For many Americans, the iconic images of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 are forever etched in the mind. The hostage crisis where 52 Americans were held in captivity for 444 days in Iran dominated American media and politics. Less known is the imprisonment and suffering of thousands of Iranians. Marina Nemat was arrested at age 16 and spent two years as a political prisoner in Tehran. Nemat was tortured and came very close to being executed by the regime. Her memoir of her life in Iran, Prisoner of Tehran, was published in 2007 and is an international bestseller. She was a keynote speaker at Acton University in 2013. In her interview, she provides insight and clarity regarding the turmoil and change we are seeing in the Middle East.
Andrew Yuengert offers the feature piece "But What if They're All Republicans?" He argues that a politicized Catholic episcopacy damages the Catholic Church's social witness. "The question at issue here is not whether I agree with the political stands of the Bishops (I sometimes agree with, and sometimes reject, their specific policy proposals), but whether they should be acting on behalf of the Church in these specific ways," says Yuengert.
David Paul Deavel reviews a new book by James Otteson on Adam Smith. Otteson's work is part of the Bloomsbury series "Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers." Deavel points out that this book strikes a blow against many of the ideological misconceptions surrounding Smith.
This issue offers an excerpt from Samuel Gregg's Tea Party Catholic, which is deservingly receiving a lot of attention. The article focuses on Charles Carroll of Carrollton and his commitment to liberty. Carroll was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. The "In the Liberal Tradition" figure is Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013). Thatcher is one of the leading conservative political figures of the 20th century. Acton awarded Thatcher the Faith & Freedom Award in 2011. She was interviewed by R&L in 1992.
I don't normally mention "Double- Edged Sword" in the editor's notes, but at a time where many would agree that there is a level of spiritual erosion in the West, I felt it appropriate. The Scripture selected from Ephesians (3:7-11) might be one of the most beautiful passages ever written by the Apostle Paul. His missionary work was responsible for carrying the Christian faith to the Western world. The message transformed societies, culture, and kingdoms, changing the heart of men and the trajectory of the West. It is always good to return to our roots and the foundation of our work to understand who we are as God's people.