Category: News and Events

Photo from the Centre for Research on Globalization

Photo from the Centre for Research on Globalization

Samuel Gregg appeared on the recent episode of the podcast The Catholic Cave, “Britain, the EU and You,” to discuss Britain’s recent referendum vote to leave the EU. The show considers factors that potentially led to the Brexit other than trade and immigration issues, including dissatisfaction with international bureaucracy, cultural and philosophical differences between Britain and other European countries, and problems of subsidiarity.

Gregg sees Brexit as a “reassertion of national sovereignty,” “reaffirmation of the importance of the nation state,” and a “revolt…against bureaucracy.”  The event presents warning signs, he says, for all transnational and supranational institutions who seek to rule in a “top-down, centralized, administrative” manner, including the European Union, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. (more…)

cover_oneFrom today until Sunday (July 14 – 17), the Acton Institute’s book One and Indivisible: The Relationship between Religious and Economic Freedom will be available to download for free. The book is a collection of essays, which is, according to editor Kevin Schmiesing, organized around the central theme: “What is the relationship between economic freedom and religious freedom?” As Schmiesing writes:

In light of the urgent need both to understand the relationship between religious and economic liberty and to bolster it, it is imperative that the essays here both explore the theoretical basis of the relationship and offer practical guidance for how to nurture it. They must show us how to engage in the building of societies that are at once hospitable to the worship of God and also conducive to the material abundance that permits human flourishing in all its dimensions. They do not disappoint on this score.

In the twenty-first century, increasing persecution of religious believers across the world has brought renewed attention to the importance and foundations of genuine religious liberty. Too often, however, advocates of religious freedom fail to recognize the ways in which other aspects of freedom—including the rights to property and economic initiative—are intertwined with the freedom to act in accord with religious belief. In this wide-ranging volume, an interfaith, international group of prominent scholars and religious leaders explore the relationship between economic and religious liberty. A sound understanding of this relationship, rooted in the natural law and the truth about the human person, is indispensable if our future is to be characterized not by civil and religious strife but instead by peaceful religious practice and prosperous commerce among the diverse peoples of the world.

You can download the eBook from Amazon.

John Calhoun (1782 - 1850)

John Calhoun (1782 – 1850)

Proponents of protectionism often ground their support in a quasi-nationalism; trade should be restricted for the benefit of the nation. Economically, the argument holds little weight. The benefits of more trade, like more and cheaper goods, outweigh the costs, like some temporary unemployment that results from the closing of a factory that couldn’t compete with foreign companies.

Some protectionists may accept this, and still urge tariffs, quotas, and other restrictions. They argue that a nation can still benefit, even with economic disadvantages. Sure, consumers might pay in higher prices if there’s a tariff on steel, but think of all the jobs! The consequences of protectionism, however, are not simply economic. Rather than developing national and political unity, tariffs often lead to national discord.

Take the United States in the early nineteenth century. Its still developing economy was primarily agricultural, with a growing commercial and manufacturing sector. Many early American politicians advocated a tariff in order to protect, foster, and develop American manufacturing.

Ignoring the economic flaws of such a plan, the policy sowed the seeds for national disunion, culminating in the United States Civil War. How?


Samuel Gregg, Research Director for Acton Institute, recently published an article titled “Catholicism and Global Institutions: It’s Time for a Rethink” in The Catholic World Report which calls for the Catholic Church to reform its approach to supranational bodies, and think critically before engaging with issues raised by Brexit.


Pope Francis visits the European Parliament in Strasbourg in November 2014 (AP)

Gregg shrewdly justifies his call for the Catholic Church to reform its treatment of political organizations. Gregg points out that many Catholics are increasingly suspicious about the Europeans Union’s growth of power and recognize that some United Nation agencies “directly violate Catholic teaching on human life”- and while this is true, he organizes additional points which strengthen his case.

Some of the most important factors which the Catholic Church should consider is first the lack of prioritizing decentralization among EU officials, and secondly the tendency of supranational institutions “not only to dilute national sovereignty but even national identity” through Kantian institutional internationalism. Lastly, Gregg explains that even if the Kantian liberalism were taken out of supranational bodies, the EU has only shown signs to approach change by implementing ‘top-down’ centralization. (more…)

Blog author: sstanley
Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Theresa May, UK Home Office

A true feminist, a devout Christian, and a leader with common sense will soon move into 10 Downing Street.

As excitement—and dismay—surrounded Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, Remainer and (former) prime minister, David Cameron announced his resignation from British parliament’s highest position. Today he officially leaves office, allowing Theresa May to become the next British Prime Minister.

Originally, Cameron planned to wait until October to pass the torch to the next leader, but on Monday he stated that, “we now don’t need to have a prolonged period of transition. And so tomorrow I will chair my last Cabinet meeting. On Wednesday I will attend the House of Commons for Prime Minister’s questions.”

The background on May’s rise to this office may be a tad complicated to Americans, even compared to our current messy presidential election.  Rather than a national vote for a new prime minister, in the British parliamentary system the ruling party’s leader (in this case, the Conservatives) automatically becomes prime minister. (more…)


Pikachu, a popular Pokémon | Bulbapedia

The long awaited augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go, based on the long running video game franchise, was released in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand late last week. The game allows players to find and capture Pokémon, like the famous Pikachu, in the real world as they walk around streets and parks throughout their cities.

While the game is an entertaining diversion, it serves as a catalyst for something greater. With Pokémon Go, a beautiful emergent order of community has already started. Neighbors and strangers alike come together to track down another Pokémon, or team up to take down a rival Pokémon gym. The free-to-play game simultaneously provides exercise (as players must walk to catch anything), amusement, community, and friendship.

This is partially by design. Archit Bhargava (an employee Niantic, Inc, the game’s developer) says “It’s all about getting people moving, getting them exploring the world around them…We want players to have those real-world experiences either with people they know or people they meet because of the game.” The game provides the opportunity for building social institutions, but it’s the actions of the individuals in the game that build it, forming a beautiful spontaneous order “of human action, not human design.” (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 8, 2016

dallaspoliceThey swore to protect and serve. Now they lie dead and wounded.

Last night five law enforcement officers in Dallas were killed and six more were wounded. They need our prayers, as do all the men and women who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe on our streets and in our homes.

Here are eight ways we can pray for the police in America . . . Continue reading.