Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 3, 2014
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A Flurry of Lawsuits Involving School Choice
Mary C. Tillotson, Reason

Nothing sparks court challenges like trying to expand education options.

The Normal, Drama-Free, Totally-Healthy Christian Homeschool Movement
Ruth Moon, Christianity Today

In a culture that loves shock value, typical evangelicalism rarely makes news

United Nations too Christian, claims report
The Guardian

Study calls for greater religious tolerance with Hinduism and Buddhism under-represented and funding a major issue

Report On Freedom of Religion or Belief Prisoners Issued
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

Nine countries hold prisoners on blasphemy or defamation of religion charges. The countries with the most freedom of religion or belief prisoners are China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea and South Korea.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 2, 2014
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Subsidiarity: Why is It Praised More than It is Practiced?
James Kalb, Crisis Magazine

Subsidiarity is a basic principle of Catholic social teaching. Like other such principles, it is praised more than practiced, because it is at cross purposes with the outlook that now governs our public life.

Attacks on religion, liberty
Robert P. George and Katrina Lantos Swett, Philadelphia Inquirer

What can we do to save Christian and other religious minorities?

New Egyptian constitution gives greater freedom to Christians
Carey Lodge, Christian Today

Barnabas Fund has given thanks in its prayer update for a new draft of the Egyptian constitution that grants additional rights to Christians and marks a significant move away from the fundamental Islamic laws that have dominated in the past

Limited Government Solves Constitutional Violations
Walter E. Williams, Investor’s Business Daily

The problem our nation faces is very much like a marriage in which one partner has an established pattern of ignoring and breaking the marital vows.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
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Pope Francis and his invitation to dialogue with Islam
Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, AsiaNews.it

Islam is at a crossroads: either religion is a way towards politics and towards a politically organized society, or religion is an inspiration to live and love more fully.

The 10 Worst Regulations of 2013
James Gattuso and Diane Katz, The Foundry

There are many things 2013 will be remembered for, not least the miles of red tape that were imposed on Americans

“The Struggle against Scarcity:” Arthur Lovejoy and Roepke
Ralph Ancil, The Imaginative Conservative

There is a double meaning to the conventional economist’s use of the phrase the “struggle against scarcity.”

Philanthropy’s Original Sin
William A. Schambra, The New Atlantis

Philanthropy has many wonderful qualities — and never tires of proclaiming them, for one quality it sorely lacks is humility.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 30, 2013
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Americans turning to ancient music, practices to experience their faith
Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post

“It’s the recognition that Christianity didn’t start when someone got an electric guitar,” said Ed Stetzer who runs Lifeway Research

Conservatives and Poverty
Peter Wehner, Commentary

According to Myers, while those in ancient Rome did participate in alms giving, in Roman and Greek culture there wasn’t the compassion for the poor that was present in Jewish and Christian understanding because “there was nothing like Yahweh’s love for the oppressed in their moral imagination.”

What Francis can do on anti-Christian persecution
John L. Allen, Jr., National Catholic Reporter

Maybe Francis can be to the early 21st century what John Paul was to the late 20th, meaning a pope who genuinely changes history.

Westminster and Economic Justice
Steven Wedgeworth, The Calvinist International

The Westminster Larger Catechism has a comprehensive treatment of the moral law, and its treatment of the eighth commandment is particularly interesting. With certain small modifications, these statements are representative of the older universal Christian tradition.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, December 27, 2013
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Sci-Fi Is Socialist, Like Most Art
Todd Seavey, The Federalist

Maybe there is room for more visionary science fiction?

The Aid Debate Is Over
William Easterly, Reason

The failure of Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Villages.

Wealth: Learning & Discovery
George Gilder, The Imaginative Conservative

We begin with the proposition that capitalism is not chiefly an incentive system but an information system.

How Then Should We Tackle Income Inequality?
Tyler O’Neil, Christian Post

While Bible scholars agreed that income inequality is not in itself wrong, they attacked the distribution of wealth in modern America as unfair and proposed solutions to it.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 26, 2013
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Do you even want to win the culture war?
James Chastek, Just Thomism

Perhaps the church had its run of control over the world, but it’s better off now that its lines of evangelization are characterized by freedom, reason, and legitimate parental authority.

