Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, September 16, 2013

Protecting Religious Diversity, Even at the Mall
Mark Rienzi, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

The federal government has lately been arguing that religious freedom is incompatible with making money, at least in the HHS Mandate context. On that view, one would expect a shopping mall to be a black hole for religious liberty.

Should Syria’s Christians Be Our Top Priority?
Kevin P. Emmert, Christianity Today

Assad’s forces have killed tens of thousands and have allegedly used chemical weapons. Toppling him could wipe out the country’s Christians. Is it worth it?

Vocation? What’s that?
Paul Grimmond, The Briefing

The heart of the problem lies in the constant connection between vocation and career.

Why Do People in the Poorest States Give the Most to Charity?
David Wilezol, Values & Capitalism

So why do residents of the poorest states give the most money? At first glance, it doesn’t make sense. Don’t the poorest citizens need to most tightly cling to their wealth?

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, September 13, 2013

Can a Generation Own the Earth?
Bruce Frohnen, The Imaginative Conservative

“The earth belongs always to the living generation.” These are not Thomas Jefferson’s most famous words, but they are quite famous among students of politics.

Four in Ten College Grads Don’t Need a Degree for Their Work
Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest

A majority of American workers have jobs that do not require a college degree, according to a new Gallup poll.

Large Majority of Catholics Continue To Express Favorable View of Pope Francis
Pew Research

After six eventful months, Pope Francis is rated favorably by eight-in-ten U.S. Catholics (79%). Just 4% of Catholics say they have an unfavorable view of the first Latin American pope, while 17% express no opinion or say they have not heard enough about Francis to have an opinion.

Five Encouragements for Everyday Work
Joseph Scheumann, Desiring God

The Church, in all her glory, is vastly more lawyers, administrative assistants, doctors, construction workers, and mechanical engineers than she is vocational pastors and paid missionaries.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pope says empty convents and monasteries should house refugees
Reuters

Disused church buildings should be used to house refugees, who must be embraced rather than feared, Pope Francis told asylum seekers in Rome on Tuesday, underlining his papacy’s emphasis on the poor and the plight of immigrants.

A “Libertarian” Case for Conscription?
Ilya Somin, Volokh Conspiracy

There are a number of standard arguments for military conscription. But Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry’s recent essay for Cato Unbound is unusual for claiming that conscription can be justified on libertarian grounds.

Trader Joe’s To Drop Health Coverage For Part-Time Workers Under Obamacare: Memo
Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post

After extending health care coverage to many of its part-time employees for years, Trader Joe’s has told workers who log fewer than 30 hours a week that they will need to find insurance on the Obamacare exchanges next year, according to a confidential memo from the grocer’s chief executive.

Should We Create Jobs or Create Wealth?
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Wealth is different from income. Income is the monetary return on labor or investments. One can potentially have a high level of income without having much wealth.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Assault on Christian Town in Syria Adds to Fears Over Rebels
Anne Barnard and Hwaida Saad, New York Times

For Syrian rebels fighting in recent days around the ancient Christian town of Maaloula, any gains made in battle could be wiped out in the war of perceptions.

Conscience Freedoms Denied by Liberal Courts
Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine

Two recent court cases illustrate the incoherence and remarkable intolerance of “liberal” views regarding conscience.

The Necessity of Distinguishing Relief and Development
Matt Perman, What’s Best Next

In both cases, the goal is to help the person back to self-sufficiency. But the strategies in each case are different — often profoundly so.

Five Insights About Private Property from Aquinas
Andrew Spencer, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Reading church history often provides answers to what appear to be novel questions in our own day (Ecclesiastes 1:9), to support and explain what Scripture teaches. Thomas Aquinas provides a solid argument for private property in his Summa Theologica.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

At Houston lecture, Scalia explores Christian virtues and economic systems
Cindy George, Houston Chronicle

“While I would not argue that capitalism as an economic system is inherently more Christian than socialism … it does seem to me that capitalism is more dependent on Christianity than socialism is.”

Australia has ditched an incompetent Anglican for a Roman Catholic of promise
Archbishop Cranmer, Cranmer

Not even casting his vote in St Paul’s Anglican Church, Brisbane, could save the dishonoured and dishonourable Kevin Rudd from the wrath of the people – the ultimate judgment in the democratic fray.

The Last Stand: The Fight of State Attorneys General to Preserve Federalism
Hans von Spakovsky, The Foundry

These four state AGs, along with a number of others, are fighting back by vigorously contesting the national government’s invasion of state sovereignty in legal fights involving energy, health care, the environment, voting and elections, religious liberty, labor relations, and financial transactions.

