Commentary: Is America the Federal Government?

“While president, Calvin Coolidge warned Americans that if it was the federal government that came to their mind when they thought of ‘the government,’ it would prove costly,” writes Ray Nothstine in this week’s Acton Commentary. Continue Reading...

Check Your Rhetoric: What Common Good?

In the Winter-Fall 2012 issue of Modern Age (54, nos. 1-4), Jonathan Daly contributes a helpful exploration of what happens when desire for the common good goes bad. His article, “Bolshevik Power and Ideas of the Common Good,” focuses on the disastrously ill-conceived effort by the Russian revolutionaries to promote the common good through their self-proclaimed “revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” Daly contends, “The horrors of Bolshevik governance stemmed directly from their repudiation of the precious fruits of Western political thought.” It is a classic example of the tendency of some to promote cheap moralisms while ignoring the empirical realities of any given context, what then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger termed in 1985, “the antithesis of morality.” In addition to fostering mass suspicion, starvation, and ultimately a despotic police state in Russia, the Bolsheviks also have the blood of literally millions on their hands, Orthodox Christians as well many Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and others—the rotten fruit of their noble quest for the common good. Continue Reading...

Vice, Virtue, and Shareholder Activism

King Louis XIV censored Moliere’s 1664 play Tartuffe after determining audience members might too easily confuse the titular priest’s hypocritical nature with every priest in real life. According to the king, some priests’ “true devotion leads on the path to heaven,” while others’ “vain ostentation of some good works does not prevent from committing some bad ones.” The king’s judgment in many ways also describes individuals who pursue their religious vocations while simultaneously championing secular causes such as proxy shareholder resolutions. Continue Reading...

How to Become Pope

While most Catholics are likely to already be familiar with the process, my fellow Protestants will likely find this video on how the pope is selected to be helpful and informative. Continue Reading...

PowerLinks – 02.20.13

Michigan Representative Wants To Force Homeschool Parents to Report Attendance to The State Tom Gantert, Michigan Capitol Confidential With no evidence of a problem, Rep. Woodrow Stanley, D-Flint, wants to track homeschooled students for truancy Why We Can’t Just “Lighten Up” Over the HHS Mandate Daniel Philpott, Public Discourse Preserving the freedom to witness to the truths one believes, not merely avoiding cooperation with evil, is what’s primarily at stake in the HHS mandate debate. Continue Reading...

Toiling for Pharaoh

My friend John Teevan of Grace College sends out a monthly newsletter, “Economic Prospect.” He passes along this in the current edition: I found this note from a newly retired accountant (age 66) who has not gone on social security yet. Continue Reading...

From the Roots of Society to the Fruits of Discipleship

I recently wrote about the need to reach beyond an earthbound economics, re-orienting our thinking around a more transcendent framework that requires active spiritual engagement and discernment. Even as Christians, far too often we set our focus too strongly on temporal features like material needs, happiness, and quality of life—all of which come into play accordingly—without first concerning ourselves with what God is actually calling us to do as individuals. Continue Reading...

Calvin Coolidge: A Rare Kind of Hero

Calvin Coolidge is ripe for national recognition and his wisdom is being sought out perhaps now more than ever. If you’re a voracious reader of commentary and columns you’ve noticed his common sense adages are being unearthed at a rapid pace. Continue Reading...

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