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.
The days following April 15 (and our tax bill, again) I question the government behemoth and how it takes so much of MY money to feed it. My parents struggled financially; they couldn’t send me to college. But I received a great debate scholarship, worked year round and went to grad school too. That self-sufficiency, success model that my husband and I followed means that by 2004 we were increasingly penalized for our success. We can’t make all we can to give all we can to effective charities. We can do that with inefficient, valueless government agencies.
Then John Fund of the WSJ reminds me that welfare reform is working and caseloads, i.e., system cost, is down. Private charity, resourced with volunteers, still costs lots less than government programs.
But related social services, where volunteers and private charity aren’t applicable are hungrier than ever. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), IRS cash assistance for the poor, draws a staggering $37 billion. The taxpayer can really stagger when learning that government audits determine that nearly 1/3 of EITC recipients don’t qualify. Add to that the revelation that recipients are securing Refund Anticipation Loans with the EITC.
Perhaps before the IRS goes trolling for more charity dollars, as they encourage Senator Grassley to do with increased regulation, they should be looking at the food bill for their own EITC behemoth.
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.
Ed Robb, co-founder of the IRD in 1981, also died recently, passing away on December 14.
Research fellow Kevin Schmiesing wrote an op-ed appearing in the Detroit News, “New pope starts debate on direction of Catholic Church” (PDF). Director of research Samuel Gregg also wrote a short reflection for the Detroit News, “Reaction on the streets of Rome” (PDF).
Join Rev. Robert Sirico for a live chat at 11 am ET this morning hosted by Live Online at washingtonpost.com, “Insight on the New Pope.”
Visit the Acton Institute’s special section on Pope Benedict XVI to keep up-to-date about the new pope and the media activities of Acton staff.
An excerpt from Cardinal Ratzinger’s “Homily at the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff,” given yesterday:
How many winds of doctrine we have known in these last decades, how many ideological currents, how many fashions of thought? The small boat of thought of many Christians has often remained agitated by the waves, tossed from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, etc.
Every day new sects are born and we see realized what St. Paul says on the deception of men, on the cunning that tends to lead into error (cf. Ephesians 4:14). To have a clear faith, according to the creed of the Church, is often labeled as fundamentalism. While relativism, that is, allowing oneself to be carried about with every wind of “doctrine,” seems to be the only attitude that is fashionable. A dictatorship of relativism is being constituted that recognizes nothing as absolute and which only leaves the “I” and its whims as the ultimate measure.