Category: PowerLinks

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?

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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Power Tends to Corrupt
Christopher Lazarski, Liberty Law Blog

In this podcast, Lazarski underscores Lord Acton’s historical quest to find the conditions of liberty, as well as his formal understanding of what constituted liberty.

Pope Francis’ Missionary Church
James V. Schall, S.J., Catholic World Report

The Pontiff’s focus (and impatience) is “this-worldly,” but it is not “utopian” or modernist.

Beyond Social Work: Reflections on Poverty Alleviation
Greg Lane, Patheos

How should Christians approach poverty alleviation? By following Scriptural commands for helping the poor, and by working with families, churches, businesses, and government to effect lasting change.

What Can George Bailey, Jerry Maguire, and Gordon Gekko Teach Us About Entrepreneurship and Evangelism?
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What follows is an entertaining history of entrepreneurship as seen through the eyes of movie and television writers, including everyone from Ralph Kramden of The Honeymooners to the creators of the current reality show Shark Tank.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 16, 2013
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Pope: I’m not a Marxist
Daniel Burke, CNN

In a new interview, Pope Francis responded to critics who call his stance on capitalism “Marxist,” saying that the political and economic philosophy is flat “wrong.”

Charlie Brown, Pope Francis and Political Economy
Fr Gregory, Koinonia

Christian defenders of classical political and economic liberalism need to bear in mind I think that both the free market and democracy depend on a virtuous citizenry.

3 charts that show what’s really going on with economic mobility in the US
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

Conservatives would prefer to talk about economic mobility rather than income inequality, at least for now. As far as the former goes, Richard Reeves and Kerry Searle Grannis of Brookings put together a great blog post with some must-see charts on the topic.

Sex Trafficking in Your Backyard
Caitlin Bootsma, Crisis Magazine

News of mothers selling their pre-adolescent daughters into sex slavery cannot help but raise the ire of concerned people around the world. The stories out of Svay Pak, Cambodia are heartbreaking, with a large percentage of 8-12 year olds being farmed out to “sex tourists” and young virgins being rented out for the weekend to the highest rapist bidder.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, December 13, 2013
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Raising minimum wage would be disastrous for minorities
Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas

Probably the most vulnerable, at-risk group in the labor market would have to be black male teenagers, judging by the 44.3% jobless rate for that group in November.

Churches Gain, Islamists Lose in Latest Draft of Egypt’s Constitution
Jayson Casper, Christianity Today

Egyptian Christians will soon have a law to regulate church building. But this is only one achievement celebrated by Copts in the revised national charter scrubbed of most of its Islamist tinge.

May the Most Well-Connected Win: How Cronyism Steals our Wealth and our Values
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What if you or someone you knew were kept from pursuing a vocation or making a living because someone else had the power to put you down or block you from opportunities? What if that theft were legal? It is, and some people – even some Christians – think it’s legitimate.

Human Rights Day: Still pursuing religious freedom
Katrina Lantos Swett and Mary Ann Glendon, Reuters

75 percent of the world’s population now lives in countries in which this freedom is highly restricted, according to a recent Pew study.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 12, 2013
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Pope Francis and America’s Obligations to the Poor
Ryan T. Anderson, The Foundry

Our obligations to the poor extend into the political arena and require good public policy. Crafting such policy requires sound principles, prudence, and technical expertise to determine any given policy’s likely economic, social, and cultural effects

Subsidiarity
James Kalb, Catholic World Report

Why is this basic principle of Catholic social teaching praised more than it is practiced?

Do Mennonites Who Make Cabinets Have Religious Liberty in America?
Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review

“When my father started the company, he never would have imagined that he would be filing a lawsuit to protect one of his core Christian values, both personally and professionally.”

Christian History’s Radical Approach to Poverty
Richard Turnbull, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

How can Christians learn from history how best to serve the poor?

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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Ukraine protest is spiritual movement, bishop says
Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant clergy have been assisting the demonstrators.

Business Is a Community Service
Joy Pullmann, Values & Capitalism

In short, providing something people need at a price that keeps buyers happy and the business running is a community service.

How to Help Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions
Amy Payne, The Foundry

Those who buy health insurance on their own in the individual market—about 10 percent of the private market—are the ones who need the protection. So let’s send the help there.

The Controversy Over Evangelii Gaudium
Rachel Lu, Crisis Magazine

My friends seem to think I have a problem because I’m a Catholic who likes free markets. More specifically, I take my faith seriously, but I also incline towards the view that global markets are less free than they should be.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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Is Religious Freedom in Peril?
Kevin Allen, Ancient Faith Radio

GetReligion blogger and newspaper columnist Terry Mattingly and Fr. Hans Jacobse, founder of the American Orthodox Institute and an Acton University lecturer, join host Kevin Allen in a wide ranging conversation about “the complex issues surrounding religious freedom as well as the prospects of losing it.”

71 Christians Killed In Nigeria In November
Pravoslavie.ru

At least 71 Christians were killed in November in Nigeria as a result of attacks on Christian villages by the nomadic Fulani people and the Boko Haram militants.

The economic benefits of childbearing
Nicole M. King, MercatorNet

When American parents take on the burden of bearing and rearing a child, they deliver a huge dividend to society.

How To Choose a Career: Advice From a Puritan Pastor
Jeff Haanen

Richard Baxter, a 17th century Puritan pastor, answered just such questions about calling from his flock. But he didn’t answer them the way we would.