Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 11, 2014
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The Moral Triumph of Fossil Fuels
Bruce Edward Walker, The Morning Sun

Arguing “cheap, plentiful, reliable energy for the vast majority of people” is a moral good should be a no-brainer. In fact, it should be completely unnecessary – except it’s not.

‘Eye of Sauron’ on Moscow skyscraper to end up badly for city, Orthodox Church says
Russian Today

Russian Orthodox Church has slammed plans to erect a real-life ‘Eye of Sauron’ in Moscow, saying that the art project dedicated to the premiere of the final part of the “Hobbit” movie trilogy may have bad consequences for the Russian capital.

Conscience and Abortion Funding Concerns in the CRomnibus
Sarah Torre, The Daily Signal

The CRomnibus released late last night is fraught with the same bloated spending that has propelled the nation further into debt. In addition to serious fiscal concerns with the massive spending bill—not to mention the problems inherent in dropping a 1000-plus-page bill at the eleventh hour—the CRomnibus has some concerning provisions on life and conscience.

How (And Why) Cronyism Works
Yuval Levin, The Corner

Wherever you ultimately come down on the massive omnibus budget bill Congress is considering this week (the text of which was just released last night), it is certainly full of lessons about how Congress works.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
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Chimpanzees Are Not Entitled to Human Rights, New York Court Says
Elizabeth Barber, Time

The chimpanzee at issue is not entitled to a writ of habeas corpus allowing him freedom from his cage.

Not Just a Rape Culture: The University’s Rape System
Greg Forster, Public Discourse

Only political reform can fight the system that protects rapists on college campuses.

The Case for Religious Freedom
Zenit

“Where any of these fights on religious freedom are going to go, will in great part depend upon whether people of faith will stand up and speak now, or will they sit in silence. The outcome is up to you”

Unholy row as nativity scene ban divides France
Anne Penketh, The Guardian

Court orders council in La Roche-sur-Yon to dismantle crib, after complaint from secular campaigners.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
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Church Giving Tops $50 Billion A Year In U.S.—And Its Future Is Not A Collection Plate
Ruth Graham, Fast Company

“Churches are no different than any other operation in that they need to be relevant and convenient,” said RaeAnn Slaybaugh, editor of Church Executive magazine, who has reported on new giving options. “The difficulty is in capitalizing on a moment of generosity.”

The Basics of a Biblical Theology of Work
Amy L. Sherman, The Gospel Coalition

To inspire their flock about their daily work, congregational leaders need to start with the vital truth that work preceded the fall. This truth is foundational for faithful vocational stewardship. Work is not a result of humankind’s fall into sin. Work is central in Genesis 1 and 2.

In Seven States, Atheists Push to End Largely Forgotten Ban
Laurie Goodstein, New York Times

Maryland and six other states still have articles in their constitutions saying people who do not believe in God are not eligible to hold public office. Maryland’s Constitution still says belief in God is a requirement even for jurors and witnesses.

9 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About the Persecution of Christians
Rick McDaniel, OnFaith

Is discrimination against Christians an acceptable form of prejudice?

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 8, 2014
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The Case for Religious Freedom
Deborah Castellano Lubov, Zenit

Especially at this time in Western nations, we’re seeing this incredible backlash … the demand that Catholic or Jewish persons surrender their consciences and serve others.

Economist’s View: ‘Maths and Morals, Economics and Greed’
Mark Thoma, Economist’s View

We need to represent markets as centres of communication and deliberation, not as competitive arenas driven by profit maximisation. The clue is in the word forum, which defined both the market place and the political centre of a Roman city.

The Cost of Amnesty
David Frum, The Atlantic

President Obama touts the economic benefits of immigration, but the rising price of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit alone could be dizzying.


Pastor Rick Warren to Catholics: ‘We Have Far More in Common than What Divides Us’

Thomas D. Williams, Breitbart

To the delight of some and the consternation of others, bestselling author and pastor of the Saddleback community megachurch, Rick Warren is endorsing closer union between Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, December 5, 2014
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In 2 Charts: Why the ‘War on Poverty’ Should be Renamed the ‘War on Marriage’
Kelsey Harris, The Daily Signal

According to research by Robert Rector, an expert in welfare at the Heritage Foundation, more than 40 percent of all children born in the U.S. were born outside of marriage in 2013, and the number of single-parent families with children has skyrocketed by nearly 10 million.

With fewer young people gambling, time for a government rethink
Chrisitan Science Monitor

Despite a proliferation of casinos and lotteries, fewer Americans are playing, especially those under 30. Now is a good time to question government backing of an industry that targets youths.

Practical Wisdom from Proverbs for Applying Your Faith at Work
Grey Ayers, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What does it mean to work with Christian distinctiveness for a client, alongside your co-workers, or for your boss?

