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Tea Party Catholic: The Catholic Case for Limited Government, a Free Economy, and Human Flourishing [Kindle Edition]

Samuel Gregg , Michael Novak
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Targeting core tenets of the Tea Party movement, including political economy and economic history, Samuel Gregg makes the case for a new breed of conservative—the Tea Party Catholic. Long married to the conventional liberal ideologies of the past, American Catholics were largely wed to the political image of John F. Kennedy. Increasingly however, as Gregg declares, an ever-growing number of practicing Catholics have gravitated to the conservative side of American politics since the 1970s. Adding his voice to the popular chorus of conservative Catholics—which include his contemporary bestselling authors Michael Novak and Robert Sirico—Gregg examines the economic and social positions of the United States and defines where the Catholic Church falls on a host of issues, including a free-market economy, the welfare state, the role and size of government, and the very definition of liberty and freedom.

Editorial Reviews


"If you don't know Samuel Gregg's writings, you don't know one of the top two or three writers on the free society today." —Michael Novak, author, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

"In Centesimus Annus, Blessed John Paul II called for a 'society of free work, enterprise and participation.' In Tea Party Catholic, Samuel Gregg has put flesh on the skeleton. His work will reignite interest in the critical notion of the common good. Furthermore, it will help educate upcoming generations about the richness, diversity, and necessity of Catholic social teaching. It is a remarkably good read!" —George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney

"Samuel Gregg is the intellectual leader of the second generation of Catholic proponents of limited government, religious liberty, and economic freedom. Gregg's book has things to say to all Catholic Americans, regardless of party allegiance . . . but also to Catholics living outside America." —Michael Novak, author of The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism and Washington's God

"There is abroad in the land a mistaken belief that Catholic social teaching is friendly to the entitlement society and hostile to limited government, the market economy, and economic freedom. A refutation of this error is long overdue, and now at last Samuel Gregg has provided it. The book is as carefully and, indeed, rigorously argued as it is provocatively titled. It is a great resource for anyone—Catholic or not—who wants to know what the Church really teaches about the moral requirements of the socio-economic and political orders." —Prof. Robert P. George, Princeton University

"A stimulating reading of Catholic social teaching and the American Founding and its application to some of today's most sharply contested public policy issues, particularly those touching on economic and religious freedom. Give it to your favorite Commonweal reader and let the debate begin!" —George Weigel, papal biographer and author of Evangelical Catholicism

"Rarely is a book as timely as this one. Some might say that Samuel Gregg has gone a long way toward reconciling the ideal of liberty, especially its economic and religious dimensions, expressed in the American Founding, with the Catholic faith. Actually, he has masterfully demonstrated the complementary and perhaps even Providential nature of this relationship. Gregg's clarity and scholarship are impressive and incisive." —Frank Hanna III, businessman, philanthropist, and author of What Your Money Means

About the Author

Samuel Gregg is research director at the Acton Institute. He is the author of many books, including his prize-winning The Commercial Society (2007), The Modern Papacy (2009), and Becoming Europe (2013). He lectures regularly in America and Europe on topics encompassing political economy, Catholicism, and morality and the economy. His writing has appeared in academic journals and magazines including National Review, The American Spectator, Foreign Affairs, and Crisis Magazine, as well as newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, and the New York Post.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1985 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company (October 4, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIVE STARS! September 18, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is precisely what we need right now, to help American Catholics connect with their authentic heritage both as citizens and believers. I learned SO much reading it, and found intellectual support for positions I’d THOUGHT must be true, but wasn’t sure. Did you know that…

*The Western heritage of freedom we enjoy as Americans has deep roots in Catholic theology.

* The richest man in America in 1776, who risked the most to support the Revolution and sign the Declaration of Independence, was a Catholic—Charles Carroll of Carollton? He was also one of Washington’s closest friends, and a strong supporter of both religious and economic freedom.

* Every one of the American Founders thought that virtue (which most of them understood in a Christian sense) was indispensible for a free society?

* Most of the arguments Adam Smith made for the free market were anticipated hundreds of years before by Spanish Thomist theologians.

* Religious liberty, economic freedom, and limited government are all intertwined—take away one, and you’ll probably lose the others.

* The strongest defenders of private property in the past 100 years have been… the popes?

* The Catholic vision of a virtuous life (“human flourishing”) is precisely the moral supplement that a free society needs? Without a virtuous citizenry, society degenerates and tyranny arises to fill the moral vacuum.

I learned all this—and more!—from Tea Party Catholic, which is straightforward, readable, and persuasive. You don’t need a Ph.D. to read this book, but it WILL give you the arguments you need the next time you disagree with some Catholic who’s nostalgic for Franklin Roosevelt, or who daydreams about “Liberation Theology.” It left me even prouder of America’s heritage AND of the wisdom of the Church.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tea Party Catholic? Really? Yes! November 14, 2013
The first thing that you might want to know is that while Gregg is aware (and I think sympathetic) to the “Tea Party” movement that has emerged in recent years, this is not fundamentally his focus. “Tea Party Catholic” refers to the “sole Roman Catholic signatory” of the American Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll of Carrollton Maryland. In Carroll Gregg finds a man who embodies the distinctively Catholic case for the importance of a limited government and a free economy to human flourishing. Make no mistake, Gregg is not a libertarian or an anarchist arguing for limited government and a free economy as ends in themselves. Rather he sees such limits as serving a more transcendent goal: human flourishing. Or, as Pope Benedict XVI writes in his 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate, “integral human development.”

There’s a great deal I can say about the content of Gregg’s argument but let me limit myself to two main points that I think are especially applicable to the situation of the Orthodox Church both here in the US and overseas.

