Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
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Climate Change Costs By 2100: Doing Nothing Has the Same Price Tag as Doing Something
Ronald Bailey, Reason

Adapting to climate change would cost roughly the same as trying to slow it.

5 Reasons Your Church Should Care about Hunger
Jill Waggoner, Pastors Today

For many Christians, the concept of hunger ministry brings to mind a governmental agency or a local food pantry. Yet the hunger need around the world is diverse and the ministries required to meet these needs will be also.

What Does Liberty Really Mean for Christians?
Jim Tonkowich, Juicy Ecumenism

Both people on the right and people on the left “alike seem confused about what liberty and progress really mean and require,” writes Ethics and Public Policy scholar, Yuval Levin in the October First Things.

How Serious Is the Supreme Court About Religious Freedom?
Dawinder S. Sidhu, The Atlantic

A new case will test whether the justices’ defense of conscience in Hobby Lobby applies to minority religions like Muslims, or just to Christians.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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There are dirty political games behind the Iraq conflict, says Chaldean Patriarch Sako
Gianni Valente, Vatican Insider

“There’s no future for us if the Lord does not help us.” There’s suffering and concern in Louis Raphaël I Sako’s words. The concern of a pastor who sees that his flock is in danger and the suffering of a child of the Chaldean Church who sees Christianity’s age-long history quickly heading towards oblivion. A history that has irrigated the lands between Mesopotamia’s two rivers for millennia. And it is not just the Islamic State’s bloodthirsty jihadists he is concerned about.

Spontaneous Charity Is Good; Thoughtful Charity Is Even Better
Jayme Metzgar, The Federalist

What’s better than the Ice Bucket Challenge? These six steps for thoughtful charity giving.

This map shows where slavery and forced labor are happening around the world
James Pethokoukis , AEI Ideas

An estimated ~21-30m people are in slavery around the world, including forced labour, bonded labour, human trafficking and child slavery.

Business and Conscience
Greg Forster, First Things

The president has discovered that businesses are people, and have a conscience.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, September 29, 2014
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6 Key Supreme Court Cases This Term
Elizabeth Slattery, The Daily Signal

If you use Facebook, pay taxes, enjoy fishing or drive a car, the 2014-2015 term of the Supreme Court, which begins Oct. 6, will be worth watching.

How the Common Core Went Wrong
Frederick M. Hess, National Affairs

The trouble with the Common Core is not that it was the handiwork of anti-American ideologues or anti-teacher dogmatists, but that it was the work of well-meaning, self-impressed technocrats who fudged difficult questions, used federal coercion to compel rapid national adoption, and assumed that things would work out.

What’s Lost in Not Recognizing Campus Religious Groups
Karen Swallow Prior, The Atlantic

California State University’s recent decision to strip InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapters of their school affiliation undermines its ability to teach pluralism.

International Religious Freedom Policy and American National Security
Thomas F. Farr, Public Discourse

The Obama administration has failed to advance the cause of international religious liberty, and that failure has endangered American national security. But there are concrete steps Congress can take to improve implementation of the International Religious Freedom Act. Adapted from testimony delivered before the National Security Sub-Committee of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, September 18, 2014.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, September 26, 2014
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Patriarch Kirill denies being vehicle of Kremlin policy
Interfax

“In some countries, – and the current situation in Ukraine exacerbates this issue, – the person of the patriarch of Moscow and all Russia is linked to the Russian Federation alone and his principles are equated with the policy of the Russian government,” Krill said at a meeting in Moscow with participants in the Faith and World festival of Orthodox media.

When Catholic schools close, poor communities suffer (and crime goes up)
Michael McShane, AEI Ideas

For decades, research on Catholic schools has almost exclusively examined their academic effects. It has been conducted by social science luminaries like James Coleman and Tony Bryk and scales have almost universally tipped in the favor of Catholic schools, particularly when they are compared to traditional public schools in the neighborhood they often inhabit.

Religion, marriage increase life expectancy, study finds
Nancy Frazier O’Brien, Catholic News ServiceStudy

Study after study has confirmed that those who are involved in religion and those who are married are healthier, physically and mentally happier and live longer than those who are not.

Inmate sues prison for not allowing him to worship Satan
Associated Press

A state prison inmate says New Mexico correction officials aren’t allowing him to practice his religion and properly worship Satan behind bars.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, September 25, 2014
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This map shows where slavery and forced labor are happening around the world
James Pethokoukis , AEI Ideas

An estimated ~21-30m people are in slavery around the world, including forced labour, bonded labour, human trafficking and child slavery.

Business and Conscience
Greg Forster, First Things

The president has discovered that businesses are people, and have a conscience.

Top Ten Things Parents Hate About Common Core
Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

It’s the first school year most parents have heard about Common Core. And they don’t like it one bit.

