I saw this at the site of Catholic University of America:
Conference on Religious and Economic Liberty
The Acton Institute and The Catholic University of America School of Business and Economics will hold a conference on “The Relationship between Religious and Economic Liberty in an Age of Expanding Government,” and examine the important and complex relationship between religious liberty and other freedoms, particularly economic freedom.
In recent years, religious liberty in America and abroad has undergone varying degrees of challenges. In much of the West, actions by the government have made it more difficult for Christians and other believers to practice their faith, which includes not only the right to worship but also to exercise political, civil, and economic freedoms.
In “The Relationship between Religious and Economic Liberty in an Age of Expanding Government” speakers will examine how the Christian conception of religious liberty limits the state’s exercise of power, the manner in which the expansion of economic freedom creates new opportunities and challenges for believers, and how social welfare policies can inhibit or facilitate religious freedom.
WHO: Cardinal Robert Sarah (Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’),
Russell Hittinger (The Catholic University of America)
Michael Novak (Author and former Ambassador)
Jay W. Richards (The Catholic University of America).
WHAT: Panel Discussion: The Relationship between Religious and Economic Liberty in an Age of Expanding Government
WHEN: Monday, November 10, 2014
12 p.m.-5 p.m. (includes lunch and reception)
WHERE: Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, Great Room
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave NE
This is the second conference in an international series of five on “One and Indivisible? The Relationship Between Religious and Economic Freedom.”
For more information or to request accommodations for disabilities, contact Beatriz Lopez in the school of business at email@example.com.
MEDIA: To attend the event, media should contact the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sounds like a good conference. I’d like to go.
Now let’s see what the National Schismatic Reporter’s Michael Sean Winters has to say about the event!
Michael Sean Winters specializes in irrational demonizing of those with whom he disagrees. His present instance of high dudgeon is aimed at Catholic University of America. What is CUA’s sin? CUA has dared to host a conference in which speakers associated with Acton Institute are to be involved!
Imagine! The nerve!
A while back, Winters helped to organize at CUA a conference which aimed to smear free-marketers (Acton Institute) as boogeyman “libertarians”. I was told that, even though the liberal media made much of MSW’s conference, fewer than 40 people showed up. The basic thrust of MSW’s conference: anyone who believes in a free-market is a “libertarian”. There doesn’t seem to be much more nuance than that. Just accept that “libertarian” is “bad” and that anyone not onside with big government, etc., is, without any other qualification, a “libertarian”.
One of MSW’s speakers was, by the way, the union activist – some might suggest thug – Richard Trumka. He was welcomed by Winters at his own CUA event, but, apparently, the involvement of speakers associated with Acton Institute at someone else’s event is simply too much to be borne.
In his attempt to shame CUA and to smear the event, MSW resorts to a seriously low-blow and intellectually dishonest tactic. He questions how CUA could team up with Acton, given that Acton’s Fr. Robert Sirico – and I am not making this up – “makes the case that John Galt, the hero of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is really a Christ-figure.”
For liberals, you see, Ayn Rand is invoked in the same way as the creature under the bed or Hannibal at the gates is raised to frighten impressionable children. “Ayn Rand!?!” Thus follows the fluttering of hands, the sinking upon the fainting couch while men stand by with deep frowns and good boys and girls draw their covers up about their ears.
Keep in mind that if you are a liberal who believes in redistribution of wealth and a nanny state, it is okay that you have ever in your life, probably your youth, read Ayn Rand. But if you believe in a free market and just enough government to foster economic freedom in a virtuous society, if you have even looked at the cover of a book by Ayn Rand, even if you were only a stupid eighteen-year old, you are solemnly to be condemned with bell, book and candle… and fan fluttering.
I invite you, dear reader, to go read for yourself what Fr. Sirico wrote about Ayn Rand. Here are a few amuse-bouches:
“Rand was a nasty personality… She is indeed frequently adolescent… She was not as clear a thinker as she thought herself to be (her arguments in favor of abortion are among the weakest on the market). Indeed, in her writings and public appearances she almost seemed to relish the offense she gave for her strident, brash, and relentless defense of reason, human freedom, and laissez-faire capitalism. If she ever suffered a fool gladly—if she ever suffered a fool at all—one would be hard pressed to find any record of it. She was the antithesis of Mother Teresa, and would have bragged about it. I disagree profoundly with Rand; her attenuated definition of faith as unreason and her notion of sacrifice as wholly lacking dignity are unrecognizable to a Christian. Even her economics are better spelled out in Mises or Hayek. Her esthetic philosophy is paper thin and idiosyncratic; her malevolence toward children and the vulnerable is exceedingly distasteful. For these and many more reasons, people who reverence Western Civilization must reject Rand.”
I wouldn’t call that an endorsement of Ayn Rand. That apart, Sirico describes what is patently obvious to anyone who read Atlas Shrugged even at a stupid-eighteen: Rand herself intended John Galt to come off as a Christ-figure.
You see, Winter’s sense of personal liberal moral superiority and his animus for Acton and for Fr. Sirico, are such that he feels himself free completely to distort what Sirico actually wrote about the figure of John Galt in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Sirico was trying to understand what Rand was up to without approving of what she did. HERE
MSW is frantically trying to paint anyone who believes in a free market as being a “libertarian”, which is tantamount to being a black-marketer in fighting-dogs. Anyone who thinks that massive government regulation and that redistribution of wealth are not actually cures for poverty are smeared with a shameful scarlet L.
Like every liberal – for whom freedom means only that you are free to agree with him – Winters seems not to be able to stand that Acton should have an equal voice in the discussion about what economic and religious freedom means.
LAST WORD: I hope that anyone in the D.C. area will make the effort to go to the conference and to bring friends. Let there be a huge turnout.