Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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House Passes Bills Aimed at Stemming Human Trafficking
Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times

The House on Tuesday passed a package of bills aimed at stemming human trafficking, an issue that has slowly begun to gain national attention.

After 11 years, states are finally committing to fight prison rape
Dara Lind, Vox

Back in 2003, Congress unanimously passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act — a bill to address a problem that, at the time, was little understood. But after that… nothing much seemed to happen for a while.

Life on the Academic Animal Farm
Robert Oscar Lopez, Public Discourse

Dehumanizing others through censorship does not befit the academy, but the pigpen.

Americans lie about how much they go to church, even if they don’t belong to one
Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

Less than one-third of phone respondents (30 percent) admitted to attending religious services seldom or never. But online, freed from the normative pressures of interacting with another human being, 43 percent of respondents said they seldom or never went to church. Similarly, online respondents were less likely to say they went to church weekly or occasionally than were phone respondents.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
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Russian Orthodox Church the absent player at Pope-Patriarch Jerusalem summit
Tom Heneghan, Reuters

When Pope Francis meets the spiritual head of the world’s Orthodox Christians next week, the speeches and symbolism will focus on how these ancient western and eastern wings of Christianity want to come closer together.

Sudanese Woman Sentenced to Death After Marrying Christian
Barbara Tasch, Time

A pregnant 27-year-old Sudanese woman was sentenced to death by hanging Thursday for apostasy after marrying a Christian man and refusing to convert to Islam. Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag also faces charges of adultery.

To Lift Up the Poor, Must We Soak the Rich?
Ross Douthat, New York Times

Before we talk about significantly expanding our investments in education, elementary and collegiate, how confident should we feel that our existing “investment” in the “future productivity” of the poorest Americans is reaping value-for-the-dollar rewards?

How Much Do Economists Care About Government Failure? Not Much
James M. Roberts, The Foundry

Taylor reports on a recent analysis of 23 leading basic economics textbooks by public-choice economists Jim Gwartney and Rosemarie Fike that “reveals huge differences in the coverage of government failure versus market failure.”

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, May 19, 2014
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The 8 worst places in the world to be religious
Daniel Burke, CNN

Among the most worrying trends, according to the State Department, are “authoritarian governments that restrict their citizens’ ability to practice their religion.”

Swiss Voters Defeat $24.65 Minimum Wage by a Wide Margin
Melissa Eddy, New York Times

The proposed rate — considerably higher than elsewhere in Europe and more than double the $10.10 President Obama has sought in the United States — found little support in a national referendum, with 76.3 percent opposed, according to initial results released by the government.

What Does Religion Look Like in Prison?
Casey N. Cep, Pacific Standard

Ex-Catholics, atheists, Cherokees, Lakotas, Lutherans, and Wiccans all make an appearance in Joshua Dubler’s Down in the Chapel.

Please, Leave the Hagia Sophia Alone
Wesley J. Smith, First Things

Turkey’s Islamist government threatens to destroy Hagia Sophia’s crucial “neutral” status. ANSAmed reports that the government plans to turn the former basilica into a mosque in the afternoon and evening, while allowing it to remain a museum during morning hours.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 16, 2014
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Kasper versus Kasper
Samuel Gregg, Crisis Magazine

Book-tours can be risky affairs. There’s always the chance you’ll say something during your tenth radio interview of the day which you retrospectively wish you’d phrased differently. Then there’s the possibility you’ll play up to a live audience and make some truly imprudent comments.

U.S. Jews vs. U.S. Christianity
Dennis Prager, Jewish Journal

It’s not something that Americans mention in public. And it may not even be something many note in private. But a Jew writing in a Jewish journal ought to point out a fact that, no matter how much ignored, is significant.

Sudan judge sentences Christian woman to death
Sydney Morning Herald

A Sudanese judge on Thursday sentenced a Christian woman to hang for apostasy, despite appeals by Western embassies for compassion and respect for religious freedom.

The Discipline of Matrimony in the Orthodox Church
Metropolitan Jonah, Juicy Ecumenism

In the Orthodox Church the sacrament of Holy Matrimony is seen as an ascetic discipline. Matrimony is one of the two paths given and sanctified by the Church as a means of working out one’s salvation; the other is monasticism.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, May 15, 2014
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Religious Persecution: Our Silence is Deafening
Ken Connor, Christian Post

The recent kidnappings in Nigeria by the Islamic militant group Boka Haram has cast the issue of religious persecution – of Christians in particular – into the spotlight, and begs the question: Why have American Christians been so silent on the subject of religious persecution of their spiritual brethren around the world?

How the student loan debt bubble hurts the poor
Kevin Glass, Hot Air

Even if we assume that defaults are spread evenly across the income groups, a default is worse for a student in a low-income group than in the higher-income groups by mere fact that a student loan comprises a higher percentage of their assets than otherwise.

Advancing Economic Freedom: An Antidote to Boko Haram
Anthony B. Kim, The Foundry

Advancing economic freedom that leads to more inclusive growth and dynamic job creation is indispensable in ensuring greater and securer futures of Nigeria as well as the continent as a whole.

Florida Couple Fined, Threatened with Jail for Feeding Homeless
Bill Briggs, NBC News

A Florida couple who retired from their management jobs to care for the poor vowed Monday to wage a tenacious legal fight days after being fined more than $300 each for violating a local law.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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Patriarch says he will discuss Middle East Christians with pope
Francis X. Rocca, Catholic News Service

When Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople meets Pope Francis in Jerusalem May 25, one of their main discussion topics will be the “diminishing Christian minorities in the Middle East,” the patriarch told Catholic News Service.

What Subway Teaches Us About the Minimum Wage
Amy Otto, The Federalist

Minimum Wage increases not only hurt the poor and consumers, it insulates big business from new competition.

The Spiritual Reflection of Economic Inequality
David Cowan, The Center for Christian Business Ethics

The more who strive the more we will see economic change for the better, it will be part of the measured economic output. However, the economy will only measure and reflect this, it will not make it happen.

How Jesus’s Work Influenced His Teaching
Klaus Issler, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Jesus was a shrewd observer of life, offering wisdom gleaned from birds, flowers, and the weather. Last week we explored Jesus’ work experience – perhaps his time in the workforce also provided insights that he included in his parables.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
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Africa’s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote, to Fight Boko Haram With $2.3B Investment in Northern Nigeria
Leonardo Blair, The Christian Post

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and the world’s 24th richest person, with an estimated net worth of $24.5 billion according to Forbes, plans to fight militant Islamist group Boko Haram in northern Nigeria with a $2.3 billion investment in the rice and sugar industries.

C.S. Lewis and the Science of Obamacare
John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist

“I believe in God, but I detest theocracy,” wrote C.S. Lewis. “For every Government consists of mere men and is, strictly viewed, a makeshift; if it adds to its commands ‘Thus saith the Lord’, it lies, and lies dangerously.”

How Far School Choice Policies Have Come in Two Decades
Lindsey Burke, The Foundry

It’s amazing how far school choice options have come in a little more than two decades.

Boko Haram and the Return of the Nigerian Slave Trade
Geoffrey Clarfield, New English Review

Given the extreme violence and the high death toll of Islamic uprisings in places like Syria and Iraq, the Western public has become accustomed to hearing about an ebb and flow of religiously inspired massacres, but it is the proud slaving propensities of Boko Haram that are a shock to the news reading public and, the fact that they openly boast about it. There is more to this story than meets the eye.

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.