If there is one thing that humans all have in common it is the desire to make meaning out of life and to do so in a community that gives us a sense that we matter to others. We long for connection, love, and validation. We want to know that our life matters now and that we will be missed after this life. In the secularization of Western societies, wherein God has been expunged from the meaning of life, people are left to pursue confirmation of meaning and belonging through temporal, material means, because this life is all there is. This framework, combined with the hidden worldviews of individualism, moral relativism, consumerism, and narcissism, produces a society where people are consumed by a lust for fame and notoriety.
While our educational system in the United States served us well at one time, Sir Ken Robinson says it’s not working for us anymore. In this short video, Robinson talks about what’s wrong with education, and some possibilities for making it better.
Helping Addicts Off the Streets: A Legacy of Lives Restored
Collette Caprara, The Foundry
Last week, the nation lost a true champion of civil society with the passing of Bob Coté. Thirty years ago, Coté launched Step 13, a facility/program for addicts and alcoholics in the midst of the skid-row section of Denver.
Christians in the Kettle: Engaging public policy in self-defense.
Barrett Duke, ERLC
Given the condition of our culture today, a posture of self-defense makes sense. Much of society is growing increasingly hostile to the Christian message and more resistant to the biblical worldview. – See more at: http://erlc.com/article/christians-in-the-kettle-engaging-public-policy-in-self-defense#sthash.YJJ964Mg.dpuf
Progressives Have Destroyed Founding Fathers Dream of Limited Government
David Corbin and Matthew Parks, The Blaze
It has not been a good week for American government. But does this mean it has been a good week for the American people? Perhaps.
A Missionary with A Mind for Economics
Elise Amyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics
Discussing the link between spiritual and material needs, the pitfalls of practical missions experience, and the need for “Haitian Heroes.”
“Will the most fundamental liberty of all – freedom of conscience – survive in post-Obama America?” asks Terry Jeffrey at Townhall.com. He, along with many others, is worried about the Obama Administration’s refusal to allow faithful Christians to live according to their conscience. He is particularly concerned about the Kennedy family, owners of Autocam, based in Kentwood, Mich. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled that the Kennedys may not sue the director of the Health and Human Services Department, Kathleen Sebelius, because “Autocam is not a ‘person’ capable of ‘religious exercise.’” President of Autocam and Autocam Medical and an Acton board member, John Kennedy told Jeffrey that he and his family “strive to live all parts of their lives – including their business lives – in keeping with their Catholic faith.” He said that:
We’re called into different occupations, but we are supposed to respond to that call and try to basically show the teachings of Jesus Christ in everything we do… You have an obligation to treat everyone justly, and, in my mind, you are supposed to treat all people that you come across in life as part of your family.
Jeffrey discussed the HHS Mandate with Kennedy:
When I interviewed John Kennedy this week, I asked him: “Can your family-owned company, in keeping with the way you have run it in accordance with your Catholic faith, obey that regulation?”
“No,” said Kennedy. “I can’t see how we can do that.” (more…)
On Sept. 18, the Acton Institute held its annual dinner and lecture in downtown Pittsburgh at the Duquesne Club.
J. Christopher Donahue, president and chief executive officer of Federated Investors, Inc., emceed the event and Lisa Slayton, president of Serving Leaders and The Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, gave the invocation for the evening. Rev. Robert A. Sirico, president and co-founder of Acton, gave the keynote lecture for the evening: “Religious Liberty and Economic Liberty: Twin Guarantees for Human Freedom.”
Rev. Sirico started the evening by talking about why property rights are important to liberty. Property allows us to put ourselves into the creation of things. Humans have the capacity to create wealth. The human being transcends creation as we are able to create. “Without the right of property, civilization begins to crumble,” Rev. Sirico said. “Culture begins to crumble.” He gave a textbook example of this—the former Soviet Union. Both religion and property rights were confiscated–and you can see what happened. (more…)
This short, satirical video sums up our mess.
As a child I was fascinated with world news and current events. I was especially drawn to reports about the rabid anti-Americanism in Iran and their almost decade long war with Iraq. It was not the film “Argo” or even living in the Middle East that renewed my interest in Iran, but an excellent book by Mark Bowden titled, “Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam.” Still, I knew little about the suffering of Iranians, especially Christians, in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution.
Earlier this year, I read “Prisoner of Tehran,” another impressive book about the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The author, Marina Nemat, delivered a keynote address at Acton University this year and that’s where I sat down to interview her about her prison experience and the state of the Middle East today. She offers a lot of insight on torture, the hope we have as Christians, and what exactly is going on today with many of the uprisings we see in that region in the news.
The feature article, “But What if They’re All Republicans?” is written by Andrew Yuengert. He is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. Yuengert argues that an overly politicized Catholic episcopacy damages the Church’s social witness.
David Deavel reviews a new work on Adam Smith authored by James Otteson. The book on Smith is part of the Bloomsbury series “Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers.” Deavel notes in his review, “In James Otteson’s short, witty, and well-sourced introduction to Smith, one can see why Kirk and Burke thought so highly of this figure— and why our contemporaries should, too.”
Samuel Gregg’s Tea Party Catholic is garnering a lot of attention and we offer an excerpt from the book in this issue. The article focuses on Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Carrollton was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence and the last surviving signatory of the document.
Margaret Thatcher is honored as the “In the Liberal Tradition” figure. “Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul,” Thatcher once told the Sunday Times.