Marvin Olasky (born June 12, 1950) is editor-in-chief of WORLD Magazine, the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion, and Distinguished Chair in Journalism and Public Policy at Patrick Henry College. He is married to writer and professor Susan Olasky, and they have four sons.
 Education and career
Olasky was born in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, to a Russian-Jewish family and graduated from Yale University in 1971 with a B.A. in American Studies. In 1976 he earned his Ph.D. in American Culture at the University of Michigan. He became an atheist in adolescence and a Marxist in college, ultimately joining the Communist Party USA in 1972. He left the Communist Party the following year and in 1976 became a Christian after reading the New Testament and a number of Christian authors.
Olasky was provost of The King's College in New York City from 2007 to 2011, prior to which he was a professor in the University of Texas at Austin journalism department. He is now dean of the World Journalism Institute and a senior fellow of the Acton Institute. He joined World Magazine in 1990 and became its editor in 1994 and its editor-in-chief in 2001. Earlier, he was a reporter on the Boston Globe and a speechwriter at the Du Pont Company.
Olasky’s most famous book is The Tragedy of American Compassion, which in 1992 Newt Gingrich distributed to incoming Republican representatives of the 104th Congress. The book, an overview of poverty-fighting in America from colonial times to the 1990s, argues that private individuals and organizations, particularly Christian churches, have a responsibility to care for the poor, and contends that challenging personal and spiritual help, common until the 1930s, was more effective than the government welfare programs of recent decades. Olasky argues that government programs are ineffective because they are disconnected from the poor, while private charity has the power to change lives because it allows for a personal connection between giver and recipient.
The book eventually helped to define "compassionate conservatism" in relation to welfare and social policy. In 1995, Olasky became an occasional advisor to Texas gubernatorial candidate George W. Bush. Bush made faith-based programs a major component of his 2000 presidential campaign, and Olasky's academic work helped form the basis for Bush's "compassionate conservatism." But in 2009, when both liberal and conservative critics were arguing that compassionate conservatism had led to an expansion of the federal government, Olasky distanced himself from the program. In an interview with Mike Huckabee on October 10, 2009, Olasky even denied that the Bush administration had implemented compassionate conservatism, remarking that "it was never tried."
Olasky became provost of The King's College in June 2007. On November 5, 2010, the college announced his resignation, saying he would "devote more time to his role as editor-in-chief of World magazine." In an online article at Christianity Today about the announcement, Olasky suggested the move was related to the recent hiring of Dinesh D'Souza as the college's president: "'It will come as no surprise to you that Dinesh D'Souza and I have different ideas about some things," [Olasky] said in an e-mail to Christianity Today. 'I'd like to leave it at that and not do an interview.' This is a shift from what he told CT in August: 'I remain committed to King's.'" In a blog post, WORLD publisher Nick Eicher said "there are no hard feelings" between Olasky and The King's College.
 At The King's College
Olasky was provost of The King’s College from August 2007 through January 2011. Through his journalism and connection to World magazine, he helped to publicize the college,  but some students disagreed with his policies.
An editorial in a student journal called The Gadfly criticized Olasky for relaxing academic standards.  Published in December 2008, the editorial argued that these changes would weaken academics. Some students also disagreed with his plan to have all of the courses at King’s “engage” New York City through field trips and similar activities.
On April 12, 2010, leaders in student government at King’s (“The King’s Council”) formally criticized Olasky for his behavior towards Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, a professor at Duke University who had lectured at the college on April 8. During the question-and-answer period after the lecture, Olasky asserted that Hauerwas was reading “a different Bible than the one I'm familiar with." Then, in a letter sent to King’s students on April 10, Olasky wrote that he believed statements like those Hauerwas had made "when I was a Marxist and parroted speakers very much like him." Olasky did not apologize to Hauerwas for his remarks.
Olasky’s public statements on his duties as provost were also controversial. Roughly three months before announcing his resignation, he asserted that as provost he was responsible for ensuring that the academic program at King’s “remains firmly in the Protestant, evangelical tradition.” But according to official documents, King’s is a nondenominational Christian college. Despite his defense of King's as an evangelical institution, the first person Olasky hired at King’s was Anne Hendershott, a popular sociology professor and a practicing Roman Catholic. Olasky also appointed Hendershott to head the college's program in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.
