Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Senate Passes Special Envoy Bill to Prioritize State Department Engagement on Religious Liberty
Leanna Baumer, FRC Blog

The U.S. Senate took an encouraging step forward in the effort to force the State Department to prioritize the freedom of religion in diplomatic efforts globally. In a unanimous vote, the Senate cleared the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act of 2014 (S. 653).

Supreme Court: Government Can’t Make People Into Religious Hypocrites
Travis Weber, The Federalist

The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision recognized that who people are can’t be separated into separate ‘work’ and ‘faith’ boxes.

Compassion and the Rule of Law
Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary

The surge of illegal aliens–and in particular unaccompanied minors from Central America–across the border in Texas has started a debate in which more than immigration reform seems to be stake.

The Quiet Movement to Make Government Fail Less Often
David Leonhardt, New York Times

When the federal government is good, it’s very, very good. When it’s bad (or at least deeply inefficient), it’s the norm.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, July 14, 2014

Religious Witness and Public Policy
Cecil Bohanon, Indiana Policy Review

As a free-market economist and a rather traditional Christian, I wish churches would stay out of politics. It gives me the willies when anyone tries to wrap their political position as God’s will — and make no mistake, a clerical collar under an activist banner sends that impression.

Why ‘compassionate conservatism’ died
Marvin Olasky, WORLD

Compassionate conservatism became anathema among conservatives because it had no limiting principle and it therefore, within the context of getting liberals to fund the Iraq war, pragmatically accepted and even encouraged budget-busting governmental spending.

States That Adopt This Policy Have Much Better Economies
Stephen Moore, The Daily Signal

In 26 states, workers can be compelled to join a union and pay dues at a union shop whether they wish to or not. Under the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, workers can even be forced to pay union dues for partisan political activities with which they don’t agree.

Sherri Shepherd Decides to Cancel Her Baby Order
Gene Tarne, Aleteia

Rejecting the child before his or her birth to a surrogate mother provokes lots of questions.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, July 11, 2014

Filmmaking in Unexpected Places
An interview with Eric Johnson, The Gospel Coalition

Eric Johnson is one of the founding filmmakers at Gorilla, a commercial and entertainment film production company working to embody the values found in stories they tell. They are the creative force behind For the Life of the World, a film series that applies an innovative approach to the intersection of faith and entertainment.

When Christians killed & why Muslim violence continues
David Roach, Baptist Press

How the principle of religious liberty ended executions over doctrine.

How Evangelical Christians Do Money: On Tithing
Interview with Tara Leigh, The Billfold

I like nice things. I like new things. Tithing helps refocus me on things that matter, instead of those fleeting joys that will end up in a yard sale someday. In short, it demonstrates my faith while refocusing my desires around things that deepen my relationship with God.

Sizing Up Black Markets and Red-Light Districts for G.D.P.
Liz Alderman, New York Times

E.U. nations counting sex and drug trades toward GDP.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, July 10, 2014

Justice Sotomayor Misses the Mark: Religious Non-Profits Should Prevail
Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Public Discourse

The contradictory reasoning of Justice Sotomayor’s Wheaton dissent exposes a glaring weakness in the legal argument requiring religious non-profits to comply with HHS’s regulatory scheme.

What is the Point of Business Ethics?
David Cowan, Center for Christian Business Ethics

What is most robust in business organizations is the legalism, the playing by the rules as much as one has to, but it does not translate into a behavioural pattern in organizations. It is much more of an intellectual assent or conformity to legalism. In other words, it is very Old Testament.

If Government Gives Contraception, Government Can Take It Away
Leslie Loftis, The Federalist

To rely on government to mandate contraceptive coverage is to give government the power to control contraception.

These Five Points Will Broaden Your Definition of “Faith and Work”
Art Lindsley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

There is a significant need to recover a biblical theology of work in our time. In the past there has been a failure of the evangelical church to address a theology of work.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Obama’s Spiritual Advisor Jim Wallis Goes On Race Rant
Alexander Griswold, The Daily Caller

So what does this man, who has the ear of the leader of the free world, actually believe? Well on Sunday, June 29, Wallis gave a speech at Wild Goose Festival, a progressive Christian music festival in Hot Springs, North Carolina, entitled, “Racism is America’s Original Sin.”

Nonprofits’ contraceptive cases next for justices
Associated Press

How much distance from an immoral act is enough? That’s the difficult question behind the next legal dispute over religion, birth control and the health law that is likely to be resolved by the Supreme Court.

The Constitution Isn’t a Liberal Or Conservative Document
David Azerrad, The Daily Signal

The Constitution, after all, is neither a liberal nor a conservative document. It does not prescribe any particular policies. In fact, it allows pretty much any policy to be enacted (though not necessarily at the national level).

