Acton Commentary http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2006/10/11 Acton Commentary is published weekly by the Acton Institute. en Europe’s Real Time-Bomb http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/03/25/europe%E2%80%99s-real-time-bomb <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/samuel-gregg">Samuel Gregg</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While Europe&rsquo;s governments and financial markets have been fixated in recent months by the ongoing fiscal and political disaster otherwise known as Greece, the challenges facing one of the EU&rsquo;s smallest members are, frankly, quite minor compared to what may well be Europe&rsquo;s biggest looming internal problem.</p> <p>The name of that challenge? In a word: France.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/becoming-europe">Becoming Europe</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/03/25/europe%E2%80%99s-real-time-bomb" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:54:36 +0000 John Couretas 6546 at http://www.acton.org The Real Oscar Romero http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/03/18/real-oscar-romero <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/rev-robert-sirico">Rev. Robert A. Sirico</a> </div> </div> </div> <div id="article_body"> <p>There are two prominent churchmen of our era whose lives and words expose the difference between a &quot;preferential option for the poor&quot; and a preferential option for the state.</p> <p>The first is Archbishop Oscar Romero. When an agent of El Salvador&#39;s military regime fired a single bullet into Oscar Romero&#39;s chest, the archbishop was in the midst of celebrating Mass. But it seems that before Romero could be laid to rest, he became an unlikely hero to Marxists and Liberation Theologians in Latin America.</p></div><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/defending-free-market">Defending the Free Market</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/03/18/real-oscar-romero" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 15:55:41 +0000 John Couretas 6542 at http://www.acton.org ‘Christ and Crisis’ Today http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/03/11/christ-crisis%E2%80%99-today <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/dylan-pahman">Dylan Pahman</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="caption alignright"><img alt="Charles Malik. Photo credit: LIFE Magazine." src="/sites/v4.acton.org/files/pub/malik.jpg" class="img-responsive" /> <p class="caption-text"> Charles Malik. Photo credit: LIFE Magazine. </p></div><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/life-world">For the Life of the World</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/03/11/christ-crisis%E2%80%99-today" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:08:11 +0000 Acton Web 6529 at http://www.acton.org No Faith-Based Case for FCC’s Net Neutrality Power Grab http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/03/04/no-faith-based-case-fcc%E2%80%99s-net-neutrality-power-gra <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/bruce-edward-walker">Bruce Edward Walker</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What could possibly go wrong with a regulatory power grab by a government agency applying an 80-year-old law to the most dynamic and innovative aspect of the world&rsquo;s economy? The Federal Communications Commission last week voted along partisan lines for passage of network neutrality regulations. The first two attempts were both defeated in U.S. Circuit Court, and one hopes this third try meets the same fate.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/defending-free-market">Defending the Free Market</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/03/04/no-faith-based-case-fcc%E2%80%99s-net-neutrality-power-gra" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:21:04 +0000 Acton Web 6525 at http://www.acton.org Women and the Academy Awards: Hashtag Nonsense and Factual Farce http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/02/25/women-academy-awards-hashtag-nonsense-factual-farc <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/elise-hilton">Elise Hilton</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><img alt="Patricia Arquette" src="/sites/v4.acton.org/files/pub/patricia.jpg" style="width: 306px; height: 437px; float: right;" />My Academy Awards confessions: I have not seen <em>Birdman</em>. I use the time allotted for the best sound editing award to get a snack and let the dog out. I like to watch the pre-show and see the beautiful gowns (and reel in horror at some of the couture creations.)</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/life-world">For the Life of the World</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/02/25/women-academy-awards-hashtag-nonsense-factual-farc" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:44:49 +0000 Acton Web 6522 at http://www.acton.org Oscar Romero: An archbishop driven by faith, not ideology http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/02/18/oscar-romero-archbishop-driven-faith-not-ideology <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/rev-robert-sirico">Rev. Robert A. Sirico</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While on a lecture tour of El Salvador about a year ago, I asked my hosts if it were possible to visit the church where Oscar Romero celebrated his last Mass in 1980.</p> <p>The Salvadorian archbishop was assassinated by a government hit squad at the point in the Mass known as the Offertory.</p> <p>Here, the priest slightly raises first the host and then the chalice in a re-enactment of Christ&rsquo;s institution of the Eucharist, which Catholics believe to be the self-offering of Christ for the salvation of the world.