Acton Institute Powerblog

Promoting free societies characterized by liberty & religious principles

Roots of Compassion

As mentioned in an earlier post, Acton was in Washington D.C. last week to honor the 2005 Samaritan Award-winning programs. But we managed to do a lot more than hold a reception for our honorees – almost all of them also met with members of Congress to impress upon them the value and importance of private charities in their communities. Continue Reading...

Among the Little Giants of Effective Compassion

Last Wednesday, I was privileged to attend the Samaritan Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. I have to say up front that Acton’s Effective Compassion events are probably the most enjoyable for me to attend because invariably one comes into contact with a group of very special, very dedicated people who are completely devoted to what our society would term “lost causes,” and having great success. Continue Reading...

The Crunchiness of Factory Farming

The CrunchyCon blog at NRO is currently discussing the issue of factory farming, which is apparently covered and described in some detail in Dreher’s book (my copy currently is on order, having not been privy to the “crunchy con”versation previously). Continue Reading...

God and GM Foods

In the latest issue of Science & Spirit magazine, Acton director of research Samuel Gregg is interviewed about the ethical aspects of the genetic engineering of food. In “God and the New Foodstuffs,” author Trey Popp writes about the opposition to such endeavors: Some scientists and environmentalists fear GM crops may have unforeseen consequences. Continue Reading...

Economic Advice Pro Bono

An interesting piece in Tuesday’s Financial Times (registration req.) by Jagdish Bhagwati, economist at Columbia University. In the form of a letter to U2 front man Bono, Dr. Bhagwati offers a (I think) stinging criticism of attempts to save Africa through appeals for more governmental spending. Continue Reading...

The World is Not Enough

Not satisfied simply with privately-funded space flights, the X Prize Foundation is currently drafting rules for a lunar lander challenge. The foundation is looking for comments from the public on the current draft, and here are some of the details according to SPACE.com: According to draft rules for the lunar lander contest, competitors will be challenged to build a vehicle capable of launching vertically, travel a distance of 328 to 656 feet (100 to 200 meters) horizontally, and then land at a designated site. Continue Reading...

Christianity and Civilization

Today’s BreakPoint commentary by Chuck Colson gives a brief review and survey of Rodney Stark’s The Victory of Reason. Concludes Colson: “This book will you give you some very good ammunition to answer those critics who come up with the same tired, old arguments about the fact that Christianity held back the progress of civilization. Continue Reading...

Fumbling with Fundamentalism

One of the religion beat’s favorite canards is to implicitly equate what it calls American Christian “fundamentalism” with what it calls Muslim or Islamic “fundamentalism.” After all, both are simply species of the genus. Continue Reading...

Speaking a Language They Can Understand

Wired News passes along this article by Chris Kohler, “U.N. Game Wins Hearts and Minds.” The story gives a brief overview and history of the video game created by the United Nations World Food Programme, Food Force. Continue Reading...