Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Second Circuit Rules Against Religious Freedom of NYC Churches
Sarah Torre and Andrew Kloster, The Foundry

In the latest episode of a nearly 20-year legal battle for religious freedom in New York City, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the Board of Education of the City of New York’s refusal to provide permits to use public school space for worship services after hours and on the weekends.

Republican Senator: ‘GOP First Must End Cronyism in Our Own Ranks’
Daniel Halper, The Weekly Standard

Republican senator Mike Lee has an op-ed decrying cronyism. But first, he says, the Republicans must purge the unseemly activity from within its “own ranks.”

The Lottery And Big Government’s Gambling Hypocrisy
Ben Domenech, The Federalist

March Madness is a time when Americans of all backgrounds, faiths, and ethnicities come together for some good, clean, and likely illegal (depending on where you live) fun: gambling on college basketball.

The Case of Brendan Eich
Ross Douthat, New York Times

This mix of stringency in requirements and expansiveness in application obviously raises certain issues for any social conservative currently employed in a high-ranking position, or interested in ascending the career ladder, in many elite professions.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Where Is the Virtue?
Anthony Esolen, Public Discourse

Our culture has become soft. We suppose that sex is too trivial to require virtue, yet we also believe it is so significant that to suggest any restraint upon its consensual exercise is an affront to the most important fount of human dignity.

St. John Fisher, Marriage, and Moral Absolutes
Samuel Gregg, Crisis Magazine

In his October 2013 article on the question of communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, Cardinal Gerhard Müller underscored that the Catholic Church had risked much to uphold Christ’s teaching regarding true marriage’s indissolubility.

How To Understand True And Faux Liberalism
David Corbin and Matt Parks, The Federalist

Who are the true heirs of Madison and Jefferson?

How the Protestant Work Ethic Became the Atheist Work Ethic
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

A new study published in the Journal of Institutional Economics, shows an inverse relationship between the religiosity of a state’s population and its “productive entrepreneurship.” In other words, the less religious a state’s population, the more likely it is to have a healthy economy.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, April 7, 2014

Religious freedom is a human right — for family businesses too
Paolo Carozza, The Hill

As I and many other professors of international law explained in a “friend of the court” brief we submitted to the Supreme Court, international legal norms, and the legal norms of constitutional democracies in Europe and elsewhere, affirm that the exercise of religious liberty has an inherently collective and public character.

Understanding a More Religious and Assertive Russia
Mark Tooley, Patheos

Putin has formed a close association with Russian Orthodoxy, as Russian rulers typically have across centuries. He is smart to do so, as Russia has experienced somewhat of a spiritual revival.

What Mozilla Means
Robert P. George, First Things

Now that the bullies have Eich’s head as a trophy on their wall, they will put the heat on every other corporation and major employer. They will pressure them to refuse employment to those who decline to conform their views to the new orthodoxy.

The link between family structure and poverty
Nicole M. King, MercatorNet

The New York Times recently highlighted a study that seems to show promising results for a specialized-care program for children born into poverty.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, April 4, 2014

No-frills canonization for Popes JPII, John XXIII
Associated Press

The low-frills style of Pope Francis is having an effect on the upcoming canonizations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.

Religious Freedom in the House Budget
Sarah Torre, The Foundry

The budget presented by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R–WI) takes a positive view of religious freedom, calling for funding and reforms that advance protection of religious liberty here and abroad.

Recent presidents and religious liberty
ary S. Smith , Vision and Values

Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush all ardently advocated religious freedom. As they confronted the demise of communism or terrorist threats and acts, they strove to increase opportunities for worship and religious expression in the U.S. and overseas.

What Hath Mozilla To Do With Hobby Lobby?
Betsy Childs, First Things

My point is that the First Amendment will not protect Brendan Eich from bullying or reprisal for his views. Rather, it allows him to continue to express those views, whether with his words or his checkbook, free from government interference.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hobby Lobby’s Green family meets with Pope Francis
Sarah Pulliam Bailey , Washington Post

Days after discussing the U.S. Catholic bishops’ fight over contraception with President Obama, Pope Francis met Monday (March 31) with members of the Green family, the Oklahoma billionaires whose company, Hobby Lobby, took their challenge to Obama’s contraception mandate to the Supreme Court last week.

Bishops seek immigration reform during border trip
Associated Press

Less than a week after President Barack Obama discussed immigration reform in a meeting with Pope Francis, a delegation of Roman Catholic leaders is visiting the U.S-Mexico border Tuesday to raise awareness about the plight of immigrants and to pray for policy changes.

Honoring Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties for living their faith
Ed Feulner, The Washington Times

The Greens and Hahns display the family values that built America.

