Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, August 17, 2015
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Havana’s U.S. flag no victory for pope
Nicholas G. Hahn III, USA Today

Francis should deny Castro communion at Mass in the same way Castro denies freedom to the Cuban people.

Air pollution causes nearly one in five deaths in China—and over 4,000 per day
Richard Macauley, Quartz

China has long known it has a problem with air pollution, but a recent study has attributed a startling new death toll to the issue. Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit that studies climate change and related issues, says 1.6 million deaths in China are caused by air pollution every year. That’s well over 4,000 per day, or 17% of all deaths.

Hey Christians, Say Goodbye To Religious Freedom
David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Incredibly, the court acknowledged in its decision that it would have looked at the First Amendment arguments more closely had the gay couple ordered a cake with some explicit messaging that advocated for gay marriage.

Clerk’s Office Defies Order; No Same-sex Marriage Licenses
Claire Galofaro and Adam Beam , Associated Press

A clerk’s office turned away gay couples who sought marriage licenses on Thursday, defying a federal judge’s order that said deeply held Christian beliefs don’t excuse officials from following the law.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, August 14, 2015
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Christian Baker Must Make Cakes Celebrating Gay Marriage, Appeals Court Rules
Ken McIntyre, The Daily Signal

A custom cake baker in suburban Denver can’t cite his religious convictions in declining to make a wedding cake for two men, a Colorado appeals court ruled today.

For Catholic Relief Services’ Carolyn Woo, capitalism isn’t all bad
Michael O’Loughlin, Crux

Make no mistake about it: Carolyn Woo is a Pope Francis fan. She has met him several times, even traveling to Rome earlier this summer to help him unveil his major work on the environment. But when it comes to economics, the former business school dean and head of one of the world’s largest anti-poverty NGOs winces a bit when the pope rails against capitalism — as he’s done on more than a few occasions.

To fix the US prison system, give every inmate the daily newspaper
Chandra Bozelko, Quartz

Newspapers were different for me, at least while the prison library at Connecticut’s York Correctional Institute still carried them. Better than any book, newspapers were lifesavers that pulled me closer to shore because each new edition marked a new day, an invitation to rejoin a world that kept moving while I was inside.

The Stakes of Free Exercise
Michael Stokes Paulsen, Public Discourse

The Free Exercise Clause creates a unique type of constitutional liberty—a substantive freedom that limits the extent to which government can interfere with religious freedom.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, August 13, 2015
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In the Crosshairs of the Assault on Religious Liberty
Jonathan V. Last, Mosaic

The threat is not just to individuals but to religious institutions, and the latter are remarkably vulnerable.

Progressive policies drive more into poverty
Joel Kotkin, Orange County Register

The dirty secret here is that a large proportion of Californians, roughly one-third, or some 3.2 million households, as found by a recent United Way study, find it increasingly difficult to keep their heads above water.

Whole Foods’ John Mackey: Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism
Nick Gillespie and Todd Krainin, Reason.com

They’re jealous, he says, they side with rulers, and they don’t understand how markets work.

Why Obamacare Could be Heading to the Supreme Court (Again)
Andrew Kloster, The Daily Signal

This past week, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, over the vigorous dissent of four judges on that court, denied rehearing en banc (legalese for an entire court rather than just a panel of three judges) in the case of Sissel v. United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
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Cuba Sees Christianity Boom As Bibles Pour Into Communist Nation
Pravoslavie.ru

Cuba experiencing a Christian revival, as tens of thousands of Bibles pour into the communist-ruled nation.

What Do the Poor Need? Try Asking Them
David L. Kirp, New York Times

To improve poor neighborhoods, the people who live there must have a hand in deciding their own fate.

Broken Homes Are Overloading Social Services
Joseph Turner, The Federalist

To protect American kids from harm on a large scale, we need to recognize a basic truth: children are better off living with their married biological parents.

Congress fraudulently registered as a small business, watchdog says
Bonnie Kristian, The Week

In a lawsuit filed with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on Monday, Judicial Watch alleges that Congress is illegally spending millions of Washington, D.C.’s municipal tax dollars on its own health care.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
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The Religion of Climate Change
Nicholas G. Hahn III, Wall Street Journal

Lending the power of the pulpit to the cause of environmental politics.

4 Reasons We Must Protect Freedom for Everyone After Supreme Court’s Marriage Ruling
Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

The Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage has left many concerned about protecting freedom for everyone who believes that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

Court Says 4 Catholic Nonprofits Must Allow Workers Access to Contraception
Stephanie Clifford, New York Times

Four Roman Catholic nonprofits in New York must allow employees access to contraception, a federal appeals court panel ruled on Friday, reversing a decision by a lower court that allowed the organizations to get around a requirement in the Affordable Care Act.

