Acton University: Day 2

Yesterday, I attended a conference entitled, Market Economics and the Family given by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. Dr. Morse gave an insightful, cogent lecture on how the market place presupposes the family.  She underscored the necessity of a moral foundation in the market and introduced the notion of the conscience stemming from as far back as early infancy.  She demonstrated via case studies of how many children, in  situations devoid of the natural, nuturing dynamics of mothers developed "institutional autism" and other "attachment disorders."  These children who grow up without this basic human interaction lamentably possess the foundation of sociopaths ultimately creating a host of problems for society.  She goes on to argue that spousal cooperation is the most basic unit of social solidarity (i.e., Adam & Eve creating what Hayek called "spontaneous order" and thus the nucleus of a new society). 

Morse warned against the increasing notion in society of irrelevancy of husbands and this detrimental effect on society.  She quoted various research studies documenting the negative impact of "fatherless" children.  Morse argues that the family unit is crucial of the health of the market and society.

I attended a conference on the New Deal and the Great Society, that I felt was too one-sided and mostly focused on the New Deal’s effect of creating more government bureacracies without addressing some of the positive effects of the New Deal. 

In Wealth in Scripture, Father Laird argues that that there are two bad exegesis occuring with Catholics erring with Liberation Theology and Protestants erring with the Prosperity Gospel.  Father Laird never addressed the compassionate, redemptive elements espoused by Liberation Theology nor the development of entrepreneurs and "kingdom builders in the Prosperity Gospel.  Nevertheless, he does say that wealth is not condemned in scripture and points to extremes and the often theological fallacies of some within both movements.   Moreover, he underscores that while wealth may indeed be a blessing, the believer must place their trust in God and not in their blessing.

In the evening we were privileged to view a screening of the forthcoming documentary film entitled, "The Call of the Entrepreneur." This was a moving and inspiring film!  It argued that many have portrayed the entrepreneur as vicious, predatory, full of greed and sin.  The film argues that sin can be found in every occupation and it is not the province of just entrepreneurs.  In addition, entrepreneurs can demonstrate the very nature of God as creator and must daily work in faith, viewing the possible worlds and opportunities in the world.  The film chronicles the lives of three entrepreneurs, a farmer in Michigan, a trader in New York, and a Media mongul in Hong Kong.  The testimonies of these lives sprinkled with commentary from Father Sirico and Dr. Jay Richards Richards and others is professionally done and is an excellent educational tool. 

I look forward to the rest of the workshops.

One Comment

  1. Dave,
    LLC is representing in both Grand Rapids and DC at the Hispanic prayer b-fast. Orlando, Luis and I were at capital hill doing the rounds we got to talk about immigration reform with some congress reps, and with Hillary Clinton. Miraculously, we’re making history here, the bill for legalization was re-introduced a couple of hours ago by the senate, after being voted down last Thursday.
    On another note, thanks for the balanced perspective on Acton…

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