Ryan’s Budget on Welfare: Good Steps on Work, but Fails to Approach Total Welfare System
Rachel Sheffield, The Foundry

When it comes to welfare, Paul Ryan’s budget takes some steps in the right direction. It has a work requirement, which is absolutely crucial to welfare reform. However, it fails to address the massive welfare system as a whole, a critical aspect to getting welfare spending back on track.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, April 2, 2014

No Property, No Personhood
Jason Jones and John Zmirak, Aleteia

Why respecting private property is a matter of human dignity.

God and Freedom
George Weigel, First Things

For the better part of two centuries now, one of the standard tropes in western high culture has held that the-God-of-the-Bible-is-the-enemy-of-human-freedom. This past December, Rémi Brague exploded that myth in a lecture at the Pontifical Urban University that was, I’m willing to wager, the most scintillating such exercise heard in Rome that semester.

When the Government Takes Your Children
Stephen M. Krason, Crisis Magazine

Many people who have followed the Justina Pelletier case—largely ignored by the mainstream media, by the way—have thought that there has to be more to it, or that it’s an outrageous out-of-the-ordinary affair.

The Vox Monopoly: Should We Socialize Internet Access?
Neil Stevens, The Federalist

Do we really want Internet access from a government that can’t even keep a single website up?

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Immigration Reform Is a Moral Imperative
Ralph Reed and Russell Moore, Wall Street Journal

Laws to deal with those already here should respect each person’s God-given dignity.

It’s Time To End Welfare for Big Business
Stephen Moore, The Foundry

Why haven’t Republicans pledged to end corporate welfare as we know it? Part of the explanation is that too many politicians have gotten confused about the difference between free-market capitalism and crony capitalism.

How Well Should Pastors Be Paid?
R.C. Sproul, Jr. , Ligonier Ministries

So what’s the bottom line? I’d encourage a church to aspire to these goals, in this order. First, give freely and joyfully. The pastor is not spending the church’s money when he is paid.

How People Who Live on Less than Two Dollars a Day Taught Me to Redefine Poverty
Peter Greer, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

If poverty is not only a material deficit, but also not knowing one’s potential, abilities, and strengths—as well as having an empty heart—then traditional charity neglects to address the root causes of poverty.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, March 31, 2014

Of Course Corporations Like Hobby Lobby Have Rights Of Conscience, And You Probably Shop At One
Trevor Burrus, Forbes

Big and intrusive government threatens all types of rights of conscience. When government expands into new, values-laden areas, it is best to realize that while today it may be them, tomorrow it could be you.

Mistakes To Avoid For Theologians Talking About Economics
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, Patheos

The problem of Catholic social doctrine isn’t that it follows the wrong school of thought, it’s that it should follow any thought at all.

The Christian Penumbra
Ross Douthat, New York Times

In the Christian penumbra, certain religious expectations could endure (a bias toward early marriage, for instance) without support networks for people struggling to live up to them.

For Religious Liberty, Desperate Times; Faithful Measures
Matthew Cochran, The Federalist

As a Christian, I am used to speaking about faith in a very specific sense—a trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ through which we receive God’s promises. Though this is not primarily an activity of the intellect, faith manifests itself in the intellect inasmuch as a person possesses one.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, March 28, 2014

ObamaCare v. Religious Liberty
Wall Street Journal

A majority of Justices seem skeptical of the contraception mandate.

Why Catholics Love Evolution and the Big Bang
Daniel McInerny, Aletia

FOX’s reboot of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series may not be everything we would like it to be, but not for the reason you might think.

Choice, Not More Spending, Is Key To Better Schools
W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm, Investor’s Business Daily

Education looms as both cause and cure for the decline of the middle class and the widening gap between rich and poor.

The Pope Talked to Obama Today About Religious Liberty. Will It Matter?
Katrina Trinko, The Foundry

During a meeting today, Pope Francis talked to President Obama about religious freedom, an issue that has come under heightened scrutiny in recent years as religious business owners have objected to Obamacare’s contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs coverage mandates.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, March 27, 2014

Conscience as Sacred Property
Jeremiah G. Dys , Canon & Culture

Caesar has provided us with a lamentable choice. Today, it is not the coliseum, nor are Christians being driven to the catacombs under totalitarian persecution. The choice presented to us, however, is no less unjust.

A new crusade: Aid proposed to stop Christian persecution in the Middle East
Meredith Somers, Washington Times

The United States can help Christians being persecuted in the Middle East by using foreign aid to modify behaviors in countries where persecution is rampant, educating U.S. diplomats about the issue in their assigned regions and asking for help from Arab-Americans, a panel of religious freedom researchers said Monday.

Religious Freedom: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t
Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review Online

Conservatives have been divided over the best way to protect religious freedom: constitutional or statutory, legislative or judicial. Almost all conservatives have believed, at every point in the last few decades, that laws should avoid forcing religious believers into violating their consciences whenever possible.

The Quaker Exemption and Religious Liberty Today
Thomas Kidd, ERLC

As oral arguments begin in Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the HHS abortifacient mandate, we might ask what the Founders would think about this case?