Acton’s Director of Research, Samuel Gregg, discusses Founding Father Charles Carroll at Intercollegiate Review. “A Tea Party Thomist: Charles Carroll” is excerpted from Gregg’s upcoming book, Tea Party Catholic: The Catholic Case ForTea-Party-Catholic-196x300 Limited Government, A Free Economy And Human Flourishing. In the article, Gregg tells of Carroll’s reaction to the Peggy Stewart sailing into Annapolis’ harbor, sparking the controversy regarding the British right to tax the American Colonies.

The political point of this exercise was to elicit the American colonists’ implicit agreement to the British Parliament’s right to tax the American colonies. This at least was how it was understood by those American colonists who were increasingly incensed at what they regarded as a pattern of repression against His Majesty’s subjects in British North America.

Opposition to what many Americans viewed as the British government’s latest arbitrary act was especially fierce in Maryland. Few were more outspoken in their opposition than one of its leading public figures, Charles Carroll of Carrollton. “It will not do,” Carroll insisted, “to export the tea to Europe or the West Indies. Its importation is an offense for which the people will not be so easily satisfied.”

Carroll was no man of violence. He was disconcerted by some of the Boston Tea Party’s radical undertones. Carroll also worried about the potential for anarchy that is part of any revolution.


Hobby-Lobby-StoreHobby Lobby, the privately owned popular craft store chain that filed suit opposing the HHS mandate which forces employers to provide “preventive care” measures such as birth-control and “morning after” pills, won a significant — albeit temporary victory last week when the trial court granted a temporary restraining order against enforcement:

Today, for the first time, a federal court has ordered the government not to enforce the HHS abortion-drug mandate against Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The ruling comes just one day after a dramatic 168-page opinion from the en banc 10th Circuit recognizing that business owners have religious liberty rights. This was the first definitive federal appellate ruling against the HHS mandate.

“Hobby Lobby and the Green family faced the terrible choice of violating their faith or paying massive fines starting this Monday morning,” said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who represents Hobby Lobby. “We are delighted that both the 10th Circuit and the district court have spared them from this unjust burden on their religious freedom.”

In its landmark opinion yesterday, the 10th Circuit majority found that “no one” – not even the government – “disputes the sincerity of Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs.” The court ruled that denying them the protection of federal law just because they are a profit-making business “would conflict with the Supreme Court’s free exercise precedent.”

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Blog author: jcarter
Monday, July 1, 2013

The Limits of Panic
Bjørn Lomborg, Slate

Obsessing over doom-and-gloom scenarios distracts us from real global threats

Remembering Slim Whitman, the church’s ‘Mr. Songman.’
Church of the Brethren Newsline

Remembered by friends in the congregation and Atlantic Southeast District as a gentle and loving man, Whitman retained his Brethren simplicity even as he gained in popularity as a performer.

Wilberforce: A Model for Influencing Culture, Morals, and Values
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

How can Christians work to influence culture? Virtue plays a key role in the great culture-building and reforming project God has given to his people.

Syria Christians face ‘ethno-religious cleansing’
John Evans, Baptist Press

Syrian Christians are caught in the middle of the conflict between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and rebel fighters.

dysonOver at we have the opportunity to see one of America’s famed black public intellectuals provide another example of unreasonable commentary. Michael Eric Dyson, University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, in response to the recent Supreme Decision striking down one section of the 1965 Voting-Rights Act said that Clarence Thomas joining the majority opinion is like “A symbolic Jew [who] has invited a metaphoric Hitler to commit holocaust and genocide upon his own people.” Dyson also believes it is asinine that, in America “we should trust [Southern] states to police themselves.” Whites simply cannot be trusted.

One has to wonder why a network like MSNBC would want this type of commentary, but it is important to understand what Dyson is implying. It is pretty well known that black progressives hate all the things that Clarence Thomas represents, so we should not be surprised that Dyson would criticize anything Thomas did. However, to accuse Thomas of being like a self-hating Jew who wanted Hitler to kill his own people is beyond ridiculous. If I were Jewish I might even be offended at the reduction of comparing the Holocaust to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


I recently wrote on the implications of “pathological altruism,” a term coined by Oakland University’s Barbara Oakley to categorize altruism in which “attempts to promote the welfare of others instead result in unanticipated harm.”

In a segment from the PovertyCure series, HOPE International’s Peter Greer offers a good example of how this can play out, particularly in and through various outreaches of the church:

Oakley’s paradigm depends on whether such harm can be “reasonably anticipated,” and as Greer’s story indicates, far too often the church isn’t anticipating much at all. Ship the stuff, check the box, and sing our merry songs. (more…)

babiesWould your life be better off if only half as many people had lived before you?

That’s the intriguing question Ramez Naam asks in his new book, The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet. As Ronald Bailey says in a review of the book,

In this thought experiment, you don’t get to pick which people are never born. Perhaps there would have been no Newton, Edison, or Pasteur, no Socrates, Shakespeare, or Jefferson. “Each additional idea is a gift to the future,” Naam writes. “Each additional idea producer is a source of wealth for future generations.” Fewer people means fewer new ideas about how to improve humanity’s lot.

Earlier this week, I wrote that human resources are not only the most valuable natural resource, they are the only real natural resources on the Earth. To this I would add that the individual human is the only unique resource on the planet. A barrel of oil or a pound of gold is much like any other barrel of oil or pound of gold. But a human has a unique combination of God-given gifts, skills, talents and experience that make them unique as a producer of ideas and innovation.

If the acquisition of oil, gold, or any other “natural resources” were to slow to a crawl, humanity could survive. But we can’t flourish as a species unless we continue to create the most important resource of all: babies.

When Jessica Lahey started teaching English at a “core virtues” school she thought it would only require talking about empathy and courage when discussing To Kill a Mockingbird. She soon learned what it really meant — and what it meant for her students:

I mean come on. Character education? Core virtues? I teach English, not Sunday school, and besides, I teach middle school. If I were to walk into my eighth grade English class and wax rhapsodic about prudence and temperance, those kids would eat me alive. It’s hard enough to keep the attention of a classroom full of middle school students without coming on like an 18th-century schoolmarm.

Somewhere along the way, someone must have started dosing me with the character education Kool-Aid, because five years in, I have come to understand what real character education looks like and what it can do for children. I can’t imagine teaching in a school that does not have a hard-core commitment to character education, because I’ve seen what that education can mean to a child’s emotional, moral, and intellectual development. Schools that teach character education report higher academic performance, improved attendance, reduced violence, fewer disciplinary issues, reduction in substance abuse, and less vandalism. At a time when parents and teachers are concerned about school violence, it is worth noting that students who attend character education schools report feeling safer because they know their fellow students value respect, responsibility, compassion and hard work. From a practical perspective, it’s simply easier to teach children who can exercise patience, self-control, and diligence, even when they would rather be playing outside – especially when they would rather be playing outside.

Read more . . .