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/acton-university-2014-flash-drive-bundle">Acton University 2014 Flash Drive Bundle</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/02/18/oscar-romero-archbishop-driven-faith-not-ideology" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 17:50:13 +0000 Acton Web 6520 at http://www.acton.org Fossil Fuel Divestment: Economically Reckless and Morally Callous http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/02/11/fossil-fuel-divestment-economically-reckless-moral <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/bruce-edward-walker">Bruce Edward Walker</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Relatively inexpensive and increasingly cleaner burning fossil fuels have been a boon to humanity for the past 150 years. Furthermore, fossil fuels have reignited nearly every sector of our economy since the Great Recession, including businesses and financial markets, and created huge opportunities for the middle class and the poor.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/creation-heart-man">Creation and the Heart of Man</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/02/11/fossil-fuel-divestment-economically-reckless-moral" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:28:11 +0000 Acton Web 6516 at http://www.acton.org A Parable for the Unemployed http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/02/04/parable-unemployed <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/jordan-ballor">Jordan Ballor</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The theme of work recurs and reverberates throughout the Christian scriptures. We see it from the very beginning in Genesis 1, where human beings are created in God&rsquo;s image and blessed with the call: &ldquo;Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth&nbsp;and subdue it.&rdquo; The call to work appears again in a more specific form with the creation account of Adam and Eve, in which Adam is &ldquo;placed in the Garden of Eden&nbsp;to work it and take care of it&rdquo; and Eve is created to be Adam&rsquo;s co-laborer (Ge. 2:15, 18).</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/get-your-hands-dirty-essays-christian-social-thoug">Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action)</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/02/04/parable-unemployed" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 04 Feb 2015 17:50:46 +0000 Acton Web 6513 at http://www.acton.org Communion and Consumerism http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/01/28/communion-consumerism <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/rev-gregory-jensen">Rev. Gregory Jensen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Anglican Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, made a number of very good points about the moral and spiritual dangers of consumerism <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11359378/Retail-therapy-Consumerism-is-just-making-us-miserable-Archbishop.html">in a recent talk</a>.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/defending-free-market">Defending the Free Market</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/01/28/communion-consumerism" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:50:54 +0000 Acton Web 6511 at http://www.acton.org The Monk as Merchant: Economic Wisdom from a Desert Hermit http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/01/21/monk-merchant-economic-wisdom-desert-hermit <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/dylan-pahman">Dylan Pahman</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before Max Weber ever conducted <a href="https://archive.org/details/protestantethics00webe" target="_blank">his study</a> of the &ldquo;Protestant ethic&rdquo; of hard work and commerce as a matter of one&rsquo;s election before God, there was the ascetic ethic of the ancient Church. A story from the <em>Sayings of the Desert Fathers</em> <a href="https://archive.org/details/libraryofchristi008770mbp" target="_blank">illustrates</a> this ascetic business ethic well:</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/economics-christian-perspective">Economics in Christian Perspective</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/01/21/monk-merchant-economic-wisdom-desert-hermit" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 18:59:32 +0000 Acton Web 6509 at http://www.acton.org The High Price of Human Trafficking http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/01/14/high-price-human-trafficking <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/elise-hilton">Elise Hilton</a> </div> </div> </div> <blockquote> <p>Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ. It is a crime against humanity. The very fact of our being here to combine our efforts means that we want our strategies and areas of expertise to be accompanied and reinforced by the mercy of the Gospel, by closeness to the men and women who are victims of this crime. &ndash; Pope Francis, in his address at a 2014 Conference on Human Trafficking</p></blockquote><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/01/14/high-price-human-trafficking" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:26:07 +0000 Acton Web 6505 at http://www.acton.org The End of Cuba’s Double Despotism http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/01/07/end-cuba%E2%80%99s-double-despotism <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/rev-robert-sirico">Rev. Robert A. Sirico</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The story goes that when President John F. Kennedy decided impose the trade embargo on Cuba in 1962 he told his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, to buy up Cuban cigars prior to its going into effect. Salinger obliged the president&#39;s request and delivered 1,201 Petit H. Upmanns (Kennedy&#39;s favorite) to the White House the next morning.