Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

After Obergefell: The Effects on Law, Culture, and Religion
Sherif Girgis, Crisis Magazine

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court didn’t just confect a new right to same-sex civil marriage. In some ways, it inaugurated a new phase in American law, culture, and religion.

What Many Americans Get Wrong About States’ Rights
Jared Meyer and Randal Meyer, The Federalist

When it came to slavery, the Union, not the Confederacy, was the true guardian of states’ rights in the antebellum era.

It’s Time We Learned from Sin Taxes’ Impressive History of Failure
J.D. Tuccille,

The Tax Foundation helpfully reveals that excise taxes range across the country from zilch in Wyoming to $35 per gallon of liquor in Washington. That range of rates is an open invitation to fill the backs of trucks and haul loads of booze across borders, which is exactly what happens.

Entrepreneurs Are Better Than Government, Even When Building Infrastructure
James M. Roberts, The Daily Signal

American entrepreneurs built the greatest and freest country the world has ever seen. Unfortunately, the conditions that allowed the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish have deteriorated in recent years, according to the annual Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom. The main culprits? Too much government spending, too many taxes and a growing sense that the rule of law in our country is unraveling.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How “Results Conservatism” Can Unify Conservatives
John Hart , Opportunity Lives

When the nation’s leading anti-poverty warriors recently gathered in Washington, D.C., House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) outlined a strategic vision not just for the anti-poverty movement but for conservatism as a whole.

Election 2016: The Little Sisters of the Poor vs. The Big Merchants of Baby Parts
John Zmirak, The Stream

Christians are called to live in the real, fallen world, not a wistful fantasyland where everyone tells the truth, secretly means well, and is just a winsome podcast or three-minute hug away from repentance and salvation.

The Distortions of Progressive Christians: How Religious Liberty is in Danger
Matthew Lee Anderson, Mere Orthodoxy

The effect of these expansions is not simply that there is more coercive power from the government being exercised on people’s lives, but that we have fewer non-governmental means of resolving our disputes—and that the government itself will increasingly be not the resolver of fundamental conflicts between citizens, but a source of and party to conflicts.

Wage stickiness and unflattering accounts of the unemployed and poor
Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

It is common for left-wing progressives to complain that conservatives serve up unflattering accounts of the unemployed and poor, such as by calling them “moochers” and the like. But many versions of the standard Keynesian account, once we deconstruct them a bit, don’t paint such a flattering picture of the unemployed either.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, July 20, 2015

What Did Pope Francis Really Think of the “Communist Crucifix”?
John Zmirak, The Stream

Press accounts have been muddled by misreporting and wishful thinking.

State subsidies take from the poor to give to the rich
M. Steven Fish and Neil A. Abrams, Washington Post

In one area, however, government spending almost always redistributes income from the poor to the rich, encourages inefficiency and fuels corruption: state subsides.

Conservatives warn IRS could target gay marriage opponents
Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press

A brief exchange during Supreme Court arguments in the same-sex marriage case has exploded into a full-blown crisis for some conservatives who warn that the IRS could start revoking the tax-exempt status of religious groups that oppose gay marriage.

Do-gooders, do no harm: What are the best–and worst–ways to help those mired in international conflicts?
Laura Seay and Alex de Waal, Washington Post

Since the end of the Cold War, numerous international advocacy efforts concerning global conflict sprung out of these good intentions. Yet the results of these movements are often, at best, mixed, and in some cases actually made a crisis or the plight of innocent civilians worse.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 17, 2015

Can capitalism keep people out of prisons?
Steven Godeke and William Burckart, Quartz

The Rikers Island Prison SIB is one example of fast-emerging interest and activity around these kinds of strategies, which are also known as pay-for-success financings.

After Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling, How We Can Protect Freedom for Everyone
Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

Respecting religious liberty in the marketplace is particularly important. After all, as the first lady, Michelle Obama, put it, religion “isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal. It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well.”

