Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
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Children’s Rights, or Rights to Children?
Alana S. Newman, Public Discourse

If it’s okay to buy and sell sperm, eggs, and wombs, then why is it not okay to sell other human tissues or organs? If it’s okay to sell one’s reproductive parts, why is it not okay to sell one’s sexual parts, as in prostitution? If it’s okay to pre-sell and pre-order children via third-party reproduction, what is so wrong with buying and selling children who are already born or conceived?

It’s the Culture, Stupid: Welfare Programs Can’t Solve Economic Gap Created by Marriage Decline
Stephen Moore, The Daily Signal

This may be a surprising statement from a bleary-eyed, number-crunching economist, but the best anti-poverty program in America may not be tax cuts, debt reduction or regulatory relief, but rather that old-fashioned institution called marriage.

Three Points about Common Grace Every Businessperson Should Consider
Vincent Bacote, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Does common grace simply raise the possibility for activities in the world, such as business, or are these activities themselves modes of “bringing common grace” to world, or perhaps what Richard Mouw means by “common grace ministries”?

Tattoo artist turned monk: not your typical art story
Tom Mayhall Rastrelli, Statesman Journal

“I had no clue what love was. I had no clue how to love or how to let other people love me and that’s why I was miserable,” Bobby Love said.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
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Russian Orthodox Church calls on U.S. Christians to work together to achieve peace in Ukraine, Middle East
Interfax-religion.com

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk: “Today Christians of various confessions should unite around the very simple common human values.”

Ukraine Rising
George Weigel, National Review Online

“This is not only about us; this is also about you:” a church leader on his country’s struggle for freedom.

Crime and Corruption Top Problems in Emerging and Developing Countries
Pew Research

A median of 83% of people across 34 emerging and developing economies say crime is a very big problem in their country, and 76% say the same about corrupt political leaders

Two new studies show charter schools can work — if you give them time
Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

The argument for charter schools has always been based on the theory that competition is good. When teachers and principals have a chance to try new ideas, the most successful approaches will attract more students.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 10, 2014
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Fishwrap’s Michael Sean Winters ATTACKS!
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, Fr Z’s Blog

Michael Sean Winters specializes in irrational demonizing of those with whom he disagrees. His present instance of high dudgeon is aimed at Catholic University of America. What is CUA’s sin? CUA has dared to host a conference in which speakers associated with Acton Institute are to be involved!

Metro Detroit’s Chaldeans expand services for refugees
Ursula Watson, Detroit News

Metro Detroit is seeing an increase in immigration due to the turmoil in the Middle East, straining community services.

Supreme Court to hear Obamacare subsidies case
Lawrence Hurley, Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a legal challenge to a key part of the Obamacare health law that, if successful, would limit the availability of federal health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans.

A Christian Tightrope Walker?
David Murray, Head Heart Hand

Can you be a “Christian Tightrope Walker.” Is tightrope-walking a legitimate Christian vocation? Does repeatedly mentioning God sanctify whatever job we do?

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, November 7, 2014
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Pope sacked Church official for selling annulments
Angus Mackinnon, AFP

Pope Francis revealed Wednesday that he had sacked a church court official who had been caught offering to facilitate marriage annulments for cash.

How religion played in the midterm elections
Mark Silk, Religion News Service

According to yesterday’s exit polls, the religious layout of the electorate looks almost identical to the last midterm election in 2010, and not much different from the 2012 presidential election.

Why Evangelicals Are Wary of the Government
Alan Noble, The Atlantic

The subpoenas Houston Mayor Annise Parker issued to five of the city’s pastors highlight the larger tensions in state involvement with religion.

Contra Media Narrative, Voters of Faith Still Matter
Ralph Reed, The Corner

On Election Day, self-identified conservative Christians made up 32 percent of the electorate and voted 86 percent Republican and only 12 percent Democrat.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, November 6, 2014
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A Catholic philosopher’s spellbinding fight against Hitler
Kate Veik, Catholic News Agency

“Very, very few people in Germany in 1920-1921 already realized that Nazism was a poison,” von Hildebrand’s wife, Alice, explained. “People closed their eyes and did not want to see. (Dietrich) saw the danger and he warned people. Many people would call him a pessimist, but unfortunately he was right.”

Income Inequality Is Good For The Poor
Scott Winship, The Federalist

A comparison of global data shows that developed countries with more income inequality have higher standards of living for the poor and middle class.

How Schools Can Help Disadvantaged Families
Mary C. Tillotson, Family Studies

There’s no substitute for a stable, happy family—but a good school can do a great deal to support kids without one.