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/defending-free-market">Defending the Free Market</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/01/07/end-cuba%E2%80%99s-double-despotism" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 07 Jan 2015 17:57:19 +0000 Acton Web 6494 at http://www.acton.org Why Do Black Lives Matter? http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/12/31/why-do-black-lives-matter <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/anthony-b-bradley">Anthony B. Bradley</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&ldquo;Black lives matter.&rdquo; &ldquo;All lives matter.&rdquo; These slogans may forever summarize the deep tensions in American life in 2014. Catalyzed by the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and two New York Police officers who were murdered while sitting in a police car, Americans are in the midst of a crisis of human dignity. Are we still able to articulate why <em>anyone&rsquo;s</em> life matters? &nbsp;We can loudly protest that &ldquo;Black lives matter&rdquo; but it will mean nothing in the long run if we cannot explain <em>why</em> black lives matter.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/liberating-black-theology-bible-black-experience-a">Liberating Black Theology - The Bible and the Black Experience in America</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/12/31/why-do-black-lives-matter" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:30:53 +0000 Acton Web 6479 at http://www.acton.org A Dangerous Moment with Promise http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/12/24/dangerous-moment-promise <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/rev-robert-sirico">Rev. Robert A. Sirico</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This is, of course, the season, more than any other season, when we wish one another joy and happiness.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/life-world">For the Life of the World</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/12/24/dangerous-moment-promise" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 24 Dec 2014 15:54:52 +0000 Acton Web 6478 at http://www.acton.org The Worst Christmas Song Ever http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/12/17/worst-christmas-song-ever <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/jordan-ballor">Jordan Ballor</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At this point in the holiday season, whether we like it or not, we&rsquo;ve all got Christmas melodies echoing through our heads. Everyone has a favorite or two; I particularly enjoy the smooth sounds of Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby. But there are plenty of annoying Christmas tunes as well. One song stands out for Christmas crapulence, however, and it has little to do with the catchiness of the song.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/povertycure-curriculum">PovertyCure Curriculum</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/12/17/worst-christmas-song-ever" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:38:39 +0000 Acton Web 6477 at http://www.acton.org Francis and the Idea of Christian Poverty http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/12/10/francis-idea-christian-poverty <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/oskari-juurikkala">Oskari Juurikkala</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>To provide a synthesis of Pope Francis&rsquo;s thinking on the economy is both difficult and easy. It is difficult, because he has never offered extensive and systematic reflections on such questions; his pronouncements are found here and there, inseparable from a broader moral and spiritual message.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/povertycure-curriculum">PovertyCure Curriculum</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/12/10/francis-idea-christian-poverty" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:54:18 +0000 Acton Web 6476 at http://www.acton.org Poverty, the Rule of Law, and Human Flourishing http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/12/03/poverty-rule-law-human-flourishing <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/samuel-gregg">Samuel Gregg</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Back in 2012, the financier George Soros and the head of one of the world&rsquo;s largest anti-poverty NGOs, Fazle Hasan Abed, <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f78f8e0a-07cc-11e2-8354-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3G2bLn3vo">pointed</a> out in the <em>Financial Times</em> that, despite the Great Recession, the number of people living in extreme poverty had dropped in every region of the world for the first time since record-keeping had begun.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/becoming-europe">Becoming Europe</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/12/03/poverty-rule-law-human-flourishing" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 17:13:42 +0000 Acton Web 6475 at http://www.acton.org Free Tesla from Franchise Laws and Subsidies http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/11/26/free-tesla-franchise-laws-subsidies <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/sarah-stanley">Sarah Stanley</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="caption alignright"><img alt="Tesla" src="/sites/v4.acton.org/files/pub/Tesla-Badge_0.jpg" /></div> <p>The Tesla Model S is a drop-dead gorgeous electric automobile that can go from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and carries a sticker price of $80,000 at the high end. Tesla is also at the center of a debate on cronyism, consumer choice, and innovation.