Remove work requirements and food stamp enrollment explodes in a SNAP
Matt Vespa, Hot Air

In all, there are 48 million Americans on food stamps, up from 17 million since 2000. Additionally, millions more are being added to their states’ respective food stamp rolls than they are finding full-time work; for every one person who found a job, two people are given SNAP benefits. In terms of cost, we were spending $17 billion on food stamps. It’s now ballooned to an $80 billion program.

Gay Marriage and the Future of Evangelical Colleges
David R. Wheeler, The Atlantic

Now that same-sex couples have the right to wed, will higher-ed institutions that condemn LGBT students still be eligible for federal funding?

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Best Way to End Homelessness
Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

The first-ever large-scale study on the topic finds that permanent, stable housing can be more cost-effective than shelters.

The Enduring Significance of Edmund Burke
Russell Kirk, The Imaginative Conservative

Order in society: an arrangement of things not according to an abstract equality, nor yet according to a utilitarian calculus, but founded upon a recognition of Providential design, which makes differences between man and man (and God and man) ineradicable and beneficent. This, I think, is the idea fundamental to Burke’s liberal conservatism, and this is the principle to which all real conservatives after him clung.

Don’t Supersize the Minimum Wage
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, City Journal

Boosting New York’s fast-food hourly wage to $15 will kill jobs and raise prices.

Nuns challenge policy on contraceptive access
Robert Pear, New York Times News Service

Four federal appeals courts have upheld efforts by the Obama administration to guarantee access to free birth control for women, suggesting that the government may have found a way to circumvent religious organizations that refuse to provide coverage for some or all forms of contraception.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The sale of fetal body parts: gruesome—and shockingly legal
Joe Carter, ERLC

The discussion in the video is graphic, gruesome, and disturbing. What’s even more shocking is that this practice may actually be legal under current federal law.

Taxing churches is a form of religious persecution — and liberals need to stand against it
Damon Linker, The Week

How long will it be until we begin to see a movement — egged on by activists, encouraged by receptive judges — to revoke the tax exemptions currently enjoyed by churches? A few months? A year? I

Greece Disaster Shows Unavoidable Consequences of Socialism
Stephen Moore, The Daily Signal

The Greek citizens have rolled the dice and voted overwhelmingly to reject the “austerity” referendum. This was a way for voters to stick a finger in the eye of their creditors. The left around the world has responded to the vote with thunderous applause—and is selling the results as a vote for “the little guy.”

Society Exists Prior to the State, Obergefell Notwithstanding
George Weigel, EPPC

Reactions by the Catholic bishops of the United States to the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges have been, in the main, robust and carefully thought through.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

In Fiery Speeches, Francis Excoriates Global Capitalism
Jim Yardley And Binyamin Appelbaum, New York Times

His speeches can blend biblical fury with apocalyptic doom. Pope Francis does not just criticize the excesses of global capitalism. He compares them to the “dung of the devil.” He does not simply argue that systemic “greed for money” is a bad thing. He calls it a “subtle dictatorship” that “condemns and enslaves men and women.”

Pope offers rare ‘mea culpa’ about neglect of middle class
Philip Pullella, Reuters

Pope Francis acknowledged on Monday he had neglected problems of the middle class and said he was willing to have a dialogue with Americans who disagree with his criticism of capitalism.

Lotteries, payday lending, and the swindling of America’s poor
Michael Gerson, Washington Post

In that portion of the presidential field that does not view self-government as a stage for self-promotion, prejudice and blithering ignorance, one of the more encouraging trends is an increasing seriousness about the issue of poverty.

Ontario Court Upholds Law Society’s Refusal To Accredit Christian Law School
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada, (ON Super. Ct., July 2, 2015), a 3-judge panel of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice upheld the decision of the Law Society of Upper Canada to deny accreditation to the law school which Trinity Western University (TWU)– an evangelical Christian school– plans to open.