Common Core Loses at the Ballot Box
Lindsey M. Burke, National Review Online

Sorry, Common Core. Last night just wasn’t your night. Voters resoundingly sided with candidates who rejected Common Core national standards and tests and promised to restore state and local control of education.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
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Rogue pastors endorse candidates, but IRS looks away
Rachel Bade, Politico

A record number of rogue Christian pastors are endorsing candidates from the pulpit this election cycle, using Sunday sermons to defiantly flout tax rules. Their message to the IRS: Sue me.

Surrogacy and Christian Compassion
Kristin Larson, Juicy Ecumenism

Despite appearing to be “pro-life,” surrogacy commodifies human life by using a woman’s body to create and carry a child that she is legally obligated to give away.

What is the Church’s Political Role?
James Kalb, Crisis Magazine

For more than 1500 years the Church was a major influence on Western politics. That is how it should be. Ultimate standards matter, and if the Church doesn’t explain what they are and how to apply them someone else will.

Should the Supreme Court get involved in church property disputes?
Lyle Denniston, Constitution Daily

The governing arrangements of religious denominations often reflect matters of faith or doctrine, and those may conflict with principles of property law.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
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Episcopal Church in Michigan passes gun resolution
Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

By a clear majority, members of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan … voted recently to approve a resolution calling for universal background checks on all gun purchases, banning all sales of semiautomatic weapons, high-impact ammunition, high-capacity ammunition magazines, and making gun trafficking a federal crime.

Cracks in the atheist edifice
The Economist

The rapid spread of Christianity in China is forcing an official rethink on religion.

New HHS rules violate religious liberty
Tom Strode, Baptist Press

The Obama administration’s latest rules for its abortion/contraception mandate fail to resolve religious liberty concerns and should be scrapped, Southern Baptists’ lead ethicist Russell D. Moore has told the federal government.

Academic Freedom, Religious Institutions, and the State
Daniel Kuebler, Public Discourse

Government funding of education should not be tied to the beliefs of unaccountable academics. Public support for education should empower students and parents, and the choices they make.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 3, 2014
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Interview with an Islamic State Recruiter: ‘Democracy Is For Infidels’
Interview Conducted by Hasnain Kazim, Spiegel Online

How does Islamic State think? How do its followers see the world? Spiegel Online met up with an Islamic State recruiter in Turkey to hear about the extremist group’s vision for the future.

Houston’s Sermon Subpoenas Represent A Legal Opportunity For Religious Liberty Advocates
Leslie Loftis, The Federalist

Houston’s subpoenas of sermons are an opportunity to restrain the IRS’s decades of political persecution.

Segregated Surveys: How Politics Keeps Evangelicals White
Ruth Moon, Christianity Today

You can disbelieve in God, never go to church, and still identify as “evangelical” in most polls. But if you’re black and evangelical, you literally don’t count.

Five Ways Christians Can Increase Income Mobility
Manuel Salazar, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Over the past few years there has been much discussion about reducing poverty and increasing income mobility (also referred to as economic or social mobility) in the United States, but few viable solutions have been offered which can actually improve this important economic measure for individuals and families.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 31, 2014
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The Big Role of Black Churches in Two Senate Races
Nate Cohn, New York Times

Early voting on Sundays has been one of the biggest fronts in the voting wars of recent years. Some of this past Sunday’s early voting numbers make the reason quite clear.

The Last Thing We Should Do Right Now Is Raise The Minimum Wage
Andrew Quinn, The Federalist

Our economy’s urgent moral crisis is not insufficient returns from full-time work. It is insufficient access to full-time work.

Does the Church Favor Capitalism and Democracy?
Anthony Santelli, Crisis Magazine

The popes did consistently reject socialism and give better remarks for what is often called democratic capitalism. But we need to look more specifically at what the popes really praised.

Study: Competition from Uber and Lyft Helps the Poor
Josh Peterson, The Daily Signal

Low fares of competing taxi and ridesharing services mean better service for low-income communities, according to a study published Tuesday.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 30, 2014
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4 of Christianity’s Biggest Financial Blunders
Dave Albertson, On Faith

The Christian church has made some world-changing mistakes with money.

India’s charities tackle poverty through business
BBC

The Society for Child Development, which runs this programme, says the process does not just reduce waste but creates livelihoods. It says charity is not a solution. What they look for is a market to sell their goods.

Minimum wage, maximum damage
Iain Murray and Ryan Young, Washington Examiner

The overwhelming majority of empirical studies into the effects of the minimum wage find that it erodes employment.

If You Care About The Poor, Care About Marriage
Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

If you care about the poor, you need to start caring much more about marriage culture. The growing marriage divide is a major source of social and economic inequality, and is one largely unnoticed force eroding the American Dream. That’s the sobering message of a new report on economic success and marriage decline.