Archived Posts October 2012 - Page 2 of 12 | Acton PowerBlog

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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Victory in Federal Court for Monks Threatened with Prison for Selling Caskets
Saint Joseph Abbey and Seminary

The monks of Saint Joseph Abbey have won again. On October 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision stating that restricting the monks’ right to sell their handmade caskets was either unconstitutional or an abuse of power unauthorized by Louisiana law.

A Christian Vision for Kingdom Politics
Joshua D. Hawley, Philosophical Fragments

Eric Voegelin was a German-American émigré who wrote several volumes of high-toned philosophy in the 1950s which were read by approximately zero members of the American public—save a certain William F. Buckley, Jr.

Answering the Call to Creativity Through the Four Chapter Gospel
Art Lindsley, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

Answering the call to creativity requires a shift in the way we view the gospel and our role in transforming culture. The concept of the four-chapter gospel provides the framework for this change in our thinking.

Why the IRS Has Stopped Auditing Churches
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

Decision on who can authorize investigations of churches that influence voters is frozen for foreseeable future.

Join West Michigan business leader, John Kennedy, for a discussion of the HHS mandate and Obamacare. Kennedy, president and chief executive officer of Autocam, is filing suit against the federal government because the “mandate unconstitutionally coerces” him to violate his convictions about the dignity of human life.

What do business leaders need to know about ObamaCare and the HHS mandate? Don’t miss your chance to engage in a conversation on this timely issue. Kennedy will take questions online from attendees participating in this free lecture.

When: Friday, November 2, 9:00am ET

Where: AU Online (auonline.acton.org)

Cost: Free Enrollment (Limited Availability)

Presenter: John C. Kennedy, president and chief executive officer of Autocam and Autocam Medical

Hurricanes almost always leave two things in their aftermath: broken windows and articles advocating the broken window fallacy.

As economist Don Boudreaux wrote earlier today, “Americans will soon be flooded by commentary that assures us that the silver lining around the destruction caused by hurricane Sandy is a stronger economy. Such nonsense always follows natural disasters.” The only detail Boudreaux gets wrong is that such nonsense has preceded the actual disaster. The Atlantic, wanting to get a jump on being wrong, published an article today at noon arguing that Hurricane Sandy will “stimulate the economy” in two ways:

First, the threat of a dangerous event pulls economic activity forward. Families stock up on extra food and supplies to prepare for a disaster. Second, and much more significantly, the aftermath of storms requires “replacement costs” that raise economic activity by forcing business and government to rebuild after a destructive event.

Frederic Bastiat provided the ultimate rebuttal to this spurious thinking 162 years ago in his essay ‘That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen.’ So why do we people make the same claim that destruction is economically beneficial? Could it be that people are simply unaware of Bastiat’s “parable of the broken window”?

Back in August economist Bryan Caplan asked why the one group that should be familiar with Bastiat’s essay—economists—don’t universally love it:
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John Zmirak, author and Editor-in-Chief of The Intercollegiate Review, wants voters to know exactly what is at stake in the looming Presidential election. In a guest blogger piece at the National Catholic Register, Zmirak pointedly states that the choice between the two candidates isn’t just about whose economic agenda seems more reasonable or who won which debate:

…it’s about what America means: At heart of our Constitutional democracy is the freedom of individuals, even those with unpopular opinions, to pursue the good as they choose—and their right to form groups outside the government and push back against its policies. That’s why we have Amish communities, Catholic schools, associations of kosher butchers, hippie home-schools, gun clubs, organic farms… and all the other free institutions that build up our “ordered liberty.” Take all that away, quash every organization that displeases the federal government, and what you have is a country full of naked individuals, shivering in every wind that blows from Washington, D.C.

Read “First they came for the Catholics” at the National Catholic Register.
Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 29, 2012
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In the Western world there are conservative liberals, liberal liberals, and radical liberals, says David T. Koyzis, but all adhere to the basic principles of liberalism:

The liberalism of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Of Thomas Jefferson and John Stuart Mill. After all, the Declaration of Independence is a liberal document, unquestioningly accepting that popular consent stands at the origin of political authority. As Alasdair MacIntyre has put it, in the Western world there are conservative liberals, liberal liberals, and radical liberals, but all adhere to the basic principles of liberalism.

