Archived Posts 2013 - Page 20 of 167 | Acton PowerBlog

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why Coolidge Is Cool Again
David Pietrusza, The Federalist

The 30th president not only offers us a lesson on what was done, but what will have to be done again.

Hurdles Seen for Change to China’s One-Child Rule
Chris Buckley, New York Times

The Chinese government’s decision to relax a decades-old one-child limit on couples has already encountered two problems likely to test dozens of social and economic changes promised by President Xi Jinping — vagaries about implementation and magnified public expectations of even bigger changes ahead.

The Christian Intellectual
R.R. Reno, First Things

How should the Christian intellectual proceed? What should be our approach to higher education and academic work?

What is R2K Theology?
R.C. Sproul Jr., Ligonier Ministries

The church, according to this view, is neither called, equipped, nor permitted to prophecy against the sins of those outside the kingdom.

baldwin

Liberal Dark Money in your wallet?

Your writer possesses well-meaning friends forever vigilant in my best interests. Most recently, one such kind soul sent an email alerting me to the dangers of so-called “dark money” in the political process. Believing himself on the side of the angels – and fully onside with activist nuns, priests and other religious – my friend sought my assistance in the fight against “evil” corporations participating in the political process.

So I got the following in my inbox. And all I had to do for America’s campaign finance salvation was sign a petition circulated by The Daily Kos and People for the American Way:

Bruce, join Daily Kos and People for the American Way in urging the SEC to require that publicly traded corporations disclose their political spending….

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling was a travesty, which has opened the floodgate to corporate money in our political spending. Repealing it via a constitutional amendment will take years, but there’s something we can do in the meantime that will go a long way.

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) is the federal agency with the job of protecting investors from corporate abuse. It is well within its authority to require that publicly traded corporations disclose their political spending—but it won’t happen without a fight.

End the shroud of secrecy. Join Daily Kos and People For the American Way in urging the SEC to require that publicly traded corporations disclose their political spending. (more…)

food plateThe government is now in the health care business. Trans fats may be on their way out, and New York is trying to tell us to stop buying buckets of soda to drink. Can you imagine a land of the “Affordable Healthy Food Act?” Jacqueline Isaacs can.

Imagine with me, a hypothetical world where a politician was running for the office of President of the United States on the platform that everyone deserved a healthy diet. Not so far-fetched of an idea. Food is definitely a necessity, and in our 21st century America, why shouldn’t everyone be able to have access to healthy food? (more…)

Untitled 3What’s the deal with actuaries?

Whenever a new list of the best jobs is compiled—like the rankings by Career Cast—they are always near the top of the list. What could really be so great about interpreting statistics to determine probabilities of accidents, sickness, and death, and loss of property from theft and natural disasters?

And why have I never actually met an actuary? Are their jobs so exceedingly awesome that they don’t take time to associate with non-actuaries?

Anyway, here are the top ten jobs for 2013 according to Career Cast. Notice any patterns?
(more…)

Fr. C John McCloskey, research fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute, recently reviewed Sam Gregg’s Tea Party Catholic at the National Catholic Register. In “Life, Liberty and Faith,” McCloskey says, “Gregg builds an argument for free economy and human flourishing that is a must-read, regardless of your political affiliation or whether you are Catholic or a serious Christian concerned about the rapidly diminishing religious liberty in the United States.”

McCloskey points out at the book focuses on the only Catholic founding father, Charles Carroll. He quotes a letter that Carroll wrote to James McHenry, “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time.” The review continues:

In short, Carroll is telling McHenry (and us), that, for a free country to flourish or even survive over the centuries, its populace has to live a Christian life and strive to follow the commandments and the beatitudes as they come down to us from Scripture, based on the authority of the Catholic Church (even though Carroll does not mention Catholicism by name in the letter to McHenry).

Gregg argues for a return to the concept of subsidiarity for human flourishing.

He writes, “Though an important form of social organization, government is only one of a number of communities and should not displace or absorb the responsibilities properly assumed by individuals, businesses, clubs and other forms of non-state association. Subsidiarity tells us we should not automatically look to government. … When no other group can render assistance in the appropriate form of help, the state may need to become involved.”

Gregg makes his case well that only religiously derived morals, faith and economic liberty can bring the United States out of the death spiral in which it is caught.

Spread the word.

Read the entire review here. For a free excerpt and more information about the book, visit TeaPartyCatholic.com

Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Constitutionality Of Health Care LawWe know freedom isn’t free. And apparently, we are now going to find out exactly how much our religious freedom is going to cost. Matthew Clark at Charisma News says that “refusal to violate your faith” under Obamacare is going to cost you…a lot.

If you value your faith; if you are one of the millions of Americans who believe that abortion pills cause the destruction of innocent, God-given human life; if you are an employer who believes that being forced to pay for others’abortion pills is morally reprehensible, the Obama administration wants you to pay a dramatically steep price for your religious liberty.

