Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
By

An Eastern Orthodox Perspective On Laudato Si
John Chryssavgis, First Things

Permit me to tell you about a lesser known aspect of the papal encyclical; to offer a glimpse into a less obvious dimension of this document; to provide some insight into a very important relationship: namely, the connection between a pope and a patriarch.

Social Conservatives, Time To Drop The Grumpy Moralism: Joy Is More Powerful, And More Fun
An interview with Greg Forster, Forbes

Your book is “Joy for the World”. It’s interesting, when I read it, if you were here with me, I would show you that I wrote a two-word summary of the book in the inside cover. Two-word summary was “More singing!” with an exclamation point.

Does Freedom Need ‘Bootleggers’?
Dwight R. Lee, Regulation

Freedom “Baptists” may not need help from bootleggers.

Who-d a-thunk it? SF minimum wage increased 14% and local Chipotles just raised prices by 10-14%?
Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas

“There simply isn’t any magic pot of money that lets employers pay higher wages just because the government says so, without making adjustments elsewhere like cutting workers’ hours, reducing their non-cash fringe benefits, and/or passing the higher wages along to consumers in the form of higher prices.”

JFKI have an overwhelming desire to connect my passions with positive change. But there are so many things in this world to be passionate about. Passion to make the world a better place. Passion to expand education, uplift the impoverished, and abolish injustice. I find myself stuck; Wanting to do more, but not being capable of such grand plans…

Last week my friend asked: “What can you do today to make a difference for tomorrow?”

Her challenge blew me away.

To begin discovering an answer I interviewed a group of people at Acton University. (more…)

A Filipino neighborhood just after Typhoon Haiyan

A Filipino neighborhood just after Typhoon Haiyan

I’ve read and heard a lot of horrible stories about human trafficking. Every time I think I’ve heard the worst, I find another one that horrifies me. This one certainly falls into that category:

According to a news outlet in the Philippines, girls in the countryside were lured away from their home with the promise of studying in Manila, and almost abducted into a life of human trafficking—by women dressed as Catholic nuns.

In a very twisted way, this makes sense. In the heavily-Catholic Philippines, there would hardly be a more trusted figure to young children than a Catholic nun. (more…)

sweet-cakes-by-melissa-AP-640x480What is the case about?

In 2013, a lesbian couple went into Sweet Cakes, a bakery in Oregon, to order a “wedding cake” for their same-sex commitment ceremony. When the couple told the baker, Aaron Klein that it was for a same-sex ceremony, he told them he would serve homosexuals but that his religious beliefs would not allow him to participate by creating the cake for them. The couple filed a complaint with the Oregon Labor Commission, claiming Sweet Cakes and the Kleins discriminated against them because of their sexual orientation.

Last week, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian finalized a preliminary ruling ordering Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to the couple they denied service.

“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation,” said Avakian, a political appointee. In his ruling he notes he finds “no distinction” between refusing to serve a same-sex wedding and discriminating against people because of their sexual orientation.

“[Aaron Klein] denied the full and equal accommodation, advantages, facilities and privileges of Sweet Cakes by Melissa to Complainants based on their sexual orientation thereby violating ORS 659A.403,” claims the ruling.

How much were the Kleins ordered to pay the couple?

The Commissioner awarded the lesbian couple $135,000 in “damages for emotional and mental suffering resulting from the denial of service.”

What were the claims of emotional and mental suffering?
(more…)

Blog author: bwalker
Monday, July 6, 2015
By

Cardinal Parolin explains the importance of the Encyclical “Laudato si’” for the Church and the world in the light of major events in 2015
Vatican Information Service

The theme of the Cardinal’s address was “The Importance of the Encyclical Laudato Si’ for the Church and the World, in the Light of Major Political Events in 2015 and Beyond”. Three key United Nations conferences are scheduled to take place in the second half of 2015: the “Third International Conference on Financing for Development”, (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13 to 16 July); the “United Nations Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda”, (New York, U.S.A., 25 to 27 September); and the “Twenty-First Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change” or “COP21” (Paris, France, 30 November to 11 December), for the purpose of adopting a new agreement on climate change. Cardinal Parolin affirmed that “the Encyclical will have a certain impact on these events, but its breadth and depth go well beyond its context in time”.

Catholic economist: Pope has ‘measured’ critique of U.S. economy
Laura Ieraci, Catholic News Service

Joseph Kaboski, a professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame and president of CREDO, an international organization of Catholic economists, said, “As an individual, the pope probably views redistribution programs as a more effective way of tackling poverty than economic growth,” though “most mainstream economists would disagree.”

Pope Francis calls us to act to save our planet
June Miller, The Register-Guard

Pope Francis’ encyclical urges us to care for these resources God has given us. Living in Oregon, I’m cognizant every day of what’s at stake. Oregon is known for its rich natural beauty and abundance of resources, and I want Oregon’s beauty, clean air and healthy water to be preserved for future generations.

Catholic Colleges In No Rush To Divest From Fossil Fuels After Pope’s Encyclical
Dayana Morales Gomez, Huffington Post

Student campaigns for divestment were already underway at the very wealthiest Catholic universities in the U.S. But so far, not a single American Catholic college or university has announced plans to divest in light of the encyclical.

Prince Charles Calls for Big Government Expansion: We Need A ‘Different Economy’
Donna Rachel Edmunds, Breitbart

The Prince’s intervention follows the Pope’s much anticipated encyclical on climate change which promoted socialism in a similar vein. “The environment is one of those goods that cannot be adequately safeguarded or promoted by market forces,” Pope Francis said.

