On October 4, Daryl Morey, manager of the Houston Rockets, posted a tweet that included the words “Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.” Afterwards, China severed several partnerships they had with the Rockets in retaliation, leading Morey to delete his tweet and apologize for it and also prompting NBA commissioner Adam Silver to issue a statement declaring that the NBA does not regulate the speech of its players. Since then, however, the NBA has made attempts to appease China. So what’s the current state of the NBA’s relationship with China and does the NBA have a moral responsibility to denounce China? Micah Watson, professor of political science at Calvin University, joins Acton staff to discuss. Afterwards, Robert Doar, president and Morgridge scholar at AEI, comes onto the show to speak about effective solutions to poverty in America. He also shares how he came to be deeply interested in battling poverty, recalling the career of his late father John Doar who did heroic work in the U.S. Justice Department fighting racial discrimination and working for voting rights during the 1960s and ’70s.

More

In 2017, a poll from NPR and Ipsos found that one in every three people in the U.S. has been affected by the opioid crisis in one way or another. One third of Americans know someone who has overdosed or know someone who is battling addiction — and the crisis hasn’t slowed down. On this episode, AnneMarie Schieber, award winning television news anchor and reporter based in Grand Rapids, MI, dives into the issue and explores how the private sector is responding to the crisis. What are churches and ministries doing to help people free themselves from addiction?

More

In 1995, Pope John Paul II spoke to a crowd in Baltimore, MD, saying, “Democracy cannot be sustained without a shared commitment to certain moral truths about the human person and human community. The basic question before a democratic society is: how ought we to live together?” This question has proved important throughout history and has left some people wondering how neutral our founding ideas were, and whether particular faith traditions, especially Catholicism, are compatible with the American political order. So what defines our American political order? Is it at odds with Catholic Social Teaching? John C. Pinheiro, professor of history and the founding director of Catholic Studies at Aquinas College, joins the show to break it down.

More

Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America is renowned as one of the best examinations of early American society and politics, and remains one of the most insightful commentaries ever written on the practice of democracy in the United States. In this edition of Acton Line, John Wilsey, Professor of History and Christian Apologetics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, discusses Tocqueville’s masterwork and its continuing relevance for modern America. Wilsey also addresses the work of Tocqueville’s traveling companion, Gustave de Beaumont, who wrote another important work that should be seen as a companion to Democracy In America: a novel titled Marie, or Slavery in the United States, which examines the darker side of 1830s America.

More

In August, the New York Times launched the ‘1619 Project,’ an initiative that includes school curriculum, videos, and a podcast, which aims to “reframe” the history of America’s founding around slavery. The Times claims that since the year 1619, “[n]o aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed.” So what is the Times trying to accomplish with the ‘1619 Project’? Ismael Hernandez, founder and director of the Freedom & Virtue Institute, shows how we can thoughtfully approach it. Afterwards, Joshua Muravchik, author of “Heaven on Earth: The Rise, Fall, and Afterlife of Socialism,” lays out the history of socialism and explains why socialism has never worked.

More

On June 23, 2016, Britain voted to exit the European Union, but since then, Members of Parliament have repeatedly delayed Brexit. While Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now fighting to keep Britain’s leave from the EU on schedule, establishment MPs are committed to ignoring the democratic voice of the British people. Rev. Richard Turnbull, director of The Center for Enterprise, Markets, and Ethics, helps explain the chaos surrounding recent events unfolding in Parliament and what the future likely holds for Brexit. On the second segment, Christopher Scalia, eighth child of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, joins the podcast to talk about a book on his father’s faith, titled “On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer.”

More

On November 16, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law, a bill backed by nearly unanimous bipartisan support. While RFRA has since then protected the religious liberty of American citizens, it has lost many of its original supporters and is now under attack. So why was RFRA signed into law in the first place? Does the bill truly protect religious pluralism? Daniel Mark, a professor of political science at Villanova University, helps answer these questions. On the second segment, Jared Pincin, a professor of economics at The King’s College, sheds light on the concern that a recession is around the corner. Unemployment rates are low, but America’s trade war with China and growing national debt are causing many to believe that we’re headed toward economic disaster. Is there reason to panic?

