Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
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Pope drafting encyclical on man and environment
Associated Press

Pope Francis has begun drafting an encyclical on ecology. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the document was still very much in its early stages and that no publication date has been set. He said it would be about ecology and more specifically the “ecology of man.”

Why should we care about school choice?
Michael McShane, AEI Ideas

School choice fundamentally challenges the organizational structure of schools by allowing parents to choose where their child goes to school, supported by public dollars.

Crony Capitalism vs. Market Morality
Timothy P. Carney, Reason

Finding an ethical lobbying line in a fallen age of corporatism.

The U.S. Puts ‘Moderate’ Restrictions on Religious Freedom
Emma Green, The Atlantic

A new Pew study reveals complex questions about First Amendment rights.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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Pope tells Christians to put aside their divisions
Associated Press

Pope Francis has led a prayer service in a Rome basilica attended by representatives of Orthodox, Anglican and other Christian communities in hopes of healing centuries-old divisions.

On “Shark Tank,” Income Inequality, and the Glory of Entrepreneurship
Owen Strachan, thoughtlife

It has struck me in my limited viewings of “Shark Tank” that this wildly popular show offers a nice response to the quandary of “income inequality” so frequently discussed today.

Conservatives and the Constitution
Rob Schwarzwalder, Public Discourse

Conservatives must resist the temptation toward “big-government conservatism.” Easy acceptance of extra-constitutional federal powers betrays the philosophical roots of the conservative movement.

A Sustainable Solution to Poverty
Lord Brian Griffiths, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What’s the best way to help the poor without trapping individuals in a cycle of dependency? It’s not aid. Not philanthropy. Not even straightforward commercial activity.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 27, 2014
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Have Icon, Will Travel
Alexander F. C. Webster, American Orthodox Institute

The ministry of an Orthodox Army chaplain in southwest Asia post-9/11.

A Moral Basis for Markets: A Response to James Stoner
Michael C. Munger, Public Discourse

All truly voluntary exchange should be allowed without state interference. But many exchanges that are not fully voluntary should be allowed, too. It is immoral to restrict the ability of market processes to create a space where right action is rewarded and immoral actions are punished.

Key findings about growing religious hostilities around the world
Agelina Theodorou, Pew Research Center

Our new report found that a third of the 198 countries and territories studied in 2012 had a high or very high level of social hostilities involving religion, the highest share in the six years of the study.

Why It’s So Hard To Come Out of the Homeschool Closet
Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

Why aren’t more people open about homeschooling? When people ask me where I went to high school, I usually have to take a deep breath before I reply. Here it comes. “I was homeschooled,” I’ll reply.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 24, 2014
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The Philosophical Basis for Religious Liberty
Michel Therrien, Crisis Magazine

We should be careful in the present public discourse around religious liberty. If we employ relativism to defend this right, we can be assured that this same rationale will come back to bite us.

A Fiscal Conservative Defends the Pope
Scott Fyall, Values & Capitalism

Fiscal conservatism and Catholicism’s teachings on helping the poor are compatible—but it is up to us to make it so.

On masculinity and the War on Poverty
Melanie Sturm, Washington Examiner

Rather than apply Band-Aids to the cancer of chronic unemployment — like unemployment-insurance extensions and minimum-wage hikes — political elites must focus on the real problem: Millions of males, especially less-educated men, are “unhitched from the engine of growth,” according to a 2011 Brookings Institution report.

Five Things Christians Need to Know about Income Inequality, and What You Can Do about It
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Bringing about flourishing through good stewardship requires discerning the biblical principles that will lead us to understand whether income inequality is a problem, and if so, how we are to respond. The best way to summarize this tough topic is through these five points that are critical for Christians to understand in order to bring about greater flourishing, especially for the poor.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 23, 2014
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Monks from the Kiev-Caves Lavra stand between police and demonstrators in Kiev
Pravoslavie.ru

Yesterday morning, monks from the Kiev-Caves Lavra Fr. Gabriel, Fr. Melchisedek, and Fr. Ephraim stood on Grushevsky Street in Kiev with a cross and icons, between the demonstrators and the Ukrainian special police force “Berkut”, and stopped the conflict. They entered the arena as peace-makers, and not in support of one side or the other.

The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence
Brian Auten, Mere Orthodoxy

The thesis of The Locust Effect is straightforward: without effectively addressing the “locusts” of “common, everyday, predatory violence” (50) and lawlessness that eat away at the politically and economically disenfranchised in the developing world, no amount of poverty-alleviation work is going to do any lasting good.

Jesus Wants Business Leaders
Sutton Turner, Resurgence

Many of us assume that leaders in the church must have some sort of professional credentials, like formal ordination or a seminary degree. That’s what I thought, anyway. But what does the Bible say?

