Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 30, 2015
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Cake baking and journalistic story baking
Marvin Olasky, World

Bill Jack goes on the offensive today in the Colorado cake-baking story that’s received enormous media attention over the past week.

Anti-Slavery Activists Imprisoned in Mauritania
Charlotte Florance, The Daily Signal

Three prominent anti-slavery activists and opposition politicians in Mauritania were sentenced to two years in prison earlier this month.

The Image of God in Each of Us Could Change How Christians View Prison Reform
EliseAmyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The United States is home to more incarcerated citizens than any other nation in the entire world. With 25 percent of the world’s prison population behind bars in the U.S., prison reform is an issue of rising bipartisan support in Washington. It’s also a huge concern among Christian social justice advocates, especially since there is a strong link between incarceration rates and poverty rates and reform may greatly improve overall human well-being.

After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion
Jeffrey Gottfried and Michael Barthel , Pew Research

Majority Says Publishing Cartoons Was ‘Okay,’ But About Half of Non-Whites Say ‘Not Okay’

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 29, 2015
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Morality in the Marketplace: A Catechism for Business
Joseph Pearce, The Imaginative Conservative

There are many books on my shelves that haunt me with a sense of guilt every time they catch my eye. They are my sins of omission, those worthy tomes that deserve my attention and which I should have read but which I have thus far neglected. “Read it?”

Resist or Accommodate Evil: There is No “Third Way”
Jeffery J. Ventrella, Public Discourse

When conscience flirts with the idea of accommodating an unjust law, it must politely, yet firmly, reject the sirens of seduction

How Hurricane Katrina Made Radical School Choice Possible in New Orleans
Katherine Mangu-Ward & Todd Krainin, Reason.com

“Katrina literally and figuratively washed away many of the institutional barriers that had prevented us from even imagining that we could make systemic changes to this school system,” says Patrick Dobard, superintendent of Louisiana’s Recovery School District.

A new study argues cutting unemployment benefits created 1.8 million jobs
Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

Economists will debate what happened, but one of the more controversial theories is that Congress’s decision not to extend federal unemployment benefits at the end of 2013 encouraged those out of work to settle for more poorly paid jobs, giving firms a better reason to expand and hire new workers.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
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Connecticut’s Homeschool Hokum
Matthew Hennessey, City Journal

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission continues to tread on parents’ rights.​

‘Free’ Community College Will Just Make High School Six Years Long
Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

When personal investments are converted to universal entitlements, quality declines for everyone while the tax increases are a burden we will pay forever.

Princeton professor and others offer to take 1,000 lashes for Saudi blogger Raif Badawi
FoxNews.com

A Princeton University professor and a prominent Muslim American figure, as well as five other religious freedom advocates, are offering to take 100 lashes each for imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced by Saudi Arabia to 1,000 lashes for insulting his country’s clerics.

State high court’s vote affecting Scout affiliation stirs debate anew
Thomas Curwen, LA Times

High court voted to bar judges from belonging to nonprofit youth organizations that practice discrimination.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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An Approach to Ending Poverty That Works
Susan Davis, Harvard Business Review

If we’re to end poverty, we can’t ignore them. All of us — researchers, policymakers, governments, social entrepreneurs, nonprofit development groups, microfinance institutions, corporations, and philanthropists — have a role to play in bringing them into the widening zone of prosperity. And we may have found a way to do this.

Pope Francis Is Fair Game For Criticism, From Left Or Right
D.C. McAllister, The Federalist

When Pope Francis damages the cause of liberty across the globe, it’s only right that its defenders should speak up.

A Biblical Mandate for Servant Leadership
Austin Burkhart, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Jesus knew that some day his tiny band of followers would have authority over large groups of people. While he was with them, he taught them many lessons to use after he left.

Are Modi’s pro-business plans a path out of poverty for India’s poor?
PBS Newshour

Modi has amassed supporters throughout the country who praise his economic vision by creating jobs and improving the country’s infrastructure. But critics argue many states, whose residents live below the country’s poverty line, are still lacking in education and health care. Fred de Sam Lazaro reports.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 26, 2015
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No Worship Services in Public Schools, New York Mayor Tells Supreme Court
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

Bill de Blasio campaigned on the promise of letting churches rent school space. Now he’s asking the Supreme Court to prohibit it.

What Would Kuyper Do?
David T. Koyzis, First Things

During his political career, Kuyper worked, not to turn the Netherlands into a godly commonwealth, but more modestly to secure a place in the public square for his Reformed Christian (Gereformeerd) supporters in the face of the secularizing ideologies spawned by the French Revolution.

Religious Freedom Reigns Over Beards And Obamacare
Matt Bowman, The Federalist

The Supreme Court upheld similar applications of religious freedom in cases with very different vote margins. Why?

3 Leadership Lessons From Winston Churchill
Gavin Ortlund, The Gospel Coalition

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. We might draw many lessons from Churchill’s life, and not all of them salutary (his views on religion, women, and alcohol come to mind). Nevertheless, Churchill was an inspiring and effective leader in a time of crisis, and it is appropriate to consider what he might teach us today about leadership.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 23, 2015
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The Fundamental Precept for Humane Economics
Wilhelm Röpke, Intercollegiate Review

Is the standpoint of liberalism the right one to deliver his attack? In a certain sense, yes, if liberalism is understood as faith in a particular “social technique,” that is, in a particular economic order.

