Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
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Immigration Reform Is a Moral Imperative
Ralph Reed and Russell Moore, Wall Street Journal

Laws to deal with those already here should respect each person’s God-given dignity.

It’s Time To End Welfare for Big Business
Stephen Moore, The Foundry

Why haven’t Republicans pledged to end corporate welfare as we know it? Part of the explanation is that too many politicians have gotten confused about the difference between free-market capitalism and crony capitalism.

How Well Should Pastors Be Paid?
R.C. Sproul, Jr. , Ligonier Ministries

So what’s the bottom line? I’d encourage a church to aspire to these goals, in this order. First, give freely and joyfully. The pastor is not spending the church’s money when he is paid.

How People Who Live on Less than Two Dollars a Day Taught Me to Redefine Poverty
Peter Greer, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

If poverty is not only a material deficit, but also not knowing one’s potential, abilities, and strengths—as well as having an empty heart—then traditional charity neglects to address the root causes of poverty.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, March 31, 2014
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Of Course Corporations Like Hobby Lobby Have Rights Of Conscience, And You Probably Shop At One
Trevor Burrus, Forbes

Big and intrusive government threatens all types of rights of conscience. When government expands into new, values-laden areas, it is best to realize that while today it may be them, tomorrow it could be you.

Mistakes To Avoid For Theologians Talking About Economics
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, Patheos

The problem of Catholic social doctrine isn’t that it follows the wrong school of thought, it’s that it should follow any thought at all.

The Christian Penumbra
Ross Douthat, New York Times

In the Christian penumbra, certain religious expectations could endure (a bias toward early marriage, for instance) without support networks for people struggling to live up to them.

For Religious Liberty, Desperate Times; Faithful Measures
Matthew Cochran, The Federalist

As a Christian, I am used to speaking about faith in a very specific sense—a trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ through which we receive God’s promises. Though this is not primarily an activity of the intellect, faith manifests itself in the intellect inasmuch as a person possesses one.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, March 28, 2014
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ObamaCare v. Religious Liberty
Wall Street Journal

A majority of Justices seem skeptical of the contraception mandate.

Why Catholics Love Evolution and the Big Bang
Daniel McInerny, Aletia

FOX’s reboot of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series may not be everything we would like it to be, but not for the reason you might think.

Choice, Not More Spending, Is Key To Better Schools
W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm, Investor’s Business Daily

Education looms as both cause and cure for the decline of the middle class and the widening gap between rich and poor.

The Pope Talked to Obama Today About Religious Liberty. Will It Matter?
Katrina Trinko, The Foundry

During a meeting today, Pope Francis talked to President Obama about religious freedom, an issue that has come under heightened scrutiny in recent years as religious business owners have objected to Obamacare’s contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs coverage mandates.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, March 27, 2014
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Conscience as Sacred Property
Jeremiah G. Dys , Canon & Culture

Caesar has provided us with a lamentable choice. Today, it is not the coliseum, nor are Christians being driven to the catacombs under totalitarian persecution. The choice presented to us, however, is no less unjust.

A new crusade: Aid proposed to stop Christian persecution in the Middle East
Meredith Somers, Washington Times

The United States can help Christians being persecuted in the Middle East by using foreign aid to modify behaviors in countries where persecution is rampant, educating U.S. diplomats about the issue in their assigned regions and asking for help from Arab-Americans, a panel of religious freedom researchers said Monday.

Religious Freedom: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t
Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review Online

Conservatives have been divided over the best way to protect religious freedom: constitutional or statutory, legislative or judicial. Almost all conservatives have believed, at every point in the last few decades, that laws should avoid forcing religious believers into violating their consciences whenever possible.

The Quaker Exemption and Religious Liberty Today
Thomas Kidd, ERLC

As oral arguments begin in Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the HHS abortifacient mandate, we might ask what the Founders would think about this case?

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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The Desecration of Churches in Yabroud
Notes on Arab Orthodoxy

Although the gunmen are gone, their sectarian fingerprint on Yabrud remains. All you have to do is visit St. Mary’s Greek Catholic Church to see the destruction.

Antiochian Orthodox leader recalled as man with vision
Mark Zaborney, Toledo Blade

“As long as we are fragmented and known by Antiochians and Greeks and Serbians and Bulgarians and Russians, we will have no impact as a church on this country,” Metropolitan Philip told The Blade in 2003.

High Court Seems Divided Over Birth Control Rule
Mark Sherman, AP

The Supreme Court seemed divided Tuesday over whether employers’ religious beliefs can free them from a part of the new health care law that requires that they provide coverage of birth control for employees at no extra charge.

Why Hobby Lobby’s HHS Lawsuit Matters
The Editors, National Catholic Register

Now, more than ever, Catholics need to support efforts to bolster religious freedom and explain why our experiment in ordered liberty requires robust protections for churches and individual believers. But it’s also important to remember that the fight for the “first freedom” is not an end in itself and is linked to a deeper truth.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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Indiana Ends Common Core Education Standards
Rob Bluey, The Foundry

Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation today requiring the state to come up with its own academic standards, making Indiana the latest state to pull its support for the national education standards known as Common Core.

