Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, May 12, 2014
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The Danger of Disregarding Natural Law in Orthodox Christian Theology
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

Popular morality in current American culture is heavily in debt to both the Nominalism of the Late Middle Ages and the Voluntarism of the Enlightenment. Since I regard this debt as deplorable, it might be good to begin with a brief explanation of these terms.

To My Fellow Millennials: Christian Persecution is a Social Justice Issue
Chelsen Vicari , Christian Post

Among Millennials, the term “persecution” is a dirty word when applied to Christians. Society continues to paint Christians as “clamoring and crying” over nothing when we decry discrimination targeted our way.

Boko Haram and the Kidnapped Schoolgirls
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wall Street Journal

The Nigerian terror group reflects the general Islamist hatred of women’s rights. When will the West wake up?

Three Education Innovations That Could Increase Economic Mobility
Chris Farhat, The Foundry

Will public schools find a way to offer students an alternate pathway towards upward economic mobility? Some schools are starting to show encouraging progress by partnering with local businesses.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 9, 2014
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American Christians Pledge Solidarity with Persecuted Christians in Egypt, Iraq and Syria
Nina Shea, The Christian Post

On Wednesday, May 7, history is being made. On behalf of the suffering churches of Egypt, Iraq and Syria, a broad array of American Christians, with a degree of unity rarely seen since the Council of Nicaea in 325, have joined together in a “pledge of solidarity and call to action.”

Is There A Biblical Answer To Poverty?
Gracy Olmstead, The Federalist

A new book from Christian conservative thinkers examines the question.

To My Fellow Millennials: Christian Persecution is a Social Justice Issue
Chelsen Vicari, Christian Post

Among Millennials, the term “persecution” is a dirty word when applied to Christians. Society continues to paint Christians as “clamoring and crying” over nothing when we decry discrimination targeted our way.

Would Jesus Raise the Minimum Wage?
Elise Amyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Would Jesus want Congress to raise the minimum wage? One group of religious leaders seem to think so.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, May 8, 2014
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Prosperity, Poverty, and Wisdom

Thomas Schreiner, Credo Magazine

Sometimes people say the Bible doesn’t speak to real life, to what we deal with every day. But Proverbs shows this isn’t true. We have seen that Proverbs gives instruction on the most practical and down to earth things in life.

Why Political Corruption Matters
Rachel Lu, Crisis Magazine

Citizens of relatively free societies simply have trouble appreciating the deep and pervasive impact that oppressive authority can have on a society.

The Shifting Religious Identity of Latinos in the United States
Pew Research

Most Hispanics in the United States continue to belong to the Roman Catholic Church. But the Catholic share of the Hispanic population is declining, while rising numbers of Hispanics are Protestant or unaffiliated with any religion.

Where Is America’s Anti-Corruption Strategy?
Michael Rubin, Commentary

Corruption did not cause Boko Haram nor create al-Qaeda, nor does it alone explain the Taliban. Nevertheless, the failure of the West to create a comprehensive strategy to root out corruption enables the phenomenon to spread like a cancer, depressing societal immunity, and enabling groups like Boko Haram and al-Qaeda a broader ability to act.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
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Boko Haram Threatens To Sell 165 Kidnapped Christian Girls to Traffickers
Kate Tracy, Christianity Today

#BringBackOurGirls gains momentum as Nigeria search spreads to Cameroon and Chad.

An Anti-Cronyism and Free-Market Agenda
Sen. Mike Lee, The Christian Post

This Opportunity Deficit presents itself in three principal ways: immobility among the poor, trapped in poverty; insecurity in the middle class, where families just can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top.

Licensing isn’t necessary to ensure quality
Art Carden, AL.com

Occupational licensing can raise quality. It also raises prices, reduces output, and makes the labor market less flexible.

How to Fairly Tax Families
Sita Nataraj Slavov, The American

Based on fairness concerns, there’s a strong case for making the tax system more marriage neutral by shifting to individual rather than family-based taxation, and for providing increased support to low-income individuals without children.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
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High Court Ruling Favors Prayer at Council Meeting
Mark Sherman, Associated Press

A narrowly divided Supreme Court upheld decidedly Christian prayers at the start of local council meetings on Monday, declaring them in line with long national traditions though the country has grown more religiously diverse.

Sweden Foreign Minister: Eastern Orthodoxy main threat to western civilization
Agora Dialogue

”The new anti-west and anti-decadent line [of conduct] of Putin is based on the deep conservatism of Eastern Orthodox ideas,” Carl Bildt is convinced.

On Prayer, Supreme Court Upholds Freedom
Russell Moore, Time

Prayer at the beginning of a meeting is a signal that we aren’t ultimately just Americans. We are citizens of the State, yes, but the State isn’t ultimate.

