Can Any Good Come from a Recession?

Following its new-found interest in sound economics, the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has turned its attention to what now seems to be a global downturn. The usual European trope is that the current troubles are the result of American overspending, overconsumption and unsustainable debt burdens, so it is very surprising to see a contrarian view in Sunday’s paper entitled “The Morality of the Recession.” Italian banker Ettore Gotti Tedeschi evaluates the credit crunch affecting the U.S. Continue Reading...

‘Hot air gods’

The title of Curtis White’s provocative but flawed essay in Harpers… As an intro to his primary topic (politics), White has some provocative things to say about the contemporary (American) understanding of our “beliefs”… The most bewildering and yet revealing gesture of a truly fundamental American theology takes place when an individual stands forth and proclaims, “This is my belief”. Continue Reading...

‘What the Democrats can learn from a dead libertarian lawyer’

The subtitle of Damon Root’s article in Reason— food for thought for Dems (and GOP’ers) and a history lesson on an important but obscure figure, Moorfield Storey… With Republicans apparently uninterested in pleasing the libertarian segments of their coalition, some liberals and libertarians—Daily Kos blogger Markos Moulitsas, former Democratic National Committee press secretary Terry Michael, and Reason contributor Matt Welch among them—have suggested an alternative: the libertarian Democrat, the sort of liberal who favors both free speech and free trade, both the right to bare pornography and the right to bear arms. Continue Reading...

Acton Lecture Series: Rise of Religious Left

A large crowd packed into St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids yesterday to hear Rev. Robert A. Sirico’s presentation on “The Rise and Eventual Downfall of the Religious Left.” This is a political movement, he said, that “exalts social transformation over personal charity, and social activism above the need for evangelization of the human soul.” (He also took time to critique the Religious Right.) An audio recording of Rev. Continue Reading...

Homeschooling under fire in California

In this week’s Acton commentary, Chris Banescu looks at a ruling by the Second District Court of Appeals for the state of California which declared that “parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.” The ruling effectively bans families from homeschooling their children and threatens parents with criminal penalties for daring to do so. Continue Reading...

Elizabeth Anscombe’s Ethical Challenge

The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome held a conference last month dedicated to Elizabeth Anscombe’s work Intention and essay “Modern Moral Philosophy”, a groundbreaking paper for the field of ethics. Continue Reading...

Not so fast…

The big boys at the Southern Baptist Convention are running from Jon Merritt’s statement on ecology and climate change faster than a pack of polyester-clad deacons trying to beat the Assembly of God folks to Denny’s for Sunday brunch. Continue Reading...

Muslim Tolerance

At 93% Muslim—Orthodox churches account for most of the rest—Azerbaijan is the sort of country that tends to lack what some have called “reciprocity,” meaning that Christians enjoy the same freedom relative to the Muslim majority as Muslims do in Christian-majority nations. Continue Reading...