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

Has Brexit ended bank-bashing?

In 2012, François Hollande ran for president of France by saying, “My true enemy … is the world of finance.” This month, the Socialist’s former economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, maintained his lead in the race to succeed Hollande by highlighting his work as an investment banker for Rothschild & Co. Continue Reading...

Explainer: What’s the difference between a free trade union and a customs union?

On Monday, Great Britain stood poised to enact Brexit with Her Majesty’s blessing. UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that her government would send the letter officially triggering the UK’s exit from the European Union, in accordance with Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, on March 29 – more than nine months after the British people voted to extract themselves from the global governance institution. Continue Reading...

5 facts about the Brexit vote and Scottish independence

On Monday night, Parliament passed a bill allowing Prime Minister Theresa May to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. On the same day, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for Scotland to hold a second referendum on declaring independence from the UK. Continue Reading...

The unique way economic revival in ‘flyover country’ may affect the Dutch elections

As a wave of populism sweeps from Donald Trump’s Oval Office to the Brexit-ravaged headquarters of the European Union in Brussels, observers look to next week’s Dutch elections. Current polls show Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) slipping a few seats behind Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy’s (VVD) – but, like Donald Trump, Wilders could outperform his polls. Continue Reading...

Why does the Syrian refugee debate ignore private charity?

On Monday, President Trump signed a new executive order barring refugees from six majority-Muslim nations that have strong ties to terrorism. This executive order differs from the last one by removing Iraq from the ban and eliminating the preferential option for the area’s persecuted Christian minority. Continue Reading...

The morality of Brexit

As a setback in the House of Lords leaves the UK debating how best to accomplish its departure from the European Union, perhaps the most neglected question is the moral one. Continue Reading...

The Christian patristic roots of religious liberty

One of the aspects that I left out of my article yesterday on the fifth European Catholic-Orthodox Forum statement worth noting is its declaration on the origins of religious liberty. Freedom of conscience and the right to choose one’s own religion – two human rights extolled by the modern, secular EU – grew out of the Christian conception of human dignity. Continue Reading...

Ignoring faith and human dignity leaves Europe ‘adrift’: Joint Catholic-Orthodox statement

Leaders from the world’s two largest churches say that Christians in the West are facing “unprecedented” hurdles to living out their vocation according to their conscience. A statement from Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians says that as traditional Western culture – liberally influenced by Christianity – is replaced with relativistic secularism and radicalized Islam, Christians are facing new barriers to entering whole sectors of the workplace, as well as other forms of hard and soft persecution. Continue Reading...