Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, June 5, 2014
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Scholar Who Taught John Paul II To Appreciate Capitalism Worries About Pope Francis
Jerry Bowyer, Forbes

Michael Novak’s memoirs, Writing From Left to Right, helped me understand how Michael and others helped guide John Paul II to come to an appreciation of capital which he had not learned earlier.

The Science of Designing Food for the World’s Poor
Uri Friedman, The Atlantic

Enlisting cartoon characters and computer software in the fight against malnutrition.

A simple guide to how VA health care works
German Lopez, Vox

Behind the Veterans Affair scandal is a fairly complicated health-care system for veterans.

5 Things You Should Know About the Tiananmen Square Massacre
Noah Rayman, Time

Twenty-five years ago Wednesday, Chinese troops violently retook the square in Beijing where pro-democracy protesters had set up camp for weeks. The Tiananmen Square massacre left an unknown number dead, with some estimates in the thousands, and smothered a democratic movement.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
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No, TARP Didn’t Prevent a Second Depression
Stephen Moore, The Foundry

Conservatives must not let the left write the narrative of the financial crisis and the massive and unprecedented government interventions designed to combat it — as they are trying to do.

Distributism’s Real Problem
Greg Forster, First Things

If your answer does involve contracting the free exchange of goods and services, you have ceased to be a distributist.

Baptist Missionary Sentenced to Life in Hard Labor by North Korea
Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times

The missionary, Kim Jong-uk, was also convicted of spying and other various “anti-state” crimes during a trial in Pyongyang on Friday, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said on Saturday. A large crowd attended Mr. Kim’s trial, the report said.

Will the Poor Really Always Be with Us?
Elise Amyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

This is one of the most quoted passages in scripture on poverty, but it is also one of the most misused.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
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Christian Leaders May Return to Nicaea: What Does It Mean?
Emma Green, The Atlantic

In 2025, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians could go back to the place where early followers of Jesus tried to create a consensus among all of Christendom.

Groups push military for more religious liberty
Meredith Somers, Washington Times

“This is our military telling service members to raise their hands and ask permission before they dare to utter an expression of faith,” Mr. Fleming said during a speech at the Family Research Council.

Neo-Jim Crow in the Middle East
Gary Bauer, Washington Times

Sadly, a version of Jim Crow has been resurrected — but this time, his targets are the ancient Christian populations of the Middle East. Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/29/bauer-an-old-evil-in-the-middle-east/#ixzz33D9Ga5pu Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

25 years after Tiananmen Square, China tightens grip on religious freedom
William McKenzie, CNN

Twenty-five years after Tiananmen Square – where on June 4, 1989, Chinese soldiers turned their guns on protesting students and activists – freedom remains elusive.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, June 2, 2014
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Atheists lose latest legal fight over ‘In God We Trust’
Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service

Atheists lost their case against the “In God We Trust” motto on the nation’s currency Wednesday (May 28). It’s a battle they have lost several times before, as court after court has affirmed that printing and engraving the country’s motto on its money does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

In New Orleans, major school district closes traditional public schools for good
Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post

An all-charter district signals the dismantling of the central school bureaucracy and a shift of power to dozens of independent school operators, who will assume all the corresponding functions: the authority to hire and fire teachers and administrators, maintain buildings, run buses and provide services to special-needs students.

Only 1 in 10 workers had to be licensed in 1970. Today it’s closer to 1 in 3
Danielle Kurtzleben, Vox

Be honest: the last time you got your nails done or toilet repaired, did you ask your manicurist or plumber what kind of license they had?

Church-State Clash in China Coalesces Around a Toppled Spire
Ian Johnson, New York Times

“People are stunned,” said one member of the congregation, who asked that she be identified only by her English name, Mabel, out of fear of government reprisals. “They have completely lost faith in the local religious authorities.”

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 30, 2014
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The Supreme Court on Prayer
Gerard V. Bradley, Public Discourse

Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Greece v. Galloway is the Court’s best piece of Establishment Clause work in decades—and a happy omen for religious liberty in our country.

Crony Capitalism and the Tyranny of Small Decisions
Andrew Quinn, The Federalist

The word “cronyism” is everywhere you turn. Conservatives are rallying around the argument that government power and corporate power are not enemies, but allies.

Are Millennials Really Leaving the Church? Yes — but Mostly White Millennials
Bob Smietana, OnFaith

All the hand-wringing stories about young adults leaving religion overlooks the vibrancy and growth of multiethnic churches.

Christianity will rise as sceptics die out, geneticist claims
Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph

Growth of Christianity in Africa coupled with population decline in Europe will trigger new resurgence of the religion, UCL academic claims.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, May 29, 2014
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Europe’s Lurch Right Is Bad for the Jews … and the United States
Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary

The huge gains made by far-right nationalist parties in the European Union elections last week have a lot of people on the continent and elsewhere scared.

Unlikely Allies Uniting to Fight School Changes
Motoko Rich, New York Times

With tensions running high over issues surrounding academic benchmarks, standardized testing and performance evaluations for educators, unlikely coalitions of teachers, lawmakers and parents from the left and right are increasingly banding together to push back against what they see as onerous changes in education policy. Some have Tea Party Republicans and teachers unions on the same side.

