Category: PowerLinks

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.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, June 30, 2014

The Intuitive Guide to Religious Liberty Law
Jordan Lorence, Public Discourse

Common sense can tell us whether particular citizens should be exempt from certain government policies for religious reasons. Codifying such instinctive judgments into formal statutes is more difficult.

Insurers Expect a Nearly $1 Billion Bailout under Obamacare
Jeffrey H. Anderson, The Weekly Standard

Most Americans don’t think it’s their job to bail out insurance companies who lose money under Obamacare, but that’s exactly what’s poised to happen.

Reform Conservatism on Work and Poverty
Ross Douthat, New York Times

Where reform conservatives tend to argue for a welfare system and tax code organized more explicitly around work and family, Edsall’s piece makes the case that we’ve already tried something like that approach — have been trying it, in fact, since the early 1990s — and that it has worked out pretty badly, failing completely at its stated work-promoting aims while making life increasingly desperate for the very poor.

The Surprising Link between Church Attendance and Job Satisfaction
Art Lindsley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

A high level of involvement in your church can help you have higher job satisfaction and commitment. That’s what Baylor University sociologists discovered in a recently published study.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, June 27, 2014

Supreme Court Holds That Pro-Lifers Have First Amendment Rights Too
Andrew Kloster, The Daily Signal

Ultimately, though, this is a victory for pro-life advocates and for the First Amendment. And it is yet another 9-0 loss for the Obama administration, which weighed in on behalf of the State of Massachusetts.

Church rejoices in scientific progress, Pope tells young astronomers
Catholic World News

Research in the sciences can be “a fitting and effective means of promoting peace and justice,” Pope Francis told an audience of young astronomers on June 26.

City Loses Final Appeal on Limiting Sales of Large Sodas
Michael M. Grnbaum, New York Times

The Bloomberg big-soda ban is officially dead. The state’s highest court on Thursday refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limits on sales of jumbo sugary drinks, exhausting the city’s final appeal and handing a major victory to the American soft-drink industry, which bitterly opposed the plan.

The Fall of Mosul
Philip Jenkins, Aleteia

For anyone who cares about Christian history, it’s like the end of the world.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, June 26, 2014

Is Surrogate Pregnancy Another Form of Human Trafficking?
Jennifer Lahl, OnFaith

Touching stories of infertile couples are blinding us to the devastating human consequences of some fertility technologies.

Asian Nations, Once Again, Among the Worst Human Trafficking Offenders
Olivia Enos, The Daily Signal

An estimated 30 million people are trapped in the mire of human trafficking, with over half of trafficking victims living in Asia. Profits from this global scourge amount to around $150 billion.

We’re All Pro-Growth and Pro-Family
Derrick Morgan, The Daily Signal

My point is that there is a trade-off. An expanded CTC returns more money to some taxpayers – a good thing. But that means to raise the same amount of revenue, we’d have to raise other taxes.

U.N. Reports Sharp Increase in Refugees as Civil Wars Cripple Nations
Somini Sengupta, New York Times

According to the United Nations annual report released Friday, most of the forcibly displaced worldwide are homeless in their own countries and are known as internally displaced persons. An additional 16.7 million people are refugees in another land.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ukraine’s Ancient Hatred
Nikolas K. Gvosdev, The National Interest

Three hundred years of history explain why Putin can never see his neighbor as a fully legitimate sovereign nation.

Pope: More Christian Martyrs Today Than in Church’s First Centuries
Mark Movsesian, First Things

Pope Francis opened an academic conference in Rome last week with a statement on religious liberty and the persecution of Christians. He reflected on the place of religious liberty in Catholic thought and decried religious discrimination across the world, particularly against Christians.

10 Free Market Principles That Could Transform Agriculture
Daren Bakst, The Daily Signal

There needs to be new thinking about agriculture policy. The same free-market solutions that have allowed this nation to flourish are just as applicable to agriculture as they are to other sectors of the economy.

Why Religious Freedom in Sudan Matters to All of Us
Travis Weber, On Faith

With Meriam Ibrahim and her children facing torture and impending death, a surprising collection of activists have fought to save them.