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Stephanie Slade on the biggest problems of national conservatism

Ep. 218

In recent years, a rift has opened within American conservatism, a series of divisions animated in part by the 2016 presidential election and also by a right concern with an increasingly progressive culture. Among these divisions is a growing split between self-professing liberal and illiberal conservatives as some on the right scramble to give explanation for a culture which has become hostile to civil society and traditional institutions, most notably the family. One movement which has grown out of this divide is national conservatism, embodied by the launch of the first National Conservatism Conference last year and in the words of its proponents including Patrick Deneen, Yoram Hazony and Michael Anton. What defines national conservatism and what, ultimately, do national conservatives want? Stephanie Slade, managing editor at Reason magazine, breaks it down.

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Religious Freedom in a Secular Age

Ep. 377
Religious freedom is a bitterly contested issue that spills over into political, public, and online spheres. It's an issue that's becoming ever more heated, and neither of the global political polarities is interested in protecting it. While the political left is openly hostile toward traditional religion, the political right seeks to weaponize it.How can we ensure that "religious freedom" is truly about freedom of one's religion rather than serving an ethno-nationalist agenda?In Religious Freedom in a Secular Age, New Testament scholar and author of “Evangelical Theology” Michael Bird has four main goals:To explain the true nature of secularism and help us to see it as one of the best ways of promoting liberty and mutual respect in a multifaith world.To dismantle the arguments for limiting religious freedom.To outline a biblical strategy for maintaining a Christian witness in a post-Christian society.To encourage Christians to participate in a new age of apologetics by being prepared to defend not only their own believes but also the freedom of all faiths.While Bird does address the recent political administrations in the US, his focus is global. Bird—who lives in Melbourne, Australia—freely admits to his anxiety of the militant secularism surrounding him, but he also strongly critiques the marriage of national and religious identities that has gained ground in countries like Hungary and Poland.The fact is that religion has a lot to contribute to the common good. Religious Freedom in a Secular Age will challenge readers of all backgrounds and beliefs not only to make room for peaceable difference, but also to find common ground on the values of justice, mercy, and equality.Subscribe to our podcastsApply Now for Acton UniversityReligious Freedom in a Secular Age | Amazon

Connecting Cops and Community

Ep. 375
When people think of interactions between the police and the public these days, for many, the first thoughts that come to mind are of horrific incidents like the deaths of George Floyd or Brianna Taylor. Here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the Acton Institute is headquartered, a police officer is currently awaiting trial in the shooting death of 26-year old Patrick Lyoya. These incidents, and the rifts they have created between members of the community and members of law enforcement, highlight some of the challenges of modern policing. How can we bridge the divide between the police, who serve and important and necessary function in our society, and the public, to whom they are ultimately responsible.Enter iCI Nation, an organization based here in Grand Rapids that brings communities together by uniting citizens, law enforcement & community organizations to foster a healthy environment for community to build trust with law enforcement. iCI is lead by founder and executive director Jennifer Franson, who in just two years has facilitated over 100 connections with law enforcement and community building new relationships and trust.  This momentum has continued to snowball as her membership has quadrupled in size and now has the FBI coming to her to ask for help building relationships with their community.Today, Eric Kohn talks with Jenn Franson about her work, the challenges facing local law enforcement and the communities they serve, and how those obstacles to more meaningful connections between the police and the public can be overcome.Subscribe to our podcastsRegister Now for Business Matters 2023Apply Now for Acton University 2023 (Early Bird Pricing)iCI Nation