16 States, Religious Groups Ask Supreme Court to Take Contraceptive Mandate Case
The Becket Fund

Multiple friend-of-the-court briefs filed today in support of Texas Baptist universities and Westminster Theological Seminary.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, August 10, 2015
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Houston Churches Sue City for Trying to Take Their Private Property
Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

The Houston Housing Authority found itself in the middle of a sticky lawsuit this week when the agency tried to use eminent domain to “steal” two historic churches’ property as part of an urban renewal project.

Islamic State militants ‘abduct Christians’ in Syrian town
BBC

Islamic State militants have abducted dozens of people, many Christian, from a Syrian town captured on Thursday from pro-regime forces, reports say.

Why raising the minimum wage could actually make more employees quit
Lydia DePillis, Washington Post

Wal-Mart’s $9 minimum wage has been in place for a little while now, and not everybody is happy about it.

Rule of Law in the Regulatory State
John H. Cochrane, The Grumpy Economist

The United States’ regulatory bureaucracy has vast power. Regulators can ruin your life, and your business, very quickly, and you have very little recourse. That this power is damaging the economy is a commonplace complaint. Less recognized, but perhaps even more important, the burgeoning regulatory state poses a new threat to our political freedom.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, August 7, 2015
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Domestic Sex Trafficking Survivors Find Hope in Small-Town Iowa Halfway Home
Leah Jessen, The Daily Signal

At the intersection of two of the nation’s largest highways, I-35 and I-80, sits the Des Moines, Iowa metro area, known for its small-town feel, farmer’s markets, and frequent visits from presidential campaign hopefuls.

Star Trek Economics: Life After the Dismal Science
Noah Smith, Bloomberg View

So let’s think about the economics of Star Trek. What we’re really thinking about is how to get to economic utopia. It’s an important question.

Video 5: Planned Parenthood’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Jason Jones and John Zmirak, The Stream

Richard Land is right: These videos could bring down America’s abortion industry.

How crony capitalism is slowing global economic growth
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

Too much crony capitalism, not enough competitive capitalism. The US actually scores pretty well against other advanced economies, though we need to do even better.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, August 6, 2015
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On social justice, Francis isn’t rethinking so much as recycling
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

The real question is not why Francis is taking these positions. It’s rather why people react so strongly, whereas basically the same stances often seemed to be ignored or glossed over when taken by other pontiffs.

Zwingli will have his own movie
Evangelical Focus

The life of Ulrich Zwingli will be brought to the big screens, confirmed C-Films, a company which produced films like “Midnight train to Lisbon.”

Chinese Christians Fight Back
The American Interest

In response to continued pressure by local officials who have removed crosses from Christian churches (or even torn down churches entirely), Chinese Christians are turning to civil disobedience.

Ever Wonder Why Jesus Spent so Much Time Making Tables?
Austin Burkhart, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Ever wonder why Jesus spent so much time making tables? Why did he spend the vast majority of his life on earth working with his hands in a carpentry shop?

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
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Seattle CEO Praised for Raising Employees’ Salaries to $70K Now Says He’s Struggling to Stay Open
Ray Nothstine, Christian Post

The CEO of a Seattle-based credit card processing company who promised employees an automatic salary of $70,000 is now renting out his house to try and keep the company afloat.

Why The Little Sisters of The Poor Are Right to Be Concerned About Their Religious Freedom
Elizabeth Slattery, The Daily Signal

The Obama administration continues its persistent attack on the Little Sisters of the Poor following their challenge to the Obamacare abortion drug mandate.

Lawmakers to demand full accounting on human trafficking report
Alex Wilts and Matt Spetalnick, Reuters

Senior U.S. lawmakers expressed concern on Tuesday about whether the State Department’s annual global report on human trafficking may have been watered down due to political considerations and vowed to demand a full accounting at a Senate hearing this week.

Why Conservative Governors Are Embracing Criminal Justice Reform
John G. Malcolm, The Daily Signal

It used to be that, like entitlement spending, criminal justice reform was a third rail in politics—touch it, and you could be sure that your next opponent would run a commercial saying you were “soft on crime.” It was a one-way ticket to “Loserville.”

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
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Ex-Im and Planned Parenthood: Where are Our Priorities?
Casey Mattox, The Federalist

Boeing donates to Planned Parenthood, and is the primary beneficiary of Ex-Im. The Senate has voted to continue funding both.

Is the Government Playing Politics With Human Trafficking Rankings?
Jennifer Teng, The Weekly Standard

Cuba, Malaysia rewarded by the State Department.

Major U.S. metropolitan areas differ in their religious profiles
Michael Lipka, Pew Research

The religious face of America is largely a Christian one, with roughly seven-in-ten Americans belonging to that faith. But some of the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas have a very different look.

A Libertarian View of Francis’ Laudato Si
Donald Devine, Library of Law and Liberty

A fragile planet with limited resources means a zero-sum situation in which the richer deprive the poor majority of necessities. Even where serious commitments have been made by the West to reduce carbon emissions, the richer nations are unwilling to confront the underlying problem of consumerism among their populations.