Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, April 13, 2015
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What Should the Pope’s Ecology Encyclical Say?
John M. Grondelski, Crisis Magazine

There has been some discussion of news reports that Pope Francis plans to write an encyclical letter on ecology and the environment. In anticipation of a possible papal letter on those subjects, two recent articles struck my attention.

Religious conservatives are the targets of discrimination, lawyer says
John M. Glionna, LA Times

Here’s why Christian businesses feel like they’re the ones being discriminated against.

How To Save Religious Freedom
Rachel Lu, The Federalist

America is hosting a war between ideological and cultural enemies. Religious freedom is losing, and big government is winning.

How to employ the very hard to employ
Angela Rachidi, AEI Ideas

Social enterprises have a long history in the U.S. They differ from typical government programs in that they are a business, usually operated outside of government, with a concern for the bottom line. They are typically started by people who want to make a difference in society by helping others.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, April 10, 2015
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Why Evangelicals Should Love the Pope
Peter Wehner, New York Times

How best to live out one’s faith in this world has been a complicated issue throughout Christian history, and it remains so today.

When Conservative School Reforms Work
Seth Mandel, Commentary

Conservative education reformers are at several distinct disadvantages: union control of public education, the government’s broad power to protect its market dominance, restrictions on leveling the playing field between public and parochial schools, etc.

Who Will Stand?
Robert P. George, First Things

Are there political or religious leaders who will step forward? Are there intellectual or cultural leaders who will muster the courage to confront the mob?

Why Surrogacy Violates Human Dignity
Arland K. Nichols, Crisis Magazine

Surrogacy became mainstream when in the 4th season of the popular sitcom, Friends, the ever-spacey Phoebe became the surrogate mother of her brother’s children, in the episode titled “The one with the embryos.”

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, April 9, 2015
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The Holocaust, White Privilege, and American Jewry
Seth Mandel, Commentary

If you think “white privilege” can be reduced to the ability to get a taxi, then sure, Brodesser-Akner is probably privileged. Bovy is making what seems like an obvious point: if you’re one of the many Jews who don’t wear identifying garments, you can make white America think you’re one of them.

Organ trafficking emerges in Syria’s Damascus
ARA News

As the war and security situation continue to deteriorate in Syria, children’s abductions and human trafficking have become a common scene in the city of Damascus in the last few months.

No, government isn’t subsidizing Wal-Mart
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

Democrats, unions and left-wing activists frequently argue that government (actually taxpayers) subsidizes Wal-Mart and other companies that employ low-wage workers since many of those workers receive government welfare benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid. And the mainstream media pretty much accept this reasoning.

How Well Will American Christians Wear Our Cross?
Leslie Loftis, The Federalist

The coming days will show us that American Christians aren’t as numerous as the guide books tell us. They might not be as strong as some assume, either.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
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France, the West and the Islamist Challenge
Amir Taheri, Gatestone Institute

Even in poor countries that become breeding grounds for Islamic terror, the funds needed always come from richer Muslim nations. What we are facing is not a revolt of the poor.

The Supreme Court Must Rule on Mandatory GMO Labelling
Baylen Linnekin, Reason.com

Congress, the states, and courts all vie to decide the future of GMO labeling.

Pope calls for end to persecution of Christians
BBC

The Pope has called for an end to the persecution of Christians in conflict, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, in his Easter message.

Minimum Wage and Magical Thinking
Ronald Bailey, Reason.com

If all other factors remain equal, the higher the price of a good, the fewer people will demand it. That’s the law of demand, a fundamental idea in economics.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
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Religious Liberty and the Intolerance of the Left
Peter Wehner, Commentary

The explosion of criticism against Governor Mike Pence and his state, in the aftermath of Indiana passing a state version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, is quite telling in several respects.

Why Africa is the next China
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week

Africa is full of ore and gold and diamonds and oil. But if the ultimate resource is people — and it is — then Africa is poised to be a giant in the 21st century.

Critics of Indiana’s religious freedom law are trying to have their cake and eat it, too
Jonathan Turley, Washington Post

In their rush to support same-sex rights, they’ve been too quick to dismiss legitimate questions about free speech and expression.

Interview With a Christian
Ross Douthat, New York Times

After watching the debate about religious freedom unfold over the past week, I decided to subject myself to an interview by an imaginary — but representative — member of the press.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, April 6, 2015
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The FAQs: Terrorist Attack In Kenya Targets Christians
Joe Carter, TGC

An attack on a Garissa University College leaves 147 dead and more than 80 injured.

The Religious Freedom Debate Explained in 90 Seconds
Alex Anderson, The Daily Signal

Lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas have revised language in two controversial religious freedom bills. Originally, both bills were intended to prohibit state and local government from infringing on someone’s religious beliefs without a compelling reason. Here’s what you need to know about the debate in 90 seconds.

