Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, August 15, 2014
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Is the Navy Removing Bibles from Hotel Rooms?
Leslie Ford, The Daily Signal

A new directive from the Navy has raised concerns about the potential removal of Bibles from Navy lodge rooms and guest quarters, according to Fox News. These lodges are hotels located on naval bases for members of the Navy, usually used when they receive new permanent change of station orders.

Vatican Calls on Muslim Leaders to Condemn Crimes Against Iraq Minorities.
Jesus Colina, Aleteia

Using unprecedented language, the Vatican takes a qualitative leap in relations with Islam.

From 30,000 Feet, Pope Francis Reaches Out to Beijing
Calum MacLeod, USA Today

The pontiff’s flight over China and his corresponding telegram to President Xi Jinping carry historic significance.

Homeschooling Basics – 4 Popular Approaches
Philip Meade

There are, of course, more than four and I will be painting in broad strokes here. But for the most part, homeschooling typically follows one of these approaches.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, August 14, 2014
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How God Shows Up in a Gig Economy
Bethany Jenkins, The Gospel Coalition

Evan Koons is a writer, producer, actor, creative consultant, and inhabiter—a role that he has fulfilling for more than 34 years. He is one of the main creative voices behind For the Life of the World: Letters to Exiles, in which he also stars.

11 Objections On Giving To The Poor Answered By Jonathan Edwards
Matt Perman, What’s Best Next

One of the best sermons of all time is Jonathan Edwards’s “The Duty of Christian Charity: Explained and Defended.” In it, he argues that helping the poor is one of the highest duties of the Christian.

The Debate over “Common Core”
Russell Shaw, Aleteia

The problem with American education has less to do with what goes on in the classroom than with what goes on in the culture.

Federal court rules abortion pill mandate violates La. College’s religious freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom

Amidst a flurry of activity this month in Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuits against President Obama’s abortion pill mandate, the administration’s record in cases litigated so far stands at 10 losses and only four wins.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
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Christian Group Demands to See Secret IRS Deal With Atheists
Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

The Faith and Freedom Coalition today demanded release of a secret legal agreement between the IRS and an atheist group about censoring the content of sermons and other messages heard in houses of worship by challenging their tax-exempt status.

The Pleasures of Prudence: How Over-Regulation Hurts Doctors, Teachers, and All Workers
Rachel Lu, Public Discourse

Workers must have the freedom to develop real expertise and to exercise this rational mastery in pursuit of good ends. Only in the pleasures of prudence can we truly realize those excellences of which human beings are capable.

The US budget deficit continues to shrivel
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

A huge economic story that seems unable to get through the filter.

Recovering The Catholic Doctrine Of Private Property
W. Bradford Littlejohn, The Calvinist International

Put briefly and bluntly, I would say that unless conservatism can exorcise the spectre of its “inviolable individual rights” approach to property, it has little hope of surviving as any kind of cultural bulwark against liberalism.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
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The Missing Ingredient in Closing the Achievement Gap
Anna Sutherland, Family Studies

Efforts to improve schools and close the achievement gap will fall short if they don’t enlist the help of families.

What Lincoln Would Say About How To Help The Poor
Brandon Smith, The Federalist

It is this advice from Lincoln that conservatives, and all Americans, should follow in the pursuit to fight poverty. Instead of imposing bureaucratic blockades between citizens and their neighbors, conservatives seek to empower local organizations, churches, and charities to more effectively help their communities.

Here’s How the Faith and Work Message Can Help Close the Unemployment Gap
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Jobs that would normally be valued cannot be supported by an economy that is unnecessarily protecting jobs in another industry. When market signals are clouded by preferential policies, jobs that would otherwise be valued are lost, and unemployment rises. What’s the solution for high unemployment numbers such as these?

Christians Feel Abandoned in Spite of Obama’s Action in Iraq
John Burger, Aleteia

Patriarch Sako “disappointed” by limited response from US.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, August 11, 2014
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How Surrogacy Can Create Victims
Leslie Ford, The Daily Signal

Surrogacy remains a morally fraught issue even as an increasing number of couples—unable to have children naturally—opt to have a surrogate bear their children.

A Good Way to Wreck a Local Economy: Build Casinos
David Frum, The Atlantic

Baltimore is a troubled city, as you know from The Wire. Like many troubled cities, Baltimore has turned to casino gambling as its solution. On August 26, a new Caesar’s casino will open on the site of an old chemical factory, a little more than 2 miles from the famous Inner Harbor and Camden Yards baseball stadium. Yet there’s already reason to expect the casino to disappoint everyone involved: the city looking for tax revenues, the workers hoping for jobs, the investors expecting hefty returns.

Coercive Sterilization: An On-Going Crime Against Humanity
Arina O. Grossu, Aleteia

For eugenic goals and population control, governments continue to coerce the disadvantaged into undergoing temporary and permanent sterilization.

What Kind of Support Should We Expect for Persecuted Christians?
David Curry, Christian Post

At what point will the intentional targeting and cleansing of Christians, especially in the troubled Middle East, be not just a story, but the story, in the media and elite circles of government? This one is easy; it won’t happen. Persecution of Christians will not become a major humanitarian crisis for a couple of key reasons.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, August 8, 2014
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Islamic State pulls down church crosses in northern Iraq as 200,000 flee
Barney Henderson, The Telegraph

Islamic State, the jihadist group formerly known as Isis, have occupied churches in Iraq, removing crosses and destroying manuscripts, witnesses report, having overrun Kurdish troops forcing 200,000 to flee

How These Religious People Found a Way to Opt Out of Obamacare
Philip Wegmann, The Daily Signal

Samaritan Ministries, and other health sharing groups like it, cater to a small-but-growing group of Americans who have chosen to opt out of the Affordable Care Act. Not only do these organizations ignore the contraception mandate, they also bypass nearly all the hallmark provisions of Obamacare.

