Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, December 5, 2014
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In 2 Charts: Why the ‘War on Poverty’ Should be Renamed the ‘War on Marriage’
Kelsey Harris, The Daily Signal

According to research by Robert Rector, an expert in welfare at the Heritage Foundation, more than 40 percent of all children born in the U.S. were born outside of marriage in 2013, and the number of single-parent families with children has skyrocketed by nearly 10 million.

With fewer young people gambling, time for a government rethink
Chrisitan Science Monitor

Despite a proliferation of casinos and lotteries, fewer Americans are playing, especially those under 30. Now is a good time to question government backing of an industry that targets youths.

Practical Wisdom from Proverbs for Applying Your Faith at Work
Grey Ayers, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What does it mean to work with Christian distinctiveness for a client, alongside your co-workers, or for your boss?

To Fight Child Homelessness, Strengthen Families
Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

The link between single mothers and child homelessness is one more reason the decline of marriage should alarm us.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 4, 2014
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Two Catholic Camps Worth Debating
Ryan Shinkel, Ethika Politika

Saudek mentions two camps of Catholics—liberal ones who happily embrace CST for its alignment with their center-left policies while ignoring teachings on subjects like marriage and sanctity of life, and fiscal and social conservative ones who act vice versa.

The Paradox of Generosity
Cole Carnesecca, The Gospel Coalition

It is always encouraging to find biblical principles empirically verified in the academic arena. Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson’s The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose does exactly that. The findings of the book are rather straightforward, and the authors muster ample evidence in their defense.

Utah orders startup to raise prices so competitors are “treated fairly”
Timothy B. Lee, Vox

Utah insurance regulators are taking action against Zenefits, a technology startup that helps small businesses manage their human resource needs. Zenefits offers a free website that helps companies manage payroll, vacation time, health insurance, and so forth.

Most College Students Don’t Earn a Degree in 4 Years, Study Finds
Tamar Lewin, New York Times

The vast majority of students at American public colleges do not graduate on time, according to a new report from Complete College America, a nonprofit group based in Indianapolis.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
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1 in 3 Americans want a divorce between clergy and civil marriages
Cathy Lynn Grossman, Religion News Service

Should clergy divorce themselves from civil marriage? Such a church-state split — already endorsed by some Catholic and evangelical leaders — is showing surprising popularity in two new surveys released Tuesday by LifeWay Research.

‘My Work is More Important than Yours,’ So Say We All
Bethany Jenkins, The Gospel Coalition

Public school districts in the United States do not prioritize dance over, say, math. This is not, however, a mere accident of history.

What It Means to Listen: Free Speech from the Perspective of the Abrahamic Religions
Dominic Burbidge, Public Discourse

The Abrahamic religions provide a radical interpretation of the importance of speech: it is the primary way in which God reveals himself. Because persons of faith believe that God has spoken, they are called to develop and deepen their capacities for listening.

It’s the greatest achievement in human history, and one you probably never heard about
Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas

Dartmouth economics professor Douglas Irwin has an excellent op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal — “The Ultimate Global Antipoverty Program,” with the subtitle “Extreme poverty fell to 15% in 2011, from 36% in 1990. Credit goes to the spread of capitalism.”

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
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Pope seeks meeting with Russian Orthodox leader, but says theological agreement impossible
Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

“I said I’ll go wherever you want — you call me and I’ll go. And he also has the same desire,” Francis said. “But with the problems of the war, the poor guy [Patriarch Kirill] has so many problems, so a meeting with the pope will have to wait. But we do want to meet. We want to go forward.”

Patriarch Kirill: ‘The Lack of Morals Is Incompatible with Happiness’
Pravmir

“Thus a question arises: are God’s Commandments, being so old-fashioned, guiding stars as well?,” Kirill asked. “The answer is simple: they are the only guiding stars.”

Our giant welfare state
Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post

Call it a massive case of national self-deception. Indeed, judged by how much of their national income countries devote to social spending, we have the world’s second-largest welfare state — just behind France.

Redeeming Gratitude, Wonder & Work
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Before the Fall, we were designed for and called to work. But after Adam sinned, our souls were severed from relationship with their Creator. The Fall affected creation, too. The ground does not respond the way it was intended to, and work now involves toil.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 1, 2014
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Francis rolls out ‘social gospel’ case for Catholic/Orthodox unity
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

Sometimes what a pope doesn’t say can be just as important as what he does, and such was the case in Turkey on Sunday as Pope Francis laid out his vision for unity between Catholics and Orthodox Christianity.

How Travis Crockett Leaned on God and Helping Hands to Lift Himself From Poverty and Mean Streets
Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

Violence, gangs and drugs were unavoidable. Travis’s father was largely absent from his life. His mother lacked the means to support him and his brother.

We Should Be Grateful for Our Problems
Ed Feulner, The Daily Signal

Frankly, we should be grateful for our problems as well. We rise in life to the degree to which we can solve problems. Time and again, from Valley Forge to Sept. 11, Americans have faced our problems squarely — and solved them.

Supreme Court considers extent of free speech over Internet
Sam Hananel, Associated Press

In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday was to consider whether Elonis’ Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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Is Russia Banning Islam?
Raymond Ibrahim, FrontPageMag

Russia appears to be taking serious moves to combat the “radicalization” of Muslims within its border.