More

From Gillette to Pepsi, many companies are starting to market their products by advocating for social justice issues, signaling to consumers that they are “woke.” Is woke capitalism a trend that’s truly new in the market? Should businesses comment on social issues? Acton’s president and co-founder, Rev. Robert Sirico, explains. Afterwards, Daniel J. Mahoney, professor of political science at Assumption College speaks about his newest book, “The Idol of our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity.”

More

Cronyism is everywhere, affecting industries, entrepreneurs and customers and distorting the market through political advantage. So what is cronyism and how does it compromise genuine capitalism? Anne Rathbone Bradley, the current academic director at The Fund for American Studies, as well as the vice president of Economic Initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics, comes onto the show to explain how cronyism affects the market and how to combat it. Afterwards, Acton’s director of research, Samuel Gregg joins the show to talk about his new book, “Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization.” Gregg lays out what he believes defines the West, how the disintegration of reason and faith has caused the West to decline and what can be done to reclaim it.

More

In a recent interview for Vogue, Prince Harry declared to British anthropologist Jane Goodall that he and Meghan plan on having only two children, due to environmental concerns. Alarmist predictions about the results of overpopulation is nothing new, of course. Even Goodall herself said in 2010, that “[i]t’s our population growth that underlies just about every single one of the problems that we’ve inflicted on the planet.” So, is earth really overpopulated? And will having less children save the planet? Stephen Barrows, Acton’s managing director of programs, joins the podcast to explain the economics behind the issue and how to thoughtfully approach concerns about the environment. After that, Dr. Eric Larson, Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Michigan State University, takes a look at Medicare for All, explaining current problems in health care as well as just how costly Medicare for All would be.

More

A crisis in the adoption and foster system is currently plaguing the nation. With over 400,000 children in need of homes, a shortage of placements is driving some states to desperate measures, even housing children in hotels and office buildings. States should be working to support and safeguard the work of adoption and foster care providers, however discrimination motivated by anti-religious bias is posing an obstacle to some state contracted and private agencies. Kate Anderson, senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, joins the podcast to explain how faith-based adoption agencies are being increasingly threatened due to their religious beliefs and why faith-based agencies are crucial in the adoption and foster system. On the second segment, President emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education, Larry Reed, speaks with Acton’s Samuel Gregg about how many trends of our day echo those of ancient Rome, making the lessons of its fall all the more relevant, even pressing, for us now.

More

On July 18, the Raise the Wage Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill that would double federal minimum wage by 2025. Members of Congress who support the bill believe it will increase pay for 27 million workers and lift over one million people out of poverty, but those opposed to the bill say cause millions more to lose their jobs. Dave Hebert, professor of economics at Aquinas College, joins the podcast to dispel some of the biggest misconceptions of raising federal minimum wage and what real effects the bill would have. On the second segment, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, professor of law at the University of Tennessee and author of the new book, “The Social Media Upheaval,” joins the show to examine the benefits and drawbacks of social media. Glenn argues that social media and especially Twitter is increasingly “poisoning” journalism and politics. How can we reduce big tech censorship and the toll of social media while also respecting free speech?

More

Populism is gaining traction, both abroad and in the United States. In 2017, the Swedish libertarian think tank Timbro and the European Policy Information Center released their “Authoritarian Populism Index,” showing that populist parties have gained the highest percentage of the vote in nine countries, including Hungary (65.2%), Poland (46.4%) and Greece (45.1%). Zoltán Kész, co-founder of the Free Market Foundation in Budapest said in 2015 that “Populists are especially dangerous enemies, because they are strategizing in the terms of democratic competition. That is the main principle of populism: gaining power once and never, ever letting it go, reshaping democracy and deconstructing the rule of law step-by-step.” Populism poses a threat to freedom by rejecting pluralism and classical liberalism. Where are we seeing populism take shape in America today and how is it effecting our public discourse? Ben Domenech, writer and co-founder of The Federalist, joins us in this episode to break it down.

