Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 31, 2015

Pharmacy owners cannot cite religion to deny medicine -U.S. appeals court
Dan Levine, Reuters

Throughout human history, people of all cultures have sought freedom. Some have emphasized inner spiritual or emotional freedom, and others freedom from external restraints, such as slavery or political freedom.

Why Congress Won’t Defund Planned Parenthood
Dustin Siggins, The Federalist

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, takes money for baby body parts, but stopping this atrocity, let alone taxpayer funding for it, will take more than the proposals at hand.

Human trafficking: The lives bought and sold

Millions of men, women and children around the world are currently victims of human trafficking – bought and sold as commodities into prostitution and forced labour.

Chinese Communists Losing the War Against Christianity
The American Interest

Communists in China increasingly realize that the war against religion as such is a losing proposition, and are now looking to support “indigenous” Chinese religions and traditions—Confucianism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religions—against both Christianity and Islam, seen as dangerous imports with potentially destabilizing effects, and “new religions” like the cult of Falun Gong.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, July 30, 2015

Catholic Social Work And The Right To Religious Freedom
Frances Robinson, First Things

The social work field has become a battleground where strong convictions are unwelcome if they conflict with the profession’s ruling assumptions. In the past, opportunities to work in a faith-based agency gave religiously believing social workers a way to begin their career in a safe and professionally respected environment.

Skipping church? Facial recognition software could be tracking you
Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post

Could Big Brother be coming to a church near you? One software company is now providing churches with facial recognition software to better track who shows up at their worship services.

The Equality Act: Bad Policy that Poses Great Harms
Andrew T. Walker, Public Discourse

If passed, the Equality Act would empower the government to discriminate against those who do not accept a sexually permissive understanding of human nature that denies sexual complementarity.

What are the Alternatives to the Biblical View of Freedom?
Art Lindsley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Throughout human history, people of all cultures have sought freedom. Some have emphasized inner spiritual or emotional freedom, and others freedom from external restraints, such as slavery or political freedom.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Happy Meal Fallacy
Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution

If firms are required to provide benefits to contractors they will lower the contractor wage. But how do we know the extra benefits aren’t worth the reduction in wages?

Africa, Capitalism, and the “Elimination of Poverty”: Leon Louw on Africa’s Incredible Growth
Zach Weissmueller,

“Thank goodness people are ‘exploiting’ Africa by buying things from it, by investing in it, by employing people in it,” says Leon Louw, author, policy analyst, and executive director the South Africa-based think tank The Free Market Foundation. “The worst thing that would happen is if people decide to stop exploiting Africa.”

Neither Falwell nor Benedict, But a New Creation
Greg Forster, Patheos

This is yet another article claiming that we stand at a unique crossroads, and now face choices unlike those in the recent past. Here are my six predictions for evangelicalism in America in the next five years.

​Why Is Religious Freedom At Risk?
Ryan T. Anderson, First Things

Three historical developments explain our current predicament: a change in the scope of our government, a change in our sexual values, and a change in our political leaders’ vision of religious liberty. An adequate response will need to address each of these changes.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rebuilding a Detroit neighborhood, with faith and vines
Ingrid Jacques, The Detroit News

This priest is on a mission to beautify the neighborhood that surrounds his church on Detroit’s east side, where he has worked for 20 years.

Liberals abandon religious liberty
Ramesh Ponnuru, AEI Ideas

The American tradition of religious freedom has long included exemptions from laws that impose a burden on the exercise of faith. The Volstead Act implementing Prohibition, for example, made an exception for the sacramental use of alcohol. In recent years, though, liberals have started to turn away from that tradition — and come up with ever more inventive ways to justify doing so.

NC Supreme Court upholds school voucher program
Anne Blythe and T. Keung Hui, The News & Observer

The N.C. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that North Carolina can use public tax dollars to help children attend private and religious schools. The 4-3 decision reverses a ruling last summer by Judge Robert Hobgood in N.C. Superior Court.

How Christianity Redeems Consumer Entitlement
Daniel Davis, Values & Capitalism

Does capitalism encourage this mentality of consumer entitlement, and thereby discourage human virtue? And is capitalism fundamentally dependent upon this consumer-entitlement mentality?

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, July 27, 2015

The Minimum-Wage Muddle
David Brooks, New York Times

Once upon a time there was a near consensus among economists that raising the minimum wage was a bad idea. The market is really good at setting prices on things, whether it is apples or labor. If you raise the price on a worker, employers will hire fewer and you’ll end up hurting the people you meant to help.

How So-Called ‘Equality Act’ Threatens Religious Freedom
Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

Politico is reporting that the so-called “Equality Act” will be introduced today in Congress. The bill is the brainchild of the Human Rights Campaign—an influential, sophisticated and lavishly funded LGBT activist organization.

Pope Francis’ Favorable Rating Drops in U.S.
Art Swift, Gallup

Pope Francis’ favorability rating in the U.S. has returned to where it was when he was elected pope. It is now at 59%, down from 76% in early 2014. The pontiff’s rating is similar to the 58% he received from Americans in April 2013, soon after he was elected pope.

A Bangladeshi Town in Human Trafficking’s Grip
Ellen Barry, New York Times

Fishermen, shopkeepers and policemen were all drawn in, as participants or observers, to a multimillion-dollar people smuggling business.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 24, 2015

Little Sisters of the Poor Appeal to the Supreme Court
The Becket Fund

Today, for the second time in two years, the Little Sisters of the Poor must ask the Supreme Court to protect them from the government.

