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Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
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Almost all U.S. presidents have been Christians
David Masci, Pew Research

The U.S. Constitution famously prohibits any religious test or requirement for public office. Still, most of the men who have been president have been openly religious, with many belonging to some of the country’s most prominent Protestant denominations.

Man at the center of a free economy: 50 years after the death of Wilhelm Röpke
Flavio Felice, AEI

Fifty years ago, the German economist Wilhelm Röpke (October 10, 1899 to February 12, 1966) died. He was a leading figure of classical-liberal Christian humanism which contributed to the development of the so-called social market economy in the aftermath of the tragedy of the Second World War

Did a Massachusetts court ruling essentially ban Catholic schools?
Loredana Vuoto, Catholic News Agency

A Massachusetts court ruling against a Catholic school may have set a dangerous precedent that interferes with religious schools’ ability to hire staff consistent with their mission, critics said.

How Anti-GMO Activists Hurt the World’s Poorest
The American Interest

The campaign against genetically modified crops is holding back the developing world from more accelerated growth, according to a new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
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Scalia 101
Carl Eric Scott, Postmodern Conservative

What every American should know about the man.

What the Church Can Learn From Justice Scalia’s Life
Russell Moore

This afternoon brought the shock to the country that the legendary United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep in Texas. My first thought was that the loss of this great jurist, which would be a tragedy under any circumstances, is even more so because of the moment’s cultural and political chaos. My second thought, though, was about what Christians can learn from the way Justice Scalia did his work.

A Giant has Fallen — The Death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the Future of Constitutional Government
Albert Mohler

Justice Scalia firmly believed in the right of the people to establish a constitutional government that would recognize the ultimate authority of the people, not an elite of unelected judges, to establish laws.

Scalia’s faith a defining element of his life
John L. Allen, Jr. , Crux

In a moment when so many who actually knew Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia are offering tributes, it seems superfluous for someone who only met the man once, and whose perceptions are formed almost entirely by his public record, to join the chorus.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 15, 2016
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ISIS Is Guilty of Anti-Christian Genocide
Demetrios of Mokissos, Wall Street Journal

As we remember the murder of the Copts, the world needs to call this crime what it is.

What voters want in a president today, and how their views have changed
Hannah Fingerhut, Pew Research

The presidential nomination contests are heating up and both parties’ 2016 fields have narrowed. And since it’s also Presidents Day weekend, it’s a good time to consider what voters want in a president, regardless of which candidate they may support.

Obama Should Call ISIS’ Actions Against Christians ‘Genocide’
Travis Weber, The Daily Signal

The European Parliament has unanimously passed a resolution referring to the Islamic State’s (ISIS) killing of religious minorities under its control as “genocide” in the Middle East.

Little Sisters of the Poor on Supreme Court case: Why we can’t “just sign the form”
Sister Constance Veit, l.s.p., Catholic Review

lthough we had never before involved ourselves in politics, in March of 2012 we felt compelled to publicly voice our opposition to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Contraceptive Mandate. Since then our convictions, based on Catholic teaching, have taken us from the District Court of Colorado to the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court, and finally to the U.S. Supreme Court, where our case will be heard in oral argument this March.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, February 12, 2016
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Why Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill Will Make Christian History in Cuba Tomorrow
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

ISIS persecution of Christians prompts first meeting between Catholic and Orthodox primates since 1054.

EPA Goes After Low-Income Farmers In Land Grab
Blake Hurst, The Federalist

The Supreme Court says the Clean Water Act is not a grant of federal control over every stream and depression in the nation. The Environmental Protection Agency says otherwise.

The World Isn’t Less Free Than It Used To Be
Jay Ulfelder, FiveThirtyEight

People on Earth were on average about as free at the start of 2016 as they were a year earlier, and the average global resident remained much freer than at almost any time in modern history.

Most Americans Say Government Doesn’t Do Enough to Help Middle Class
Pew Research

GOP seen as favoring the rich over middle class, poor; mixed views on which class the Democratic Party favors.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, February 11, 2016
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In Sex Trafficking, ‘Kids Are Renewable Resources’
Emily Deruy, The Atlantic

Authorities and advocates in Reno are finding it harder to identify victims and perpetrators, in part due to social media.

Low-Skilled Workers Flee the Minimum Wage
Corey Iacono, FEE

What happens when, in a country where workers are free to move, a region raises its minimum wage? Do those with the fewest skills seek out the regions with the highest wage floors?

The Flawed Economics of Laudato Si’
W. David Montgomery, The New Atlantis

Laudato Si’ provides a moral framework for addressing climate change based on Christian obligations to help the global poor most affected by it. In stressing these obligations, the encyclical fills a large gap in discussions of climate policy, which are replete with statements of what should be done but tend to lack a convincing moral framework for explaining where such obligations comes from or why they should be accepted when they conflict with particular interests.

Wake up, Christians: The Flint water crisis is an issue of public justice
Kevin R. den Dulk, Washington Post

For Christians, access to water ought not be about the arbitrariness of birth and geography or the vagaries of power. It is a matter of justice, and our response is grounded in God’s call to seek shalom, in this case by addressing the access problems and inevitable conflicts that arise when a good is both basic and unevenly distributed.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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Is Africa paving a road out of poverty?
Robert Mattes, Boniface Dulani and E. Gyimah-Boadi, Washington Post

Based on face-to-face interviews with more than 52,700 citizens in 33 countries in 2014-2015, Afrobarometer reports that in two-thirds of those countries, “lived poverty” has decreased compared to the previous survey round in 2011-2013.

Inside America’s lottery addiction
The Week

The nation was recently in a frenzy over a $1 billion Powerball jackpot. But are lotteries just a tax in disguise? Here’s everything you need to know.

Social Justice: According to whom? Which kind?
Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed

One of the most notable features of American evangelicalism in the last generation has been a powerful surge toward “social justice.” At times it is no different than the old-fashioned social gospel, at times it simply catches up to mainline Protestantism — and most of the time evangelicals have completely ignored the rigorous and comprehensive thinking on “social justice” on the part of Roman Catholics.

An Abandoned White Middle Class
R.R. Reno, First Things

Historically, our nearly all-white leadership class has carefully cultivated white middle class voters. Why the shift toward a more critical, even antagonistic attitude?

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
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Evidence Mounts: Minimum Wage Hikes Cost Jobs
The American Interest

The evidence continues to mount that minimum wage hikes have economic costs: A Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco review paper recently found that minimum wages had “directly reduced the number of jobs nationally by about 100,000 to 200,000.”

For poverty, work is more important than wages, but only half of American adults work full-time
Angela Rachidi, AEI Ideas

Although the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) remains the go-to source for employment-related data (such as that released today), each month Gallup reports the “Gallup Good Job” metric. It reflects the percentage of adults aged 18 or older who work full-time (more than 30 hours per week) for an employer.

Republicans Prefer Blunt Talk About Islamic Extremism, Democrats Favor Caution
Pew Research

Most Americans say religion doesn’t cause violence, but rather that violent people use religion to justify their actions.

How Should Christians Approach Social Entrepreneurship?
Baylee Malloy, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

According to some, “social entrepreneurship” is a redundant term because all businesses are “social.” Businesses create jobs, goods, and services, and thus contribute to overall social prosperity.