Movie Review: Valkyrie

The year is 1943 and Valkyrie, the second release under the revamped United Artists brand, opens with German officer Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) on assignment in Africa. He had been sent there because his opposition to Hitler and the Nazi regime had become dangerously explicit and bellicose. Continue Reading...

Why We Give — Liberal and Conservative

Nicholas Kristof’s Dec. 21 New York Times column was, he says, “a transparent attempt this holiday season to shame liberals into being more charitable.” He quotes Arthur Brooks’ “Who Really Cares” book which shows that conservatives give more to charity than liberals. Continue Reading...

Christmas and the Cross

Two of Eric Shansberg’s recent PowerBlog posts got me thinking of some other things I had run across in the last couple weeks during the run-up to Christmas Day. The first item, “Santa and the ultimate Fairy Tale,” quotes Tony Woodlief to the effect that “fairy tales and Santa Claus do prepare us to embrace the ultimate Fairy Tale.” Schansberg’s (and Woodlief’s) take on this question is pretty compelling and worth considering, even though I’m not quite convinced of the value of the Santa Claus fable. Continue Reading...

Wilken on Islam

One of the most thought-provoking articles I’ve read lately is Robert Louis Wilken’s “Christianity Face to Face with Islam,” in the January 2009 issue of First Things. It’s accessible online only to subscribers, but you can find the publication at academic and high-quality municipal libraries and it will be freely available online in a month or two. Continue Reading...

(one reason) why more than abortion matters…

Among those on the so-called Religious Right, it is common to reduce political interests to “life” issues– most notably, abortion. But in recent months, in the midst of the financial crisis and an economic recession, I’ve gotten many letters and emails about fund-raising problems within Christian organizations. Continue Reading...

Merry Christmas everyone

I felt inspired by a fellow Hoosier’s blog post this morning. Doug Masson wrote: Merry Christmas everyone. Like I’ve said probably too many times, I’m not a religious guy. But, it’s tough to argue with the message — peace to everyone, love your family. Continue Reading...

Santa and the ultimate Fairy Tale

Of course, Santa is based on a historical character. And in many (but certainly not all!) ways, he points forward to Jesus Christ. But in a broader sense, God has created a mystical, mythical, and magical world– that can be overdone or mis-imagined. Continue Reading...

O Holy Night

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth. Continue Reading...

Acton Commentary: Selfless Giving and Tempered Trading

In this season of giving, Kevin Schmiesing looks at another form of exchange — trade. He observes that ethical commercial activity “is not an exercise in selfishness, but the practice of properly ordered self-interest, which is of necessity tempered by the wants and needs of others.” Read this commentary over at the Acton website and then come back to share your comments. Continue Reading...

Economic Justice for All Revisited

Catching up on “Revisiting the 1986 economic pastoral”, an article from October in the National Catholic Reporter: The bishops’ point “that Catholics’ moral life cannot be separated entirely from their economic life has relevance for what we’re going through now,” said Kevin Schmiesing, research fellow for the Acton Institute, a proponent of free markets. Continue Reading...