To Fight Child Homelessness, Strengthen Families
Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

The link between single mothers and child homelessness is one more reason the decline of marriage should alarm us.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 4, 2014
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Two Catholic Camps Worth Debating
Ryan Shinkel, Ethika Politika

Saudek mentions two camps of Catholics—liberal ones who happily embrace CST for its alignment with their center-left policies while ignoring teachings on subjects like marriage and sanctity of life, and fiscal and social conservative ones who act vice versa.

The Paradox of Generosity
Cole Carnesecca, The Gospel Coalition

It is always encouraging to find biblical principles empirically verified in the academic arena. Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson’s The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose does exactly that. The findings of the book are rather straightforward, and the authors muster ample evidence in their defense.

Utah orders startup to raise prices so competitors are “treated fairly”
Timothy B. Lee, Vox

Utah insurance regulators are taking action against Zenefits, a technology startup that helps small businesses manage their human resource needs. Zenefits offers a free website that helps companies manage payroll, vacation time, health insurance, and so forth.

Most College Students Don’t Earn a Degree in 4 Years, Study Finds
Tamar Lewin, New York Times

The vast majority of students at American public colleges do not graduate on time, according to a new report from Complete College America, a nonprofit group based in Indianapolis.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
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1 in 3 Americans want a divorce between clergy and civil marriages
Cathy Lynn Grossman, Religion News Service

Should clergy divorce themselves from civil marriage? Such a church-state split — already endorsed by some Catholic and evangelical leaders — is showing surprising popularity in two new surveys released Tuesday by LifeWay Research.

‘My Work is More Important than Yours,’ So Say We All
Bethany Jenkins, The Gospel Coalition

Public school districts in the United States do not prioritize dance over, say, math. This is not, however, a mere accident of history.

What It Means to Listen: Free Speech from the Perspective of the Abrahamic Religions
Dominic Burbidge, Public Discourse

The Abrahamic religions provide a radical interpretation of the importance of speech: it is the primary way in which God reveals himself. Because persons of faith believe that God has spoken, they are called to develop and deepen their capacities for listening.

It’s the greatest achievement in human history, and one you probably never heard about
Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas

Dartmouth economics professor Douglas Irwin has an excellent op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal — “The Ultimate Global Antipoverty Program,” with the subtitle “Extreme poverty fell to 15% in 2011, from 36% in 1990. Credit goes to the spread of capitalism.”

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
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Pope seeks meeting with Russian Orthodox leader, but says theological agreement impossible
Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

“I said I’ll go wherever you want — you call me and I’ll go. And he also has the same desire,” Francis said. “But with the problems of the war, the poor guy [Patriarch Kirill] has so many problems, so a meeting with the pope will have to wait. But we do want to meet. We want to go forward.”

Patriarch Kirill: ‘The Lack of Morals Is Incompatible with Happiness’
Pravmir

“Thus a question arises: are God’s Commandments, being so old-fashioned, guiding stars as well?,” Kirill asked. “The answer is simple: they are the only guiding stars.”

Our giant welfare state
Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post

Call it a massive case of national self-deception. Indeed, judged by how much of their national income countries devote to social spending, we have the world’s second-largest welfare state — just behind France.

Redeeming Gratitude, Wonder & Work
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Before the Fall, we were designed for and called to work. But after Adam sinned, our souls were severed from relationship with their Creator. The Fall affected creation, too. The ground does not respond the way it was intended to, and work now involves toil.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 1, 2014
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Francis rolls out ‘social gospel’ case for Catholic/Orthodox unity
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

Sometimes what a pope doesn’t say can be just as important as what he does, and such was the case in Turkey on Sunday as Pope Francis laid out his vision for unity between Catholics and Orthodox Christianity.

How Travis Crockett Leaned on God and Helping Hands to Lift Himself From Poverty and Mean Streets
Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

Violence, gangs and drugs were unavoidable. Travis’s father was largely absent from his life. His mother lacked the means to support him and his brother.

We Should Be Grateful for Our Problems
Ed Feulner, The Daily Signal

Frankly, we should be grateful for our problems as well. We rise in life to the degree to which we can solve problems. Time and again, from Valley Forge to Sept. 11, Americans have faced our problems squarely — and solved them.

Supreme Court considers extent of free speech over Internet
Sam Hananel, Associated Press

In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday was to consider whether Elonis’ Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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Is Russia Banning Islam?
Raymond Ibrahim, FrontPageMag

Russia appears to be taking serious moves to combat the “radicalization” of Muslims within its border.

What George Washington Teaches Us about Thanksgiving and God’s Providence
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Washington’s proclamation represents the first to be so designated by the new government of the United States of America. This “general thanksgiving” was a day appointed, “to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”

What’s Stopping Young Adults From Forming Stable Families?
David Lapp, Family Studies

If working-class young adults are so eager to get married and have stable families, what’s stopping them?

Marriage and the Black Family
Jacqueline C. Rivers, Public Discourse

Black children have suffered the most as a result of the decline of marriage in the black community. And today marriage faces new threats. Adapted from an address delivered at the Vatican during the Humanum Colloquium.