Gustav H. Schmidt Describes the Horror of Soviet Persecution of Pentecostals in the 1930s
Darrin Rodgers, IFPHC

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, the newly-formed Soviet Union launched a campaign to eradicate Christianity within its borders. It relentlessly pursued a policy of militant atheism

A ‘Social’ Approach to Poverty
Alexander Griswold, Juicy Ecumenism

Justice is a matter of rights and obligations. But society is full of suffering and hurting people who have no right to relief they don’t earn themselves, and full of people with no obligation to help total strangers.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, August 7, 2014
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Social Justice Includes Defending Religious Liberty
Chelsen Vicari, Juicy Ecumenism

It may be that we are raising a generation of Evangelicals who resent self-sufficiency, upward mobility and success stories. I’m sorry to say these resentments, specifically among Millennials, is due in large part to an over-emphasis and misuse of “social justice” advocacy touted by the Left within our church sermons and Sunday school lessons.

How Government Threatens Religious Charity: Lessons of New York’s ‘Met Council’ Scandal
Howard Husock, Forbes

In other words, the Council—and non-profits all across the country—have great incentive to curry favor with elected officials but no legal means to do so. Thus, we should not be surprised that when an illegal means of doing so comes to light.

Three Reasons Private Property Is Essential for Human Flourishing
Shawn Ritenour, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The right to property is absolutely essential for human flourishing, for it is the social institution necessary for the engines of economic prosperity to function.

‘Right to Farm’ Measure Passes in Missouri
Julie Bosman, New York Times

The proposal, known as Amendment 1, guaranteed the rights of Missouri residents to “engage in farming and ranching practices.” Only North Dakota has a similar constitutional amendment.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
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Nuns on the Bus vs. ISIS?
Mark Tooley, Juicy Ecumenism

The liberal Catholic activist group Network, headed by Sister Simone Campbell, famous for “Nuns on the Bus,” is asking supporters to urge President Obama to exercise strong “diplomacy” against the “violence” in northern Iraq.

The Repeating of Christian History
Shannon Holzer, The Imaginative Conservative

Though Christianity is currently legal in the United States, its enemies still use the same tactics as their ancient predecessors did when it was legally banned.

ISIS Is on the Verge of Expelling Northern Iraq’s Religious Minorities
Nina Shea, The Corner

While much attention is being given to the destruction of Nineveh’s ancient monuments, the suffering of the province’s religious minorities at the hands of the jihadists is being given short shrift by both the media and our political leaders. Individual lives and entire civilizations are being destroyed, not in conflict – there hasn’t been much — but through the deliberate convert-or-die policies of the Islamist extremists.

Why Are Fewer People Using Food Stamps?
Katrina Trinko, The Daily Signal

In recent years, the number of food stamp recipients has skyrocketed, growing by about 26.39 million people from 2003 to 2013, according to The Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity. In 2013, about 47 million people received food stamps.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
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Catholic Social Teaching and public-employee unions
Rick Garnett, Mirror of Justice

Prof. Meghan Clark argued recently, in this piece (“Power to the Public Workers”), that the deeply rooted Catholic principles and teachings having to do with the dignity of work and workers mean, in practice, that public-employee unions should not be distinguished from private-sector-employee unions when it comes to collective bargaining and other labor-related policies.

IRS Strikes Deal With Atheists To Monitor Churches
Investor’s Business Daily

Government’s assault on religious liberty has hit a new low as the IRS settles with atheists by promising to monitor sermons for mentions of the right to life and traditional marriage.

Acton and Lee: A Conversation on Liberty
Stephen Klugewicz and Veronica Mueller, The Imaginative Conservative

The two men, the English, Catholic historian and champion of political liberty, and the American, Episcopal warrior and opponent of the dangers of political “consolidation,” indeed shared much in common in terms of their views on liberty.

Pray we can save our Catholic schools
Charles Sahm and Sol Stern, New York Daily News

Probably no institution has done more to lift families out of poverty than the schools of the New York and Brooklyn dioceses. Catholic schools do an excellent job educating kids and instilling strong values, at a third of the cost of public schools.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, August 4, 2014
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4 Steps to End Poverty
Chuck Bentley, Real Clear Religion

Having spent more than twelve years invested in the eradication of poverty, I’ve witnessed many of the solutions that churches, ministries, non-government organizations (NGOs), governments, businesses and generous individuals have deployed.

The Government Should Stop Discriminating Against Religious Adoption Agencies
Sarah Torre and Ryan Anderson, The Daily Signal

Every year about 400,000 children spend time in our nation’s foster care system, with roughly 100,000 eligible for adoption, as we point out in our recent Backgrounder. Many bounce from home to home and are never adopted. Many will “age-out” of foster care, facing increased risk for low academic achievement and poverty.

When Poverty Is The Fault Of The Poor
Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

Why is it so shameful to forcefully preach that message to the poor? Why must everyone who did pursue that route be viewed with suspicion? Why is it wrong to point out that failure to diligently work can come at great cost and may indeed be utter foolishness.

Restoring Religious Liberty, Reviving Political Liberty
James Stoner, Library of Law and Liberty

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine in Religious Studies returned from a conference at a major law school with this report: “Not all, but the majority of presenters agreed that Christians should be marginalized and have their freedom of speech and religion severely restricted because of how hateful their beliefs about sin are and the dignitary harm these beliefs cause others. Am I just young and naive and in reality nothing will come of this, or is it a truly scary reality that leading law professors are saying this?”