Rev. Ben Johnson is Executive Editor of the Acton Institute's flagship journal Religion & Liberty and edits its transatlantic website.

Posts by Rev. Ben Johnson

What’s behind the EU triggering Article 7 against Poland?

For the first time in its history, the EU has invoked Article 7, a provision of its constitution intended to censure and punish a member nation for violating European values. Just before Christmas, the European Commission took the first step in the process against Poland over a series of laws taken by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) that it says threatens the independence of the judiciary. Continue Reading...

How pagans viewed Christian charity

Every year’s end means that people of faith will be deluged with two things: wishes for a Happy New Year and appeals for charities of every conceivable variety. Americans gave $390 billion to charity in 2016, nearly one-third of it in the month of December. Continue Reading...

A Hungarian reflects on George Washington and the U.S. statue controversy

On this day 241 years ago – December 26, 1776 – George Washington led his forces to a much-needed victory in the Battle of Trenton. Crossing the icy waters of the Delaware River on Christmas night to achieve maximum surprise, his decisive defeat of the Hessians encamped in New Jersey bolstered the colonies’ faltering faith in his military leadership. Continue Reading...

What would a renewed Europe look like?

Theresa May began this week by meeting with her Brexit cabinet to determine whether to embrace a “soft Brexit” (with maximum access to the common market and a heavy regulatory regime imposed by Brussels) or a “hard Brexit” (triggering EU protectionist policies but freeing the UK to pursue economic dynamism). Continue Reading...

Is the ‘Bitcoin bubble’ immoral?

What is behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin’s phenomenal rise in values, from $800 last year to $17,000 today? Is this a bubble or a durable value, and what are the ethical implications behind using a currency that may aid such causes as organized crime and North Korea’s nuclear program? Continue Reading...

Who really benefits from Poland’s Sunday shopping ban?

Poland may soon ban shopping on Sundays. On Friday, November 24, the lower house of the Polish legislature (the Sejm) approved a Sunday shopping ban, 254-156. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) Party has presented this as a way to uphold the nation’s Catholic character, but some on the ground warn there is more to the commerce ban than meets the eye. Continue Reading...

C.S. Lewis and Brexit: Breaking the spell

Despite his work as an apologist and essayist of the highest order, C.S. Lewis’ most famous work is the Chronicles of Narnia. The Silver Chair, the fourth novel published in the series, provides a good framework to understand the state of the European Union, writes Stephen F. Continue Reading...