The Family, A Seedbed of Vocations
Arland K. Nichols, Crisis Magazine

Above all else, it is the family that must manifest a fervent commitment to creating and fostering a culture of vocation. This commitment begins in the home and extends and radiates outward impacting the various small communities in which families are involved—parishes, clubs, and schools, for example.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
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Climate Change Costs By 2100: Doing Nothing Has the Same Price Tag as Doing Something
Ronald Bailey , Reason

Adapting to climate change would cost roughly the same as trying to slow it.

Will Someone Explain Christianity To The New York Times?
Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

Collecting egregious errors about basic Christian teachings is a hobby of mine and The New York Times gives me some of my favorite examples.

Spontaneous Charity Is Good; Thoughtful Charity Is Even Better
Jayme Metzgar, The Federalist

What’s better than the Ice Bucket Challenge? These six steps for thoughtful charity giving.

100 Christians, Including Children, Arrested During Major House Church Raid in China
Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post

Over 100 Christians, including children, were arrested during a major house church raid on Sunday in Foshan city in China’s Guangdong Province. Close to 200 police officers stormed in during the service, eyewitnesses said, believed to be part of a large-scale crackdown on Christians in the country.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Let Sikh Americans Serve in the U.S. Military
Simran Jeet Singh, On Faith

Why we should repeal the ban against turbaned Sikhs in the Armed Forces.

Understanding America’s ridiculously large $17 trillion economy by comparing US metro areas to entire countries
Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas

The table above helps to put America’s ridiculously large $17 trillion economy (GDP in 2013) into perspective by comparing America’s largest 20 metro economies in 2013 based on data released today by the BEA) to the economies of entire countries with similar GDPs in 2013.

Report Finds Slight Growth in Population of Inmates
Erick Eckholm, New York Times

Breaking three consecutive years of decline, the number of people in state and federal prisons climbed slightly in 2013, according to a report released Tuesday, a sign that deeper changes in sentencing practices will be necessary if the country’s enormous prison population is to be significantly reduced.

Women religious fight human trafficking
Michael O’Loughlin, Crux

They traverse an “underground railroad” system as they make their escape from their captors. They stay in safe houses, scattered across the country to hide and protect them.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, September 22, 2014
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Are We Catholics First or Americans First?
Heather King, Aleteia

The law of the land and the Higher Law.

Indentured Insomnia: Why the Poor Can’t Sleep at Night
Orion D. Jones, Big Think

How much sleep you get is strongly correlated with how much money you make, according to a Gallup poll that compared annual income with people’s average nightly rest.

Surviving childhood in Africa
BBC

Significant progress has been made in cutting child mortality, which is falling faster globally than at any point in the past two decades, according to Unicef. But despite that, more than six million children die every year before the age of five, mostly from preventable causes.

How Obamacare Forces You to Subsidize Plans That Cover Elective Abortion
Sarah Torre, The Daily Signal

Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms that’s just another broken promise. Here are three things you need to know about abortion and Obamacare.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, September 19, 2014
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Major League Baseball’s human-trafficking problem
Dara Lind, Vox

Cuba is one of the biggest sources of international baseball talent. But, because of the US embargo, most Cuban players have to use smugglers to get themselves to the United States. What’s more, due to a quirk in Major League Baseball rules around contracts, those Cuban players often first have to travel to a third country, like Mexico — a difficult process.

The Heart of the Gendercide Problem
Elizabeth Gerhardt, Christianity Today

What the church can do to address the issues underlying global violence against women.

The Illusion of Neutrality
Anthony Esolen, Public Discourse

The secular state cannot be neutral in matters of religion.

A Tale of Two Churches
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Aleteia

What happens when the State establishes itself as a rival religion through administrative coercion?

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, September 18, 2014
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The Church of U2
Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker

[E]ven critics and fans who say that they know about U2’s Christianity often underestimate how important it is to the band’s music, and to the U2 phenomenon. The result has been a divide that’s unusual in pop culture. While secular listeners tend to think of U2’s religiosity as preachy window dressing, religious listeners see faith as central to the band’s identity.

Closing the Racial Gap in Education
Jason L. Riley, The American

The usual explanation for the academic achievement gap is that blacks come from a lower socioeconomic background and their schools have fewer resources. But research finds the problem transcends class and its roots lie elsewhere.

A Win-Win For Hungry Africans And Environmentalists
Hank Campbell, The Federalist

Environmentalists resist science that can feed the hungry while reducing carbon emissions.

When Reagan and Ratzinger Teamed Up on Faith and Hope
Paul Kengor, The Imaginative Conservative

We need hope, even when hope seems so hopeless. To that end, 30 years ago, Cardinal Ratzinger and Ronald Reagan teamed up with some words of wisdom worth remembering right now.