Category: PowerLinks

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?

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, November 7, 2014
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Pope sacked Church official for selling annulments
Angus Mackinnon, AFP

Pope Francis revealed Wednesday that he had sacked a church court official who had been caught offering to facilitate marriage annulments for cash.

How religion played in the midterm elections
Mark Silk, Religion News Service

According to yesterday’s exit polls, the religious layout of the electorate looks almost identical to the last midterm election in 2010, and not much different from the 2012 presidential election.

Why Evangelicals Are Wary of the Government
Alan Noble, The Atlantic

The subpoenas Houston Mayor Annise Parker issued to five of the city’s pastors highlight the larger tensions in state involvement with religion.

Contra Media Narrative, Voters of Faith Still Matter
Ralph Reed, The Corner

On Election Day, self-identified conservative Christians made up 32 percent of the electorate and voted 86 percent Republican and only 12 percent Democrat.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, November 6, 2014
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A Catholic philosopher’s spellbinding fight against Hitler
Kate Veik, Catholic News Agency

“Very, very few people in Germany in 1920-1921 already realized that Nazism was a poison,” von Hildebrand’s wife, Alice, explained. “People closed their eyes and did not want to see. (Dietrich) saw the danger and he warned people. Many people would call him a pessimist, but unfortunately he was right.”

Income Inequality Is Good For The Poor
Scott Winship, The Federalist

A comparison of global data shows that developed countries with more income inequality have higher standards of living for the poor and middle class.

How Schools Can Help Disadvantaged Families
Mary C. Tillotson, Family Studies

There’s no substitute for a stable, happy family—but a good school can do a great deal to support kids without one.

Common Core Loses at the Ballot Box
Lindsey M. Burke, National Review Online

Sorry, Common Core. Last night just wasn’t your night. Voters resoundingly sided with candidates who rejected Common Core national standards and tests and promised to restore state and local control of education.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
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Rogue pastors endorse candidates, but IRS looks away
Rachel Bade, Politico

A record number of rogue Christian pastors are endorsing candidates from the pulpit this election cycle, using Sunday sermons to defiantly flout tax rules. Their message to the IRS: Sue me.

Surrogacy and Christian Compassion
Kristin Larson, Juicy Ecumenism

Despite appearing to be “pro-life,” surrogacy commodifies human life by using a woman’s body to create and carry a child that she is legally obligated to give away.

What is the Church’s Political Role?
James Kalb, Crisis Magazine

For more than 1500 years the Church was a major influence on Western politics. That is how it should be. Ultimate standards matter, and if the Church doesn’t explain what they are and how to apply them someone else will.

Should the Supreme Court get involved in church property disputes?
Lyle Denniston, Constitution Daily

The governing arrangements of religious denominations often reflect matters of faith or doctrine, and those may conflict with principles of property law.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
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Episcopal Church in Michigan passes gun resolution
Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

By a clear majority, members of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan … voted recently to approve a resolution calling for universal background checks on all gun purchases, banning all sales of semiautomatic weapons, high-impact ammunition, high-capacity ammunition magazines, and making gun trafficking a federal crime.

Cracks in the atheist edifice
The Economist

The rapid spread of Christianity in China is forcing an official rethink on religion.

New HHS rules violate religious liberty
Tom Strode, Baptist Press

The Obama administration’s latest rules for its abortion/contraception mandate fail to resolve religious liberty concerns and should be scrapped, Southern Baptists’ lead ethicist Russell D. Moore has told the federal government.

Academic Freedom, Religious Institutions, and the State
Daniel Kuebler, Public Discourse

Government funding of education should not be tied to the beliefs of unaccountable academics. Public support for education should empower students and parents, and the choices they make.