speak for itself? Continue Reading...

Faith and Food Trucks

In last week’s Acton Commentary, “Food Fights and Free Enterprise,” I take a look at the food truck phenomenon in US cities, sometimes called a “craze.” In the companion blog post, “Food Trucks and First Steps,” I refer to Milton Friedman’s observation that there is a difference between being pro-market and pro-business. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg: Santorum, Tocqueville, and the Economy

On the National Catholic Register, Kathryn Jean Lopez takes a look at the strong finish by Rick Santorum in the Iowa Caucuses. She writes that the candidate’s dead heat finish with Mitt Romney marks “the emergence of a different kind of Catholic candidate in American politics, one who refuses to give up the fight on social justice — substantively and rhetorically — in practice and linguistics.” Lopez interviews Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg, who observes that “where Santorum adds something distinctive to present economic debates is his willingness to envelop them in substantive moral arguments.” Gregg suggests that the candidate harkens back to Alexis de Tocqueville’s insights about democracy in America. Continue Reading...

#Occupy: The New New Pentecost?

Source: Wikimedia Commons, Photography by shakko Over at the Sojourners blog, Harry C. Kiely boldly considers whether the Occupy movement can be considered “the New Pentecost.” However, there are a myriad of problems with his comparison. Continue Reading...

Theonomists, Reconstructionists, and Dominionists, Oh My!

At the Daily Beast yesterday, Michelle Goldman Goldberg muses on the movement of “the ultra-right evangelicals who once supported Bachmann” over to Ron Paul. This is in part because these “ultra-right evangelicals” are really “the country’s most committed theocrats,” whose support for Paul “is deep and longstanding, something that’s poorly understood among those who simply see him as a libertarian.” (Goldberg’s piece appeared before yesterday’s results from Iowa, in which it seems evangelical support went more toward Santorum [32%] than Paul [18%].) Goldberg shows some theological sensibilities as she tries to trace the connections between Christian Reconstructionism and libertarianism. Continue Reading...

The Church as Social Laboratory

I opened my recent Patheos piece on Christians and the “Occupy” protests by noting the proclivity for some leaders to seek cultural relevance by uncritically embracing political movements and trends. This shows that it is a common temptation to allow worldly perspectives and ideologies to determine the shape of our faith rather than the other way around. Continue Reading...

Libertarianism + Christianity = ?

Reflecting on the GOP presidential campaigns and the Iowa caucus, Joseph Knippenberg has voiced serious concern on the First Things blog regarding the compatibility of Ron Paul’s libertarianism with traditional Christian social and political thought. Continue Reading...

The Civil War in Religion & Liberty

2011 kicked off the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. At the beginning of 2011, I began seeing articles and news clippings to commemorate the anniversary. While not a professional historian, I took classes on the conflict at Ole Miss and visited memorials and battlefields on my own time. Continue Reading...

America’s Real Inequality Problem

David Deavel’s review of Mitch Pearlstein’s From Family Collapse to America’s Decline: The Educational, Economic, and Social Costs of Family Fragmentation has been picked up by First Things and Mere Comments. Continue Reading...