More

In a few short days, thousands of federal inmates will be returning home on “earned good time.” That’s a result of The First Step Act, a federal prison reform bill which was signed into law in December. Criminal justice reform advocate Mark Holden joins the show to discuss the new law, why these ex-prisoners should have been freed earlier and what reforms should be made in the future.In 2013, Rose Knick of Scott Township, Pennsylvania, was forced by government agents to allow public access to her property on grounds that there was a suspected gravesite on her land. Knick sued the township and the case worked its way to the Supreme Court. On June 21, justices ruled to restore property right to first class status. Patrick Garry, a professor at the University of South Dakota School of Law and director of the Hagemann Center for Legal & Public Policy Research, explains why the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Knick and put property rights on a firmer foundation.

More

On June 14, an International Coalition for Religious Freedom in North Korea was launched, consisting of almost 200 activists, including Thae Yong-ho, a North Korean diplomat and defector to South Korea. President and co-founder of Acton Institute, Rev. Robert Sirico joins the podcast to talk about communism in North Korea as well as his hopes for the coalition. On the second segment, Bruce Ashford, professor of theology at Soueastern Baptist Theological Seminary, addresses the relationship between family and state, plus ways he sees the breakdown of the family unit in America.

More

On June 29, violent riots between alt-right groups and antifa broke out in Portland, Oregon, leaving several people with severe injuries. Portland is becoming a hotbed for violent, left-wing groups. Who is antifa and what are they protesting? Rev. Ben Johnson, senior editor at Acton, joins the podcast to explain the events of the protest and antifa’s objective. After that, Craig Bruce Smith, professor of history at William Woods University, joins the show to bring attention to an increasing dismissal of America’s founders and how some are trying to erase the founders’ legacies from history. America’s founders were slaveholders and not without faults. How should we approach this history of slavery in the context of America’s founding?

More

Last week, nearly 2 million Hong Kong residents gathered to protest a newly proposed extradition bill. Helen Raleigh, senior writer at the Federalist, joins the show to explain the current extradition agreements held between Hong Kong and China, why so many in Hong Kong are angry about the bill and how the extradition bill, if passed, would threaten Hong Kong’s rule of law. After that, Acton’s Trey Dimsdale is joined by Anne Rathbone Bradley, affiliate scholar of economics at Acton, and Adam MacLeod, professor of law at Faulkner University. Together, they break down Kisor v. Wilkie, a case currently pending in the Supreme Court.

More

Romanian author and public intellectual, Mihail Neamtu, joins the show to talk about what he calls the “ghost” of Marxism. What defines Marxism and what remnants of the ideology are we seeing today? After that, Daniel J. Mahoney, writer and professor of politics at Assumption College, speaks with Acton’s Director of Communications, John Couretas, about the legacy of the 20th century Russian writer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn’s writings are said to have contributed greatly in bringing down the Soviet Union and brought wide attention to the atrocities of the Soviet Gulags.

More

On this episode of Acton Line, we talk about HBO’s new miniseries ‘Chernobyl’ and the events surrounding the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine, in 1986. Kyle Smith, writer at National Review, joins us for this segment and explains how ‘Chernobyl’ is an indictment of socialism. Afterwards, Aaron Rhodes, human rights activist and co-founder of the Freedom Rights Project weighs in on the Department of State’s new Commission on Unalienable Rights and explains why he’s hopeful about the new commission.

More

On this episode of Acton Line, we first cover the Equality Act, a bill recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Keisha Russell, associate counsel at First Liberty Institute joins the podcast to break down the basics of the bill and explain how the bill would threaten religious liberty. Afterwards, Charlie Weimers, a Swedish politician newly elected to the European Parliament joins the podcast to discuss “Sweden’s Dark Soul: The Unravelling of a Utopia,” by Kajsa Norman, a book depicting cultural censorship in Sweden.

More
  1. 1
  2. 2