Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How Market Principles Will Help Make Food Banks More Efficient This Thanksgiving
Max Lies, The Daily Signal

With Thanksgiving around the corner, charitable food banks across America are gearing up for their busiest donation season. Individuals and local firms supply a lot of the food, but donations also come by the truckload from major manufacturers and suppliers like Kraft, Con-Agra, and Walmart.

Socialism in America?
David T. Koyzis, First Things

Why then have Americans lost their fear of socialists such that many are prepared to put one in the Oval Office? The major reason, I believe, is that the generation that lived through the totalitarian experiments of the last century is gradually passing from the scene.

Immigration and the moral status of borders
Luke Bretherton, Reformation 21

In debates about immigration a crucial issue is the moral and political status of borders. Do we think borders are good or bad, a necessary evil or a moral necessity?

Strong Families, Prosperous States
Elise Daniel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

According to Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, the retreat from marriage has increased child poverty and inequality, hitting low-income families the hardest.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Let’s Reclaim November For Giving Thanks, Not Greed
Patrick Hedger, The Federalist

Life is short, as the Paris attacks have shown. Use it to do something bigger than whining about minor irritations, as November traditionally reminds us.

Nuns who rescue sex slaves expand efforts to 140 countries
Ellen Wulfhorst, Reuters

An army of Catholic religious sisters who rescue victims of human trafficking by posing as prostitutes to infiltrate brothels and buying children being sold into slavery, is expanding to 140 countries, its chairman said Wednesday.

Getting real with the new homelessness numbers
Kevin C. Corinth, AEI Ideas

The latest round of homelessness numbers was released yesterday. But as the Obama administration celebrates yet another decrease in homelessness, several cities are declaring homeless states of emergency. So what is really going on with homelessness in America? I dug into the new data to get some answers.

Millennials are less religious than older Americans, but just as spiritual
Becka A. Alper, Pew Research

Only about half of Millennials (adults who were born between 1981 and 1996) say they believe in God with absolute certainty, and only about four-in-ten Millennials say religion is very important in their lives.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 23, 2015

Why So Few Syrian Christian Refugees? For the Same Reason You Can’t Find Orphans in Haitian Orphanages
Jonathan Witt, The Stream

There are almost no Christian refugees from Syria for the same reason there are almost no orphans in Haitian orphanages.

Reimagining Care for the Poor at Ave: Our Conversations
Erika Bachiochi, Mirror of Justice

I was grateful to take part in an inspired and productive all-day meeting on “Reimagining Care for the Poor” at Ave Maria University with some really terrific out-of-the-box thinkers earlier this month. We came together to discuss–and really reconceive–parish-based solutions for caring for the poor.

Is ‘The Hobbit’ Marxist?
James Clark, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The stories we tell reveal much about what we believe, so it is worth asking: can The Hobbit accurately be described as Marxist?

Rights Through Obligations: The Case of Free Speech
Christopher O. Tollefsen, Public Discourse

Some rights are grounded in the need for agents to fulfill their perceived responsibilities, including their obligation to pursue knowledge. This obligation, along with the communal nature of inquiry, supports a right to free speech that acquires particular stringency in those communities where inquiry is most essential.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, November 20, 2015

Refugees: Prudence isn’t Cruel and Tokenism Is Not Virtue
John Mark N. Reynolds, Eidos

A state must act (somewhat) more prudently than an individual. A state must recognize unintended consequences to even the most charitable acts.

The human right to school choice
Wilton D. Gregory and Jim Kelly, Washington Times

Public funding for private schools would benefit everyone.

China accused of trying to ‘co-opt and emasculate’ Christianity
Tom Phillips and Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian

Secretive conference to assess future of rapidly growing faith triggers concerns Communist party may seek to bring church in line with state agenda.

