Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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Is Next Step in War on Religious Liberty Inspection of Religious Schools? That’s Happening in the UK
Genevieve Wood, The Daily Signal

In the name of tolerance, religious schools (to date, Christian and Jewish schools) in the UK are being “inspected” and in the case of one school, “downgraded,” for violating new education department guidelines the government there refers to as “British values.”

China Moves to Enact Rule of Law, With Caveats
Andrew Jacobs and Chris Buckley, New York Times

Communist Party leaders, seeking to address widespread dissatisfaction with China’s politicized and corrupt judiciary, endorsed a raft of legal changes on Thursday to foster a more predictable legal system while keeping the courts under the firm control of the party.

How Does Religion Influence Family Formation Decisions?
Maria E. Kaufmann, Family Studies

It takes a complex of religious factors—like fervor and community religiosity—to influence family formation practices.

The Wisdom of Peter Thiel
Mark Bauerlein, First Things

When God and his Word disappear from public life, the human community takes their place and supplies all us with its own values, norms, beliefs, and aims. The outcome isn’t a vibrant humanism. No, Thiel concludes, “We lose the freedom to think for ourselves.”

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
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Let’s Talk About How Islam Has Been Hijacked
Aly Salem, Wall Street Journal

I’m appalled by what is done in the name of my religion. Yet my American friends don’t want to hear it.

How Churches Should NOT Address Political Issues
John Lomperis, Juicy Ecumenism

What are good and bad ways for a church or denomination to officially address political issues?

Will The Real Government Crony Please Stand Up?
Ilya Shapiro, The Federalist

A North Carolina court case involving pushy dentists showcases how bad laws let some people employ government power to block entrepreneurs.

Judge Sides With IRS, Dismisses Lawsuits by Conservative Groups Over Targeting Scandal
Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., sided today with the Internal Revenue Service and dismissed lawsuits by tea party organizations seeking redress for improper delays and scrutiny of their applications for tax-exempt status.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 27, 2014
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Religious Sanctimony in Ferguson
Mark Tooley, The American Spectator

How nice of them to offer forgiveness to police they’ve already convicted.

Criminalizing the Hands That Feed the Homeless
Matt Schiavenza, The Atlantic

More cities are trying to stop residents and food pantries from helping people secure a hot meal.

Shock! Farm Bill Boondoggle Already Bigger than Politicians, Media Promised
Scott Lincicome, The Federalist

You’ll never believe it, you guys. The 2014 Farm Bill could – and I know, this is gonna sound crazy – impose more harm on US taxpayers and consumers than our political and media elite promised us just a few months ago.

Three Views: Do the Common Core Education Standards Endanger Religious Freedom?
Kevin Theriot, Karen Swallow Prior, Kristen Blair, Christianity Today

Why a nationwide standard for classrooms may cause concern.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 24, 2014
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Russian monks set up mozzarella factory amid Putin’s Italian food ban
The Independent

Monks living in a remote monastery on an island in Russia have set up a mozzarella factory to supply the country with the cheese after Vladimir Putin’s government banned the import of Italian food.

USAID Shows Commitment to Democracy by Covering Up Failures
Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest

It’s long been clear that the U.S. Agency for International Development’s “pro-democracy” spending in many countries in the wider Middle East has been a boondoggle and a flop. Now it turns out that the agency’s acting Inspector General tried to cover that failure up.

It’s time for Americans to stop giving their junk to the poor
Kristen Welch, Quarz

Why do we give others—often those in service to the poor or the poor themselves—something we wouldn’t keep or give ourselves?

Five Factors Impacting Poverty Today
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Flourishing requires faithfulness. We’re designed to be in relationship with our Creator, and marriage mirrors this intimacy. On a more mundane level, marriage allows a couple to share the burdens of daily life and of raising children.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Religious Liberty and the Bullies
Jim Tonkowich, Juicy Ecumenism

I strongly suspect that “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious” is just what those demands were intended to be with a great big side order of intimidating.

Hong Kong has too many poor people to allow direct elections, leader says
Heather Timmons, Quartz

Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement protesters have been demanding that the city’s top official, CY Leung, step down for weeks now. They may soon be joined by many more of the city’s 7 million residents, after a controversial interview last night in which Leung suggested that election reforms sought by the protestors would invite undue influence from the city’s poor.

Forced labor in America: Thousands of workers are being held against their will
Dara Lind, Vox

There are thousands of immigrants working in forced labor in the United States — lured into the country by false promises and then trapped or threatened by their employers so that they’re unable to leave.

Indiana to Start Requiring Food Stamp Recipients Work, Be in Job Training, Or Job Hunting
Kate Scanlon, The Daily Signal

Next spring, thousands could be cut from Indiana’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Indiana has previously waived the federal requirement that SNAP recipients are either employed, actively seeking employment or in training for future employment.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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How John Adams Helps Explain The American Mind
Richard Samuelson, The Federalist

The dispute between John Adams and Edmund Burke can illuminate today’s differences between American and European conservatives.

