How many voters know that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is a Roman Catholic? Or that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is a Southern Baptist, not a Latino Catholic? Or that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio worships at both a Catholic parish and an evangelical church?

More importantly, does it matter?

Actually, it does in today’s Republican Party, where a number of factors have forged a new religious identity that supersedes familiar old categories.

Read more at the Washington Post


The West has made some remarkable steps forward culturally in the past several generations, as, for instance, in the areas of civil rights (the unborn being a notable exception), race relations, and cooperation among Christians of different traditions. We shouldn’t indulge a false nostalgia that overlooks this progress. That being said, you can visit almost any major city in the free world today and find evidence of cultural decay on a host of fronts: malls dripping with images of sensuality and hedonism; girls from respectable, law abiding families dropped off at school dressed like prostitutes; boys sitting beside them in class able to pull up a world of pornography on their smartphones and often doing so; chronically high divorce rates; a plummeting number of homes with the biological father present; commercials telling you, implicitly or explicitly, to Obey Your Thirst; recreational drug abuse—on and on we could go.

Read more at Acton Institute

By Francis X. Rocca

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said the world economic system inevitably promotes military conflict as a way to enrich the most powerful nations.

He also condemned religious fundamentalism, defended the controversial record of Pope Pius XII and said he does not worry about his personal security because, “at my age I don’t have much to lose.”

Pope Francis’ words appeared in a wide-ranging interview published June 12 in the Spanish daily La Vanguardia.

Read more at the Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz


Pope Francis named a slate of new members to the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency, replacing an all-Italian panel with members from Italy, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, also promoted Tommaso Di Ruzza, an Italian, to be the agency’s “ad interim” vice-director. A former official at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Di Ruzza had been an assistant at the financial authority, which is directed by Rene Brulhart.

Read more at National Catholic Reporter

by  Nicole Winfield 

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis called Friday for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the “economy of exclusion” that is taking hold today.

Francis made the appeal during a speech to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies who are meeting in Rome this week.

Latin America’s first pope has frequently lashed out at the injustices of capitalism and the global economic system that excludes so much of humanity.

Read more at the Huffington Post

By Pedro Schwartz,

Let me start on a personal note and ask myself the question, why have I given much of my life to dealing in ideas? I did at different moments play practical roles both in business and politics, but I somehow I drifted away. This is not an essay in sour grapes: I am happy that life led me into being an academic specializing in policy innovation. So let me put it another way. Why have I often found my engagement with ideas an obstacle to getting on with people who wanted my advice or my collaboration and did not get what they expected? It is as if my scruples made me difficult to accommodate. Well do I remember one of my kinder adversaries in Parliament telling my political friends on my side of the aisle: “Pedro is not dumb: it’s simply that he has convictions”.

Read more at the Library of Economics and Liberty

By Robert P. Murphy

One of the central features of the market economy is capital. Indeed, the system of free enterprise and private property is often denoted by the term capitalism. Economists, in turn, have always included the concept of capital in their theories and models, going back to the birth of economics as a separate discipline. It is only fitting that, as this article is published, Thomas Piketty’s tome, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, is the #1 bestseller among all books on Amazon.

Read More at the Library of Economics and Liberty

By Anthony de Jasay

Pope Francis is setting a course for the Church that risks subverting and degrading it and that harms both the spirit and the wellbeing of much of humanity.

Early Christianity was essentially a church of and for the poor and the oppressed. However, it did not seek to rouse them against the rich and the oppressor. Instead, it offered solace by the promise of a life after death, a life of infinitely greater worth, greater reward for the righteous, and greater punishment for the unrepentant sinner than anything the brief passage of earthly existence might bring. In life after death, the first will become the last and the last the first. The rich will find it harder to enter Paradise than the camel to pass through the eye of the needle. Thus will divine justice be done. In this vale of sorrow, charity was due to the suffering poor and the sick, but revolution was not the message of religion. St Peter’s Church was ultimately concerned only with the spiritual and not, or hardly at all, with the temporal.

Read more at the Library of Economics and Liberty

By Kevin Begos and Jonathan Fahey 

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Booming production of oil and natural gas has exacted a little-known price on some of the nation’s roads, contributing to a spike in traffic fatalities in states where many streets and highways are choked with large trucks and heavy drilling equipment.

An Associated Press analysis of traffic deaths and U.S. census data in six drilling states shows that in some places, fatalities have more than quadrupled since 2004 — a period when most American roads have become much safer even as the population has grown.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

 By Jillian D’Onfro

Karl Mehta has made quite a splash in the tech world. 

 He founded PlaySpan, which sold to Visa for more than $200 million in 2011. He was a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow in the program’s inaugural year. He joined Menlo Ventures in 2013 as a partner to focus on finding and funding interesting and world-changing companies. He’s writing a book called Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid about the best ways to get financial services to poorer people.

Read more at Business Insider