Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, April 18, 2014

The Joy of Orthodox Pascha
Wesley J. Smith, First Things

One spring, a few years before I converted to Eastern Orthodoxy, my wife and I vacationed in Greece. On the plane we became friendly with a happy elderly Greek-American gentleman who told us excitedly that he was on a pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain (the monastic polity of Mount Athos) for Pascha.

Easter and ethics: How the resurrection reshapes the Christian life
Phillip Bethancourt, ERLC

What is the relationship between Easter and ethics? How does the crucifixion shape the Christian life? How does the resurrection reorient our moral intuitions?

Ten Welfare-Reform Lessons
Robert Doar, National Review

Make no mistake about it: My fellow city workers and I were bureaucrats. But we were bureaucrats on a mission to bring the principles of the 1996 federal welfare-reform legislation to New York City in a way that would help poor New Yorkers improve their station in life.

The State Of Our Religious Liberty Is Confusing
Peter Lawler, The Federalist

Liberty from government is not just for unencumbered.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, April 17, 2014

3 Things You Should Know About the Paycheck Fairness Act
Romina Boccia, The Foundry

The Senate is set to vote on the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act today. Here are three things you should know about the bill.

Are Christians in America Persecuted?
Kevin DeYoung, The Gospel Coalition

The short answer is “Yes, all the time.” The not as short answer is: “Yes, Christians in America are persecuted, but not as frequently, consistently, or with nearly the intensity that Christians are persecuted in many other parts of the world.”

Christians Must Reject Putin’s Christianity
Ryan Mauro, Juicy Ecumenism

Russian President Vladimir Putin was a KGB officer when the service was promoting an anti-Western, Marxist version of Christianity. He is now, with some success, pitching himself as the man who can save Christianity from the moral vices of the West and Islamic oppression.

Philosophy and Morality in Public Discourse
Robert T. Miller, Public Discourse

If we want to move public discourse in the right direction, we should rely on the many assumptions we share with most of our contemporaries.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It’s All About Religion
Metropolitan Jonah, Juicy Ecumenism

In the West, we are blinded by our secularist world view. In particular, we are unable to understand other societies that reject our own way of understanding.

Where Did Your Tax Money Go?
Amy Payne, The Foundry

Major entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) gobbled up 49 percent, while more federal benefits took another 20 percent. These additional “income security” benefits include federal employee retirement and disability, unemployment benefits, and welfare programs such as food and housing assistance.

Rugged Individuals: Revival Of American Calvinism
Stéphane Bussard, Worldcrunch

Calvin is discovering a new popularity in America. No, not the character from the Bill Watterson comic Calvin and Hobbes, but John Calvin, the 16th-century French Protestant Reformer.

Forgiving the unforgivable in Rwanda
Tim Townsend, CNN

At first, the prisoners thought he had been sent by the government – a spy in a clerical collar – to investigate their crimes. Even when they were satisfied that Gahigi wasn’t a spy, they were skeptical of his motives. Why would this man come to their prison to preach when he knew what they had done?

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lesson For April 15: Why Government Can’t Replace Charity
Howard Husock, Forbes

Maybe it’s because of the impending tax filing deadline, but we are seeing a sudden spate of muscular defenses of a government safety net against the alleged conservative view that private charity could assist those in need—and replace government

Christian Magnanimity
Bryan Wandel, Humane Pursuits

Christian magnanimity is an overflow of grace to bear with the immaturities and shortcomings of people around us – for their benefit.

Catholic Schools Pressed to Give Up Morality
Anne Hendershott, Crisis Magazine

After decades of well-documented dissent on many Catholic college campuses over Church teachings on abortion, contraception, and same sex marriage, a new front in the Catholic culture wars has opened on Catholic K-12 campuses as increasing numbers of gay and lesbian teachers and administrators at these schools are lobbying for the right to marry their same sex partners—and keep their jobs.

Playgrounds, Religion, and Regulation
Brian Baugus, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

A long list of man-made rules restricts creativity and the ability to pursue opportunities in a society. It is man, seeking to steal God’s role – whether it be as priest or as king— that lays all the extra rules on top of God’s law and stifles flourishing.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, April 14, 2014

Trade, Not Aid, Could Protect 100,000 Children in Africa
Ryan Olson, The Foundry

One of these good policies would be free trade. According to a new report from the European Commission, nearly 30 countries on the continent still maintain tariffs on mosquito nets of up to 20 percent.

Diversity and Dishonesty
Ross Douthat, New York Times

This refusal, this self-deception, means that we have far too many powerful communities (corporate, academic, journalistic) that are simultaneously dogmatic and dishonest about it.

Mozilla and the Prophet Isaiah
Peter Wehner, Commentary

At the core of what’s driving this effort by some supporters of gay marriage is the belief that holding traditional views on marriage is akin to being an anti-Semite and a racist.

