Archived Posts January 2013 - Page 9 of 20 | Acton PowerBlog

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 21, 2013

3 Ways Christians Can Disagree About What to Do About Poverty Politically
Derek Rishmawy, Reformedish

I’m not arguing for a particular political policy or party, or against a particular policy or party, despite what this may look like. I’m just trying to facilitate calmer, more empathetic, and Christ-like discussions within the Christian community by pointing a few things out.

For Syriac Catholic patriarch of Antioch, US, EU and Gulf states stir hatred in Syria
Simone Cantarini, AsiaNews

For Ignatius Joseph III Younan, a Christian presence in Syria is essential for confessional reconciliation between Alawis and Sunnis.

Canadian deans accused of ‘anti-religious bias’ over attempt to block Christian law school
Sarah Boesveld, National Post

In a letter publicized this week, the Canadian Council of Law Deans took aim at Trinity Western University’s “community covenant” — a code of conduct that includes a pledge to remain “abstinen[t] from sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness between a man and a woman.”

Why the Chicken McNugget Is a Great Argument Against Strong Patent Laws
Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic

How the unpatented research of a brilliant food sciences professor may have helped make the fast-food icon possible.

Earlier this month I attended the First Kuyper Seminar, “Economics, Christianity & The Crisis: Towards a New Architectonic Critique,” in Amsterdam.

One of the papers presented was from Jan Jorrit Hasselaar, who discussed the inclusion of non-human entities into democratic deliberation in his talk, “Sustainable Development as a Social Question.” I got the impression (this is my analogy, not Hasselaar’s) that there was some need for a kind of tribune (for plants instead of plebeians), who would speak up for the interests of those who could not speak for themselves.

The framing of the issue of the dignity of animals, plants, and the natural environment more broadly connected the integration of these interests into our public discourse as analogous to the civil rights revolutions concerning race and sex in the West over the previous century. The following video makes an argument in similar terms:


Blog author: abradley
Saturday, January 19, 2013

larmstrongIt seems yet again (and again) that we find ourselves scratching our heads about the lives of well-known athletes asking the question, “what happened?” Lance Armstrong has managed to anger people all over the world by his confession on Oprah Winfrey’s television network that he participated in a culture of deception using an host of performance enhancing drugs while winning seven Tour de France titles then followed that by several years of passionate denials. Armstrong admitted that he likely would not have won several Tour de France races in a row had he not cheated in some way. We are reminded that there is a culture of “doping” in the world of cycling so that cyclist can acquire that extra advantage that they were not given by nature. But are we surprised that there is cheating in the world of professional cycling? Are we really that surprised that someone, when challenged about their actions, would lie about them? (more…)

promised_land_posterEnvironmental issues have increasingly become polarized. No sooner has a new technology been announced than some outspoken individual climbs athwart it to cry, “Stop!” in the name of Mother Earth.

To some extent, this is desirable – wise stewardship of our shared environment and the resources it provides not only benefits the planet but its inhabitants large and small. When prejudices overwhelm wisdom, however, well-intentioned but wrongheaded projects such as Promised Land result.

The latest cinematic effort by screenwriters-actors Matt Damon and John Krasinski (from a story by David Eggers) and director Gus Van Sant, Promised Land earnestly attempts to pull back the veil of corporate duplicity to expose the evil underbelly of hydraulic fracturing, which is more commonly known as “fracking.”

The fracking technique has been employed successfully by oil and natural gas industries since the late 1940s. Briefly, fracking involves high-pressure injection of chemically lubricated water to break up rock formations in order to drive trapped fossil fuel deposits toward wellbores.

Combined with horizontal drilling and new advances in information technology, the fracking process has reinvigorated our nation’s natural gas industry and opened up new energy resources previously considered out of reach or economically unfeasible. It has also reinvigorated debate over whether the practice is environmentally sound.

Of primary concern to opponents is its impact on groundwater, an issue Promised Land does nothing to dispel despite fracking’s impressive track record over the past 60 years and numerous government reports confirming its overall benign environmental impacts. (more…)

Acton Institute Research Director Samuel Gregg was recently featured on three different radio shows. He discussed Becoming Europe as well as the complications resulting from a growing religious diversity in Europe.

Gregg was the featured on KSGF Mornings with Nick Reed as the author of the week, discussing Becoming Europe. Listen to the full interview here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

He also discussed Becoming Europe on the  Bob Dutko Show.  Listen here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Al Kresta interviewed Gregg on Kresta in the Afternoon, in order to discuss a recent statement by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States in the Roman Curia.  He sad that the growing religious diversity in European society has produced a “corresponding hardening of secularism.” Gregg and Kresta address problems in Europe relating to secularism, pluralism, and a growing loss of rule of law. Listen to the interview here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

If you would like to know more about or purchase a copy of Becoming Europe, click here.

The Heritage Foundation recently interviewed Michigan businessman and entrepreneur Dick DeVos, a former candidate for governor, about how Michigan was able to pass their Right-to-Work law and what lessons conservatives can take away from the victory as they make the case for freedom.

When we think of markets, we may conjure up a picture of goods and services production, supply and demand economics, and freedom of exchange. This of course is an accurate depiction, but what if in addition to this, the marketplace is actually divinely inspired and can be utilized to fulfill God’s mission?

In the upcoming AU Online four-part lecture series, Building a Marketplace Theology: From Conception to Execution of an Evangelistic Marketplace Practicum, serial entrepreneur David Doty will explore this idea. The series is scheduled for January 22 through January 31. Online sessions will be held at 6 pm EST on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Visit for more information and to register.

For additional material on the marketplace as a reflection of God’s plan and its effectiveness as a poverty alleviation tool, check out the newly released PovertyCure DVD Series, a project of the Acton Institute.