Category: Rights

It’s Time To Tell the Truth About the Confederacy and its Symbols

As people across the country ready themselves to celebrate America’s “independence,” there are few symbols more strongly associated with the holiday than flags. Flags have great meaning — particularly on July 4. This week, after decades of dispute and dialogue, Mississippi legislators finally voted to replace their state’s flag, which included what is known as the battle flag of northern Virginia. This was the flag flown by those defending white supremacy, and for some, it still is. The vote to remove the confederate iconography from the state flag raises important questions: Why was Mississippi the last state to remove such images…

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Rand Paul on the fatal conceits of COVID-19 central planning

When the first wave of COVID-19 hit the United States, Americans were generally sympathetic to the various lockdowns. Yes, we were likely to endure significant economic pain, but given how little we knew about the virus and how great the risks could be, we were willing to accept the cost. Continue Reading…
Related posts:
Rev. Sirico: How central planning created tunnel vision on COVID-19 response
Acton Commentary: Michael Bloomberg’s fatal conceit
Rand Paul Knows What We Know: Power Corrupts

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Following the crowd: Rene Girard on the denial of Peter

This week, June 29, was the solemn feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The Apostle Peter is remembered for many things: his declaration of Jesus as the Messiah; his boasting of fidelity, followed by his threefold denial of Christ; and his subsequent repentance and heroic martyrdom
The late French anthropologist and former Stanford professor Rene Girard has an insightful discussion about the denial of Peter and the problem of scapegoating and contagion. Continue Reading…
Related posts:
Rene Girard on the responsible use of language
Letter from Rome: Paris and the Progressive Denial of Reality
Acton Line: P.J. O’Rourke on capitalism; Peter Jackson’s ‘They…

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Activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham on Building a Lasting Movement

In the last month, protests have erupted across the country calling for justice for Black lives, a wholesale restructuring of policing, and a greater racial reckoning across all facets of American society. “All of these things are interconnected,” Brittany Packnett Cunningham told At Liberty this week. “If we’re gonna talk about police violence, we’re gonna talk about health care … we’re coming for the whole thing.”Packnett Cunningham is an activist, educator, and writer who has been on the front lines of many of these conversations, most prominently since the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Change is in the air —…

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How State Governments Across the Country Failed to Protect Our Communities From COVID-19

Since the inception of this pandemic, it has been clear that incarcerated people are particularly at risk from COVID-19. In addition to the clear, consistent guidance from public health experts, incarcerated families, corrections staff, and data scientists urged states to take action to prevent tragedy.  Unfortunately, states failed to heed these warnings and have failed to protect incarcerated people, facility staff, and communities at large from the looming threat of COVID-19.  This is the core finding of a new ACLU report: “Failing Grades: States’ Responses to COVID-19 in Jails & Prisons,” co-authored with Prison Policy Initiative. The report evaluated states…

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The Federal Government’s Decision to Proceed with Executions During the Pandemic Puts Me in an Impossible Position

As a Buddhist priest to a man on death row, I have prepared myself for the difficult, yet necessary role of attending the execution of a man I’ve been advising for 11 years in order to provide support as he crosses over from this life. I want nothing more than to fulfill my priestly duty to Wes Purkey, but because of the Federal Bureau of Prison’s decision to schedule his execution during a pandemic, I feel substantial pressure to abandon my religious commitments to him. I’m being asked to make an impossible decision — violate my religious beliefs or risk my…

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The Racist History of Abortion and Midwifery Bans

In 1851, Sojourner Truth delivered a speech best known as“Ain’t I A Woman?” to a crowded audience at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio. At the time, slavery remained in full force, a vibrant enterprise that fueled the American economy. Various laws protected that system, including the Fugitive Slave Act, which resulted in the abduction of “free” Black children, women, and men as well as those who had miraculously escaped to northern cities like Boston or Philadelphia. Bounty hunters then sold their prey to Southern plantation owners. The law denied basic protections for Black people caught in the greed-filled grasps…

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Acton Line podcast: Are we in a revolutionary moment?

Since late May, many parts of the United States have grappled with unrest. Anger over George Floyd’s death sparked protests, with looting and violent riots breaking out as well. Protesters have also been defacing and tearing down statues across the country, including statues of confederate leaders as well as monuments to George Washington, Ulysses S. Continue Reading…
Related posts:
Acton Line podcast: Anthony Bradley on George Floyd, police reform, and riots
Acton Line podcast: Antifa explained; America’s Founders in the crosshairs
Acton Line podcast special report: Churches and ministries at the front line of the opioid crisis

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Espinoza v. Montana: A victory for school choice – but for how long?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue admirably defended religious liberty, school choice, and parental rights. However, the court may have also paved the way for teachers unions and hostile politicians to undermine that victory. Continue Reading…
Related posts:
Milton Friedman, the School Choice Movement, and Moral Formation
Report: School-choice advocates cheer Supreme Court ruling in Arizona case
What standard should we use to judge school choice?

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How Nursing Homes Got Away With Hiding Bodies During the COVID-19 Outbreak

When COVID-19 first reached the U.S., the epicenter was a single nursing home in Washington State, where 45 people died. That nursing home outbreak was a precursor of what was to come. Ever since, the virus has been devastating nursing homes across the country, due in part to systemic mismanagement and discrimination against the people who live and work inside. To date, deaths in nursing homes and other congregate care facilities account for almost half of all COVID-19 deaths in the country, despite these groups making up less than 1 percent of the population. Residents of these congregate facilities are dying…

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VA: New gun laws go into effect July 1st

New Gun Laws Are Now In Effect Governor Northam’s anti-gun laws are now in effect in Virginia. Rest assured, Gun Owners of America will use every tool we have in our arsenal to get these anti-freedom laws overturned. Most firearm transfers now require a background check except for transfers between immediate family members, gun rentals, or to prevent immediate harm. … Read more …

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PA: Pass HB 1747 and Protect Firearms During State of Emergency

 Roll Back the Governor’s Power! If you are anything like me, you’ve been disgusted by Governor “Tyrant Tom” Wolf’s abuse of power during the COVID-19 state of emergency. With a stroke of a pen, the Governor declared businesses either essential or non-essential. And the firearms industry wasn’t spared these arbitrary restrictions. Local gun stores were only permitted to conduct … Read more …

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