Catholicism and Capitalism: Redeeming the System
The Economist

“Indeed the very word ‘neoliberalism’ on the lips of the European (and Catholic) left has become an almost meaningless term for ‘whatever we don’t like.'”

Razed by Terror Attacks, a Church Will Rise Anew
Alex Vadukul, New York Times

Thirteen years ago, a small Greek Orthodox church with a ringing rooftop bell offered a reprieve from the city’s furious financial nerve center, until it was crushed when the World Trade Center’s south tower collapsed on Sept. 11. On Saturday, church officials blessed the ground where the new St. Nicholas church would rise.

U.S. High School Dropout Rates Fall, Especially Among Latinos
Ben Casselman, FiveThirtyEight

Elkhart’s improvement is a particularly dramatic example of a nation-wide trend: Graduation rates are improving, especially for Latinos.1 Nationally, the on-time graduation rate topped 80 percent for the first time in 2012, up from 74 percent five years earlier.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Houston Narrows Subpoenas, But Pastors Say Not Enough
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

The city of Houston, Texas announced yesterday that it has filed narrowed subpoenas against five pastors in a lawsuit against it challenging rejection of referendum petition signatures. At issue is an attempt by opponents of the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance to obtain its repeal.

Faith, Capitalism, and Economic Freedom
Keating Center Staff, Keating Center

Undeniably being the leader of the free world would be an incredibly demanding job. There is a reason why presidents’ hair seems to gray at a remarkably fast pace: they have to make extremely difficult decisions.

What Recent Events in Houston Mean for Religious Freedom
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

This is not the vision the founders saw for this nation. They saw religious liberty as one of the bedrock principles of the United States. Today our religious freedom is at risk of being replaced, at least in practice, by religious tolerance.

China’s One-Child Policy: Massive Crimes against Women, Supported by the Obama Administration
Chris Smith, Public Discourse

Under the Obama Administration, the United States is breaking its own law by giving taxpayer money to the United Nations Population Fund, which supports the One-Child Policy. It is also failing to implement immigration and visa bans for those who have been complicit in forced abortions and sterilizations.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 20, 2014
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Latest Oxford Economics Research Debunks Five Millennial Myths
Susan Galer, Forbes

More so than any other type of workers, millennials want to make a difference in society through their work, are willing to toil beyond the exhaustion point, and always have one foot out the door—or not.

Nigeria Says Boko Haram to Release Kidnapped Girls
Polly Mosendz, The Atlantic

Government aides say they are “cautiously optimistic” about this new ceasefire agreement

In Alabama, the religiously ‘unaffiliated’ now surpasses this major religious group
Carol McPhail, AL.com

The percentage of Alabamians not affiliated with a specific religion surpasses the percentage of white mainline Protestants, ranking it third among “religious” groups, according to new research.

Who and where America’s poor people are, in charts
Sonali Kohli, Quartz

There are 48.67 million people living in poverty in the US, according to the new Census Bureau Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). That’s 15.5% of the country’s population.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 17, 2014
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Malala Is What The Real War On Women Looks Like
Amber Barno, The Federalist

Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Prize was well earned, and it presents a moment to discuss genuine oppression of women worldwide.

Obama Authorizes National Guard To Help Fight Ebola
Lauren F. Friedman, Reuters

President Barack Obama authorized the use of American military reservists on Thursday to support humanitarian aid efforts against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

How Boko Haram’s Murders and Kidnappings Are Changing Nigeria’s Churches
Interview by Timothy C. Morgan, Christianity Today

Leading Nigerian evangelical says Christians won’t abandon the North.

Poor Kids Are Starving for Words
Jessica Lahey, The Atlantic

According to a new initiative, launched at the White House on Thursday, the “word gap” that afflicts low-income children needs to be addressed with the same passion as child hunger.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 16, 2014
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Economic Liberty and the Constitution
Paul J. Larkin Jr., The Daily Signal

Recently, there has been a renewed interest in the question whether the Constitution protects individual economic activity without undue—some might say any—government regulation or interference.

The Catholic Church Explains Sexual Mores—With Economics
Emma Green, The Atlantic

A new report from the Vatican softens its rhetoric on homosexuality, divorce, and pre-marital sex, arguing that they are shaped by financial instability. What does this mean?

Freedom and Flourishing in Hong Kong
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Hong Kong has retained some institutions that set it apart from Communist China. Its inclination toward greater trade and free expression has generated a level of prosperity that the mainland cannot attain with its burdensome regulations.

We All Want Freedom. But What Is the Highest Form of Freedom?
Orion D. Jones, Big Think

With midterm elections drawing near, what differentiates our two main political parties? Both profess a love of freedom but understand the world differently.