Why All Americans Should Support Hobby Lobby’s Case Against Obamacare
Evan Bernick, The Foundry

The plight of Hobby Lobby, the arts-and-crafts business whose owners are being forced to compromise their faith, instantly draws the sympathy of religious conservatives. But why should anyone else care?

Can a Church Refuse to Sell Property Because of a Buyer’s Religion?
Mark Movsesian, First Things

Is it legal for a church to refuse to sell church property solely because of the buyer’s religion? You’d think there would be an easy answer, but I haven’t been able to find one.

What are some of the biggest problems with a guaranteed annual income?
Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

Whether on grounds of justice, practicality, or just public choice considerations (“you can keep your current welfare payments if you like them”), we should not expect everyone to be paid the same under a guaranteed annual income.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 23, 2013
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Don’t Be a Scrooge This Christmas
R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries

The high degree of commerce at Christmas is driven by one thing: the buying of gifts for others. To present our friends and families with gifts is not an ugly, ignoble vice.

Restorative Justice Programs – An Alternative to State-Centered Punishment
Derek Cohen, The Federalist

The underlying problem is viewing the government as the victim of crime, instead of the individual who was actually harmed. Restorative justice programs are a better alternative that return us to the original conception in western civilization of a crime as one person harming another.

Utter Chaos: White House Exempts Millions From Obamacare’s Insurance Mandate, ‘Unaffordable’ Exchanges
Avik Roy, Forbes

The administration will grant a “hardship exemption” from the law’s individual mandate, requiring the purchase of health insurance, to anyone who has had their prior coverage canceled and who “believes that Obamacare’s offerings are unaffordable.”

How Can Economic Law Help Us Fulfill the Cultural Mandate?
Shawn Ritenour, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

A proper understanding of economics is crucial for our obeying and fulfilling the cultural mandate given to us by God in the first two chapters of Genesis.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, December 20, 2013
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Poor Catholic ‘Trash’
Stephen Herreid, Aleteia

The alliance of political and religious forces pushing back against the welfare state is overdue, and the challenge is enormous. It has also created a new and terrible temptation for the Church.

Vatican outsources more financial reform
Associated Press

The Vatican is enlisting more big-name consulting firms to advise it on structural and financial reforms, tapping McKinsey & Co. to help modernize its communications operations and KPMG to bring its accounting up to international standards.

Consuming Resources Isn’t Success: On Charity and Development Aid
Art Carden, EconLog

As William Easterly, Christopher Coyne, and others have pointed out, we tend to measure the “success” of a charitable endeavor or an aid project in terms of the resources consumed.

Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat
Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup

Now 72% say it is greater threat than big business or big labor.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 19, 2013
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The Twelve Days of Christmas
Fr. Hans Jacobse, St. Peter Orthodox Church

The traditions only make sense when they have the Gospel as their reference.

Virtues lost: How it happened and why we can’t live without them
Deirdre McCloskey, ABC Religion and Ethics

The case can be made that a flourishing human life must show seven principal virtues.

Religious Liberty Triumphs Over OCare
Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary

This is just one of the 88 cases that have been brought against the government by those rightly citing the mandate as a violation of their constitutional rights. But this is the first time the plaintiffs have received a permanent injunction that prevents the government from either enforcing the provision or levying crippling fines against violators.

How Greedy Is Your State?
Elise Amyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Geographers from Kansas State University created a series of maps of the Seven Deadly Sins across America. The maps highlight the most sinful regions in red and the least sinful regions in blue.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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Two Proven Ideas to Help the Poor
Richard Turnbull, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

In alleviating poverty, we often talk about the need for solutions on the local and individual level. But what does this look like in reality?

Common Core Sexualizes American School Children
Mary Jo Anderson, Crisis Magazine

Across the nation, in public and Catholic schools, parents and teachers have found sexually inappropriate materials in the exemplars recommended by Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

A few caveats for raising minimum wage
George F. Will, National Post

Liberals’ love of recycling extends to their ideas, one of which illustrates the miniaturization of Barack Obama’s presidency.

You Can Keep Your Republic … If You Like It
David Corbin and Matt Parks, The Federalist

What of the American republic of, by, and for the people today?