Acton Institue for the Study of Religion and Liberty
The Acton Institute is a conservative Think Tank whose stated mission is “”to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles”.
The Institute was founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1990, by Robert A. Sirico and Kris Alan Mauren. Sirico is an ordained Roman Catholic Priest and both he and Mauren are members of the secretive Council for National Policy.
The Acton Institute blends religion and free-market enterprise ideology to promote laissez-faire economics. They have been very aggressive in their attacks on social justice activists, especially those who campaign against poverty and hunger. Another area that they have been active in is in challenging global warming.
Much of their funding has been derived from various right-wing, dominionist foundations: Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation; Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation; Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation; the Bradley Foundation; and the Jay and Betty Van Andel Foundation. They have also been big recipients of donations from Exxon Mobile and Philip Morris.
In 2009, Robert Sirico signed the Manhattan Declaration which is an ecumenical statement that was issued by Christian leaders defending the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty. The declaration was initially drafted by Charles Colson, Robert P. George, a Princeton University law professor, and Timothy George, the dean of Beeson Divinity School.
The Acton Institute hands out the Faith and Freedom Award each year. According to their website, “The Faith and Freedom Award was established as part of the Acton Institute’s tenth anniversary celebration in 2000. The award recognizes an individual who exemplifies commitment to faith and freedom through outstanding leadership in civic, business, or religious life. For this award, the Institute commissioned a sculpture of Lord Acton, the Institute’s namesake, who held firmly to the two pillars of faith and freedom.”
Last year’s recipient of the Faith and Freedom Award was Lady Margaret Thatcher. Past Recipients include Richard DeVos, William Buckley, and Chuck Colson.
The Institute offers many publications and they hold an annual dinner in Grand Rapids with noted speakers such as Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Chuck Colson.
Under their core principles, they claim to be “Integrating Jude-Christian Truths with Free-Market Principles.” Given the money, power and influence that is wielded by this Institute and the policies that they wish to see implemented throughout our nation, the unbridled truth is that they pose a clear and present danger to all who value a country that practices the separation of church and state, who believe that religious freedom encompasses all religions and no religion, and who wish to retain the individual liberties which make us a nation that is welcoming to everyone.
This is but one of many think tanks and foundations that are shaping the policies and legislation which threaten the very fabric of our society and our freedoms.