Why Anti-Catholic Prejudice Ought to Bother Everyone
Rev. Robert Barron, National Review Online

What is particularly troubling today is the manner in which this deep-seated anti-Catholicism is finding expression precisely through that most enduring and powerful of American institutions, namely the law.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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Spitting in Rome’s Eye: A Reflection on How Orthodoxy’s Sinfulness Prevents Reunion
Fr. Oliver Herbel, Red River Orthodox

Many Orthodox prefer to dismiss Catholicism and Protestantism as two sides of the same coin, as though Orthodoxy is completely separate from them. If it weren’t for the fact that such an attitude is based on ignorance, it would be audacious in the extreme.

The Elephant in the ‘Christian Persecution’ Room
Raymond Ibrahim , Front Page

Open Doors USA recently released its widely cited 2014 World Watch List—a report that highlights and ranks the 50 worst nations around the globe persecuting Christians.

Capitalism’s Enigma And Its Future
Donald Devine, The Federalist

In How the West Grew Rich, Nathan Rosenberg and L.E. Birdzell traced the beginnings of the legal order underlying capitalism back even further than did Marx, to the 13th Century, or earlier.

Study: Charter Schools Raise Nearby Home Values by Thousands of Dollars
Jason Richwine, National Review Online

One of the most consistent results found in the education literature is that school choice leads to high levels of satisfaction among parents. Researchers normally measure parental satisfaction with simple surveys, but a new paper by Robert Shapiro and Kevin Hassett offers a more rigorous test: Are parents willing to pay a premium to live in an area with more school options?

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
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Unwinding Obamacare
Jame C. Capretta and Yuval Levin, The Weekly Standard

Obamacare is no longer a theoretical proposition. It is now being implemented, if with some notable exceptions for the portions of the law the Obama administration finds particularly inconvenient.

U.S. Congress Urged to Call For Ahmadi Muslim Prisoners’ Release in Saudi Arabia
Imran Jattala, Examiner

An important U.S. Congressional hearing on Plight of Prisoners of Conscience was held by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at Capitol Hill today, it is reported.

Facebook page mocking Greek Orthodox monk leads to jail sentence
Reuters

Filippos Loizos found guilty of blasphemy after portraying the late Father Paisios as a pasta-based dish

Recovering The Habits Of Self-Government
David Corbin and Matt Parks, The Federalist

Promoting the culture we so desperately need.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 20, 2014
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Obama mocks Catholic nuns for resisting Obamacare contraception mandate
Andrew P. Napolitano, Washington Times

Generally, for almost 230 years, the federal government left us alone to choose freely our religious practices and to worship as we believe. Until now. Today, the free exercise of religion is under attack by the government.

To Combat Inequality, We Need Solidarity
David Lapp, Family Studies

What can a typical person do about poverty and inequality? Striving for solidarity is one starting point.

The World’s War on Christianity
Robert J. Morgan, Huffington Post

In his new book, The Global War on Christians, John L. Allen, Jr., senior Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Report, called the massive worldwide wave of anti-Christian violence “the most dramatic religion story of the early 21st century.”

The Morality of the National Debt
Jay W. Richards, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Here are three key questions I’ve encountered in thinking and discussing this important issue, and that I asked yesterday as part of my analysis.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 17, 2014
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Climate Theology
Steven Hayward, Powerline

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse thought he could discredit Spencer not by arguing science, but by essentially asking Spencer “Are you now or have you ever been a believing Christian?”

Money: An Instrument for Blessing, Not an Indicator of It
John Onwuchekwa, 9Marks Blog

I was in college. I was a young Christian. And I remember walking past my pastor’s luxury car into the church office one day, and was greeted by a sign on the door that read, “We are no longer accepting requests for benevolence due to budgetary constraints.”

The Chief Cause of the Wealth of Nations is Not Material at All, but Knowledge and Skill
Matt Perman, What’s Best Next

This is why helping the poor is about far more than giving fruit baskets at Christmas. Aid, while it has its place and is essential in emergency situations, does not go to the root cause of poverty and that’s why it will never provide the ultimate solution.

9 Things You Should Know About Poverty in America
Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

Fifty years ago this month, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the ‘war on poverty’ an attempt to harness the power of government to help the poor. Here are nine things you should know about poverty in America.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 16, 2014
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Ukraine Catholic leader: government threats will not intimidate Church
Catholic World News

The leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has vowed that his clergy will not be deterred by the government’s threat to revoke the registration of the Byzantine-rite body.

5.3 billion people face harsh religious freedom restrictions
Brian Pellot, Religion News Service

Global religious hostilities reached a six-year high in 2012 and affected more people than government curbs on religious freedom, according to the Pew Research Center’s latest report on religious restrictions around the world.

A War on Income Inequality Is a Bad Idea
Tyler Castle, Values & Capitalism

President Obama has effectively declared a similar war on income inequality, which he believes “is the defining challenge of our time.” Expect more LBJ-like language about inequality when Obama delivers his own State of the Union address later this month.

Does the Bible Condemn Trade?
R. Mark Isaac, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Even when both economists and theologians acknowledge the “mutual benefit” motivation of free exchange, there is nevertheless a potential and important parting of the ways when the terms of “benefit” are dissected.