(more…)

images

Christopher Dawson

On June 17, 2015, Bradley Birzer taught a course at Acton University entitled “Christopher Dawson and the Dynamics of History” in which he outlined the life and thought of the great historian. Describing Dawson as “an academic’s academic,” Birzer explained that although many people have never heard of Dawson, he nevertheless influenced many popular Christian intellectuals, such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Flannery O’Connor.

And what was that influence? Christopher Dawson believed his life’s calling was to record the history of the world, but he refused to reduce the task history to the narrow specialization of the archivist. Rather, true history is a poetic endeavor that must take place from within a culture, as opposed to objectifying and deconstructing it from the outside. All cultures contain some aspect of truth that may be missed by others, so the goal of the Church is not to destroy pagan culture but to baptize it and put the truths of that culture in their proper relation to the Truth. Modern ideologies pose such a danger because they single out a truth and pluck it from its broader context in the world over which God reigns. Dawson shows us that we cannot defeat ideology by creating a counter-ideology but only by reconnecting its true foundation to the entirety of truth in a loving manner. (more…)

Air-ConditioningI know why Victorian women fainted so much. They were too hot – literally. Wearing layers and layers of clothes, corseted to the point of not being able to breath, attempting to make merry in rooms draped and swathed and festooned with velvet furniture and bric-a-brac. If you think about London in the summer … you’d faint too. I will happily keep my modern clothing and my air conditioning, thank you.

Not so fast, says Pope Francis. His encyclical, Laudato Si’, suggests that air conditioning is one of those modern features that is giving us environmental woes.

Some countries are gradually making significant progress, developing more effective controls and working to combat corruption. People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more. A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behaviour, which at times appears self-destructive. (55)

(more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, July 6, 2015
By

School Vouchers May Head Again To Supreme Court
Joy Pullman, The Federalist

A court decision in Colorado could erase sectarian discrimination from 37 state constitutions. Or end vouchers nationwide.

High Court Will Take on Forced Unionism
Bill McMorris, Washington Free Beacon

The Supreme Court will rule on laws designed to force public employees into unions in its 2016 session after accepting a suit from a California teacher Tuesday.

Obergefell’s Threat to Religious Liberty
Adam Freedman, City Journal

The Supreme Court decision takes self-government out of Americans’ hands.

The Supreme Court Ruling and Christian Colleges
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Legal experts are divided. But the question of whether same-sex marriage as a national right changes the legal status of Christian colleges is no longer just theoretical.

Blog author: bwalker
Friday, July 3, 2015
By

Enviros That Supported The Pope’s Encyclical Tout Abortion To Solve Global Warming
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller

Here’s some irony for you. The same environmentalists that fervently supported the Pope’s call for global governance over the climate and oceans are also pushing explicitly anti-Catholic policies to fight global warming: more access to contraceptives and abortion.The Sierra Club was just one of many environmental groups that supported the Pope’s call to address man-made global warming. When Pope Francis published his encyclical in June, they issued a strong statement of support for the Bishop of Rome’s call to action.

Vatican considers divesting from fossil fuels
Timothy Cama, The Hill

Max Hohenberg, spokesman for the Vatican’s bank, told the newspaper the issue is largely irrelevant, because about 95 percent of the bank’s investments are in government bonds, so “there isn’t much to divest.”

The Amazing Vanishing Climate Change Fund!
The American Interest

But these announcements are not a cure-all for the problems that threaten to bedevil the climate summit. Conspicuously absent from all of these announcements were any concrete contributions to a proposed $100 billion fund intended to assist the world’s poorer countries in coping with climate change. As it’s currently sketched out, the developed world would pay into this massive fund annually, and that money would go towards helping the developing world mitigate and adapt to climate change. But as Bloomberg reports, little progress has been made towards seeing this policy realized:

How the Pope Is Revving up Climate Action in LA’s Most Polluted Neighborhood
Jasmine Aguilera, Moyers & Company

After the June 18 release of “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and humanity’s responsibility to protect it, young Catholics decided to host a rally to spread awareness of climate change’s effect on the poor, particularly Latinos in Southern California. Some Catholics are hopeful that events like this, inspired by the encyclical, will spread and lead to a new emphasis on climate action within the faith.

Pope Francis Heads to Iowa to Press Republicans on Marriage Climate
Breitbart News

“You see a lot of coalitions of Catholics and evangelicals working on the life issue together,” Scheffler said. “You could lose some Catholics to this. Some priests buy into that whole social justice, income distribution thing. But not all of them.”

(more…)

Blog author: bwalker
Friday, July 3, 2015
By

62465

Naomi Klein

In my lifetime I’ve witnessed some odd pairings – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga being among the most recent – but none so bizarre as Pope Francis and Naomi Klein. The Pope needs no explanation, but Ms. Klein may leave some readers scratching their heads. The telegenic Canadian activist actually was invited to participate in a stacked-deck of climate-change true-believers at the Vatican.

Organizers of the event, “Planet First: The Imperative to Change Course” – held July 1 and July 2 at Rome’s Augustinianum University – also invited Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, president of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Bernd Nilles, secretary general of CISDE – “an international alliance of Catholic development agencies working together for global justice;” Flaminia Giovannelli from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; and Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office. Where was Bill McKibben and Al Gore? (more…)