Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Religious Liberty and the Bullies
Jim Tonkowich, Juicy Ecumenism

I strongly suspect that “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious” is just what those demands were intended to be with a great big side order of intimidating.

Hong Kong has too many poor people to allow direct elections, leader says
Heather Timmons, Quartz

Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement protesters have been demanding that the city’s top official, CY Leung, step down for weeks now. They may soon be joined by many more of the city’s 7 million residents, after a controversial interview last night in which Leung suggested that election reforms sought by the protestors would invite undue influence from the city’s poor.

Forced labor in America: Thousands of workers are being held against their will
Dara Lind, Vox

There are thousands of immigrants working in forced labor in the United States — lured into the country by false promises and then trapped or threatened by their employers so that they’re unable to leave.

Indiana to Start Requiring Food Stamp Recipients Work, Be in Job Training, Or Job Hunting
Kate Scanlon, The Daily Signal

Next spring, thousands could be cut from Indiana’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Indiana has previously waived the federal requirement that SNAP recipients are either employed, actively seeking employment or in training for future employment.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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How John Adams Helps Explain The American Mind
Richard Samuelson, The Federalist

The dispute between John Adams and Edmund Burke can illuminate today’s differences between American and European conservatives.

Catholicism and Capitalism: Redeeming the System
The Economist

“Indeed the very word ‘neoliberalism’ on the lips of the European (and Catholic) left has become an almost meaningless term for ‘whatever we don’t like.'”

Razed by Terror Attacks, a Church Will Rise Anew
Alex Vadukul, New York Times

Thirteen years ago, a small Greek Orthodox church with a ringing rooftop bell offered a reprieve from the city’s furious financial nerve center, until it was crushed when the World Trade Center’s south tower collapsed on Sept. 11. On Saturday, church officials blessed the ground where the new St. Nicholas church would rise.

U.S. High School Dropout Rates Fall, Especially Among Latinos
Ben Casselman, FiveThirtyEight

Elkhart’s improvement is a particularly dramatic example of a nation-wide trend: Graduation rates are improving, especially for Latinos.1 Nationally, the on-time graduation rate topped 80 percent for the first time in 2012, up from 74 percent five years earlier.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Houston Narrows Subpoenas, But Pastors Say Not Enough
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

The city of Houston, Texas announced yesterday that it has filed narrowed subpoenas against five pastors in a lawsuit against it challenging rejection of referendum petition signatures. At issue is an attempt by opponents of the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance to obtain its repeal.

Faith, Capitalism, and Economic Freedom
Keating Center Staff, Keating Center

Undeniably being the leader of the free world would be an incredibly demanding job. There is a reason why presidents’ hair seems to gray at a remarkably fast pace: they have to make extremely difficult decisions.

What Recent Events in Houston Mean for Religious Freedom
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

This is not the vision the founders saw for this nation. They saw religious liberty as one of the bedrock principles of the United States. Today our religious freedom is at risk of being replaced, at least in practice, by religious tolerance.

China’s One-Child Policy: Massive Crimes against Women, Supported by the Obama Administration
Chris Smith, Public Discourse

Under the Obama Administration, the United States is breaking its own law by giving taxpayer money to the United Nations Population Fund, which supports the One-Child Policy. It is also failing to implement immigration and visa bans for those who have been complicit in forced abortions and sterilizations.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 20, 2014
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Latest Oxford Economics Research Debunks Five Millennial Myths
Susan Galer, Forbes

More so than any other type of workers, millennials want to make a difference in society through their work, are willing to toil beyond the exhaustion point, and always have one foot out the door—or not.

Nigeria Says Boko Haram to Release Kidnapped Girls
Polly Mosendz, The Atlantic

Government aides say they are “cautiously optimistic” about this new ceasefire agreement

In Alabama, the religiously ‘unaffiliated’ now surpasses this major religious group
Carol McPhail, AL.com

The percentage of Alabamians not affiliated with a specific religion surpasses the percentage of white mainline Protestants, ranking it third among “religious” groups, according to new research.

Who and where America’s poor people are, in charts
Sonali Kohli, Quartz

There are 48.67 million people living in poverty in the US, according to the new Census Bureau Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). That’s 15.5% of the country’s population.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 17, 2014
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Malala Is What The Real War On Women Looks Like
Amber Barno, The Federalist

Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Prize was well earned, and it presents a moment to discuss genuine oppression of women worldwide.

Obama Authorizes National Guard To Help Fight Ebola
Lauren F. Friedman, Reuters

President Barack Obama authorized the use of American military reservists on Thursday to support humanitarian aid efforts against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

How Boko Haram’s Murders and Kidnappings Are Changing Nigeria’s Churches
Interview by Timothy C. Morgan, Christianity Today

Leading Nigerian evangelical says Christians won’t abandon the North.

