Religion & Liberty Article Listing

Clare Boothe Luce

I refuse the compliment that I think like a man. Thought has no sex; one either thinks or one does not.

Clare Boothe Luce was truly a 20th century woman: a suffragette, well-educated, a career woman, intensely loyal to her country, known as much for her gritty dedication to hard work as for her brilliance. Influential in literary and social circles as a successful playwright and journalist, she became intensely interested in politics prior to World War II.

In 1940, she wrote Europe in the Spring, a work of non-fiction that entailed her life in Europe as the continent was building towards war; the book focused on what Luce perceived as America's errors in its estimation of Hitler's aggressions on that...

Why does Acton publish "In the Liberal Tradition" and why is it important to our mission?

Our institute is named after Lord Acton, a person that stands as a constant reminder that our ideas spring from deep roots. The writer and Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner once said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Every day at Acton, we find the truth in those words. We work at cultivating a rich tradition rooted in economic liberty, moral reflection, and the dignity of the person. We are passionate about bringing this tradition forward to new audiences.

The principles we teach are timeless and there are some fantastic stories and people behind those ideas. We want to promote those ideas by putting a name and face behind them. We hope that "In the Liberal Tradition" will inspire people to read more about the figures featured in the pages of R&L and help the reader expand their knowledge of the liberty movement and its...

Work & Play

Faithful in All God's House

This is an excerpt from Faithful In All God's House by Gerard Berghoef and Lester Dekoster. The book was originally released as God's Yardstick in 1982. It has been rereleased under a new title by Christian's Library Press and is edited by Brett Elder. The book examines a holistic approach to stewardship, which DeKoster and Berghoef defined as "willed acts of service that not only make and sustain the fabric of civilization and culture, but also develop the soul."


The basic form of stewardship is daily work. No matter...

America's European Past and Future

Review of Samuel Gregg's Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future. (Encounter Books, January 2013) Hardcover, 384 pages; $25.99.

Thomas Carlyle called it "the dismal science," but for many Christians, economics is more delusional than dreary. The Catholic Monarchist is convinced that the restoration of the Hapsburgs or Bourbons will bring back the wealth and prestige of another era. You're too polite to mention his lack of blue blood, and the likely serfdom of his forefathers. The Distributist straightens his framed portrait of G.K. Chesterton before detailing his plan to give every banker, lawyer, and engineer three acres and a cow. His friend, equally...

Double-Edged Sword: The Power of the Word - Isaiah 6:3

And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."

The passage relays the vision Isaiah had of God on His throne and the coming of the atoning work of Christ at Calvary. It's a splendid and bold declaration of God's power over creation and His saving power over humanity. The creatures in heaven are singing praise about the perfect holiness of God. Holiness might not be a word we hear in many churches today. We are told by culture, the media, and even some Christian churches that "tolerance" is a far better attribute than holiness.

The Reformed theologian R.C. Sproul declared that the entire focus of his ministry was to awaken people to the holiness of God. If we don't see the majestic holiness of God we have a harder time being aware of our own sin and our need for...

Principle and Prudence: Two Shrines, Two Revolutions, and Two Traditions of Religious Liberty

One of the charges often leveled against the Protestant Reformation is that it essentially continued, and in some accounts exacerbated, fundamental problems with the received medieval models of the relationship between church and state. As Lord Acton put it memorably, "From the death of St. Bernard until the appearance of Sir Thomas More's Utopia, there was hardly a writer who did not make his politics subservient to the interest of either Pope or King." There was nothing approaching a modern doctrine of religious liberty in the views of the major Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions of the 16th century.

The reformer Wolfgang Musculus (1497- 1563), himself a source for what would come to be known as an...

The Moral Crisis of Crony Capitalism

An Interview with Peter Schweizer

Peter Schweizer is the William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and a best-selling author. He is a partner in the Washington firm Oval Office Writers which provides speechwriting and communications services for corporate executives and political figures.

His most recent book is Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011). It was the subject of a feature on CBS' 60 Minutes and in Newsweek. He was recently interviewed by managing editor Ray Nothstine.

R&L: Why did you want to write this...

Editor's Note

There is no evidence that Mark Felt, identified by the code name Deep Throat, ever whispered "follow the money" to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward during the Watergate investigation just over 40 years ago. It's a line that lives on in the film All the President's Men. It's assumed to be true because it accurately depicts the situation in our government where many corporations and politicians profit from state power and expansion.

Cronyism is a full frontal assault on the free society. Author and Hoover Institution fellow Peter Schweizer talks about the crony crisis that infects the culture of Washington and many corporate board rooms. "I would say some of the biggest enemies of the free market today in America are big corporations," adds Schweizer. He also delves into how big government wedded to corporations threatens...

