Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
By

Three Ideas for Supporting Low-Wage Workers
David Lapp, Family Studies

Reforming the earned income tax credit’s payment structure could make it even more helpful to working Americans.

Why K-12 education needs the entrepreneurial spirit
Frederick M. Hess, AEI Ideas

The entrepreneurial premise is that American education is in need of transformative improvement.

America’s high school seniors’ reading and math scores have hit a wall
Joy Resmovits, L.A. Times

America’s high school seniors’ reading and math test scores are barely holding steady or slumping, according to national standardized test results released late Tuesday.

What a 19th Century Political Thinker Can Teach Us About ‘True’ Conservativism
Robert Moffit , The Daily Signal

There is a North Star that should simultaneously guide and unify American conservatives: fidelity to the Constitution and a clear understanding of what Alexander Hamilton called the “new political science” undergirding it.

cpcIn 1998, the U.S. took an important step in promoting religious freedom as a foreign policy objective with the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRF Act). Designed to “strengthen United States advocacy on behalf of, individuals persecuted in foreign countries on account of religion,” the law authorized “actions in response to violations of religious freedom in foreign countries.”

The act also requires that that Secretary of State identify “countries of particular concern,” a designation reserved for nation’s guilty of particularly severe violations of religious freedom. The classification is used for countries that have committed “particularly severe violations of religious freedom,” including violations such as:
(more…)

Blog author: jballor
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
By

Post harvest cultivation - geograph.org.uk - 1223870A distinctive of neo-Calvinism, that movement associated with a late-nineteenth century Dutch revival of Reformational Christianity in the Netherlands, is its focus in emphasis if not also in substance not only on individuals but also on institutions. As Richard Mouw puts it, “At the heart of the neo-Calvinist perspective on cultural multiformity is an insistence that the redemption accomplished by Christ is not only about the salvation of individuals—it is the reclaiming of the whole creation.”

This holistic perspective has led to a variety of speculations and opinions about the (dis)continuity between the redemptive-historical transitions from creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. In last week’s Acton Commentary, a section out of Abraham Kuyper’s Common Grace captures one of Kuyper’s key insights that the “fruit of common grace” has significance not only for this world but for the next as well.
(more…)

On the short list of the most enduring Christian books of the twentieth century is C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity. The book originated from a series of radio lectures that aired on the BBC during World War II.

A YouTube channel called CSLewisDoodle contains a number of videos that illustrate some of Lewis’s selected essays to make them easier to understand. In this video, Lewis talks about the reality of the universal natural law.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
By

Is Religious Liberty Biblical?
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion, a broader concept than freedom of worship. It covers the right to live a faith-based life in the public square. Is this a biblical idea or a humanistic opinion with no scriptural foundation?

Are You Crunchy? Thank Capitalism
Bethany Mandel, The Federalist

You can eat free-range eggs, organic kale, fresh juice from your Vitamix, and cruelty-free meat. For that, thank a country that boasts more economic freedom than most.

Eritrean Christians Face A Time of Great Tribulation
Michael Avramovich, Mere Comments

Eritrea’s dictator is Isaias Afwerki, who has ruled his nation as a single-party authoritarian state since 1993. His government’s human rights record is among the worst in the world.

How the ‘Evil Corporation’ Became a Pop-Culture Trope
Angela Allan, The Atlantic

Seventy-five years of American films and novels have articulated deep-seated fears of the power of business.

Rev. Robert A. Sirico takes time to chat with participants at the April 20 Rome conference "Freedom with Justice: Rerum Novarum and the New Things of Our Time"

Rev. Robert A. Sirico, second from left, takes time to chat with participants at the April 20 Rome conference “Freedom with Justice: Rerum Novarum and the New Things of Our Time”

French journalist Solène Tadié published an exclusive interview today with Rev. Robert A. Sirico: “Entretien avec le père Robert Sirico pour le 125e anniversaire de l’encyclique Rerum Novarum“. Rev. Sirico was in Rome as the final speaker at Acton’s April 20 Rome conference “Freedom with Justice: Rerum Novarum and the New things of Our Time” when he made many original comments that spurred journalists to follow up with him afterward.

Toward the middle of her interview, Tadié asked what he thought about European socialists claiming that they had created the term “liberalism”.

Sirico responded with pastoral and intellectual depth about the social and individual dimensions of the human person. In the end, he says Christianity  provides the best “anthropological balance”, between classical liberal individualism and  liberal socialists over-emphasizing the social dimension of man. His answer, published for Institut Coppet, is transcribed below (listen in audio file from 7:52-10:58). It is well worth reading in full:

This is a very French question, and it’s a very good question…. because it goes [back] to the question of the Renaissance and the Iluminismo — the Enlightenment– and a number of these issues that cluster around…And even in the contrast between the French Revolution and the American Revolution.

Without going into a long historical discourse, here is what I what I would say: I think that Christianity, over the centuries, came to a higher and higher view of the dignity of the human person. Certainly, it was a very radical notion right at the beginning, because it is said that people were redeemed not by basis of their ethnicity, but by basis of their personal relationship with Christ. For example in the baptismal rite, I can’t baptize a number of people at once. I have to baptize them one at a time. And so this speaks to the dignity of the human person. (more…)

Feeling the Bern

Alvino-Mario Fantini, editor-in-chief of the The European Conservativeand Michael Severance, operations manager of Istituto Acton, co-wrote an op-ed for The Catholic World Report Are Pope Leo XIII and Pope Saint John Paul II “feeling the Bern”? The article was published yesterday as a concluding reflection on Acton’s April 20 Rome conference “Freedom with Justice: Rerum Novarum and the New Things of Our Time“.

The op-ed  summarizes some of the main moral theological and anthropological points expressed last Wednesday — especially those made by the theologian of the papal household Fr. Wojciech Giertych, OP. Fr. Giertych  reminded everyone present that Pope Leo XIII, the first pope in centuries not to have temporal power over the Papal States, did not have a state-centric approach to anthropology. Pope Leo, said Giertych, “insisted that by nature man precedes the state – and independently of it he has the right to provide for his own needs (RN, 7).” (more…)