Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, June 26, 2014
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Is Surrogate Pregnancy Another Form of Human Trafficking?
Jennifer Lahl, OnFaith

Touching stories of infertile couples are blinding us to the devastating human consequences of some fertility technologies.

Asian Nations, Once Again, Among the Worst Human Trafficking Offenders
Olivia Enos, The Daily Signal

An estimated 30 million people are trapped in the mire of human trafficking, with over half of trafficking victims living in Asia. Profits from this global scourge amount to around $150 billion.

We’re All Pro-Growth and Pro-Family
Derrick Morgan, The Daily Signal

My point is that there is a trade-off. An expanded CTC returns more money to some taxpayers – a good thing. But that means to raise the same amount of revenue, we’d have to raise other taxes.

U.N. Reports Sharp Increase in Refugees as Civil Wars Cripple Nations
Somini Sengupta, New York Times

According to the United Nations annual report released Friday, most of the forcibly displaced worldwide are homeless in their own countries and are known as internally displaced persons. An additional 16.7 million people are refugees in another land.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
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Ukraine’s Ancient Hatred
Nikolas K. Gvosdev, The National Interest

Three hundred years of history explain why Putin can never see his neighbor as a fully legitimate sovereign nation.

Pope: More Christian Martyrs Today Than in Church’s First Centuries
Mark Movsesian, First Things

Pope Francis opened an academic conference in Rome last week with a statement on religious liberty and the persecution of Christians. He reflected on the place of religious liberty in Catholic thought and decried religious discrimination across the world, particularly against Christians.

10 Free Market Principles That Could Transform Agriculture
Daren Bakst, The Daily Signal

There needs to be new thinking about agriculture policy. The same free-market solutions that have allowed this nation to flourish are just as applicable to agriculture as they are to other sectors of the economy.

Why Religious Freedom in Sudan Matters to All of Us
Travis Weber, On Faith

With Meriam Ibrahim and her children facing torture and impending death, a surprising collection of activists have fought to save them.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
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A Christian Convert, on the Run in Afghanistan
Azaim Ahmed, New York Times

In official eyes here, there are no Afghan Christians. The few Afghans who practice the faith do so in private for fear of persecution, attending one of a handful of underground churches that are believed to be operating in the country. Expatriates use chapels on embassy grounds, but those are effectively inaccessible to Afghans.

The Core of Catholic Education: Philosophy of Schooling Is at Stake
Stratford Caldecott, The Imaginative Conservative

So what is this Catholic philosophy that we need to maintain in the face of the Common Core? The fundamental idea, drawn from the tradition of the liberal arts that goes back to ancient Greece, is that schooling is not primarily designed to churn out efficient components of an economic machine, able to “compete in a global economy,” but to nurture human beings and to free the soul from the forces that hold it enslaved.

The Best- and Worst-Paid Jobs in America—in 1 Ludicrously Long Chart
Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

The 13 best-paid non-executive jobs in America have one thing in common: They’re all in health care. Anesthesiologists nip surgeons to grab the top spot.

How Americans Spend Their Time and What It Means for Whole-Life Stewardship
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its American Time Use Survey on Wednesday. It’s fascinating to read through how people spend their time. In a sense, the survey provides a snapshot of how people are living (or not living) out God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and develop the world.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, June 23, 2014
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Pope excommunicates Italian mobsters
Delia Gallagher, CNN

Using his strongest language to date, Pope Francis told Italian Mafia members Saturday that they are excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

How Religious Liberty Can Unite Conservatives and Libertarians
Josh Shepherd, The Daily Signal

In a provocative edition of “Stossel,” themed as “Libertarians vs. Conservatives,” Anderson was the sole guest for a segment exploring how the two groups may differ on marriage.

Pope Condemns Legalization of Recreational Drugs
Associated Press

Pope Francis condemned the legalization of recreational drugs as a flawed and failed experiment as he lent his voice Friday to a debate that is raging from the United States to Uruguay.

The Sport of Cronyism
Ted Bromund, The Daily Signal

While we don’t play (much) soccer, it’s immensely popular around the world, partly because you need only a ball. Although it began as the game of the common man, at the top level, it’s now the property of the rich, and there’s no better evidence than the World Cup.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, June 20, 2014
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Kerry Asks Sudan to ‘Respect’ Condemned Mom’s Religious Freedom
Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

A day after Christian groups rallied outside the White House seeking presidential action on behalf of a mother condemned to hang in Sudan because of her Christian faith, Secretary of State John Kerry posted a statement of “concern” about her persecution.

Could the Persecuted Church Rescue American Christianity?
Russell D. Moore, OnFaith

Christianity in this country is big, powerful, and familiar. We need it to become strange again.

Common Core Takes Another Hit; Bobby Jindal Announces Plan to Pull Louisiana Out
Napp Nazzworth, Christian Post

Gov. Bobby Jindal made Louisiana the fourth state to withdraw from the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Jindal announced Wednesday a series of executive orders that will pull his state out of the education standards.