Self-Sufficiency, Not Cell Phones, for Poor Americans Should be Government’s Goal
Rachel Sheffield, The Foundry

Poor Americans may be “better off” today than before the government’s War on Poverty began in the 1960s, as a New York Time article published last week said. But they remain “far behind” and will continue to do so unless work requirements are strengthened in the nation’s welfare programs.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, May 5, 2014
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The Church and the U.N., Again
Austin Ruse, The Catholic Thing

The Holy See is in the U.N. dock again next week. This time it’s the U.N. Committee on Torture, and it will not be pretty.

Let’s Simplify the Drug Approval Process—and Save Lives
Victoria McCaffrey, The Foundry

Recently, news outlets have reported on the story of Josh Hardy, a seven-year-old cancer patient in desperate need of an antiviral drug called Brincidofovir. Manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Chimerix, Brincidofovir has not yet been approved by the FDA; consequently, Josh could not obtain the drug through normal means.

Seattle restaurant industry caught in the middle of $15 minimum wage debate
Paul Solman , PBS NewsHour

Seattle’s push to raise the minimum wage to $15 has left owners and workers in the city’s restaurant industry conflicted. Caught between moral pressure on the one hand, and market pressure on the other, many businesses warn that such a hike could cut benefits and raise prices

We Need to See Poverty as Being about People, Not Statistics – Here’s Why
Kristie Eshelman, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

We want each person who is poor not only to survive but to thrive.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 2, 2014
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PM Erdoğan planning prayers with Islamic leaders in Hagia Sophia
Radikal

In a possible bid to balance potential controversy, a reform package prepared by the government may also include steps regarding the historic Halki Seminary.

Logic: What’s Missing from Public Discourse
Randall B. Smith, Crisis Magazine

What often passes for public discourse in contemporary society is really just a simulacrum, an imitation, of real “discourse” in the sense of a “reasoned exchange of ideas.”

Paul Ryan Isn’t Wrong On Poverty. But The Media Is.
Amy Otto, The Federalist

For all the relentless focus the Democrats have put on the welfare state, their results could be accurately described as “left-wing warriors crusading for taxpayer dollars to line the pockets of government employees to maintain the poor.”

How Net Neutrality Hurts the Poor
Eli Dourado, The Umlaut

You may think that walled-garden access to Facebook or Google is inferior to neutral Internet access—and you’d be right. But if the neutralistas got their way, people in developing countries wouldn’t have better Internet access; many of them would have nothing.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, May 1, 2014
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Global Poverty Is on the Decline, But Almost No One Believes It
Barna Group

Did you know that, in the past 30 years, the percentage of people in the world who live in extreme poverty has decreased by more than half?

Clapham Spirituality: A Model for Contemporary Evangelicals
Nathan Finn , Canon & Culture

Clapham Spirituality acknowledged that conversion was not an end unto itself, but was the beginning of one’s Christian journey.

Why We Need ‘Dinosaurs’ Like C. S. Lewis
Art Lindsley, Christianity Today

Lewis had a healthy suspicion of easy words like “progress.”

Logic: What’s Missing from Public Discourse
Randall B. Smith, Crisis Magazine

What often passes for public discourse in contemporary society is really just a simulacrum, an imitation, of real “discourse” in the sense of a “reasoned exchange of ideas.”

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
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What Orthodox Christians Can Learn from Pope Francis
Andrew Estocin, The Sounding

Pope Francis … models a form of leadership that is greatly needed in Orthodox Christianity today.

Conservative Sentencing Reform: Politically Savvy, Morally Right
Casey Given, The American Conservative

Mandatory minimums’ attempt to rein in judges’ discretion only shifted the discretion to prosecutors, resulting in no significant decrease of sentencing inequality.

The Left’s Line On School Choice Is A Joke From The 1800s
Andrew Quinn, The Federalist

Handicapping your own kids to provide an unproven benefit to a few other children is neither honorable nor brave. Prioritizing your kin is not a sin to atone for. It is a marker of moral humanity.

Ukraine: Even the Animals Are Suffering from Corruption
Iryna Fedets, The Foundry

Animals at the abandoned presidential residence in Ukraine find themselves in the midst of a corruption scandal.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
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Sako: “In 10 years there will only be a few thousand Christians left in Iraq”
AsiaNews.it

The Christian community in Baghdad had 600 thousand faithful, now there are only 400 thousand in the whole country. The Chaldean Patriarch, Sako I: “Christians are those who suffer most from the upsurge in violence across Iraq”.

Don’t Write Off Working Class Dads
Melissa Langsam Braunstein, The Federalist

For the working-class single mothers who would bear the brunt of the professors’ proposal, this is a recipe for continuous stress. They must simultaneously maintain full-time jobs in a precarious economy and raise children without the built-in support system husbands provide.

The Politics of Tolkien
Jake Meador, Mere Orthodoxy

From those examples, I would conclude that Tolkien’s politics are basically the politics one expects of a staunch Catholic who affirms Rome’s teachings on subsidiarity.

Wealth Creation – Worldly or Wise?
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What, if anything, should Christians have to do with trade and wealth creation? Is doing business and making money a legitimate way of building God’s kingdom, or is it a worldly thing that we should avoid at all costs?