Religion & Liberty Online

Listen: Rev. Ben Johnson on seizing college endowments, and creative cooperation in an age of COVID-19

A growing number of conservatives have said the behavior of certain Ivy League colleges demands that the federal government seize their endowments. But will confiscating this source of nonprofit funds give the government a legal justification to do the same to tax-exempt churches?

This was one of the main topics on my weekly Thursday interview on “Mornings with Carmen LaBerge,” which is nationally syndicated by Faith Radio Network.

The program also discussed a recent Acton Powerblog article about encouraging scientific research which indicates that human beings naturally respond to crises with creativity and benevolence. (See “Science: Human beings were made for creative cooperation.”)

The discussion begins by analyzing a new Pew poll asking people which coronavirus patient should get a ventilator in the case of a shortage. This variation of the trolley dilemma reveals the gulf between the moral reasoning of religious believers and secularists. It also underscores the vital importance of rejecting any failed economic system or healthcare model that would create the artificial scarcity to elevate this from a philosophical exercise to a matter of life and death.

You can listen to the program below:

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(Photo credit: Public domain.)

Rev. Ben Johnson

Rev. Ben Johnson (@therightswriter) is an Eastern Orthodox priest and served as Executive Editor of the Acton Institute (2016-2021), editing Religion & Liberty, the Powerblog, and its transatlantic website. He has extensively researched the Alt-Right. Previously, he worked for LifeSiteNews and, where he wrote three books including Party of Defeat (with David Horowitz, 2008). His work has appeared at, National Review, The American Spectator, The Guardian, Daily Caller, National Catholic Register, Spectator USA, FEE Online, RealClear Policy, The Blaze, The Stream, American Greatness, Aleteia, Providence Magazine, Charisma, Jewish World Review, Human Events, Intellectual Takeout,, Issues & Insights, The Conservative,, and The American Orthodox Institute. His personal websites are and His views are his own.