Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

In honor of the 2016 Wilberforce Weekend, the Colson Center for Christian Worldview sponsored and the Washington Times Advocacy Department prepared a special report on energizing and equipping Christian leadership in the spirit of William Wilberforce.

In the section on honoring the late Chuck Colson and his legacy, the Rev. Robert A. Sirico, co-founder and president of the Acton Institute, discusses the common bond he shared with the evangelical leader:

Here is what I wanted to say in conclusion, and that is that Chuck Colson was no fake ecumenist. Chuck Colson was not interested in the form of ecumenism, where people would politely talk with one another so as to negotiate away the truths of the faith so that we can talk about how we liked one another so much.

Chuck was a man of real faith, a real conviction and a real honesty. He was also a man who is captivated by Jesus Christ, and it is that that drew he and I together, along with people like Cardinal Avery Dulles and Father Richard John Neuhaus, of happy memory. That was his ecumenism. His idea of ecumenism was that as we move closer to Jesus Christ, we look around and find that we have also moved closer to each other.

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“I never saw a supply and demand curve in seminary. I should have.”

This was written by Virginia Congressman David Brat in an academic paper back in 2011, when he was still an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College. The paper offers a unique exploration of the intersections of economics, policy, and theology, promoting a holistic view of economic freedom and social justice united with Christian witness.

Brat, who holds both a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D in economics, has been in Congress for just over a year, and in a recent interview with Ben Domenech, it appears as though he’s retained much of that original perspective.

The discussion covers a range of subjects (economics, education, foreign policy), but one of the more striking bits comes when Domenech asks Brat about the decline of religion in American life and the corresponding erosion of local communities and civic institutions. Brat’s response is wide and varied, but he begins by noting that modern society as a whole is now in “uncharted territory.” (more…)

A few weeks ago in connection with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I looked at Lex Luthor as the would-be crony capitalist über Alles, and pointed to Bruce Wayne along with Senator Finch as the economic and political counterpoints to such corruption, respectively.

In this week’s Acton Commentary, Daniel Menjivar looks more closely at Bruce Wayne as representative of aristocratic virtue, the capitalist hero to Luthor’s crony capitalist villain. And while, as Menjivar concludes, “In cape and cowl he is a true hero, the Dark Knight. But in suit and tie, Bruce Wayne is the quintessential capitalist superhero, a shining example of corporate nobility,” Menjivar also notes that Wayne is an imperfect hero.

Threat Bruce Wayne“One clear fault is Bruce’s assumption that by simply fulfilling the material needs of the survivors he has done his part. This is most clearly evidenced in the character of Wallace Keefe, the very man that Bruce Wayne pulled from the rubble of the Wayne building in Metropolis. Wallace loses his legs in the aftermath of the battle, however, he refuses and returns all of Bruce Wayne’s checks,” writes Menjivar.
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Blog author: jcarter
Friday, April 29, 2016
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House Committee Votes to Require Women to Register for Draft
Associated Press

A House committee has approved an amendment to the annual defense policy bill that requires women to register for the military draft.

It’s time to rename capitalism
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

Maybe “capitalism” really isn’t the right word for the free enterprise system, the deep magic that has made America the richest, most powerful nation on Earth.

America’s Uneasy History with Free Trade
I. M. Destler, Harvard Business Review

We seem to be awash in opinions about free trade these days. From U.S. presidential campaign rhetoric to the recently signed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, it might feel like this debate has just started. But debate over trade is as old as the American republic, and it is intertwined with economic theories of competition and geopolitics.

Elon Musk, Crony Capitalist
Veronique de Rugy, Reason.com

The billionaire should spend his own money, not the taxpayers’.

chobani-ceoAs politicians continue to decry the supposed “greed” of well-paid investors, business leaders, and entrepreneurs — promoting a variety of reforms that seek to mandate minimums or cap executive pay — one company is demonstrating the value of economic freedom and market diversity.

Chobani, a privately owned greek yogurt manufacturer, recently announced it will be giving a 10% ownership stake to its roughly 2,000 full-time workers, a move that could result in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars for some employees.

According to the New York Times:

Hamdi Ulukaya, the Turkish immigrant who founded Chobani in 2005, told workers at the company’s plant here in upstate New York that he would be giving them shares worth up to 10 percent of the company when it goes public or is sold.

The goal, he said, is to pass along the wealth they have helped build in the decade since the company started. Chobani is now widely considered to be worth several billion dollars.

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There is something about an election year that causes otherwise rational people to lose all economic sense. Take, for example, minimum-wage-15the issue of free trade. The opposition to free trade on both sides of the politial spectrum is baffling. Yet progressives seem particularly confused, seeming to hold two opposing views on trade at the same time.

“Have you ever wondered if you are a progressive?” asks economist Scot Sumner. “I’ve come up with a two-part test. If you believe in both of the following propositions, then you qualify as a American progressive, circa 2016.” His propositions are:
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Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, April 28, 2016
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The Cumulative Cost of Regulations
Bentley Coffey, Patrick McLaughlin, Pietro Peretto, Mercatus Center

Federal regulations have accumulated over many decades, piling up over time. When regulators add more rules to the pile, analysts often consider the likely benefits and compliance costs of the additional rules. But regulations have a greater effect on the economy than analysis of a single rule in isolation can convey.

The Spirituality of Snoopy
Jonathan Merritt, The Atlantic

How the faith of Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, shaped his work.

Venezuela’s Government Just Instituted a Two-Day Workweek, Because It Needs to Save Electricity
Jordan Weissmann, Slate

Venezuela’s years-long economic disintegration hit a sad new milestone on Tuesday, when President Nicolas Maduro announced that government employees would work only on Mondays and Tuesdays for at least the next two weeks to save scarce electricity.

Summit aims to halt anti-Christian persecution
Catholic News Agency

This week’s #WeAreN2016 Congress aims to call on the world to stop the persecution of Christians and other minorities. Victims of persecution and leaders from around the world will speak about the need for action in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and elsewhere.