Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, November 21, 2014
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Why has Pentecostalism grown so dramatically in Latin America?
David Masci, Pew Research Center

With nearly 300 million followers worldwide, including many in Africa and Latin America, Pentecostalism is now a global phenomenon. But present day Pentecostalism traces its origins to a religious revival movement that began in the early 20th century.

Iraqi prelate raps Muslim silence on atrocities of Islamic State
Catholic World News

Iraq’s leading Catholic prelate has decried the silence of the world’s Islamic leaders in the face of the “barbaric” violence of the Islamic State.

Rabbi Sacks: Family Is Most Humanizing Institution in History
Zenit

Here is the address given Monday by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks at the colloquim underway in the Vatican on the complementarity of man and woman. The rabbi’s address was titled “The Family is the Single Most Humanising Institution in History.”

The poor want ‘dignity, not charity,’ pope says
Inés San Martín, Crux

Pope Francis called hunger and malnutrition a cause of scandal on Thursday, and declared that the poor of the world “ask for dignity, not charity.”

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, November 20, 2014
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What Tocqueville Can Teach Us About the Culture War
Richard Samuelson, Library of Law and Liberty

In America, civil associations are completely voluntary, and yet they have, or had, a very important civic role. Civil society was a space of liberty, with very few regulations. No one was required to cease drinking, and no one was required to monetarily support a temperance group, or a charity hospital, church, reading club, or fraternal or other charitable organization.

Is There a Link between Childhood Homelessness and Single Parenthood?
Leslie Ford, The Daily Signal

A new report from The National Center on Family Homelessness concludes that “the challenges of single parenting” is one of the serious causes of homelessness. This conclusion makes sense. Single-parenthood drastically increases the likelihood of poverty and the risks of negative outcomes for children.

In defense of sweatshops — they’re often the best and fastest way for the poor to escape poverty
Mark J. Perry, AEIdeas

Closing sweatshops and forcing Western labor and environmental standards down poor people’s throats in the third world does nothing to elevate them out of poverty.

Three Things a Tesla Teaches Us about Stewardship
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The Tesla is becoming an increasingly frequent sight in the area in which I live, as are many other kinds of electric vehicles. Commercially, this technology is relatively new, but despite the political undertones inevitable to any discussion involving environmental technology, it can teach us a lot about our call to stewardship.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
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Erdoğan: Disbelief in Muslim discovery of America lack of self-esteem
Today’s Zaman

“Islam had expanded to the American continent before Columbus arrived,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

Clerical Freedom and Academic Freedom
Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine

It’s odd to think that all those boys died at Normandy and Iwo Jima so that men of God could have their sermons confiscated by the government, lest they dare to preach against ambiguous bathrooms.

How the War on Poverty Has Hurt American Marriage Rates
Robert Rector, The Daily Signal

It is no accident that the collapse of marriage in America largely began with the War on Poverty and the proliferation of means-tested welfare programs that it fostered.

Why Christianity and the Middle Class Are Both in Decline
Dave Albertson, OnFaith

As the middle class goes, so goes the church.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
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Evangelicals Talking With Orthodox
Robert Arakaki, Orthodox-Reformed Bridge

Rev. Graham has been respectful of the Orthodox Church. His goal has been to bring people to faith in Christ, not establish rival Evangelical Churches as an alternative to the historic Russian Orthodox Church.

Two Clashing Orthodox Views of the Past and Future
Terry Mattingly, UExpress

The photo-op on Nov. 7 was symbolic and, for many, historic. The elder statesman was the Rev. Billy Graham, and rather than an evangelical superstar, the man who met with him at his North Carolina mountain home was Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev.

Why The American Founders Cared About Happiness
Robert Curry, The Federalist

‘The pursuit of happiness’ shouldn’t confuse people who study the American founders.

There is No Difference Between Fiscal and “Social” Issues
Mike D’Virgilio, The American Culture

Ever since I became politically and cultural aware some thirty odd years ago(!), there has been a tension among the politically engaged on the right between the more religious who tend to emphasize what are called “social issues,” and the less or irreligious who stress what are called fiscal issues.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 17, 2014
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Is Economic Liberty Necessary for Religious Liberty?
Napp Nazworth, Christian Post

Can churches have religious freedom in a nation without economic freedom? This issue was explored Monday at an Acton Institute conference hosted by the Catholic University of America.

South Florida religious leaders back school vouchers
Christina Veiga, Miami Herald

Black religious leaders took to the airwaves on Tuesday to call for an end to legal challenges against Florida’s largest school voucher program.

We’ll Never Know What Big Government Has Stolen From Our Lives
Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

You often never know what you’re missing, what government has prevented and killed. Like meat, drink, and the relationships they foster.

