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Faith, Fatalism, and Freddie Gray

One recent day at the Baltimore clinic where I care for the homeless, I spoke with a patient about the death of Freddie Gray. He prefaced his thoughts—as many people do when they discuss police brutality—with the caveat that there are good police officers, those who honor the law as they work diligently to enforce it in neighborhoods like Sandtown-Winchester, where Gray was injured. He then showed me scars on his body from his encounters with the police over the years— some of which had occurred after he was already in custody. He described how officers would raid his home and take half of his drugs and his money, then charge and arrest him for the remainder. “They’re a necessary evil,” he said. “If they weren’t out there, it would be total chaos.” Continue Reading »

A Paradigm Shift in International Development

Someone from the international aid and development industry has some explaining to do. In an analysis of financial data from the decade ending in 2010, The Economist lists the world’s most populous nation, and six African nations whose total fertility rate is among the highest in the world, as being among the ten fastest growing economies. By 2015, according to IMF data, this elite list will include the two most populous nations and seven from Africa. Continue Reading »

Libertarian Delusions

Recently I was invited to give a lecture on libertarianism at a prestigious Christian college. The large lecture hall was packed with bright-eyed, wholesome-looking Christian students, a number of whom lingered afterward to press their case for . . . libertarianism.Only ten years ago, this scene . . . . Continue Reading »

Correcting Catholic Blindness

See, judge, act.” Such has been the method by which modern Catholic social teaching has urged Catholics to approach the political and economic challenges of our time. First and foremost, the “seeing” involves looking with the eyes of Christ rather than through the prism of our own ideology. . . . . Continue Reading »

Give Reagan a Rest

Conservatives have a chance to make the country more productive and work-friendly. But they can also throw this chance away by marinating in a politics of high-earner self-interest that ignores or openly resents the rest of the population—which wouldn’t be anything new for them. Continue Reading »

The Miserable Science Meets the Divine Science

On April 3–4, the Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago held its sixth annual conference on economics and Catholic social thought. These conferences bring together high-powered economists with bishops and archbishops and theologians for a day-and-a-half of presentations and . . . . Continue Reading »

The Economics of Genesis

I’m trying to understand why God’s word to the woman in Genesis 3:16 connects “your desire shall be for your husband” with “he shall rule over you.” The meaning of the connection becomes clearer as we look ahead to the narrative continuation of Genesis and its patriarchal households. . . . . Continue Reading »

Market Morals

Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy by Robert A. Sirico Regnery, 256 pages, $27.95 The Catholic Church, at its best, has preserved a rare freedom from political fashion. It has allied itself now with the left, now with the right, as its own doctrine and interests have . . . . Continue Reading »

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