What it means to be poor by global standards
Rakesh Kochhar, Pew Research

In the Pew Research study, anyone living on $2 or less daily is considered poor. Food a Much Greater Share of Family Budgets in India Than in U.S.But what exactly does it mean to live on $2 per day? And how does that compare with the notion of poverty in richer countries?

By 2021, all New York State fast food employees will make $15 an hour
Catherine Garcia, The Week

New York’s Fast Food Wage Board announced Wednesday that it is recommending fast food chains with 30 or more stores nationwide increase employee wages to $15 an hour.

Why Words Matter For Defending Freedom
Frank J. Rocca, The Federalist

We can’t talk to each other if the words we’re using mean different things. Corrupt language steals freedom, even just by the act of redefining it.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, July 23, 2015

Meet the 40 Companies That Donate Directly to Planned Parenthood
Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

In the wake of two videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal body parts, Republicans in Congress are working to ensure that Planned Parenthood is stripped of its federal funding.

A Marine Veteran Offers 13 Reasons Why We Should NOT Arm Military Recruiters
Joe Carter, The Stream

They told us in recruiter’s school that recruiting duty was, outside of combat, the most stressful job in the Marine Corps. Yet I believe, and have absolutely no doubt, that having recruiters carry sidearms would simply make the job even more difficult.

Can Obama Really Raise Wages for Millions of People So Easily
David Henderson, EconLog

The regulations don’t magically make employees more productive. So what would employers do? One or more of three things. I list them in order of what I think is increasing probability.

How Free Markets Lead to Higher Life Expectancy in One Chart
Opportunity Lives

Advances in medicine as the chart below from Max Roser shows. Not coincidentally, the spike in life expectancy occurred as the world began to embrace the ideas of capitalism and free markets at the beginning of the 19th century.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

After Obergefell: The Effects on Law, Culture, and Religion
Sherif Girgis, Crisis Magazine

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court didn’t just confect a new right to same-sex civil marriage. In some ways, it inaugurated a new phase in American law, culture, and religion.

What Many Americans Get Wrong About States’ Rights
Jared Meyer and Randal Meyer, The Federalist

When it came to slavery, the Union, not the Confederacy, was the true guardian of states’ rights in the antebellum era.

It’s Time We Learned from Sin Taxes’ Impressive History of Failure
J.D. Tuccille,

The Tax Foundation helpfully reveals that excise taxes range across the country from zilch in Wyoming to $35 per gallon of liquor in Washington. That range of rates is an open invitation to fill the backs of trucks and haul loads of booze across borders, which is exactly what happens.

Entrepreneurs Are Better Than Government, Even When Building Infrastructure
James M. Roberts, The Daily Signal

American entrepreneurs built the greatest and freest country the world has ever seen. Unfortunately, the conditions that allowed the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish have deteriorated in recent years, according to the annual Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom. The main culprits? Too much government spending, too many taxes and a growing sense that the rule of law in our country is unraveling.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How “Results Conservatism” Can Unify Conservatives
John Hart , Opportunity Lives

When the nation’s leading anti-poverty warriors recently gathered in Washington, D.C., House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) outlined a strategic vision not just for the anti-poverty movement but for conservatism as a whole.

Election 2016: The Little Sisters of the Poor vs. The Big Merchants of Baby Parts
John Zmirak, The Stream

Christians are called to live in the real, fallen world, not a wistful fantasyland where everyone tells the truth, secretly means well, and is just a winsome podcast or three-minute hug away from repentance and salvation.

The Distortions of Progressive Christians: How Religious Liberty is in Danger
Matthew Lee Anderson, Mere Orthodoxy

The effect of these expansions is not simply that there is more coercive power from the government being exercised on people’s lives, but that we have fewer non-governmental means of resolving our disputes—and that the government itself will increasingly be not the resolver of fundamental conflicts between citizens, but a source of and party to conflicts.

Wage stickiness and unflattering accounts of the unemployed and poor
Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

It is common for left-wing progressives to complain that conservatives serve up unflattering accounts of the unemployed and poor, such as by calling them “moochers” and the like. But many versions of the standard Keynesian account, once we deconstruct them a bit, don’t paint such a flattering picture of the unemployed either.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, July 20, 2015

What Did Pope Francis Really Think of the “Communist Crucifix”?
John Zmirak, The Stream

Press accounts have been muddled by misreporting and wishful thinking.

State subsidies take from the poor to give to the rich
M. Steven Fish and Neil A. Abrams, Washington Post

In one area, however, government spending almost always redistributes income from the poor to the rich, encourages inefficiency and fuels corruption: state subsides.

Conservatives warn IRS could target gay marriage opponents
Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press

A brief exchange during Supreme Court arguments in the same-sex marriage case has exploded into a full-blown crisis for some conservatives who warn that the IRS could start revoking the tax-exempt status of religious groups that oppose gay marriage.

Do-gooders, do no harm: What are the best–and worst–ways to help those mired in international conflicts?
Laura Seay and Alex de Waal, Washington Post

Since the end of the Cold War, numerous international advocacy efforts concerning global conflict sprung out of these good intentions. Yet the results of these movements are often, at best, mixed, and in some cases actually made a crisis or the plight of innocent civilians worse.