Stewardship Doesn’t Occur in a Vacuum
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

God calls us into community with one another to serve each other. In our modern world, we do not have to worry about how to build fires. We purchase matches or lighters or better yet, central heat. We get up every day and use products, and we are completely ignorant of their design, production, and origin.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, April 11, 2014

Hillary Clinton praises bravery of Pussy Riot band members who desecrated Russian Orthodox cathedral
Kirsten Andersen, LifeSiteNews

Former Secretary of State and likely Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton posed for pictures Friday with members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, just months after they were released from prison after storming the sanctuary of a Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour to mock Christianity.

The Shame of Brandeis
John Podhoretz, Commentary

If you have not yet heard, Brandeis University has rescinded its offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born activist.

Christians form human shield around church in ‘China’s Jerusalem’ after demolition threat
Tom Phillips, The Telegraph

Christians have flocked to defend a church in eastern China after Communist Party officials claimed it was an “illegal construction” and announced plans to demolish it.

9 Things You Should Know About The Rwandan Genocide
Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

This week marks the twentieth anniversary of the beginning of the campaign of genocide in Rwanda. Here are nine things you should know about one of the most horrific seasons of slaughter in modern times.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, April 10, 2014

Love Is Our King: De-Institutionalizing Enmity
Greg Forster, Canon & Culture

Nothing else we do in the public square will work if we don’t do everything from a position of love that challenges the deeply embedded assumption that we hate our culture.

Losing our Religion: On ‘Retaining’ Young People in the Orthodox Church
Seraphim Danckaert, Orthodoxy & Heterodoxy

The fundamental problem is far scarier and far harder to “fix”: the Gospel of Jesus Christ is neither taught nor followed by the vast majority of Christian parents in America. Period. The data are unavoidable.

Religious Freedom Wins in Mississippi
Sarah Torre, The Foundry

In a victory for religious freedom, last week Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Talk is cheap: US, Obama must act now to save lives, protect religious freedom
Johnnie Moore, FoxNews.com

As priests are abducted in Crimea, churches burn in Sudan, and American pastors waste away in North Korean prisons, how long will it take this administration to name a new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom?

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Second Circuit Rules Against Religious Freedom of NYC Churches
Sarah Torre and Andrew Kloster, The Foundry

In the latest episode of a nearly 20-year legal battle for religious freedom in New York City, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the Board of Education of the City of New York’s refusal to provide permits to use public school space for worship services after hours and on the weekends.

Republican Senator: ‘GOP First Must End Cronyism in Our Own Ranks’
Daniel Halper, The Weekly Standard

Republican senator Mike Lee has an op-ed decrying cronyism. But first, he says, the Republicans must purge the unseemly activity from within its “own ranks.”

The Lottery And Big Government’s Gambling Hypocrisy
Ben Domenech, The Federalist

March Madness is a time when Americans of all backgrounds, faiths, and ethnicities come together for some good, clean, and likely illegal (depending on where you live) fun: gambling on college basketball.

The Case of Brendan Eich
Ross Douthat, New York Times

This mix of stringency in requirements and expansiveness in application obviously raises certain issues for any social conservative currently employed in a high-ranking position, or interested in ascending the career ladder, in many elite professions.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Where Is the Virtue?
Anthony Esolen, Public Discourse

Our culture has become soft. We suppose that sex is too trivial to require virtue, yet we also believe it is so significant that to suggest any restraint upon its consensual exercise is an affront to the most important fount of human dignity.

St. John Fisher, Marriage, and Moral Absolutes
Samuel Gregg, Crisis Magazine

In his October 2013 article on the question of communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, Cardinal Gerhard Müller underscored that the Catholic Church had risked much to uphold Christ’s teaching regarding true marriage’s indissolubility.

How To Understand True And Faux Liberalism
David Corbin and Matt Parks, The Federalist

Who are the true heirs of Madison and Jefferson?

How the Protestant Work Ethic Became the Atheist Work Ethic
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

A new study published in the Journal of Institutional Economics, shows an inverse relationship between the religiosity of a state’s population and its “productive entrepreneurship.” In other words, the less religious a state’s population, the more likely it is to have a healthy economy.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, April 7, 2014

Religious freedom is a human right — for family businesses too
Paolo Carozza, The Hill

As I and many other professors of international law explained in a “friend of the court” brief we submitted to the Supreme Court, international legal norms, and the legal norms of constitutional democracies in Europe and elsewhere, affirm that the exercise of religious liberty has an inherently collective and public character.

Understanding a More Religious and Assertive Russia
Mark Tooley, Patheos

Putin has formed a close association with Russian Orthodoxy, as Russian rulers typically have across centuries. He is smart to do so, as Russia has experienced somewhat of a spiritual revival.

What Mozilla Means
Robert P. George, First Things

Now that the bullies have Eich’s head as a trophy on their wall, they will put the heat on every other corporation and major employer. They will pressure them to refuse employment to those who decline to conform their views to the new orthodoxy.

The link between family structure and poverty
Nicole M. King, MercatorNet

The New York Times recently highlighted a study that seems to show promising results for a specialized-care program for children born into poverty.