Why We Should Respect Someone Else’s Conscience
Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine

These days in our political and even ecclesiastical battles we hear a great deal about the primacy of the conscience, but almost nothing about what the conscience is and why we should care, not about our own conscience, but about someone else’s.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, September 9, 2013

Should We Be Taxing Churches?
Thomas Holgrave, The Hipster Conservative

In this country, churches are only one type of a wide range of different kinds of non-profit institutions favored with tax-exempt status.

What Is The Harmful Side of Regulation?
Brian Baugus, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Being sinful, flawed, and limited creatures, we regularly take a God-given idea and distort it to our own purposes, often at the expense of others. How might regulations be misused?

Faith, Liberty, and the “Price of Citizenship”
Seth Mandel, Commentary

Challenging the ruling doesn’t necessitate a belief that private businesses are not subject to anti-discrimination laws. But the ruling suggests that the owners of Elane Photography’s Christian beliefs are now classified as discriminatory under the state’s human-rights laws, threatening to put church and state in open–and open-ended–conflict.

A Question for Progressive Christians on Religious Liberty
Derek Rishmawy, Reformedish

Is resisting Empire only about economic and military issues, or can it be about social and moral issues as well?

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, September 6, 2013

A Pro-Work, Pro-Working-Class Agenda
Pete Spiliakos, First Things

We ought to work to redesign our welfare, tax, health care and immigration policies so that they work better for America’s struggling low-skill workers of all backgrounds.

Raising Kids? Your Taxes Are Far Too High
Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg

Fewer economists would defend the tax credit for children, which reformers also sometimes put on the chopping block. Yet it too should be seen not as a break but as another partial corrective to a bias in federal policy — a bias against the investment we call parenting.

Does Your Religion Define How You Think About Economics?
Mary Clare Reim, The Foundry

The authors of a new Brookings Institution survey believe the American Dream is dead—or at least in trouble. And who’s to blame? Religious conservatives.

iPhones, Economics, and Absolute Truth
Kristie Eshelman, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

How does personal preference reconcile with our belief in absolute truth? To answer this, it would be helpful to understand how personal preference works in economics.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, September 5, 2013

Christians in Middle East: U.S. attack on Syria would be detrimental
Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Religion News Service

As the Obama administration considers a strike in response to recent chemical attacks, the head of a global evangelical group said Wednesday (Sept. 4) that Christians in the Middle East oppose military intervention in Syria.

Christ in the Capital of the World
Mark R. Gornik and Maria Liu Wong, Christianity Today

How global Christians are revitalizing NYC far beyond Manhattan.

Russell Kirk on Social Justice, 1954
Bradley J. Birzer, The Imaginative Conservative

Only a true Justice–the recognition of “giving each man his due”–would allow the flourishing of a well-ordered society.

Why Should Economic Ideas Matter to Christians?
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Christians understand that ideas matter, as this understanding applies to our faith and our lives within the body of Christ. That’s why the apostle Paul encouraged the church at Philippi to dwell on that which is pure and right – because what we think about has consequences in the real world.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Persistent rumours suggest Hagia Sophia will be turned into a mosque
Nat Da Polis, AsiaNews.it

Increasingly, rumours are circulating about the future transformation of the Cathedral of Saint Sophia into a mosque.

The National Council of Churches & the March on Washington 1963
Mark Tooley, Juicy Ecumenism

During this week’s 50th anniversary commemoration, the National Council of Churches recalled its role in the August 1963 March on Washington, most famous for Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Christians and Nationalism in the Middle East: A Brief History
David T. Koyzis, First Things

Centuries ago followers of Jesus Christ were in the majority in the region, even after the Muslim Arab conquests and possibly as late as the fourteenth century when the tide turned in favor of Islam.

How Catholics Can Save Our Dying Civilization
R. J. Snell, Crisis Magazine

Even before joining the Church, I was tantalized and impressed by the Christian Humanism of Catholicism. Here was a faith that included great intellectuals and great mystics, magnificent works of art in exalted buildings and works of mercy in the most humble of settings, the work of spirit and the work of human hands.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Private Schools Increase Political Knowledge and Reduce the Danger of Political Indoctrination
Ilya Somin, Volokh Conspiracy

The evidence suggests that political knowledge is higher among students who attend private schools, even after controlling for various demographic variables such as race and family income.

The Church and the Syrian Refugees
William L. Patenaude, Catholic World Report

“We don’t help people because they are Catholic … We help people because we are Catholic.”

There are better anti-poverty tools than the minimum wage
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

Raising the minimum wage may not be a policy idea deserving of the passion it generates. It’s not a well-targeted, poverty-fighting weapon.

Why Humility Matters for Faith, Work, & Economics
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The Apostle Paul tells Timothy that the Holy Scriptures prepare God’s people to be “thoroughly equipped for every good work.” That includes not only what we do on Sunday, but also what we do at our offices, in our homes, and in our communities throughout the rest of the week.