Blog author: bwalker
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
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Do the Pope and I live on the same planet?
Steven W. Mosher, New York Post

It is perhaps no coincidence that Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, a radical environmentalist who had a part in drafting the encyclical, is a member of the Club of Rome. Schellnhuber was apparently selected for this role by Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Experts Debunk The Coal Industry’s “Energy Poverty” Argument Against The Pope’s Climate Action
Denise Robbins, Media Matters

Fossil fuel advocates are criticizing Pope Francis’ recent climate encyclical, claiming his call to phase out fossil fuels will harm the poor by preventing access to electricity and keeping them in “energy poverty.” But fossil fuels are not economically viable in most of the communities that suffer from a lack of electricity, and on-the-ground experts have explained that distributed renewable energy sources are often a more effective way to lift the world’s impoverished — who will be most affected by the adverse impacts of climate change — out of energy poverty.

Pope Francis’s Climate Warmup Act
Barbie Latza Nadeau, The Daily Beast

With new allies like Naomi Klein and a tour of his Latin home turf, the pope is clearly getting ready to face off with Republican deniers and Big Oil during his U.S. visit in September.

Science and Religion Collaborate; Pope’s Encyclical Asserts Imperative Need to Halt Climate Change
Felix Balthasar, NewsMaine

Nonetheless, it is important to comprehend that Pope Francis intends to raise public awareness about the forthcoming perils in case the indispensible precautions are not taken now; it very effectively goes beyond religion and addresses the entire global population to adopt ‘changes in lifestyle, production and consumption’.

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C. S. Lewis

Silence took the place of applause as the room struggled to manifest a question to the finality of Peter Kreeft’s lecture; unfazed, the professor filled with excitement at the chance to quip the crowd quoting Aristotle: “human beings are curious by nature.” A smirk crept across his face as he both laid forth a potential congratulation for our ascension beyond curiosity as gods or the insult of being beasts below curiosity. With that, the air filled with questioning hands.

A few weeks ago at Acton University 2015, professor of philosophy at Boston College and at the King’s College and a prolific writer of Christian philosophy and apologetics, Peter Kreeft, taught the course: “Good, True, and Beautiful: C.S. Lewis.” Focusing on these three virtues known as cardinal or transcendental that are central to philosophical conceptions of God, Kreeft goes on as any philosopher must to define the three virtues and their place in the world. The cardinal “hinge” role of these virtues is because humanity never grows tired of goodness, truth, or beauty because these are the attributes of perfection, of God. Moreover, “everything God creates is imbued with these attributes to some extent” and Kreeft discussed their manifestation of the works of C.S. Lewis. (more…)

rockwell religionChuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship and BreakPoint, spoke in a 2009 Breakpoint broadcast about religious liberty. His words apply even more today.

Allow me to make a very direct statement. I believe it is time for the Church in this country to stand up for religious freedom.

Especially over the course of the last few years, we have seen repeated efforts — in the courts, in state legislatures, in Congress and on Pennsylvania Avenue — to erode what has been called the first freedom: religious liberty. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
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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?
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Blog author: bwalker
Monday, July 6, 2015
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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.

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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)

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