Archived Posts July 2013 - Page 4 of 20 | Acton PowerBlog

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 26, 2013

Freedom Is Good for You
Ronald Bailey, Reason

Science proves overwhelmingly that economic freedom helps women, children, and other living things.

Metropolitan Hilarion believes that Western countries tend to dictatorship

Modern Western states move to absolute dictatorship, head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion believes.

What Everyone Ought to Know About Breadwinner Moms
Rachel Taylor, The Foundry

The Heritage Foundation and the Independent Women’s Forum hosted “Breadwinner Moms: Truth Behind the Trend” yesterday to discuss the issues surrounding the rise of high-earning never-married and family-supporting women.

Government Spends Four Times the Amount Necessary to End Poverty in America
T. Kurt Jaros, Values & Capitalism

Peter Ferrara of the Heartland Institute recently wrote that the US Census Bureau “estimates that our current welfare spending totals four times what would be necessary just to give all the poor the cash to bring them up to the poverty line, eliminating all poverty in America.”

the_abyss_of_inequality_3075151Earlier this week I claimed you rarely hear progressives argue that income inequality is a problem since for them it just is an injustice. But there’s another reason you rarely hear them make arguments about why income inequality is morally wrong: their actual arguments are terrible.

CNN columnist John D. Sutter recently asked four people — Nigel Warburton, a freelance philosopher and writer; Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute; Thomas Pogge, director of the Global Justice Program at Yale; and Kentaro Toyama, researcher at the University of California at Berkeley — to answer the question, “Is income inequality ‘morally wrong’?”

Sutter only summarizes their arguments, but it’s doubtful they would become more coherent or persuasive if they were in book-length form. So let’s examine each of the summaries:


In an ambitious essay at Intercollegiate Review, James Kalb attempts to dissect the driving political forces in Western culture today. He says that while we live in a world that touts diversity, the reality is extraordinary uniformity and a distinct christ-of-the-abyssdistaste for anything outside the new norm. We have narrowed our political choices, our educational choices, our recreational and consumer choices. We say we want religious freedom, but only in a very narrow manner.

Our current public order claims to separate politics from religion, but that understates its ambition. It aspires to free public life—and eventually, since man is social, human life in general—not only from religion but also from nature and history. The intended result is an increase in freedom as man becomes his own creator. The effect, though, is that human life becomes what those in power say it is. Western political authorities now claim the right to remake the most basic arrangements. If you want to know the nature of man and the significance of life and death, you look to the political order and its authorized interpreters. That is the meaning of the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex unions and the transformation of abortion into a human right. Man has, in effect, become God, and politics is the authoritative expression of his mind, spirit, and will.


Christopher Brooks, a Kern Fellow at Acton, was recently named campus dean at Moody Theological Seminary in Michigan. Brooks is a senior pastor at Evangel Ministries in Detroit and he is the host of the Equipped for Life radio broadcast which airs daily on Salem Communications-Detroit Affiliate.

John Jelinek, vice president and dean of Moody Theological Seminary, said that Brooks “has demonstrated a deep commitment to the advancement of the gospel and the work of Christ throughout Southeastern Michigan and I am pleased that he will bring his considerable talent to advancing the mission of Moody.”

Brooks was a faculty member at Acton University this year, giving a talk titled,
Church, City, and Urban Renewal. You can purchase the audio of this lecture here.

Congratulations, Chris!

Cheryl Miller, Executive Director of Perpetual Help Home (a PovertyCure partner) offers insight to poverty in America in this new video. Miller, an Acton University alumnus, focuses on the dignity of the human being.

On Tuesday eveninig, Anthony Bradley – Acton Research Fellow and associate professor of theology at The King’s College in New York City – joined host Sheila Liaugminas on Relevant Radio’s A Closer Look to discuss the sensitive topic of race relations in America, especially in light of the verdict in the George Zimmerman case in Florida. Bradley gives his perspective on the state of race relations, and offers advice on how people of good will can have honest and forthright discussions about issues of race.

You can listen to the interview via the audio player below.

TheUpcycle_featuredimage“Being less bad is not good.” This is a major theme of Cradle to Cradle, written by architect William McDonough and former Greenpeace chemist Dr. Michael Braungart back in 2002.

The book arrived like a tidal wave on the green movement and exposed the categorical deficiencies and uselessness of tags like, “reduce, reuse, recycle.” The problem highlighted in the 2002 book is not that we need to simply damage the environment less but, even worse, we lack the entrepreneurial creativity and innovation to design products that actually make the natural world better after their initial use. Eleven years later, McDonough and Braungart move the conversation forward and provide a framework to think differently in their new book, The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing For Abundance.

There isn’t space here to review the entire book but the introduction and first chapter alone are enough to challenge the ongoing hegemonic perspective that sees human action as an environmental liability rather than seeing human action, as McDonough and Braungart suggests, as an asset to the flourishing of all life. First, the authors challenge readers to see the world as space teaming with abundance instead of finite resources. Just as plant and animal waste are actually complimentary nutrients in an ecosystem we should begin to think creatively about how the by-products of our manufacturing processes can become “technical nutrients” to other processes. Human action creates opportunities for positive cultivation.