The penalty for failure to abide by the Obamacare HHS abortion-pill mandate is an astounding $36,500 a year.

(more…)

Creation Heart ManToday at Ethika Politika, Alfred Kentigern Siewers reviews Creation and the Heart of Man: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Environmentalism, Acton’s recent Orthodox Christian social thought monograph by Fr. Michael Butler and Prof. Andrew Morriss. Siewers offers a nuanced and critical review, being well-read in the literature himself, and ultimately welcomes the monograph as a missing voice in the broader conversation of Orthodox Christianity and creation care.

Siewers writes,

[I]n its introductory opening chapter, the authors clearly set forth their objection to what they see as a “deep left bias” in the increasingly growing library of literature on Orthodox Christian approaches to nature. Specifically, they bemoan the following: what they see as a lack of policy prescriptions drawn directly from Orthodox tradition; “the subordination of the Tradition to preexisting political or environmental agenda”; a tendency of such writings to be overly critical of Western society; and impractical policy recommendations. In this it criticizes some of the environmental statements of Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as of the post-communist Russian Orthodox Synod, but runs the risk of falling into its own critique.

Its emphases and discussion tend toward a particular kind of American conservative perspective, with an emphasis on free markets, rather than a more paleo-conservative concern about modernity along neo-agrarian lines, or the American Enterprise Institute’s Roger Scruton’s Green Philosophy with its “Red Tory” approach. More esoteric but creative approaches—such as geo-libertarianism and anarcho-monarchism—also aren’t considered, although the monograph does in a needed way open discussion further on alternatives to statist approaches and details how the latter work against the kind of spiritual transfiguration required in Orthodox cosmic theology.

Indeed, in the end the work is Orthodox and not libertarian, excellent in its rich outline of both patristic writings and a variety of contemporary scholars as well as the writings and lives of holy saints and elders (across a spectrum of approaches and views). For example, the authors do also positively address ideas of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Russian Synod, in a tradition that relies not on papal leadership but on conciliarity.

Read more . . .

Blog author: ehilton
posted by on Monday, November 18, 2013

conservative liberalCarl E. Olson, in an editorial entitled “Catholicism and the Convenience of Empty Labels,” says that many who write and discuss all things Catholic get lost in “fabricated conflicts” which lack context. Pope Francis, depending on who is speaking, is a darling of the “liberals” or a stalwart “conservative.”

Suffice to say, the die has been cast for many journalists, and thus for their readers, when it comes to framing stories about the good Pope Francis and the evil “right-wingers” who oppose him. It’s not that some writers go to elaborate and sophisticated lengths to make dubious connections and render outrageous assertions; rather, they often demonstrate an intellectual laziness that is alarming and a crude simplicity that is exasperating, at best.

(more…)

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, November 18, 2013

China to Ease 1-Child Policy, Abolish Labor Camps
Gillian Wong, Associated Press

China will loosen family planning rules that limit many couples to a single child in the first substantial change to the unpopular policy in nearly three decades, as leaders seek to address a rapidly aging population.

The Evolution of Conscience in the Western World
Howard P. Kainz, First Things

People don’t always act according to their conscience, but ameliorations in conscience are a sine qua non for moral betterment—necessary, although not sufficient.

Obama Administration Puts a Price Tag on Your Religious Freedom
Matthew Clark, Charisma News

Can you put a price on religious liberty? Apparently the Obama administration has.

Kentucky Baptist children’s agency faces ‘ethical dilemma’
Paul Chitwood, ERLC

Growing hostility toward biblical Christianity in America could cause us to question how long tolerance will be extended to the religion that once dominated our land; but for now, we are blessed with freedom.

2716popefrancis_00000001928Carl E Olson, editor of The Catholic World Report, recently wrote an article addressing the  perception of Pope Francis by media members outside the Catholic Church. He says:

Many in the American media, however, have already made up their minds: yes, the new pope is “liberal”, and that supposed fact is a big problem for those “conservative” bishops who keep harping about fringe issues such as the killing of the unborn, sexual immorality, the familial foundations of society, and the need to evangelize.

Many have labeled the Pope a “liberal” because of a statement he made that was published in America. He said: “I have never been like Blessed Imelda [a goody-goody], but I have never been a right-winger.” Olson asked Samuel Gregg, director of research at the Acton Institute, what an “ultraconservative” or “right-winger” might mean to  Pope Francis. Gregg, who has spent considerable time in Latin America, points out that these terms have different meanings in Latin America than they do in the U.S.

It is, Gregg told me, “crucial to understand just how extreme politics became in Latin America in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.” During those decades, the “left” in Latin America “ was chest-deep in Marxism” as evidenced by “dictators like Fidel Castro and murderers like Che Guevara.” (more…)