What George Washington Teaches Us about Thanksgiving and God’s Providence
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Washington’s proclamation represents the first to be so designated by the new government of the United States of America. This “general thanksgiving” was a day appointed, “to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”

What’s Stopping Young Adults From Forming Stable Families?
David Lapp, Family Studies

If working-class young adults are so eager to get married and have stable families, what’s stopping them?

Marriage and the Black Family
Jacqueline C. Rivers, Public Discourse

Black children have suffered the most as a result of the decline of marriage in the black community. And today marriage faces new threats. Adapted from an address delivered at the Vatican during the Humanum Colloquium.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
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Catholic Social Thought and the Law: Usury
Steve Bainbridge, ProfessorBainbridge.com

In my seminar on Catholic Social Thought (CST) and the Law tonight’s discussion focuses on usury. Why does the Church oppose usury? What is the current teaching on usury? What is usury? Has the Church’s definition of usury and/or its position on usury changed over time? If so, what does that mean for other Church teachings?

Six new Catholic saints at a glance
Associated Press

Pope Francis on Sunday canonized six new saints, two Indians and four Italians, all of whom dedicated their lives to helping the poor.

Why the Crackdown? Christians Now Outnumber Communists in China
Steven W. Mosher, Aleteia

China’s Communist government has been on an anti-Christian rampage of late, tearing down churches in the coastal city of Wenzhou and elsewhere, arresting underground bishops and home church leaders, and illicitly ordaining pliant priests as Catholic “bishops.“ But underneath this escalating campaign of repression – in fact, the reason for it – is a rapidly growing population of Christians.

You’ve Never Heard of This Legislation. But If Passed, It Would Increase the Welfare State.
Robert Rector, The Daily Signal

The ABLE Act (H.R. 647) would effectively eliminate the asset test for many families that receive means-tested welfare assistance. Consequently, it would expand the welfare state.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 24, 2014
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Office Space: The Benefits Of Working With Your Hands
Dylan Pahman, Humane Pursuits

While most people cannot excuse themselves every day at noon to go dig a ditch out behind their office, we all can find ways to incorporate manual labor into our daily spiritual practice (something I continually need to remember myself).

Christian Inmate Suing Indiana To Recognize Religion
Daniel Silliman, Religion Dispatches

An Eastern Orthodox prison inmate won a small but important victory in his legal fight to have the Indiana Department of Corrections recognize his religion.

The Justice Department becomes a schoolyard bully in Wisconsin
George F. Will, Washington Post

Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Justice Department wants to destroy Wisconsin’s school choice program.

Churches and Obama’s Executive Amnesty
Mark Tooley, First Things

That U.S. immigration policy should be based on several Scripture passages simply urging kindness to strangers was a dubious claim but one that supposedly would mobilize millions of Evangelicals to compel the Republican House of Representatives to approve the Democratic Senate’s legislation for mass legalization.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, November 21, 2014
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Why has Pentecostalism grown so dramatically in Latin America?
David Masci, Pew Research Center

With nearly 300 million followers worldwide, including many in Africa and Latin America, Pentecostalism is now a global phenomenon. But present day Pentecostalism traces its origins to a religious revival movement that began in the early 20th century.

Iraqi prelate raps Muslim silence on atrocities of Islamic State
Catholic World News

Iraq’s leading Catholic prelate has decried the silence of the world’s Islamic leaders in the face of the “barbaric” violence of the Islamic State.

Rabbi Sacks: Family Is Most Humanizing Institution in History
Zenit

Here is the address given Monday by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks at the colloquim underway in the Vatican on the complementarity of man and woman. The rabbi’s address was titled “The Family is the Single Most Humanising Institution in History.”

The poor want ‘dignity, not charity,’ pope says
Inés San Martín, Crux

Pope Francis called hunger and malnutrition a cause of scandal on Thursday, and declared that the poor of the world “ask for dignity, not charity.”

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, November 20, 2014
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What Tocqueville Can Teach Us About the Culture War
Richard Samuelson, Library of Law and Liberty

In America, civil associations are completely voluntary, and yet they have, or had, a very important civic role. Civil society was a space of liberty, with very few regulations. No one was required to cease drinking, and no one was required to monetarily support a temperance group, or a charity hospital, church, reading club, or fraternal or other charitable organization.

Is There a Link between Childhood Homelessness and Single Parenthood?
Leslie Ford, The Daily Signal

A new report from The National Center on Family Homelessness concludes that “the challenges of single parenting” is one of the serious causes of homelessness. This conclusion makes sense. Single-parenthood drastically increases the likelihood of poverty and the risks of negative outcomes for children.

In defense of sweatshops — they’re often the best and fastest way for the poor to escape poverty
Mark J. Perry, AEIdeas

Closing sweatshops and forcing Western labor and environmental standards down poor people’s throats in the third world does nothing to elevate them out of poverty.

Three Things a Tesla Teaches Us about Stewardship
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The Tesla is becoming an increasingly frequent sight in the area in which I live, as are many other kinds of electric vehicles. Commercially, this technology is relatively new, but despite the political undertones inevitable to any discussion involving environmental technology, it can teach us a lot about our call to stewardship.