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Notre Dame cathedral

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Religion

Some trace the root of the English word "religion" to the Latin religio, which meant among other things "reverence for God or the gods, careful pondering of divine things, piety." It is literally the tie that binds – to each other and to our Creator.

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Work and Faith

The market lacks the logic to tell us what we ought to do. It simply instructs us of the most efficient way of utilizing resources and meeting the needs of others. The end or purpose of economic life depends entirely upon the human person who initiates economic actions, and who himself has absorbed a transcendent moral purpose. This moral sense and goal must be interjected into market transactions.

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Painting depicting the Death of Socrates

Ethics

The Acton Institute acknowledges firms that seek to operate within an ethical structure both internally and externally. Of course, ethics in any field must be rooted in a sense of morality and justice that is associated with human action. A firm’s embrace of a set of business ethics, then, aids it in affirming the dignity of employees as well as acting justly with customers and competitors.

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A whitewashed church in small town Vermont

Religious Freedom

Protection of religious liberty – the first freedom – is essential to any free society. The freedom of conscience is an inalienable human right given by our Creator and protected by law.

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Jewish scholars gather around Torah scrolls during morning prayers

Theology

Markets display both the virtues and vices of a people. Theology provides the framework for a right understanding of commercial culture. It is important to avoid the temptation to either idolize the market or to suppose that virtue is something that can be politically implemented by bureaucrats. Strengthening the moral content of a people through civil society is the best response to vice, rather than burdensome regulation that inhibits human freedom and stifles innovation and creativity.

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