The Role of Profits

Profits are central to capitalism, and I am often asked whether profit making is evidence of greed. Not in itself. The fact that a business is profitable tells us little that is morally relevant. Profit, after all, is simply the name that accounting attaches to the condition of income outpacing costs. In other words, a company that earns a profit brings in more money than it expends for all of its costs, including materials, real estate, labor, and taxes. The opposite of profits is financial loss. A firm that is losing rather than making money cannot long survive. So, under ordinary circumstances, profits are a necessary condition for the success and continuation of a business.

Of course, the government can bail out unprofitable businesses at taxpayers' expense. But that only shifts the need for profits to the other— profitable—enterprises that pay the taxes....

Metropolitan Philip II

Metropolitan Philip II

"He alone can in truth call himself sovereign who is master of himself, who is not subject to his passions and conquers by charity."

Born Theodore Kolychev, Metropolitan Phillip II of Moscow, a saint of the Orthodox Church, took the name Philip when he was tonsured a monk at the monastery of Solovki in northern Russia, on an island in the White Sea. Though his father had been a minister in the court of Basil III, he chose instead the life of a monk at one of Russia's most remote monasteries.

Having advanced to the point of living as a hermit in the nearby forest, Philip succeeded the abbot Alexis as head of the monastery at the latter's request. As abbot, Philip set about to improve the monastery by encouraging a...

What is the 'Our Great Exchange' curriculum and why is it an important stewardship resource?

Starting in 2010, the Acton Institute began developing a seven-part stewardship curriculum to strengthen the connection of faith, calling and economics in the daily life of the believer. The small group curriculum for Our Great Exchange is largely tailored for evangelical small group engagement and features over two hours of creative storytelling and practical insight. In a particularly moving scene, Chuck Colson, in his last-ever extensive interview, talks about his calling and its impact upon his life.

Acton is committed to continually reach new audiences. This resource further engages people in the church and discipleship communities. The curriculum is another great launching pad for us to continue to grow as we expand our reach and influence with additional stewardship resources for churches and small groups.

The curriculum ties directly into our mission to...

Rachel Carson's Environmental Religion

Silent Spring at 50

Review of Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson. Edited by Roger Meiners, Pierre Desrochers, and Andrew Morriss (Cato, September 2012) ISBN: 978- 1937184995. Hardcover, 344 pages; $25.95.

During the 50 years following the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, much has been written to discredit the science of her landmark book. Little, however, has been written on the environmentalist cult it helped spawn.

Until Silent Spring at 50, that is.

Subtitled "The False Crises of Rachel Carson," Silent Spring at 50 is a collection of essays specially commissioned by the Cato Institute and edited by Roger Meiners, Pierre Desrochers and Andrew Morriss. Much like Roger...

Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph

Dennis Prager's Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph

Review of Dennis Prager's Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph, (Broadside Books, April 2012) Hardcover, 448 pages; $26.99.

Dennis Prager argues for a rebirth of a particular American exceptionalism: the distinctive aspects of the American ethos rooted in the once considerable but now misunderstood Judeo-Christian moral union. Prager claims that traditional American conservatism is distinctive because of its ethical decency, high ideals, moral values, and intrinsic visionary worth. Rejecting the establishment's liberal vs. conservative rhetorical dichotomy, he depicts today's political liberalism as Leftism, while positioning traditional...

Double-Edged Sword: The Power of the Word - Malachi 4:6

He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.

Sadly today, we live in a fatherless society. Currently, just over 40 percent of American children are born out of wedlock. In the United Kingdom, it is a majority. This is easily one of the biggest social disasters our country faces. It's hard to imagine a lot of spiritual and economic blessings for a society that continually treads down this path. It's hard to believe that many of the economic and cultural problems that plague this country will be transformed if statistics like that remain unchanged.

The book of Malachi has a recurrent theme of unfaithfulness to God and the family. God takes seriously the commitment to the family and promises judgment against those that fail to keep his...

First Citizen and Antilon: The Carroll-Dulany Debates and Their Impact on American Religious Freedom

In the current settings of the HHS mandate, some Catholics in America have come to feel as if there is no hope left; Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria said, "I am honestly horrified that the nation I have always loved has come to this hateful and radical step in religious intolerance." Intolerance or religious persecution is of course not new and the issue today brings to mind an important and underappreciated chapter in American history.

In 1774 Maryland remained undecided on the issue of American independence sweeping across mainly Calvinist New England. While the Stamp Act was unpopular overall, the issue of separation had far less of a following than in New England. A debate between a man calling himself "First Citizen...