Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 28, 2015
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A maverick voice in Russia’s national church loses his job
Erasmus, The Economist

Contrary to some impressions, Russian Orthodoxy is not, or not yet, a political monolith. Nor is it an army marching in perfect obedience to President Vladimir Putin. In some ways, its ranks include more openly expressed diversity than the country’s legislature or academic establishment.

Why Education Does Not Fix Poverty
Matt Bruenig, Demos

If the poverty rates for each educational bin remained the same, then the upward redistribution of adults from the lower bins to the higher bins would have led to lower overall poverty. But that’s not what happened.

Christian Entrepreneurship Program Launches Ask an Advisor Program
Center for Christian Business Ethics

Are you an entrepreneur struggling with running a better business? Here is an opportunity that could have your questions answered for free.

Top Ten Religious Liberty and Church-State Developments of 2015
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

Each year in December I attempt to pick the most important church-state and religious liberty developments of the past year. This year was rich with possibilities, and some of my picks actually arose in a broader context but have will have an important impact on religious liberty claims or church-state challenges.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
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Property Rights and Religious Liberty
Larry P. Arnn, Imprimis

Many Christians, while they cherish religious liberty, seem to believe that property rights, and the commerce that arises from the establishment of property rights, are somehow un-Christian.

Has capitalism devoured Christmas?
Michael R. Strain, Washington Post

Christmas comes once a year, but it highlights a larger question: Does capitalism, and the consumerism it enables, have adverse effects on the moral character of individuals and society? Is modern capitalism incompatible with Christian living?

Christmas and Vocation
Gene Veith, Cranach

One thing you learn from the doctrine of vocation is that the Christian life includes what we might describe as the secular. The realm of “Christian” does not consist just of overtly devout exercises.

Actually, things are pretty good
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, USA Today

Free markets and free inquiry have changed the historic ‘norms’ of poverty and violence.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
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The Best and Worst Cities for School Choice
Amelia Hamilton, Reason.com

A recent report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute ranking America’s best and worst cities for school choice includes two consistent winners—New Orleans and Washington, D.C.—at the top, and a trio of Texas cities in the bottom half of the 30 areas surveyed, with Albany, N.Y., bringing up the rear.

Kenyan Muslims shield Christians in Mandera bus attack
BBC

A group of Kenyan Muslims travelling on a bus ambushed by Islamist gunmen protected Christian passengers by refusing to be split into groups, according to eyewitnesses.

What Do Employers Owe Their Workers?
David Lapp, Family Studies

Many workers today adhere to a “one-way honor system”: they’re loyal employees, but expect little from employers.

2016 Appropriations Act Includes Focus On International Religious Liberty
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

The massive Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 signed into law by President Obama last week includes a number of provisions specifically relating to international religious freedom.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 21, 2015
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Top 7 Scroogiest Scrooges of the Holiday Season
The Becket Fund

Who deserves a lump of coal this holiday season? Each year Becket names the most absurd affronts to Christmas and Hanukkah, listing the most outrageous offenders of holiday cheer until we reach the top bah-humbugging, grinchiest transgressor. Not only do they deserve a lump of coal, they are crowned with the great (dis)honorable Ebenezer Award.

The nation’s new education law is a major conservative triumph
Frederick M. Hess and Elizabeth English, AEI

Last week, conservatives scored a smashing educational triumph: Congress passed and President Obama signed a bill replacing the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) ends the pretense that Washington bureaucrats should tell states how to judge school performance, how to intervene in schools, or which teachers are qualified.

Catholics, Evangelicals join forces to aid refugees
Inés San Martín, Crux

Catholics and Evangelicals are joining forces to create a humanitarian corridor connecting Morocco, Lebanon, and Italy in order to provide safe travel and relocation for an estimated 1,000 refugees from Africa and the Middle East threatened by war or famine.

Many Millennials see Christmas as more cultural than religious holiday
Michael Lipka, Pew Research

Millennials are less religious than older Americans and less likely to identify with a religious group, and those traits are reflected in the way they celebrate Christmas. Nine-in-ten Millennials say they take part in Christmas, but only four-in-ten say they do so mainly as a religious holiday, according to a survey we conducted in 2013.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, December 18, 2015
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What “Social Justice” Really Means
Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., Crisis Magazine

“Social justice” was purportedly a new addition to the classical legal, distributive, and commutative justice ideas found in Aristotle. It was rather connected with the Leviathan state.

Government Should Make Economic Freedom Its New Year’s Resolution
Veronique de Rugy, Reason.com

It’s Christmas time again, and with it come the dreams of better times. Families struggling with the consequences of the most recent recession will be happy to know that there is a simple way to improve their lives and keep or make more money in the process. It’s called economic freedom, and the United States used to be very good at maintaining it.

Anti-Christian persecution isn’t all about Islam
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

Three points can never be repeated often enough to put the understanding of anti-Christian persecution in the early 21st century in its proper context.

Why You’d Be Wrong in Thinking the Fed Just Raised Interest Rates
Norbert Michel, The Daily Signal

For the first time in seven years, the Federal Reserve has raised its target for the federal funds rate. Some news reports get this story right, but most repeat the standard line that the Fed has raised interest rates. This is wrong. The Fed does not set interest rates, and it’s more than just semantics.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 17, 2015
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Entrepreneurship Center Of Easterly’s Hayek Lecture On Poverty Alleviation
Atlas Network

In his 2015 Hayek Lecture at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, development economist William Easterly explained that the most important factor in lifting people out of poverty is allowing free markets and entrepreneurship to flourish.

Human Rights As a Religion
Mark Movsesian, First Things

Human Rights purports to provide a grounding for morality and social order—what Christianity used to do. The problem, Scruton says, is that Human Rights is itself without foundation and therefore cannot play the role people wish to assign it.

Americans divided on government’s role in space exploration
Monica Anderson, Pew Research

From the moon landings to Star Wars, Americans have long had a fascination with space and affection for NASA, but today’s public is divided on what role their government should play in future space exploration.

Leftists Are The Economic Science Deniers
Patrick Hedger, The Federalist

Several major Obama administration positions fly in the face of widely accepted economic theories, even those taught in Economics 101. This includes climate change.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
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Catholic schools like the new federal education law
Carol Zimmermann, Catholic News Service

The measure, overwhelmingly approved by the House and Senate, also was endorsed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education, the National Catholic Educational Association and the Council for American Private Education.

Has Congress Already Forgotten About the Deficit?
Russell Berman, The Atlantic

A sweeping tax bill under discussion would cost $700 billion to $800 billion over a decade, erasing revenue generated from recent fiscal deals.

The latest social science is wrong. Religion is good for families and kids.
W. Bradford Wilcox, AEI

It’s a message we hear more and more: Religion is bad. And certainly recent headlines — from terrorist attacks perpetrated by radical Islamists in Paris and San Bernardino to the strange brew of warped Christian fundamentalism that appeared to motivate alleged shooter Robert Dear at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs — feeds the idea that religion is a force for ill in the world.

Corporations are People, Too
Carson Holloway, Public Discourse

The contemporary left’s extreme anti-corporation position is hostile to the traditional legal culture of American liberty, which advances the common good by protecting the rights of both individuals and formally organized groups of people.