Category: PowerLinks

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.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 15, 2015
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Virtue and Free Speech
Mark Judge, Acculturated

Defending offensive speech is not a virtuous act. This is a fact that seems to have been lost in the anger and anxiety over the murders last week of the twelve Charlie Hebdo journalists by Islamic extremists.

Blasphemy for Me, but Not for Thee
Matthew Continetti, National Review Online

Do liberals actually believe in the right to offend?

Supreme Court hears religious speech case
The Becket Fund

Arizona town’s ordinance allows signs for big politicians, but not small churches.

The 6 Moral Foundations Of Politics
Trevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

“You can’t legislate morality,” the old saying goes, a statement that purports to be common sense, until you begin to realize you can’t not legislate morality. All legislation is passed within a moral framework of ethical ideals and moral considerations.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
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World Marches For Charlie Hebdo Against Violent Intolerance: The Real Atrocity Is Religious Persecution, Not Free Expression
Doug Bandow, Forbes

Religious minorities long have faced murder and prison around the world. Now the freedom not to believe by majorities in Western democracies is under attack.

The Mission Creep of Dignity
Mark Regnerus, Public Discourse

Dignity, rightly understood, has less to do with autonomy or independence than with intrinsic worth and the ability to flourish.

Female genital mutilation now being done in hospitals in Africa
Fredrick Nzwili, Religion News Service

International rights groups, churches, and activists are escalating campaigns against female genital mutilation now that a new practice has emerged in which girls are checking into hospitals to have the procedure.

Religious Bias Issues Debated After Atlanta Mayor’s Dismissal of Fire Chief
Richard Fausset , New York Times

Mayor Kasim Reed’s decision to dismiss his fire chief last week for giving co-workers copies of a Christian self-help book condemning homosexuality is fanning new kinds of legal and political flames in this city, where deeply held religious convictions exist in a kind of defining tension with a reputation for New South tolerance.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
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Theological Extremism in a Secular Age
Albert Mohler

The war on terror took on a savage new face yesterday when two gunmen entered the headquarters of a French satirical newspaper known as Charlie Hebdo and opened fire, killing 12 people—10 people connected with the newspaper and two police officers.

America Divided: Positive vs. Natural Law
Shannon Holzer, The Imaginative Conservative

America is divided, with a line that is drawn between two ideological camps. Each of these two camps perceives America radically different from the other.

Did Vatican II Endorse Separation of Church and State?
Joseph G. Trabbic, Crisis Magazine

This year, 2015, marks fifty years since the close of the Second Vatican Council. Yet the “battle” for the Council, the battle for its authentic meaning, which began even before the bishops concluded their deliberations in 1965, continues still today.

Has Our Culture Forgotten the Importance of Being Made in the Image of God?
Hugh Whelchel , Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Our culture has forgotten one of the bedrock ideas of western civilization originating from the Christian concept that men and women are made in the image of God.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 12, 2015
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To Be A French Jew Right Now
Cécile Chambraud and Amos Reichman, Worldcrunch

The Jewish community in Paris lived through the manhunt for the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in a state of extreme tension. The hostage-taking Friday in a Kosher supermarket, which resulted in the death of four Jewish men, confirmed their worst fears.

Multicultural Suicide
Victor Davis Hanson, Works and Days

Fueling the Western paralysis in dealing with radical Islam is the late 20th century doctrine of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is one of those buzzwords that does not mean what it should. The ancient and generic Western study of many cultures is not multiculturalism.

Up From Superficial Christian Compassion
Mark Tooley, The American Spectator

Reflections on Christian social justice and eternity.

What is the Future for a Post-Liberal Europe?
Richard Reinsch, Library of Law and Liberty

The weaknesses displayed by many in the defense of free speech, and of the institutions that regularly exercise and depend on that right, has not led to greater peace or to tolerance. The killing of journalists working for a newspaper long known for its satirical work in a ruthlessly efficient, military-style operation is nothing less than a direct attack on the essence of a free society.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 9, 2015
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Government Shouldn’t Force Religious Schools to Violate Religious Beliefs
Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

Just before the Christmas break, the D.C. City Council passed a law that could force pro-life organizations to pay for abortion coverage. But that wasn’t the only piece of bad legislation, violating religious liberty which came out of the D.C. Council in December.

