Archived Posts November 2012 - Page 12 of 12 | Acton PowerBlog

According to an article from the Chicago Tribune,

U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, in a ruling late Wednesday, temporarily blocked the government from forcing the owner of Weingartz Supply Company to include contraception in its health coverage of employees. The ruling only affects the company’s proprietor … but it opens the door for other firms to seek relief on religious grounds.

Read the story: here.

Tune in tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 2, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, for a free discussion, “From a Businessman’s Perspective: ObamaCare and the HHS Mandate.” John C. Kennedy, a West Michigan businessman who is filing a similar lawsuit. Visit auonline.acton.org for more information and to register.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, November 1, 2012

In The New Republic, historian Jackson Lears explores the transition from 19th-century communitarianism to 20-century capitalist boosterism in Mormon culture:

The assumption behind much of the “Mormon moment” chatter is that Mormons are especially suited for success in the brave new world of unregulated capital: tanned, rested, and ready. Their abstention from alcohol and caffeine keeps them healthy. Their self-discipline, stemming from missionary work and a strict code of personal morality, strengthens their capacity to compete in a global marketplace. Their attachment to family and community insulates them from the market’s worst abrasions. Their zeal for education in science and technology gets them first-class seats on the cyber-express. And their organizational genius makes them the ideal candidates to steer the lean, mean neo-liberal corporation through the storm-tossed business cycles ahead.

The Mormon Ethic, which bears a strong resemblance to the Protestant Ethic in its Gilded Age prime, has become a powerful constellation of values for our second Gilded Age—perhaps a reassuring counterweight to the feeling that we are sailing into the globalizing future with no moral ballast whatever. Contemporary Mormons, whose ancestors were chased from town to town across the prairie by Protestant mobs, have become paragons of patriotism and icons of success. In 1856, the Republican Party platform declared Mormon polygamy one of “two relics of barbarism” in America (the other was slavery). In 2008, as in every other recent election, Mormons voted overwhelmingly Republican.

What any of this has to do with the Mormons’ religious beliefs is a tricky question. Most journalistic observers are content to characterize the Mormon faith as “weird,” then toss off a few lines about sacred underwear and a quotation from Mark Twain describing The Book of Mormon as “chloroform in print.” Few ask what is Mormon about the Mormon Ethic. How does it differ from an updated version of Victorian Protestantism? Mansfield quotes a cable news pundit’s characteristically profound observation: “Mormons have goofy, mystical ideas that produce wonderful, earthly success.” How this production occurs is anybody’s guess.

Read more . . .

(Via: Religion in American History)

For next spring’s issue of the Journal of Markets & Morality, we’ve planned a special issue devoted to the theme “Integral Human Development,” guest edited by Peter Heslam and Manfred Spieker. The deadline for submissions is December 1, a month away as of today. Details about submission procedures can be found on the JMM website. Check out the full CFP at the site as well, and consider the following from Caritas in Veritate:

In the present social and cultural context, where there is a widespread tendency to relativize truth, practising charity in truth helps people to understand that adhering to the values of Christianity is not merely useful but essential for building a good society and for true integral human development.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, November 1, 2012

Taxed for Wearing Their Heads
Anthony Esolen, Public Discourse

The Anti-Federalists’ early fear about Congress’s taxing power—that it would result in a tax on humans’ very existence—are now realized in the Supreme Court’s upholding of Obamacare.

Campaign 2012: What Voting Means
George Weigel, First Things

In the Catholic understanding of these things, politics, for all its tawdriness, still engages questions of right and wrong, good and bad, the noble and the base.

Martin Luther’s View of Faith & Work
Greg Ayers, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

495 years ago today, on October 31st, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg. Vocation was one topic Luther covered prominently in his theological writings.

Ryan Makes Case for School Choice
Lindsey Burke, The Foundry

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R–WI) made a strong case yesterday for the need to ensure that every child in America has the opportunity to attend a school of choice.