Our Moral Obligation to Vote
Bishop James D. Conley, STL, Crisis Magazine

From the very beginning, Catholics have played a vital role in the success of the American experiment. And our involvement in public and political life is still essential to the well-being of our nation.

Why is Distributism So Intolerable?
Gregory Pine, First Things

Arguments for Distributism have become predictable. Most include an historical homage to long established tradition: Look for mention of guilds, agrarian reform, and Aristotle’s theory of the polis. Catholic authors typically proceed to locate their claims in the magisterial teaching of modern Catholic Social Teaching.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
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The Netanyahu/Pope Francis Spat Over Jesus That Wasn’t
Yair Rosenberg, Tablet

Yesterday, the press reported a sparring match between Pope Francis and Benjamin Netanyahu that never really transpired. To judge by media reports, the Israeli Prime Minister had a testy exchange with the Supreme Pontiff over whether or not Jesus spoke Hebrew.

Seven Reasons Why Religious Freedom is Good for Business
Brian Grim, Canon & Culture

Given that religious freedom contributes to better economic and business outcomes, advances in religious freedom are in the self-interest of businesses, governments and societies.

The Real John Locke — And Why He Matters
Donald Devine, The Federalist

Four decades ago, I argued that one could not understand Locke unless he viewed him as a Christian even in the face of most existing scholarship.

The Tricky Politics of Fighting Crony Capitalism
Jonathan Coppage, The American Conservative

So what is crony capitalism, politically speaking? Is it a welcome restorative for a party pegged as being in the pockets of big business? Or a worthy policy initiative albeit with little public resonance?

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
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Mere Consent and the Abolition of Human Dignity
Francis J. Beckwith, The Catholic Thing

[M]any today are suggesting that when it comes to some of the great moral questions of our time, individual autonomy (or “consent”) is the only principle we need in order to secure all the goods for which more ancient understandings, such as human dignity, have been employed.

Poor Too Often Led The Wrong Way To Escape Poverty
Thomas Sowell, Investor’s Business Daily

Where there is no father in the home, as too often is the case, adolescent boys may choose as models irresponsible people in the world of entertainment or even in the world of crime.

Pope, in Mideast, Stresses Urgency of Solving Crises
Jodi Rudoren, New York Times

Pope Francis called “urgently” on Saturday for a “peaceful solution” to the Syrian crisis and a “just solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as he started a three-day sojourn through the Holy Land at a time of regional turmoil and tension.

Annual Defense Authorization Bill Passes the House with Religious Liberty Provision
Leanna Baumer, FRC Blog

Despite two years of Congressional efforts to affirm a service member’s freedom to practice and express their faith in the military, confusion over the scope of that freedom persists, particularly in the Air Force. Noting that confusion’s detrimental effect on troop morale, Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) introduced an amendment to the House version of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act which calls upon the Department of Defense and the Air Force to issue clearer regulations regarding religious expression.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 23, 2014
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The hardest place on earth to be a Christian
Jesse Johnson, The Cripplegate

While there are many terrible places on earth to be a Christian (Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan, Bhutan, etc.), Pakistan is arguably the worst. Other nations persecute believers, but in Pakistan the entire country has spent generations forming a world view that values the torturing of those that claim the name of Christ.

Good News for Churches Worried About Losing Their Pastor’s Best Benefit to Atheist Lawsuits
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

What a Kentucky court ruling implies for a high-profile Wisconsin challenge to the clergy housing allowance.

Evangelicals, Catholics, and Togetherness
Dale M. Coulter, First Things

I am particularly concerned about the attempt to wed so closely this debate over the nature of the church with religious and political communion. For Catholics and Evangelicals experience a real, albeit imperfect, communion that supplies the theological ground of a shared religious and political communion.

PovertyCure: From Aid to Enterprise
Michael Matheson Miller, Library of Law and Liberty

Can the current model of humanitarian aid generated by networks of large philanthropic foundations, NGOs, and Western governments actually alleviate the poverty of the world’s Bottom Billion, to quote the title of Paul Collier’s book?

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, May 22, 2014
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Mixing Religion and Economic Disciplines
Cecil Bohanon, Indiana Policy Review

So what role does religion have in a state-run university? What can or should a course outside a religious studies class say about religion? There are two extremes that I think are misguided.

Why Academic Freedom Matters (Now More Than Ever)
Robert George, Intercollegiate Review

From Rutgers to Stanford, opponents of academic freedom are growing bolder by the day. Yet important questions remain unanswered: what is the meaning of academic freedom? Why it is important? How it is achieved?

Work is Good
Owen Strachan, Kern Pastors Network

My life changed in 2005. Why? Was it a major epiphany? Did someone give me a massive sum of money? Did I go on an overseas trip? No, it was a then-unknown show called The Office, and its razor-sharp, low-key-but-hilarious writing.

Look Who’s Defending Washington Cronyism
Genevieve Wood, The Foundry

Supporters of one of Washington’s prime examples of cronyism, the Export-Import Bank, are rolling out the dollars and surveys to make the case that the bank is the “good kind” of corporate welfare (Is there such a thing?). But the sugar-coated rhetoric and selective numbers don’t make a convincing case.