First the book seeks to outline “the distinct contributions that Catholics can bring to the much needed renewal of the movement for economic freedom and limited government.” While the author limits himself to the American situation and his sources (primarily) to contemporary Catholic Social Teaching, his insights are also applicable to the situation of the Orthodox Church in the countries of the former Soviet Union bloc. I’m thinking of Gregg’s systematic articulation of the “deeper and coherent understanding of why freedom really matters, including economic freedom.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Catholic Social Justice does NOT require the government to redistribute wealth. This book explains in a highly readable way how limited government and a free market economy benefit humans and are more in line with Catholic catechism.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
"Subsidiarity points toward limited government. Though an important form of social organization, government is only one of a number of communities and should not therefore displace or absorb the responsibilities properly assumed by individuals, families, churches, clubs, businesses, and other forms of non-state association. Subsidiarity thus tells us we should not automatically look to government when a community experiences problems." -- page 105

I suspect there are millions of us out here. I am talking about upstanding, hard-working, God-fearing Catholics who know in their gut that our nation has been headed in exactly the wrong direction for the past several decades. Furthermore, we are very distressed when we observe significant numbers of clergy and religious, including many in positions of higher authority, advocating for economic policies we deem to be destructive while supporting candidates that appear to dismiss many of our church's most basic teachings. We are Tea Party Catholics and we often struggle to articulate why we feel the way we do and what changes we believe need to be made. Samuel Gregg is an Australian writer who shares many of our concerns. He has written a marvelous new book called "Tea Party Catholic: The Catholic Case for Limited Government, A Free Economy, and Human Flourishing". This is a book that speaks to us! Here at last is the information conservative Catholics need to refute the tired old arguments that Catholic progressives have been making since the 1960's. I found Mr. Gregg's arguments to be consistent, coherent and deeply-steeped in Catholic tradition. Clearly, Catholic teaching has an awful lot to offer in this ongoing debate. There is abundant food for thought in this volume.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Completely Ignores Entitlements
This book praises limited government and personal economic freedoms, yet never addresses the issue of entitlements. Talk about a major oversight! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bro. Sean
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Added a new dimension to my spirituality.
Published 3 months ago by Roscoe DeSpain
4.0 out of 5 stars Human "Flourishing" and the Catholic Case for Limited Government
I enjoyed "TPC..." and would recommend it. I suspect the title was chosen by the writer's editor and not by the writer himself as a way of engendering controversy. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Paul Schilling
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent read!
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love it
Published 6 months ago by kaye west
5.0 out of 5 stars a clear articulation off the case for a free and virtuous society
We'll researched, documented and reasoned positions on economic freedom, limited (and necessary) government, and a virtuous society. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ron
4.0 out of 5 stars Tea Party Follows Catholic Teaching Quite Well
I'm happy to recommend an excellent book by Samuel Gregg, Tea Party Catholic, given to my by a non-Catholic friend. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Tom Motherway
2.0 out of 5 stars The Winter of His discontent
"Tea Party Catholic" is contrived history, bad theology , self-serving economics, by a member of the Acton Institute, to intensify his propaganda campaign against the Catholic... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Clifford J. Stevens
3.0 out of 5 stars Bppk Review
I purchased it mainly as a presentation to other people. Haven't read it yet. Plan to do so in the next few weeks,
Published 14 months ago by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the title!
This is a profound investigation of catholic theory as it relates to government power and the flourishing of human beings. Read more
Published 14 months ago by LawProf
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More About the Author

Dr. Samuel Gregg is director of research at the Acton Institute. He has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, ethics in finance, and natural law theory. He has an MA in political philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in moral philosophy and political economy from the University of Oxford, where he worked under the supervision of Professor John Finnis.

He is the author of several books, including: Morality, Law, and Public Policy (2000); Economic Thinking for the Theologically Minded (2001); On Ordered Liberty (2003); his prize-winning The Commercial Society (2007); The Modern Papacy (2009); Wilhelm Röpke's Political Economy (2010); and Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and America's Future (2013) as well as monographs such as Ethics and Economics: The Quarrel and the Dialogue (1999); A Theory of Corruption (2004); and Banking, Justice, and the Common Good (2005). Several of these works have been translated into a variety of languages. He has also co-edited books such as Christian Theology and Market Economics (2008); Profit, Prudence and Virtue: Essays in Ethics, Business and Management (2009); and Natural Law, Economics and the Common Good (2012). His forthcoming book is titled, Tea Party Catholic: The Catholic Case for Limited Government, a Free Economy, and Human Flourishing. He has also written on the thought of St. Thomas More.

He publishes in journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy; Journal of Markets & Morality; Economic Affairs; Law and Investment Management; Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines; Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy; Evidence; Ave Maria Law Review; Oxford Analytica; Communio; Journal of Scottish Philosophy; University Bookman, Moreana, and Policy. He is a regular writer of opinion-pieces which appear in publications such as the Wall Street Journal Europe; Foreign Affairs; National Review; Public Discourse; American Spectator; Australian Financial Review; and Business Review Weekly. His op-eds are also widely published in newspapers throughout Europe and Latin America. He has served as an editorial consultant for the Italian journal, La Societa, as well as American correspondent for the German newspaper Die Tagespost.

In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Member of the Mont Pèlerin Society in 2004. In 2008, he was elected a member of the Philadelphia Society, and a member of the Royal Economic Society. He is the General Editor of Lexington Books' Studies in Ethics and Economics Series. He also sits on the Academic Advisory Boards of Campion College, Sydney; the La Fundación Burke, Madrid; and the Institute of Economic Affairs, London; as well as the editorial boards of the Journal of Markets and Morality and Revista Valores en la sociedad industrial.


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