Economics of Martyrdom

Although purporting to be a post about the “economics of religion,” EconLog’s Bryan Caplan discusses what is really the “economics of martyrdom,” or, to be even more accurate, the “economics of a particular type of ‘martyrdom,’ suicide terrorism.” Caplan’s comments are in reaction to a paper by Lawrence Iannaccone, “The Market for Martyrs.” The pressing question, according to Caplan, is “How come American opponents of abortion engage in almost no terrorism, much less suicidal terrorism?” And his answer is, “Despite their fiery rhetoric, almost no Americans want to go to jail or die just to stop abortion.” Apparently self-interest is at work. Continue Reading...

Too Poor to be Catholic?

Reporting on an act of vandalism on the cathedral of Buenos Aires, Reuters asserts that Latin America is a region “whose poor and hungry often cannot afford to follow Roman Catholic doctrine.” How’s that??? Continue Reading...

Europe in a Crisis of Cultures

Excellent and challenging comments from Cardinal Ratzinger from the conference held on April 1, 2005, at the Monastery of St. Scholastica, Subiaco, Italy. The entire text will be published by Cantagalli Editore, Italy. Continue Reading...

C. S. Lewis on American Public Education

Some might be acquainted with the argument about education that C. S. Lewis makes in his The Abolition of Man, especially his idea of “men without chests.” If you haven’t read it, please do, it’s well worth the time. Continue Reading...

Benedict XVI and Freedom

Acton adjuct scholar Alejandro Chafuen argues that the new pope places the concept of freedom centrally to his thinking. And “with freedom comes an incalculability — and thus the world can never be reduced to mathematical logic,” writes Chafuen. Continue Reading...

God, Man, and the Environment

On the occasion of the Earth Day celebrations this year, Dr. Samuel Gregg reflects on the role of people of faith in environmental discussions. The exercise of legitimate human dominion over creation “must be actualized in accordance with the requirements of God’s divine law,” he writes. Continue Reading...

Lamenting Loss

The Institute for Religion and Democracy (IRD), and the broader evangelical community, has lost two leaders within the space of a few months. President Diane Knippers, “an intellectual heavyweight who rallied opposition to the liberal drift of mainline churches,” passed away Monday at the age of 53. Continue Reading...

Acton Staff on Pope Benedict XVI

Rev. Robert Sirico has been providing commentary in a number of media outlets. Today Rev. Sirico appeared on BBC America and The Laura Ingraham Show. Research fellow Kevin Schmiesing wrote an op-ed appearing in the Detroit News, “New pope starts debate on direction of Catholic Church” (PDF). Continue Reading...