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/acton-university-2014-flash-drive-bundle">Acton University 2014 Flash Drive Bundle</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/11/26/free-tesla-franchise-laws-subsidies" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:44:04 +0000 Acton Web 6467 at http://www.acton.org Economic Tyranny Trumps Religious Liberty http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/11/19/economic-tyranny-trumps-religious-liberty <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/michael-novak">Michael Novak</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In Poland and elsewhere, religious communities had inspired and led the nations for hundreds of years. In such places, people were not imprisoned solely in their own individual power, which was little. Sometimes they acted through institutions and associations of their own choosing. Solidarity in Poland, for example, or People Against Violence in Slovakia.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/economic-thinking-theologically-minded">Economic Thinking for the Theologically Minded</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/11/19/economic-tyranny-trumps-religious-liberty" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:32:17 +0000 Acton Web 6465 at http://www.acton.org Toil as Curse and Grace http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/11/12/toil-curse-grace <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/dylan-pahman">Dylan Pahman</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to ancient legend, Sisyphus was punished by the gods for his craftiness in life.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/work-meaning-your-life-christian-perspective">Work: The Meaning of Your Life—A Christian Perspective</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/11/12/toil-curse-grace" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 16:13:18 +0000 Acton Web 6459 at http://www.acton.org Envy in a Time of Inequality http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/11/05/envy-time-inequality <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/samuel-gregg">Samuel Gregg</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Envy, I&rsquo;ve often thought, is the very worst human emotion. The epic Biblical narrative of Cain&rsquo;s slaying of Abel reminds us that people have been jealous of others&rsquo; successes and well-being from time immemorial. When mixed, however, with the near-obsession with inequality that dominates much public discourse these days, there&rsquo;s a serious risk that envy &mdash; and desires to appease it &mdash; can start driving public policy in ways that aren&rsquo;t economically wise or politically healthy.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/tea-party-catholic">Tea Party Catholic</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/11/05/envy-time-inequality" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 15:29:41 +0000 Acton Web 6454 at http://www.acton.org The Soul of the System http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/10/29/soul-system <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/jordan-ballor">Jordan Ballor</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In his review of Hunter Baker&rsquo;s latest book, <a href="http://www.clpress.com/publications/system-has-soul"><em>The System Has a Soul</em></a>, Doug Wilson <a href="http://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/book-of-the-monthoctober-2014.html">picks up on the allusion in the title</a>.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/system-has-soul-essays-christianity-liberty-politi">The System Has a Soul: Essays on Christianity, Liberty, and Political Life</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/10/29/soul-system" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:01:15 +0000 Acton Web 6450 at http://www.acton.org Let’s Get Back to Robbing Peter: The Welfare State and Demographic Decline http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/10/22/let%E2%80%99s-get-back-robbing-peter-welfare-state-demogra <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/dylan-pahman">Dylan Pahman</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The German economist Wilhelm R&ouml;pke, commenting on the expansion of European welfare states in 1958, <a href="http://mises.org/books/tide.pdf" onclick="ga('send', 'event', 'download', 'http://mises.org/books/tide.pdf');" target="_blank">wrote</a>, &ldquo;To let someone else foot the bill is, in fact, the general characteristic of the welfare state and, on closer inspection, its very essence.&rdquo; While he did not argue that, therefore, such state assistance should in all cases be stopped, he put the question in sober terms: &ldquo;[T]he welfare state is an evil the same as each and ev</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/life-world">For the Life of the World</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/10/22/let%E2%80%99s-get-back-robbing-peter-welfare-state-demogra" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:55:00 +0000 Acton Web 6445 at http://www.acton.org Welfare, Work, and Human Dignity http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/10/15/welfare-work-human-dignity <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/dylan-pahman">Dylan Pahman</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A website called <a href="http://www.overfiftyandoutofwork.com/videos/100-stories/">Over Fifty and Out of Work</a> offers Baby-Boomers who have lost their jobs an opportunity to share their stories. Many talk of age discrimination in hiring practices as they look for new work, but all speak of the trial of wanting to work but being unable to find it. The stories reveal that work is a significant factor in one&rsquo;s self-worth and, I would add, a duty of human dignity.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/get-your-hands-dirty-essays-christian-social-thoug">Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action)</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/10/15/welfare-work-human-dignity" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:12:20 +0000 Acton Web 6433 at http://www.acton.org Something Is Rotten in the State of Europe http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/10/08/something-rotten-state-europe <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/samuel-gregg">Samuel Gregg</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about human psychology. But he also understood a great deal about the body-politic and how small signs can be indicative of deeper traumas. So when Marcellus tells Horatio at the beginning of <em style="line-height: 1.538em;">Hamlet</em> that you can almost smell the weakness permeating Denmark, it&rsquo;s Shakespeare&rsquo;s way of telling us to pay attention to what sticks out as abnormal and to ask what else it may portend.