Western Ignorance of the ‘Conditions of Omar’
Raymond Ibrahim, PJ Media

Syrian Christians are being forced to convert, subjugate themselves, or face death.

The Proper Size of Government
Sean Speer and Charles Lammam, The American

Based on a large body of empirical research examining the relationship between the size of government and economic outcomes, the United States should scale back.

One Woman’s Journey from Welfare to Work
Marvin Olasky, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

It’s been seventeen years since Congress passed welfare reform. I’m looking for a detailed study of what happened to people who were on welfare back in the day and left it: Did they get and hold jobs? Did they advance to management? Did they die on the streets? I’ve seen a few statistics but none that are definitive. I’ve heard even fewer stories.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, March 24, 2014
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Paul Ryan was right — poverty is a cultural problem
George F. Will, Washington Post

Critics of Rep. Paul Ryan’s remarks about cultural factors in the persistence of poverty are simultaneously shrill and boring. Their predictable minuet of synthetic indignation demonstrates how little liberals have learned about poverty or changed their rhetorical repertoire in the last 49 years.

Overcoming fears, volunteer leads sex-trafficking ministry
Ann Lovell, Baptist Press

At midnight on a cold Friday in January, Loree Becton stands on a street corner along Jefferson Davis Highway in Richmond, Va. — an area notoriously known for prostitution and crime. She’s come a long way.

Six parishioners shot dead while worshipping at Kenyan church
ABC

Two gunmen have stormed a church near the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa and opened fire on worshippers, killing six people and wounding more than a dozen others, in what police are labelling a terrorist attack.

If the contraceptive mandate passes, it will ruin a core U.S. ideology
Rick Warren, Washington Post

Does our Constitution guarantee the freedom of religion, or does it merely allow a more limited freedom to worship? The difference is profound. Worship is an event. Religion is a way of life.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, March 21, 2014
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Pope Francis: Without work, human dignity is “wounded”
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air

If it seems odd to root for reduced opportunity in favor of government subsidies, then this message today from Pope Francis will resonate.

The Most Influential Reformer You’ve Never Heard of
Karen Swallow Prior, Christianity Today

Hannah More shows us what happens when Christians focus on world-changing instead of in-fighting.

The Challenge of Pluralism
Ross Douthat, New York Times

If we take pluralism seriously, the whole point of the concept is to enable groups to “throw up a shield” against the pressure of consensus, and develop and promote alternatives that are rejected the powerful, or by society as a whole.

Diplomas vs. Dirty Jobs
Nick Gillespie, Reason

TV host Mike Rowe on the educational bias against unglamorous, good-paying work.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, March 20, 2014
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Military Families Want Educational Options That Meet Their Children’s Needs
Brandon Hershey, The Foundry

Educational opportunity for military families means that military parents can choose schools that will support the needs of their children.

What Do Protestants Think of Pope Francis?
Barna Group

It’s widely accepted that Catholics love the Holy Father, but what about people of other traditions? Some have called Francis a pope for Protestants or for Millennials, but what do these groups actually think of him? And if his influence is so far-reaching, what has been the impact of the so-called “Pope Effect,” one year into his papacy?

Did Sweden Just Make the Case for Free Market Policies?
David Kinkade, Free Enterprise

The changes are driven in large part by the growing recognition that gargantuan government sectors and overgenerous entitlements are simply unsustainable. As Adrian Wooldridge notes in a 2013 article for The Economist, “they have reached the limits of big government.”

What Is Religious Freedom Good For?
Peter Berger, The American Interest

Saying that religious freedom is important because it leads to economic prosperity may strike some as unnecessarily amoral. But we should not be overly disturbed by narrow interests bringing about morally desirable consequences.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
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Ryan and Liberal Welfare-State Amnesia
Jonathan S. Tobin , Commentary

What’s at stake is an attempt to reinstate the old shibboleths that were the foundation of the liberal welfare state that was buried when President Bill Clinton said the era of big government was over and then signed a historic welfare reform act into law.

Uniform Rule May Keep Religious Americans From Military Service
NPR

People who observe religions that require specific hair or dress traditions have to seek an accommodation from a superior to break the Defense Department’s uniform requirements.

Why Finland’s Educational Model Is More Conservative Than Ours
Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

As part of a series of educational reforms in the 1970s and ’80s, Finland “shook the classrooms free from the last vestiges of top-down regulation,” wrote Smithsonian Magazine contributor LynNell Hancock in September 2011.

Volunteerism in America Hits a 10-Year Low
Collette Caprara, The Foundry

This decline in civic engagement puzzled some commentators who noted that the downward trend wasn’t related to the greying of America, since the only age cohort with an increase in volunteering was the over-60 group. Nor was it connected to shorter periods of free time in an improved labor market, given that employed workers consistently volunteer at higher rates than unemployed peers.