Prosecute global warming skeptics?
Gene Veith, Cranach

A group of 20 scientists is urging the president to prosecute scientists and organizations that question global warming. Now a Rasmussen survey has found that 27% of Democrats agree with that approach. So do 11% of Republicans and 12% of Independents.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, November 19, 2015

Scholar: Economic & Religious Freedom Are ‘Inextricably Tied’
Joseph Rossell, Juicy Ecumenism

Christians concerned about religious liberty should also passionately defend economic liberty. That’s what Dr. Jay W. Richards, a professor at Catholic University and Executive Editor of The Stream, argued during a talk at the Family Research Council (FRC) on November 12. He contended that religious and economic freedom were “inextricably tied” and demonstrated that few societies retain one without the other.

Nobel Winner Angus Deaton: ‘I Both Love Inequality and I’m Terrified of It’
Jeffrey Sparshott, Wall Street Journal

“People on left have to better understand what are the benefits of inequality and people on right have to understand better what the dangers are….It has to become properly hardwired into the American democratic debate in a way that it hasn’t really been,” he said at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting.

Should We Pray For ISIS To Be Defeated Or Converted?
Russell Moore

Over the weekend many of us watched with horror and heartbreak as reports came of terrorism in Paris. At least 120 people were killed in what appears to be a coordinated operation by the Islamic State (ISIS), a terror organization that has murdered thousands of innocent people over the last year, including many Christians.

Report: Efforts to punish sex traffickers improving
Gaye Clark, WORLD News Service

When the advocacy group Shared Hope released its first report card on efforts to combat sex trafficking of America’s children, 26 states received a failing grade. This year’s report card, released Nov. 11, proved a surprise to Shared Hope founder Linda Smith.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Want Less Corruption? Free the Markets
Nicole Gelinas, New York Post

If you’re powerful enough to take someone’s home, it stands to reason that you’re powerful enough to reap some benefits on the side. But if you’re desperate for a retail job at a new government-subsidized mall, so what?

Free Trade Has Shipped Some Jobs Overseas. But Here’s What Else It Does.
Bryan Riley and Anthony B. Kim, The Daily Signal

Last week, the Obama administration released the text of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade pact between the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. Advocates of such deals traditionally focus on the benefits of opening new markets to U.S. exports. But good trade agreements also reduce self-destructive U.S. trade barriers.

Vatican II and Religious Freedom: Rupture or Authentic Development?
Carl E. Olson, Catholic World Report

The authors of a new book on “Dignitatis Humanae” argue that the Declaration grounds the right to religious freedom in the obligation to seek the truth, especially the truth about God.

Church involvement varies widely among U.S. Christians
Aleksandra Sandstrom and Becka A. Alper, Pew Research Center

While most Americans still identify as Christian, there are big differences when it comes to how involved they are with a congregation – or whether they’re involved at all. Indeed, some of the largest Christian denominations in the U.S. have relatively low levels of involvement among their members.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pope: Religious justification for Paris attacks ‘blasphemy,’ love of neighbor needed
Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis on Sunday again strongly condemned the recent horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, saying he wanted to express closeness to the families of the victims and calling any religious justification for such attacks “blasphemy.”

How a 200-Year-Old Anti-Catholic Law Is Ruining Kids’ Chance at a Quality Education
Mary Clare Reim, The Daily Signal

“Dismal.” “A train wreck.” That’s how people have characterized the results of this year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress.

C.S. Lewis and the Surprising Reason We Desire Fulfillment at Work
Andrew Spencer, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

In The Weight of Glory, a sermon preached in the Oxford University Church of St. Mary the Virgin in 1941, C. S. Lewis describes some of that deep longing and offers hope for its fulfillment.

‘Ban Smoking’ Means ‘Evict Defiant Smokers’
Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View

As law-and-order hawks frequently forget, the problem with imposing draconian punishment is that their deterrent effect ends up considerably blunted by the natural reluctance of authorities to impose very harsh punishments on violators who are mostly harming themselves. Housing authorities already show reluctance to evict people who consistently fail to pay their rent. How many are going to be willing to regularly toss families out on the street because Mom smokes in the bathroom?