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/becoming-europe">Becoming Europe</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/10/08/something-rotten-state-europe" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 15:57:26 +0000 Acton Web 6428 at http://www.acton.org The Image of God and You http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/10/01/image-god-you <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/jordan-ballor">Jordan Ballor</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Conversations about human dignity often, and rightly, refer to the biblical concept of the image of God. In the creation account in Genesis 1:27 we read that &ldquo;God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.&rdquo; The third person pronouns are fitting here because the text is providing a narrative depiction of a past event. Those human beings back then were created by God.</p> <p class="rtecenter"><img alt="" src="/sites/v4.acton.org/files/pub/finger_of_god.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 250px;" /></p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/christian-family">The Christian Family</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/10/01/image-god-you" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:39:19 +0000 Acton Web 6420 at http://www.acton.org Kirk and State: What Next for Scotland? http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/09/23/kirk-state-what-next-scotland <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/ewan-watt">Ewan Watt</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before he was arrested and ultimately burnt at the stake, the great Presbyterian martyr George Wishart dissuaded his young disciple John Knox from following him to martyrdom with the famous words, &ldquo;Nay, return to your&nbsp;bairns and God bless you. One is sufficient for a sacrifice.&rdquo;</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/becoming-europe">Becoming Europe</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/09/23/kirk-state-what-next-scotland" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 19:41:24 +0000 Acton Web 6417 at http://www.acton.org Our Sentimental Humanitarian Age http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/09/17/our-sentimental-humanitarian-age <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/samuel-gregg">Samuel Gregg</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I always thought it would be difficult to imagine a period in which the West would be more adrift than the 1970s. Being a child at the time, I was spared consciousness of most of that miserable decade. Thus far, however, the second decade of the 2000s seems likely to give the 10 years that spawned Watergate, stagflation, the Carter presidency, the Oil Crisis, Idi Amin, the Baader-Meinhof Gang, Jim Jones, Pol Pot, the Red Brigades, and the Iranian Revolution (to name just a few of the star attractions) a serious run for its money as a byword for Western decline.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/becoming-europe">Becoming Europe</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/09/17/our-sentimental-humanitarian-age" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:27:02 +0000 Acton Web 6411 at http://www.acton.org Economics, the Environment and the Orthodox Church’s Eucharistic Vision http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/09/10/economics-environment-orthodox-church%E2%80%99s-eucharisti <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/rev-gregory-jensen">Rev. Gregory Jensen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As he has done in the past, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his <a href="http://www.patriarchate.org/documents/patriarchal-encyclical-new-year-2014">encyclical</a> for the beginning of the Orthodox Christian ecclesiastical year (September 1) meditates on &ldquo;the ongoing and daily destruction of the natural environment.&rdquo; Environmental damage is the poisoned fruit of &ldquo;human greed&rdquo; and the pursuit of &ldquo;vain profit,&rdquo; the patriarch writes.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/creation-heart-man">Creation and the Heart of Man</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/09/10/economics-environment-orthodox-church%E2%80%99s-eucharisti" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:40:24 +0000 Acton Web 6404 at http://www.acton.org Defining Social Justice http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/09/03/defining-social-justice <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/dylan-pahman">Dylan Pahman</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The term social justice, for many Christians today, has come to be synonymous with correcting economic inequalities (usually through the apparatus of the state) out of solidarity with the poor. As inspiration, no doubt many, <a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-23-number-4/perils-political-ideology">such as the biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann</a>, would cite the Old Testament prophets&rsquo; many denunciations of exploitation in ancient Israel and Judah.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/economics-christian-perspective">Economics in Christian Perspective</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2014/09/03/defining-social-justice" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 15:25:51 +0000 Acton Web 6393 at http://www.acton.org