Nature’s Way to Cut Government Waste
Stephen Masty, The Imaginative Conservative

Government clearly cannot clean up like Mother Nature can, for two reasons. First are malign incentives that work against reform. Bureaucrats have a lot to do and resent the interruption, as well as reform potentially ending programmes and paperwork that they think necessary.

The Importance of Prayer in the Workplace
Caroline Cross , Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Rituals and routines matter and yet Christians often disregard what should be the most important workplace habit: prayer.

Business school bishops
The Economist

The Church of England encourages its clergy to get some management education

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 22, 2015
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Here’s why your state may be expanding religious freedom protections this year
Mark A. Kellner, Deseret News

The rush to enforce same-sex marriage across the country may trigger state legislative efforts to enact local versions of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Supporters say cultural changes make this necessary; opponents fear boycotts.

Bible colleges sue for right to issue degrees
John O’Connor, Associated Press

Bible colleges in Illinois have filed a federal lawsuit against state education regulators, seeking the unencumbered right to award degrees to students who complete their programs.

Should We Leave Our Children Inheritances?
Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspectives Ministries

“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). As a result, many Christians defend and justify leaving vast sums of wealth to their children and grandchildren. I think in order to understand the principle behind this verse, we need to compare what an inheritance meant in biblical times, versus what an inheritance means in this culture today.

The Latest Debate Over Catholic Social Thought
Gerald J. Russello, Crisis Magazine

Pope Francis’ statements about economics (and related questions, such as environmentalism and “fracking”) have caused much consternation among conservative Catholics in the United States. The Holy Father’s comments on the “greed” of capitalism and his seeming belief that capitalism causes income inequality rather than providing explosive growth and increased prosperity historically seem without nuance at best, and ignorant at worst.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
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In China, a church-state showdown of biblical proportions
Robert Marquand, Christian Science Monitor

Christianity is booming in China, propelling it toward becoming the world’s largest Christian nation. But as religion grows, it spurs a government crackdown.

To rescue girls from sex trafficking, Indian activists confront tradition and family ties
PBS Newshour

In India, a new law punishes human traffickers rather than the girls who have been forced into prostitution, sometimes by family members. In the second report of a two-part series, special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro joins human rights activists and the police as they go into homes and brothels in search of victims of the sex trade.

Three Ways You and Your Church Can Effectively Fight Poverty
Elise Amyx , Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

There is no one formula for charity and poverty alleviation because God has all equipped us to fight poverty differently. Everyone has different relationships, resources, information, and strengths they can contribute.

Minimum-Wage Laws Are a Triumph of Emotion over Logic
Daniel J. Mitchell, The Federalist

It’s very frustrating to write about the minimum wage. How often can you make the elementary observation, after all, that you’ll get more unemployment if you try to make businesses pay some workers more than they’re worth?

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
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How the Supreme Court Reacted to This Town Allowing Politicians Bigger Signs Than Churches
Hans von Spakovsky, The Daily Signal

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, a challenge by a church to a town ordinance regulating signs.

Niger protesters torched 45 churches – police
BBC

At least 10 people have been killed and 45 churches set on fire since protests erupted in Niger over the French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, police say.

How much is a (micro)life worth?
Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist

Rather than asking “What is the value of human life?” Schelling and Carlson asked what we are willing to pay to reduce the risk of premature death by spending money on road safety or hospitals. The value of a life was replaced with the value of a statistical life.

Venezuela’s Bishops Have A Message For Pope Francis on Communism
Monica Showalter, Investor’s Business Daily

In a refreshingly powerful and direct statement, Venezuela’s bishops Monday blamed “Marxist socialism” and “communism” by name for the horrors and chaos gripping their country, according to a story in El Universal.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 16, 2015
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Charlie Hebdo is Not Enough
Jason Scott Jones and John Zmirak, The Catholic Thing

The attack on Charlie Hebdo was an assault on Christendom. Magazines that publish sophomoric cartoons mocking religion are, paradoxically, part of the Body of Christ – if perhaps its lower intestine.

Sold in Myanmar and trafficked to China
Jonah Fisher, BBC

Eight thousand yuan ($1,300; £830): That was the price for a cute four-year-old Burmese girl from a broken home. Crouched in the doorway of her bamboo house, Khin Khin Oo’s grandmother Ma Shan told me the story. “I grow corn and rice but my son is a heroin addict so we have no money,” she said.

Do No Harm: An Interview With Thomas Sowell
David Harsanyi, The Federalist

The legendary economist talks to The Federalist about government’s most destructive economic intrusions.

Maybe China Can’t Reverse Its Child Limit
The American Interest

The Chinese government is finding it harder to reverse the lasting effects of the one-child policy than it thought. Faced with the prospect of an aging population supported by too few young people, China decided in 2013 that it would allow couples to apply to have a second child.