Improve the economy, poverty reduction will follow
Angela Rachidi, AEI Ideas

What does this mean from a poverty perspective? It means that we can expect a few more years of elevated poverty rates unless the economy improves and more Americans join the labor force.

Making Religion the Problem
Ross Douthat, New York Times

Right now, if you look around the United States, you’ll see a landscape in which religious practice has declined and traditional religious institutions have weakened relative to where things stood sixty years go.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, April 3, 2015
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Indiana Shows the Left Has No Concept of Freedom
Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

Much more important are the basic principles that are being invoked to argue against the Indiana law. These arguments set out to define religious freedom out of existence, and they end up defining all freedom out of existence.

Indiana ‘Fix’ on Religious Liberty Law Creates Bad Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Law
Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

At a press conference in the Indiana State House earlier this morning, Senate President Pro Tem David Long,R-Fort Wayne, and House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, announced a proposed “fix” to their religious liberty law. The religious liberty law is good policy. It needs no “fix.”

Is the “inequality” issue a cover for something else?
Scott Sumner, EconLog

Consider the following thought experiment. The Democrats take control of Congress and the Presidency. With more than 60 seats in the Senate, they can do as they like. Do they go after the root cause of inequality in income?

The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050
Pew Research

Why Muslims are rising fastest and the unaffiliated are shrinking as a share of the world’s population.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, April 2, 2015
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Charter Schools Aren’t Perfect, But They Introduce Some Necessary Competition
Rich Cromwell, The Federalist

Arkansas Democrats support a bill to give traditional schools freedoms similar to those of charter schools. But only traditional schools that have to compete.

The Perils of Political Propaganda: Mass Hysteria over Indiana
Randall Smith, Public Discourse

It’s fine for people to express disagreement with the Indiana RFRA—if they know what’s in it. We must not allow ourselves to be manipulated by political propaganda.

Vatican hopes to avoid financial scandal during Jubilee year
Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

The Vatican finance minister said Tuesday he hopes to avoid financial scandal with the upcoming Jubilee Year, saying the plans will be subject to new Vatican procedures to ensure they follow international standards for transparency and accountability.

Facts vs. Spin: Here Is What the Indiana Religious Freedom Law Would Do
Genevieve Wood , The Daily Signal

There is so much noise and hype surrounding the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act it’s hard to know what is real and what is spin. So I decided to seek out a real expert to get the facts

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
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Rights Fallout: “Economic Rights” and the Undevelopment of Poor Countries
Bruce Frohnen, The Imaginative Conservative

The good intentions of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights took place in stages. Drafted in large measure as a response to the horrors of World War II and in the face of the continuing horrors of communism, the 1948 Declaration sought to “transcend” political, religious, and ethnic differences in the name of an abstract notion of human dignity.

Supreme Court Leaves Intact New York’s Ban on Religious Services in Schools
Sharon Otterman and Adam Liptak , New York Times

The Supreme Court declined on Monday to review a case involving New York City’s ban on religious groups holding worship services in public school buildings, leaving in place a decision by a lower court that found the longstanding policy constitutional.

Specializing Is Best
Jason Sorens, Ethics & Economics Education of New England

All wealth comes from production and exchange: making and trading goods and services. The two are closely related: the more you trade, the more you’re able to produce. How does that work? Through the magic of specialization.

Arkansas Senate approves religious protection bill
Andrew Demillo, Associated Press

Supporters of the bill say it merely mirrors a similar federal protection in place for more than 20 years, but opponents say it amounts to state-sanctioned discrimination on religious grounds.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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What Opposition to Religious Freedom Really Means
Russell Moore, Moore to the Point

The public debate over Indiana’s new religious freedom law is (almost) enough to drive this Baptist to drink. The conversation has been the most uninformed and ignorant I’ve seen in years.

D.C. City Council Violates Catholic Schools’ Right To Free Exercise Of Religion
Michael Root, First Things

One might think that the District of Columbia, our nation’s capital, would be particularly vigilant in defending the freedoms fundamental to American life. Unfortunately, the District’s City Council has now seen fit to intervene into the life of religious institutions and insist that such institutions handle some topics in ways amenable to the Council’s opinions.

John Wesley and Religious Liberty
Mark Tooley, First Things

Recently a letter by John Wesley revealing his views about law enforcement and religious freedom was tweeted by its owner, the Wesley Hobart Museum of the Uniting Church in Tasmania, Australia.

5 myths about free enterprise
Arthur C. Brooks, AEI

Free enterprise is under attack. Opponents of the free enterprise system often rely on half-truths and flat-out falsehoods to make their case for bigger government. Here is a handy fact sheet to dispel some of these harmful myths and help defend a system that promotes prosperity, innovation and happiness.