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  • Conscience "Accommodation" Doesn’t Address Underlying Problem

    On Friday, President Obama announced an “accommodation” to the Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptive mandate: Rather than requiring religious organizations that provide group health insurance to cover sterilization, contraception, and some abortion-inducing drugs, those religious organizations will now likely pay higher premiums to insurance companies who will provide these … More

    Economic Inequality: Does Unequal Wealth Cause Hardship for the Poor?

    In my last post, I challenged a common assumption about equality and justice—that inequality per se is inherently unjust, and therefore that the gap between rich and poor is as well.  In what follows I contest another popular notion touted by redistributionists—that unequal wealth as such causes hardship for the … More

    Questions About Religion on the Campaign Trail

    In last week’s Republican primary debate, a Jacksonville, Florida, resident asked the candidates what role their religious beliefs would play in their decision-making as President. The issue of religious faith continues to be important for many voters. As I suggest in a recent WebMemo, questions about religion that relate to … More

    Economic Inequality and Justice

    In his State of the Union Address, President Obama placed economic inequality center stage.  He framed this issue in terms of fairness or justice to the poor.  If our goal is to help people escape poverty, though, we need to ask some more urgent and personal questions. A debate about … More

    'You're On Your Own Economics' Is an Ironic Straw Man

    In his recent speech in Kansas, President Obama accused Republicans of advocating “you’re on your own economics”—a philosophy that supposedly holds that “we are better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.” The implication is that unless you favor raising taxes and … More

    Thankful for a Different Kind of 'Liberal'

    This week is a time of giving thanks, and one of the most treasured gifts for which many Americans are thankful is freedom. In the West, freedom lies at the center of an inherited tradition that goes by the name “liberal,” from the Latin liber, meaning “free.” To sustain genuine … More

    Individuals and Communities: No Man Is an Island

    Is individualism adequate to sustain liberty and rein in government? This issue surfaced during the Republican primary debate last week in Las Vegas. “This country has always put people in groups” and treated them accordingly, said Representative Ron Paul (R–TX). America needs to move away from this kind of “group … More

    PovertyCure: A New Initiative Against Global Poverty

    The Acton Institute is leading a new initiative called PovertyCure to help the poor in developing countries. Their approach is to rethink poverty by putting the human person at the center of the discussion. PovertyCure is an international network of organizations and individuals seeking to ground responses to global poverty … More

    Is Religious Freedom Just for Churches?

    On October 5, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a very important case concerning religious freedom. Several religious freedom cases have been in the news lately. Such cases should remind us to take seriously the nature of religion itself. Is religion something only to be preached about and … More

    Obama's Jobs Bill Is Bad News for Charities

    President Barack Obama proposes to pay for his $447 billion jobs bill mainly by limiting tax deductions for wealthy Americans. Unfortunately, if enacted, this policy will likely dampen charitable giving and further this approach. He did so in his proposed 2011 and 2012 federal budgets and in 2009 attempted it … More