European Court Decides Church Autonomy Case
Mark Movsesian, First Things

Russian judge calls clerical celibacy a human rights violation.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Right to Be Wrong
Ryan T. Anderson, Public Discourse

The right to religious freedom is for everyone, not just those with the “right” beliefs.

How the South Came to Rise Again: The Civil Rights Act of 1964
John Steele Gordon, The American

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed one of the most significant pieces of legislation in American history.

Coming to U.S. for Baby, and Womb to Carry It
Tamar Lewin, New York Times

In an era of globalization, the market for children crosses national borders; witness the longtime flow of Americans who have gone overseas to adopt babies from South Korea, China, Russia and Guatemala.

Free Contraception v. the Constitution
Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary

The decision that granted Wheaton College the right to avoid even the appearance of complicity in the use of such drugs provoked a particularly angry response from the court’s three female members.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, July 7, 2014

Faith and the Employer
Bruce Frohnen, The Imaginative Conservative

For someone claiming to “build cultures of evangelization” to tell an employee that he is simply wrong to recognize the unfairness of a stealth overtime requirement, that he has lost no “employee right” is morally, economically, and spiritually obtuse.

How Teacher Tenure Hurts Students
Lindsey Burke, The Daily Signal

“Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program,” quipped Milton Friedman. The same could be said of teachers with tenure.

The Righteous Mind and the Inner Ring
Alan Jacobs, The New Atlantis

This, I think, is how our “moral matrices,” as Haidt calls them, are formed: we respond to the irresistible draw of belonging to a group of people whom we happen to encounter and happen to find immensely attractive.

Is Your Office Too Cutthroat for Kindness?
John Kyle, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

I think we might process kindness in a visceral way rather than in a cognitive way. We feel kindness more than we think about it.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, July 3, 2014

Church, State, and Human Trafficking
John Goerke, Public Discourse

For the common good, we must remember the ways in which church and state can mutually benefit each other—and watch for the ways in which the state threatens that relationship.

This is Iraq’s darkest hour
Louis Raphaël I Sako and Oliver Maksan, Mercatornet

A bishop in Kurdish Iraq criticizes Western indifference to the future of Middle East Christianity.

The Hobby Lobby Case Is a Small Victory, But a Real One
Andrew Quinn, The Federalist

Some pessimists say the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling is not a significant victory. They’re too gloomy.

How Church Sales Reflect the Shifting American Demographic
Tanya Basu, The Atlantic

Say goodbye to your corner church and namaste to the mandir—sales of houses of worship are a window to America’s changing population.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Church Bells Fall Silent in Mosul as Iraq’s Christians Flee
Andrew Doran and Drew Bowling, The Daily Beast

The advance of ISIS has ended over a thousand years of Christian worship in Mosul—the latest chapter in the long decline of Christianity in the Middle East.

A Perpetual Haven: Why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Matters
Kim Colby, Public Discourse

Respect for religious conscience is not an afterthought or luxury, but the very essence of the American political and social compact. Adapted from testimony presented before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.

Let Religious Freedom Ring
Timothy George, First Things

Why it’s one of the most pressing issues today.

Talking About Hobby Lobby And Religious Freedom With Liberal Friends
Rachel Lu, The Federalist

Three ways of promoting religious freedom to your liberally-inclined friends and relatives

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Why Hobby Lobby Matters
Russell D. Moore, Moore to the Point

The ruling isn’t just a win for evangelicals, like the Southern Baptist Greens. It’s a win for everyone. Here’s why. A government that can pave over the consciences of the Greens can steamroll over any dissent anywhere. Whether you agree or disagree with us about abortion, every American should want to see a government that is not powerful enough to set itself up as a god over the conscience.

Skepticism About International Religious Freedom
Mark Movsesian, First Things

The concept of international religious freedom also provokes some skepticism, and did so at the conference. It seems to me this skepticism takes one of two forms, what we might call “Type 1” and “Type 2” skepticism.

Beauty is for the Poor, Too
Duncan G. Stroik, Crisis Magazine

What is the architectural corollary of Saint Francis of Assisi’s “holy poverty”? Is it the shantytowns of the third world or the stylish minimalism of first-world condominiums? When we build churches, schools, and soup kitchens, should they be cheap or at least look cheap?

Why Eliminating Poverty Requires Economic Development
Brian Baugus, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Rights are incredibly important, and we should seek to protect them. However, a solution to poverty requires more in addition to respecting and protecting rights. Long-term aid is inherently disrespectful of people’s rights by assuming they are not as capable as others, and aid is not capable of generating economic growth.