Poor Kids Are Starving for Words
Jessica Lahey, The Atlantic

According to a new initiative, launched at the White House on Thursday, the “word gap” that afflicts low-income children needs to be addressed with the same passion as child hunger.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 16, 2014
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Economic Liberty and the Constitution
Paul J. Larkin Jr., The Daily Signal

Recently, there has been a renewed interest in the question whether the Constitution protects individual economic activity without undue—some might say any—government regulation or interference.

The Catholic Church Explains Sexual Mores—With Economics
Emma Green, The Atlantic

A new report from the Vatican softens its rhetoric on homosexuality, divorce, and pre-marital sex, arguing that they are shaped by financial instability. What does this mean?

Freedom and Flourishing in Hong Kong
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Hong Kong has retained some institutions that set it apart from Communist China. Its inclination toward greater trade and free expression has generated a level of prosperity that the mainland cannot attain with its burdensome regulations.

We All Want Freedom. But What Is the Highest Form of Freedom?
Orion D. Jones, Big Think

With midterm elections drawing near, what differentiates our two main political parties? Both profess a love of freedom but understand the world differently.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
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Your Tax Dollars At Work: Liberal religious organizations make amnesty pay
Capital Research Center

The federal government is spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars a year to underwrite private care for persons who have entered the country illegally. Much of the money flows into religious nonprofits. The nation’s laws receive less consideration than the appeal of “free” government subsidies, and the causes and harms of illegal immigration are brushed aside.

10 Prerequisites for Prosperity
Harry Veryser, Intercollegiate Review

The significance of this “spontaneous order” is easy to miss. But defenders of free enterprise must recognize that markets do not stand independent of the broader culture; they are inextricably linked to all the other organizations, associations, and political and legal systems that develop organically over time.

A Conversation with Roger Scruton on How to be a Conservative
Richard M. Reinsch, Library of Law and Liberty

This conversation explores Scruton’s argument that a free market depends not only on an Austrian understanding of the need for local knowledge but on traditions that encircle goods, practices, relationships, excepting these from the market itself.

Religious Liberty at a Crossroads?
Gerard V. Bradley, Public Discourse

US religious liberty law is not perfect, but it still deserves our support. Religious exemptions witness to the value of religion as a transcendent good. And nothing in the Supreme Court cases requesting religious liberty exemptions for Muslim citizens undermines that effort.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
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Surrogacy: The Twenty-First Century’s New Baby-Making
Christopher White, The Federalist

Pro-surrogacy groups argue it’s time the law recognizes some women as breeders.

Nigeria’s ‘megachurches': a hidden pillar of Africa’s top economy
Tim Cocks, Reuters

When a guesthouse belonging to one of Nigeria’s leading Christian pastors collapsed last month, killing 115 mostly South African pilgrims, attention focused on the multimillion-dollar “megachurches” that form a huge, untaxed sector of Africa’s top economy.

The Liberal Religion of “Tolerance”
Paul G. Kengor, Vision and Values

A new survey by Pew Research finds that when it comes to teaching children, liberals place a far higher priority on teaching “tolerance” than teaching religion. That liberals do this in schools is abundantly clear, but they apparently do it in their homes as well.

Ending Extreme Poverty Top Development Goal for Holy See at UN
Josh Craddock, Aleteia

1.2 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day, Vatican representative points out.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 13, 2014
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John Locke and the Dark Side of Toleration
Bruce Frohnen, Crisis Magazine

It seems likely that most Americans would find John Locke’s definition of a church non-controversial, perhaps even obvious. This shows both how relevant the seventeenth century philosopher remains to our public life, and how detrimental it has been on many levels.

Africans to Westerners at synod: We’ve got our own problems
Inés San Martín, Crux

During the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, many of the biggest surprises are coming from the African continent, where the challenges vary greatly from those of Europe and the US.

How to teach self-control and reduce economic inequality
Walter Mischel, PBS Newshour

Teaching self-control, or the ability to delay gratification, says Columbia psychologist Walter Mischel, author of “The Marshmallow Test,” has enormous philosophical and policy implications, not the least of which is teaching kids how to save.

Education Savings Accounts Are the Next Generation of School Choice
Lindsey Burke, The Daily Signal

“A blind student in Arizona gets about $21,000 a year,” says Marc Ashton, whose son, Max, is legally blind. That $21,000 represents what Arizona spends to educate a student such as Max in the public-school system.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 10, 2014
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Catholics Revisit ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’
Michael M. Uhlmann, The Federalist

Two thinkers refresh the debate on Catholic social teaching, explaining that it does not necessarily support the welfare state.

Taxes Make People Care
Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic

Citizens are more eager to stamp out corruption when their own money is on the line.

Supreme court to rule on Abercrombie & Fitch ‘religious bias’ over hijab
Jessica Glenza, The Guardian

The US supreme court has agreed to hear a case accusing the American clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch of refusing to hire a Muslim woman who wore a headscarf.

How to Engage Culture as a Christian
Peter Armstrong, On Faith

If we are to live out the “Christ transforming culture” model that Niebuhr espouses, we have to be fully engaged. We have to reflect deeply. We have to ask hard questions, even of our brothers and sisters in Christ.