4 charts that show how an intact family affects kids’ economic futures
Natalie Scholl, AEIdeas

Today, Brad Wilcox and Robert Lerman have a must-read piece at NRO on “what’s happening to the American family and why it matters for the health of the American Dream.” Here are four charts from their article that show that young men and women “who grow up in an intact, two-parent family have a leg up in today’s competitive economy.”

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, November 14, 2014
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Two new studies show charter schools can work — if you give them time
Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

The argument for charter schools has always been based on the theory that competition is good. When teachers and principals have a chance to try new ideas, the most successful approaches will attract more students.

Germany’s Pay to Pray Scheme
Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

In Germany, as in a number of other European countries, if you are a member of a church or mainstream religion, you have to pay a pretty significant tax to the government, which distributes the money to the churches.

Why Christian Groups Lead the Biggest Relief Efforts in the World
Christopher Hale, OnFaith

Organizations like World Vision give the lie to negative stereotypes about Christian work in the world.

Minneapolis schools to make suspending children of color more difficult
Alejandra Matos, Star Tribune

Minneapolis public school officials are making dramatic changes to their discipline practices by requiring the superintendent’s office to review all suspensions of students of color.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, November 13, 2014
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What the Pope could do to defend religious freedom
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

Just by reading the news, one has the impression that religious freedom is under threat today. From the carnage unleashed by the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to church/state tensions across the West, the picture seems to grow murkier and grimmer by the day.

Crime and Corruption Top Problems in Emerging and Developing Countries
Pew Research

A median of 83% of people across 34 emerging and developing economies say crime is a very big problem in their country, and 76% say the same about corrupt political leaders

Designing a Church for the Poor
Duncan G. Stroik, Crisis Magazine

We all know that the poor need food and clothing, decent education and good jobs. But what about their spiritual and cultural needs?

Charter schools in Texas are improving faster than public schools
Libby Nelson, Vox

Charter schools nationally are about as good as traditional public schools at educating students, at least when it comes to standardized test scores. But new research on Texas charter schools found that, over a decade, the charter schools got better at increasing student test scores, improving faster than traditional public schools.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
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Children’s Rights, or Rights to Children?
Alana S. Newman, Public Discourse

If it’s okay to buy and sell sperm, eggs, and wombs, then why is it not okay to sell other human tissues or organs? If it’s okay to sell one’s reproductive parts, why is it not okay to sell one’s sexual parts, as in prostitution? If it’s okay to pre-sell and pre-order children via third-party reproduction, what is so wrong with buying and selling children who are already born or conceived?

It’s the Culture, Stupid: Welfare Programs Can’t Solve Economic Gap Created by Marriage Decline
Stephen Moore, The Daily Signal

This may be a surprising statement from a bleary-eyed, number-crunching economist, but the best anti-poverty program in America may not be tax cuts, debt reduction or regulatory relief, but rather that old-fashioned institution called marriage.

Three Points about Common Grace Every Businessperson Should Consider
Vincent Bacote, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Does common grace simply raise the possibility for activities in the world, such as business, or are these activities themselves modes of “bringing common grace” to world, or perhaps what Richard Mouw means by “common grace ministries”?

Tattoo artist turned monk: not your typical art story
Tom Mayhall Rastrelli, Statesman Journal

“I had no clue what love was. I had no clue how to love or how to let other people love me and that’s why I was miserable,” Bobby Love said.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
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Russian Orthodox Church calls on U.S. Christians to work together to achieve peace in Ukraine, Middle East
Interfax-religion.com

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk: “Today Christians of various confessions should unite around the very simple common human values.”

Ukraine Rising
George Weigel, National Review Online

“This is not only about us; this is also about you:” a church leader on his country’s struggle for freedom.

Crime and Corruption Top Problems in Emerging and Developing Countries
Pew Research

A median of 83% of people across 34 emerging and developing economies say crime is a very big problem in their country, and 76% say the same about corrupt political leaders

Two new studies show charter schools can work — if you give them time
Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

The argument for charter schools has always been based on the theory that competition is good. When teachers and principals have a chance to try new ideas, the most successful approaches will attract more students.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 10, 2014
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Fishwrap’s Michael Sean Winters ATTACKS!
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, Fr Z’s Blog

Michael Sean Winters specializes in irrational demonizing of those with whom he disagrees. His present instance of high dudgeon is aimed at Catholic University of America. What is CUA’s sin? CUA has dared to host a conference in which speakers associated with Acton Institute are to be involved!

Metro Detroit’s Chaldeans expand services for refugees
Ursula Watson, Detroit News

Metro Detroit is seeing an increase in immigration due to the turmoil in the Middle East, straining community services.

Supreme Court to hear Obamacare subsidies case
Lawrence Hurley, Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a legal challenge to a key part of the Obamacare health law that, if successful, would limit the availability of federal health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans.

A Christian Tightrope Walker?
David Murray, Head Heart Hand

Can you be a “Christian Tightrope Walker.” Is tightrope-walking a legitimate Christian vocation? Does repeatedly mentioning God sanctify whatever job we do?