My Tast of Academic Persecution
Ted Kluck, The Gospel Coalition

I can thank God for my junior-varsity persecution because it unites me with brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are suffering for their faith.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, June 19, 2014
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Americans Think School Is for Socializing
Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

The culturally dominant idea that the social experience in public school is a critical part of a proper upbringing keeps power centralized in the state and the door to tyranny propped open.

Even Among Democratic Lawmakers, Support Grows for School Choice in Louisiana
Mary Tillotson, The Daily Signal

Only 8,700 students rely on Louisiana’s state public scholarship program to attend the school of their choice today, but the state’s lawmakers worked this session to expand options for additional children.

Prayer as a Political Problem: A Classic Reconsidered
Regis Martin, Crisis Magazine

What will make the existence of a Christian people possible in the civilization of tomorrow? The religious problem is a mass problem. It is not at all the problem of an elite.

The Ecumenical Laboratory of Ukraine
Brett R. McCaw, Catholic World Report

A conversation with His Beatitude Lubomyr Cardinal Husar about the Maidan movement and relationships between Catholics and Orthodox

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
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A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Remaining Cases
Gabriel Malor, The Federalist

The First Amendment and executive power are the major themes for this term’s remaining cases. Here is the run-down on the most important cases yet to be decided this term.

Obamacare Anti-Conscience Mandate: Court Says Being Complicit in Sin Isn’t a Sin
Elizabeth Slattery, The Daily Signal

Last week, in Michigan Catholic Conference v. Burwell, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected the appeal of Catholic nonprofit groups in their challenge to the Obamacare anti-conscience mandate.

Can Christians Flourish While They Suffer?
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Are the notions of suffering and Christian flourishing incompatible? Can a Christian flourish while they suffer?

Pope, archbishop of Canterbury battle trafficking
Associated Press

Pope Francis and the archbishop of Canterbury denounced human trafficking as a crime against human dignity Monday and pledged to combat it jointly — finding common ground on a social issue amid deep theological divisions over the Anglicans’ ordination of women bishops.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
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Biblical Illiteracy in US at Crisis Point, Says Bible Expert
Lillian Kwon, Christian Post

For the past 15 years that Kenneth Berding has been teaching the New Testament, he admits that his students have always had little knowledge about the Bible. But today, he says, biblical illiteracy has reached a crisis point.

The War on Christians
Paul Marshall, The Weekly Standard

From Africa, to Asia, to the Middle East, they’re the world’s most persecuted religious group.

For Poorer Workers, the Recession Is Nowhere Near Over
Filip Jolevski and James Sherk, The Daily Signal

A study released by The Heritage Foundation Thursday shows how weak the recovery has been for workers in the bottom fifth of the wage distribution.

Unconventional Ways to Fight Poverty
Elise Amyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Should you sponsor a child? Donate your old clothes? Get involved with activism? Or go on a church service trip? With all of the options to get involved in the fight against poverty, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s best to do, let alone know whether or not what you’re doing is actually helping.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, June 16, 2014
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Understanding God’s Love: A Primer on Mercy and Justice
Eduardo Echeverria, Crisis Magazine

The question here is how we avoid both despair when confronted with the gravity of our sins, on the one hand, and a sentimental view of God and of his love, on the other.

Catholics & Capitalism
Roger Kimball, PJ Media

Here’s the bottom line: Capitalism is the greatest engine for the production of wealth the ingenuity of man has ever invented. Are you interested in helping the poor? Embrace capitalism.

Crony Capitalism Kicks Off the World Cup
Catherine Addington, The American Conservative

Crony capitalism looks a little different when the corruption in question is pervading a stateless conglomerate. But government cooperation, internal politics, and the casual passing of millions of dollars are looking all-too-familiar as one of the world’s largest bureaucracies takes center stage with the 2014 World Cup kicking off in São Paulo, Brazil today.

European Court Faults Russia For Dissolving Pentecostal Church
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Biblical Centre of the Chuvash Republic v. Russia, (ECHR 1st Section, June 12, 2014), the European Court of Human Rights in a Chamber Judgment held that Russia violated Art. 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) interpreted in light of Art. 11

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, June 13, 2014
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The Future of Christianity in America
Joe Carter, Aleteia

The case for what might seem like an unusual spiritual indicator.

Anti-Catholicism: The Defining Religious Principle of Early America?
Thomas Kidd, The Anxious Bench

There’s nothing like war to fuel prejudice of all kinds, and the imperial conflicts of the first six decades of the eighteenth century fostered a particularly intense anti-Catholicism among many Americans.

A Way Out of the For-Profit Conundrum
Mark L. Movsesian, Cornerstone

Hobby Lobby could easily turn out to be the most important religious liberty decision in a quarter-century. The questions presented are technical ones about the construction of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which has been, until now, an entirely uncontroversial federal statute.

Four Defining Characteristics of Biblical Flourishing
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

How do you live the good life? How do you really, truly flourish? What’s more, how do we as Christians navigate the clash of cultural visions concerning “the good life” and what it means to flourish?