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Religion & Liberty: Volume 30, Number 4

Editor's Note: Fall 2020

This issue goes to press as the presidential election is ending – both causes for rejoicing. But its theme remains relevant long after the votes are tallied, because politics represents a mere fraction of true citizenship.

These stories trace the full arc of citizenship, showing how religion and liberty intertwine at each stage. Mark David Hall shares the founders’ views that religion sustains our republic. Hunter Baker writes that “citizenship in a free country” entails “the corresponding responsibility of stewardship,” which he capably defines. In “Repairing the breach,” I document how our toxic political culture is tearing families and friends apart – and I lay out five steps to discuss divisive issues in peace. David Deavel writes that earthly citizenship goes well beyond voting: “The good citizen’s task is to ‘be civilization’” in the full range of our familial, educational, charitable, and commercial lives. Finally, Acton Institute Co-founder Rev. Robert Sirico elevates the dialogue by noting that Christians are “not grounded in mere earthly citizenship. … As believers, we are first and foremost members of quite another body, the body of Christ.”  

We’re equally excited to welcome a distinguished slate of contributors to this issue. Jay Richards analyzes the disaster of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the theme of his new book, The Price of Panic. The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez presents a constitutional program to defund identity politics, the topic of his recent book, The Plot to Change America. Healthcare expert Sally Pipes assesses the public option, detailing exactly how this allegedly moderate compromise will eliminate private health insurance. Acton Institute Editor-at-large John Couretas reviews the rarest find: a non-ideological book on environmentalism, and Noah Warren Kelley probes further into the intellectual roots of critical theory.

This issue's "In the liberal tradition" recalls the remarkable life of Holocaust survivor and entrepreneur Henri Landwirth.

Read and share this issue, and join us in so fulfilling our citizenship in this world that we may be co-heirs in the next.

This issue has been made possible in part thanks to a generous donation from Jeffrey and Cynthia Littmann. Jeffrey and Cynthia Littmann are champions of conservation and the good stewardship of our natural resources as a gift from God.

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Rev. Ben Johnson is Executive Editor at the Acton Institute. His work focuses on the principles necessary to create a free and virtuous society in the transatlantic sphere (the U.S., Canada, and Europe). He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History summa cum laude from Ohio University and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.