Category: PowerLinks

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.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Christian Convert, on the Run in Afghanistan
Azaim Ahmed, New York Times

In official eyes here, there are no Afghan Christians. The few Afghans who practice the faith do so in private for fear of persecution, attending one of a handful of underground churches that are believed to be operating in the country. Expatriates use chapels on embassy grounds, but those are effectively inaccessible to Afghans.

The Core of Catholic Education: Philosophy of Schooling Is at Stake
Stratford Caldecott, The Imaginative Conservative

So what is this Catholic philosophy that we need to maintain in the face of the Common Core? The fundamental idea, drawn from the tradition of the liberal arts that goes back to ancient Greece, is that schooling is not primarily designed to churn out efficient components of an economic machine, able to “compete in a global economy,” but to nurture human beings and to free the soul from the forces that hold it enslaved.

The Best- and Worst-Paid Jobs in America—in 1 Ludicrously Long Chart
Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

The 13 best-paid non-executive jobs in America have one thing in common: They’re all in health care. Anesthesiologists nip surgeons to grab the top spot.

How Americans Spend Their Time and What It Means for Whole-Life Stewardship
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its American Time Use Survey on Wednesday. It’s fascinating to read through how people spend their time. In a sense, the survey provides a snapshot of how people are living (or not living) out God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and develop the world.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, June 23, 2014

Pope excommunicates Italian mobsters
Delia Gallagher, CNN

Using his strongest language to date, Pope Francis told Italian Mafia members Saturday that they are excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

How Religious Liberty Can Unite Conservatives and Libertarians
Josh Shepherd, The Daily Signal

In a provocative edition of “Stossel,” themed as “Libertarians vs. Conservatives,” Anderson was the sole guest for a segment exploring how the two groups may differ on marriage.

Pope Condemns Legalization of Recreational Drugs
Associated Press

Pope Francis condemned the legalization of recreational drugs as a flawed and failed experiment as he lent his voice Friday to a debate that is raging from the United States to Uruguay.

The Sport of Cronyism
Ted Bromund, The Daily Signal

While we don’t play (much) soccer, it’s immensely popular around the world, partly because you need only a ball. Although it began as the game of the common man, at the top level, it’s now the property of the rich, and there’s no better evidence than the World Cup.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, June 20, 2014

Kerry Asks Sudan to ‘Respect’ Condemned Mom’s Religious Freedom
Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

A day after Christian groups rallied outside the White House seeking presidential action on behalf of a mother condemned to hang in Sudan because of her Christian faith, Secretary of State John Kerry posted a statement of “concern” about her persecution.

Could the Persecuted Church Rescue American Christianity?
Russell D. Moore, OnFaith

Christianity in this country is big, powerful, and familiar. We need it to become strange again.

Common Core Takes Another Hit; Bobby Jindal Announces Plan to Pull Louisiana Out
Napp Nazzworth, Christian Post

Gov. Bobby Jindal made Louisiana the fourth state to withdraw from the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Jindal announced Wednesday a series of executive orders that will pull his state out of the education standards.

My Tast of Academic Persecution
Ted Kluck, The Gospel Coalition

I can thank God for my junior-varsity persecution because it unites me with brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are suffering for their faith.