So what accounts for the differences between Democrats and Republicans, between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney? What separates them is that each represents a different stage in the larger development of liberalism. Those who do not like what liberalism has become in recent decades have not repudiated it as such but have tried instead to hold onto it and return it to an earlier form—one thought to be purer and closer to its original meaning. I believe liberalism can be traced through five stages of development.

Read more . . .

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 29, 2012
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‘The Weightier Provisions of the Law’
Rob Schwarzwalder, The Gospel Coalition

Finding a course where principle can wed with effective if incomplete action is the holy grail of evangelical political engagement.

Physician Assisted Suicide and the Orthodox Church
Metropolitan Methodios, Fr. Peter Michael Preble’s Blog

For centuries now, all doctors take the Hippocratic Oath promising to practice medicine ethically and honestly, never doing harm to a patient. This proposed law would be impossible to control, and would have serious societal ramifications.

Christianity isn’t dying, cultural Christianity is
Ed Stetzer, Baptist Press

Christian nominalism is nothing new. As soon as any belief system is broadly held, people are motivated to adopt it, even with a low level of connection.

How the Supreme Court Stacked the Deck Against Economic Liberty
Damon W. Root, Reason

A federal price-fixing case highlights the judiciary’s troubling deference to government regulation.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 26, 2012
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AEI recently held a contest challenging people to make a video that could articulate a moral case for free markets in two minutes or less. The $40,000 top prize was won by Jared Fuller with this entry, “The Moral Paper Route.”

At AEI’s Values & Capitalism blog, Julia Thompson talks to Fuller about the making of the video.

Acton’s Director of Research, Samuel Gregg, notes in a recent NRO article that vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has avoided “emotivist nonsense” and presented a clear moral vision for our country.

Among other things, Ryan, ever so politely but unambiguously, underlined the immense damage inflicted by sometimes well-intentioned government welfare programs upon those in need. Yet he did so in a manner that detailed the economic costs but also went beyond a narrowly materialist reckoning. Ryan pointed to the manifold ways in which government programs have undermined the dignity of those in need and constrained their opportunities for human flourishing.

But then Ryan did something else: Identify civil society as the distinctly American way of addressing the challenge of poverty, be it material, moral, or even spiritual in nature. As he noted: “There’s a vast middle ground between the government and the individual. Our families and our neighborhoods, the groups we join and our places of worship — this is where we live our lives. They shape our character, give our lives direction, and help make us a self-governing people.”

Put another way, America has never regarded politics as the be-all and end-all of human existence. Politics has its place, but most human flourishing occurs in other arenas of life. That’s something the Left will never, ever understand.

Read “Ryan’s Way” on National Review Online here.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 26, 2012
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Paul Ryan: How Conservatism Helps the Poor
David Azerrad, The Foundry

When it comes to explaining how their policies would help the poor and the disadvantaged, conservatives can all too often be likened to a football team that drives all the way to the one-yard line and then just kneels down.

The Democrats’ Jewish Problem
Harry Stein, City Journal

A new book revisits an uncomfortable—and ongoing—history.

America Needs Entrepreneurship, Not Just Innovation
Matt Perman, What’s Best Next

Innovation is critical, but not enough. More than innovation, we need entrepreneurs who create the businesses, non-profits, and ministries of tomorrow.

Why Christians Shouldn’t be Undecided Voters
Jacqueline Otto, Values & Capitalism

It’s late October in an election year. The leaves in the nation’s capital are turning, and everyone who thought they loved politics realizes just how much they truly hate politics.

Blog author: jballor
Friday, October 26, 2012
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Call for Papers: “Intellectual Property and Religious Thought”

University of St. Thomas School of Law, April 5, 2013. The University of St. Thomas will hold a conference titled “Intellectual Property and Religious Thought,” on April 5, 2013, co-sponsored by the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy and The University of St. Thomas Law Journal. The conference will be held at the University of St. Thomas School of Law building in downtown Minneapolis.

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