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Archive for free society

Enjoy this great video from the Foundation for Harmony and Prosperity on the basic social principles of human flourishing. While not explicitly Christian, it is easy to see how it all fits together.

This is a great video to share with friends about why the non-aggression principle is so fundamental to how the world should be.

Categories : Media
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Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, by Robert Sirico (Regnery Publishing, 2012), 213 pages.Defending-the-Free-Market3.jpg

Critics of the free market assert that it fails the underprivileged, leads to income inequality, exploits the poor, and is at times downright cruel. They charge its defenders with being motivated by greed, selfishness, and materialism, and making a god out of efficiency. The solution to the alleged deficiencies of the free market and the character of its supporters is always without exception government intervention in the marketplace. But when that fails to remedy the perceived wrongs of the free market, then even more intervention is prescribed to make things right. And as Richman’s Law states, “No matter how much the government controls the economic system, any problem will be blamed on whatever small zone of freedom that remains.”

The Rev. Robert Sirico, in his book Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, argues that a free economy — where property rights, contracts, and the rule of law are respected; prices and interest rates are freely agreed to by willing parties; entrepreneurship is encouraged; profit is not disdained; and charity is voluntary — is the most efficient and moral way to meet society’s material needs. Read More→

Categories : Book Reviews
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Lately, it seems as though everyone thinks he is being discriminated against in the workplace.

According to a national survey of employed American adults who were asked about their experiences with religious discrimination at work, “What American Workers Really Think about Religion: Tanenbaum’s 2013 Survey of American Workers and Religion,”

  • More than half of employed Americans agree that there is a lot of discrimination against Muslims in the United States;
  • One in three American workers has actually experienced or personally seen incidents of religious bias when he goes to work;
  • Six in ten white evangelical Protestants agree that discrimination against Christians has become as big a problem as discrimination against other religious minorities; and
  • 60% of atheists believe that people look down on their beliefs, as do nearly one-third of non-Christian religious workers (31%) and white evangelical Protestants (32%).

The survey was conducted by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding and the Public Religion Research Institute. Read More→

Categories : Articles
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Oct
08

Christian Anti-Capitalism

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economy-of-desire

Review of Daniel M. Bell Jr., The Economy of Desire: Christianity and Capitalism in a Postmodern World (Baker Academic, 2012), 224 pgs., paperback.

This is the sixth volume in the series The Church and Postmodern Culture, edited by James K. A. Smith. The series “features high-profile theorists in continental philosophy and contemporary theology writing for a broad, nonspecialist audience interested in the impact of postmodern theory on the faith and practice of the church.”

Although I am not the least bit interested in postmodern theory, I am very interested in the intersection of Christianity and economics or politics. Thus, the phrase “Christianity and Capitalism” in this book’s subtitle caught my eye. Nevertheless, I have never been more disappointed, or bored.

The author describes his work as “a contribution to the conversation about the relationship of Christianity to capitalism with a postmodern twist.” That twist is nothing short of pure Christian anti-capitalism, although of a very unique kind. You see, Daniel Bell, professor of theological ethics at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and the author of several books, is not a socialist. He maintains that his book “changes the focus from capitalism versus socialism to capitalism versus the divine economy made present by Christ and witnessed to by the church.”

Fortunately, I didn’t have to read through the whole book to discover what the author meant by capitalism. He equates capitalism with the “free-market economy” because the name “highlights the centrality of the market.” This is well and good, and certainly makes it easier to understand where the author is coming from. Unfortunately, this is not the case for understanding Bell’s concept of the divine economy. Read More→

The Cato Institute’s Doug Bandow, fellow Christian and libertarian, gave an excellent lecture on virtue and the free society back in 1994, and the recording recently came to my attention. Check it out:

From Libertarianism.org:

In this video from a 1994 conference of the Future of Freedom Foundation, Bandow lectures on the virtues of having a free society. He begins with a brief history of politics to the present day, and then goes on to explain why people’s reliance on political means to achieve their ends makes societies less free, less just, and less moral.

Also, see Doug’s book Beyond Good Intentions for more of his views on politics and faith.

Categories : Media
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