Men Without Chests: How C.S. Lewis Predicted Charlie Hebdo Censorship
Sean Davis, The Federalist

History, theology, and even grammar must bow bow before the altar of terrorism.

The Left’s Unpopular Populism
Amitai Etzioni , The Atlantic

Elizabeth Warren and her Democratic allies should not fool themselves into thinking that Americans who are angry at elites and corporations also favor wealth redistribution.

Why the tsetse fly might be the cause of Africa’s under-development
Tim Fernholz, Quartz

Why has Africa lagged behind other regions in economic development? Part of the problem is a parasite that is endemic to the continent and found nowhere else—and according to a new study (pdf) just published in the American Economic Review, it created social conditions that hindered prosperity there even before the European colonists arrived.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 8, 2015
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Europe’s Empty Churches Go on Sale
Naftali Bendavid , Wall Street Journal

Hundreds of Churches Have Closed or Are Threatened by Plunging Membership, Posing Question: What to Do With Unused Buildings?

Green Policies a Cold Comfort to Britain’s Poor
The American Interest

Britain just hit an ignominious milestone: new figures show that more than a million families with children live in “fuel poverty,” unable to afford their basic power needs.

Congress is still really religious and really Christian
Domenico Montanaro , PBS Newshour

Despite a growing number of Americans who say they are religiously unaffiliated, Congress is dominated by those who identify with a religion.

Making Money To The Glory Of God
Timothy J. Trudeau

Both the prosperity gospel and the anti-prosperity gospel are over-reactions—possibly as a response to each other. Both are wrong. Neither is the gospel.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
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Does Economic Inequality Matter?
Bruce Frohnen, The Imaginative Conservative

It is tempting to laugh off or even sneer at all this hand-wringing over the inevitable fact of inequality. Indeed, “inequality” may be taken as a whiner’s word for “variety.”

Why Religious Colleges Should Worry About This New Ruling
Mark Bauerlein, First Things

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board issued an important ruling that promises to land in the courts. The ensuing decision may be as momentous as the Yeshiva case of 1980, which determined that tenured and tenure-track faculty members have managerial status and cannot unionize. The new ruling opens the way for more professors in post-secondary institutions to unionize, including religious schools.

Does Immigration Harm Working Americans?
David Frum, The Atlantic

Many economists say no—but they may be too glib.

Home Schooling: More Pupils, Less Regulation
Motoko Rich, New York Times

Until recently, Pennsylvania had one of the strictest home-school laws in the nation.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
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Genocidal Century: Culture of Death Leading to WWIII?
Paul Strand, CBN News

Co-authors John Zmirak and Jason Jones lay out the reasons that genocide and total war, eugenics and totalitarianism were able to triumph over the principles of humane civilization in the 20th century.

A strike against rent-seeking
George Will, Jewish World Review

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, so last year’s most encouraging development in governance might have occurred in February in a U.S. district court in Frankfort, Ky. There, a judge did something no federal judge has done since 1932. By striking down a “certificate of necessity” (CON) regulation, he struck a blow for liberty and against crony capitalism.

Libya violence: Militants kidnap Coptic Christians in Sirte
BBC

Masked gunmen in northern Libya have kidnapped 13 Coptic Christian workers from Egypt, just a week after seven others were abducted.

Cluster of Concerns Vie for Top U.S. Problem in 2014
Lydia Saad, Gallup

In 2014, four issues generated enough public concern over enough months for at least 10% of Americans, on average, to identify each of them as the nation’s most important problem. Complaints about government leadership — including President Barack Obama, the Republicans in Congress and general political conflict — led the list, at 18%. This was closely followed by mentions of the economy in general (17%), unemployment or jobs (15%) and healthcare (10%).