 Other controversies
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Olasky edited the 16-book Turning Point Christian Worldview series funded by Howard Ahmanson, Jr.'s Fieldstead Institute, which champions and funds the cause of "total integration of Biblical law into our lives." Ahmanson has funded four of Olasky's books, and Michelle Goldberg, author of the book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, places Olasky in a crucial role in the Christian reconstructionism and dominionism movements, saying "I’m not sure whether he actually identifies himself as a Christian reconstructionist, but he’s very close to Christian reconstructionism." Olasky has described himself as a "Christian libertarian."
Olasky diverges from the mainstream of journalistic theory. He argues in his 1996 book Telling the Truth that God created the world, knows more about it than anyone else, and explains its nature in the Bible, so "biblical objectivity" accurately depicts the world as it is, whereas conventional journalistic objectivity shows either a blind materialism or a balancing of subjectivities. He has emphasized the Christian origins of freedom of the press and investigative journalism.
- "It would be pushing it too far to talk of the religion of Zeus trumping the religion of Christ. McCain’s no polytheist. But a lot of liberal journalists have holes in their souls. Some of them grew up in nominally Christian homes but never really heard the Gospel; now they are looking for purpose in their lives but have no understanding of God’s grace. Others know more but don’t want to repent. So, McCain’s emphasis on the classical virtues gives them a post- Clinton glow without pushing them to confront their own lives."
Jonah Goldberg, who took exception to Olasky's descriptions of both candidates, nonetheless recognized what Olasky was trying to say:
- The Zeus reference seems to be derived from the ending of Tom Wolfe’s novel, A Man in Full, in which two of the characters decide to convert to Zeus worship. And what Olasky meant by it was that McCain supporters generally, and Brooks specifically, are attracted to "Zeus-like strength" rather than Christ-like compassion. McCain is all about honor and duty and Bush is about charity and love. Zeus versus Christ. There you have it.
In her 2004 book Bushwomen, Laura Flanders writes, "Olasky is not a fan of high-achieving women. Women joining the workforce have had 'dire consequences for society,' he told a Christian magazine in 1998.”  Olasky later said in response to this book that he was actually praising the high achievements of women in major philanthropic organizations: “From my study of the history of poverty-fighting in America, I found that it was basically women who ran the charitable enterprises. Men were involved, but it was essentially women who had the time to volunteer…. Now they don’t have the time because so many of them work.”
Flanders also quoted another Olasky statement: “’God does not forbid women to be leaders in society...but there's a certain shame attached to it,' he said." Olasky later said he was referring to the story of Deborah, a military leader in the Old Testament book of Judges, and noting that Deborah explicitly tells Barak, who refuses to lead without her, that he will not receive honor.
In a 1999 profile of Olasky for the New York Times Magazine, David Grann claimed Olasky had hidden his first marriage, which ended in divorce while Olasky was in his early 20s. "Olasky had -- until a family member accidentally mentioned it to me -- carefully hidden his divorce from the press." In a subsequent letter to the editor of the Times, Olasky disputed that characterization.
 Notable publications
- Corporate Public Relations: A New Historical Perspective (1987)
- Turning Point: A Christian Worldview Declaration (1987, with Herbert Schlossberg)
- Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: Public Affairs Giving and the Forbes 100 (1987, foreword by Donald Rumsfeld)
- Freedom, Justice and Hope: Toward a Strategy for the Poor and the Oppressed (1988, with Clark Pinnock, Herbert Schlossberg, and Pierre Berthoud)
- Prodigal Press: The Anti-Christian Bias of American News Media (1988)
- The Press and Abortion, 1838–1988 (1988)
- Central Ideas in the Development of American Journalism (1991)
- Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: Funding False Compassion (1991, with Daniel T. Oliver and Robert V. Pambianco)
- More Than Kindness: A Compassionate Approach to Crisis Childbearing (1992, with Susan Olasky)
- The Tragedy of American Compassion (1992, republished in 1995)
- Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America (1992)
- Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: The Progressive Deception (1992, with Daniel T. Oliver and Stuart Nolan)
- Philanthropically Correct: The Story of the Council on Foundations (1993)
- Fighting for Liberty and Virtue: Political and Cultural Wars in Eighteenth-Century America (1995)
- Telling the Truth: How to Revitalize Christian Journalism (1996)
- Renewing American Compassion: How Compassion for the Needy Can Turn Ordinary Citizens into Heroes (1996)
- Whirled Views: Tracking Today's Culture Storms (1997, with Joel Belz)
- The American Leadership Tradition: Moral Vision from Washington to Clinton (1999)
- Compassionate Conservatism: What it is, What it Does, and How it Can Transform America (2000, introduction by George W. Bush)
- Standing for Christ in a Modern Babylon (2003)
- The Religions Next Door: What We Need To Know About Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, And Islam - and What Reporters Are Missing (2004)
- Monkey Business (2005, with John Perry)
- Scimitar's Edge (2006)
- The Politics of Disaster: Katrina, Big Government, and A New Strategy for Future Crises (2006)
- Unmerited Mercy: A Memoir, 1968-1996 (2010)
- Echoes of Eden (2011)
- 2048, A Story of America’s Future (2011)
-  "In Depth with Marvin Olasky", C-SPAN, 6 May 2007
- Olasky, Marvin. "A Pilgrim's Slow Progress." WORLD Magazine. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
- Bailey, Sarah Pulliam. "Marvin Olasky Resigns as Provost of The King's College." Christianity Today 5 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- , "World Journalism Institute," Retrieved 26 June 2011
- , The Acton Institute, Marvin Olasky Staff Profile, Retrieved September 1, 2011
- Grann, David. "Where W. Got Compassion." The New York Times Magazine, 12 September 1999.
- "The Tragedy of American Compassion" Regenery, 1992.
- press release, The King's College, 5 November 2010
- Eicher, Nick. "Marvin Olasky in Full." WORLD Magazine, 5 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- Halbrook, David. "Dr. Marvin Olasky New Distinguished Chair of Journalism. Patrick Henry College Press Release, 22 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- Olasky, Marvin. "Romantic Realism", World Magazine, July 14, 2007, accessed August 22, 2011.
- Editorial "The Death of Difficulty." The Gadfly, December 15, 2008, accessed August 22, 2011.
- Case, Brendan. "Batman Returns." The Gadfly, September 28, 2009, accessed August 22, 2011.
- Student Government Resolution, The King's Council at The King's College, adopted April 12, 2010, accessed August 22, 2011.
- Olasky, Marvin. Transcript of remarks to Stanley Hauerwas on April 8, 2010, accessed August 22, 2011.
- Olasky, Marvin. Email of April 12, 2010 to students regarding remarks to Stanley Hauerwas, accessed August 22, 2011
- Bailey, Sarah Pulliam. "Dinesh D'Souza to Lead NYC's King's College." Christianity Today, August 24, 2010, accessed August 22, 2011.
- The King's College About TKC. Accessed August 22, 2011.
- Wesley, Stephen. "Hendershott Redux: Another Look at the Controversial Appointment." The Gadfly, February 1, 2009, accessed August 22, 2011.
- Wesley, Stephen. "Hendershott Redux: Another Look at the Controversial Appointment." The Gadfly, February 1, 2009, accessed December 6, 2011.
- Larsen, Peter. "The Strength of Their Conviction" The Orange County Register, 10 August 2004.
- Clarkson, Frederick. "Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence. Part 3: No Longer Without Sheep" Political Research Associates, March/June 1994.
- Goldberg, Michelle. "BuzzFlash Interview: Christian Nationalism Inside America's Mega-Churches" WorkingForChange, 2 June 2006.
- Olasky, Marvin.  "Were Nazis Christians?" Human Events, 12 October 2006
- Moll, Rob (2004). "World Journalism Institute Changes Its Focus". Christianity Today. Retrieved 2006-08-08.
- Olasky, Marvin. Telling the Truth: How to Revitalize Christian Journalism (1996). Available online.
- “McCain and the Religion of Zeus,” Austin American Statesman, Austin American Statesman Feb. 16, 2000.
- Goldberg, Jonah (2000). "McCain's Still My Guy". nationalreview.com. Retrieved 2006-08-08.
- "Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood", 1998
- "Austin American-Statesman", 13 April 2000
- World Magazine, 20 May 2000
- Flanders, Lara. Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species, Page 108. Verso, 2004.
- "Professor Sets the Record Straight About Controversial Views." The Daily Texan, April 19, 2000).
- Olasky, Marvin. "to the Editor." The New York Times, October 31, 1999. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Booknotes interview with Olasky on The Tragedy of American Compassion, January 22, 1995.
- In Depth interview with Olasky, May 6, 2007