Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, February 6, 2015
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The Privilege of Freedom
Daniel Hannan, Intercollegiate Review

My friend told me something about the visit that I had never considered before. He said, “You know, the Holy Father never once directly criticized the Communist authorities. He didn’t have to. He just offered something better.” That, I think, should be the creed of conservatives: Just offer something better.

We need to reward work, not just make it more miserable to be unemployed or poor
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

One government program that many conservatives like — especially vs. the minimum wage — is the Earned Income Tax Credit, the federal subsidy for low-income, working households.

Onward, Christian Health Care?
Molly Worthen, New York Times

Could this model scale up? These ministries seem to achieve a remarkable level of member satisfaction, even if they sometimes must portion out reimbursements when the bills outstrip monthly contributions.

The FCC’s chairman just proposed the strongest network neutrality rules yet
Timothy B. Lee, Vox

Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, just announced new regulations that will provide strong protections for network neutrality.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, February 5, 2015
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Can Mobile Banking Revolutionize The Lives Of The Poor?
Ben Popper, The Verge

We’re excited to have Bill Gates as our guest editor in February. Throughout the month, Bill will be sharing his vision of how technology will revolutionize life for the world’s poor by 2030 by narrating episodes of the Big Future, our animated explainer series.

Prisoner beards and religious freedoms — what a recent Supreme Court decision means for you
Hannah Smith, Becket Fund

Late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a unanimous victory for religious freedom in Holt v. Hobbs. It held that a federal civil rights statute requires prison officials to accommodate peaceful expressions of religious devotion, an issue arising from a dispute between a bearded Muslim inmate (named Holt) and the Arkansas Department of Correction.

Can Politics be a Vocation? Three Lessons on the Virtues of Good Government
Mary Ann Glendon, Abc Religion And Ethics

Cicero, like Edmund Burke and Vaclav Havel, understood that the everyday work of politics is a crucial part of what determines whether all other components of dignified living will flourish.

Pope declares Oscar Romero, hero to liberation theology, a martyr
Inés San Martín, Crux

Marking an end to one of the most divisive debates in Catholicism in the past 35 years, Pope Francis has officially declared the late Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero a martyr, clearing the way for eventually proclaiming him a saint.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
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Vatican enlists volunteer barbers to offer shaves, haircuts to the poor
Inés San Martín, Crux

As of Feb. 16, homeless people around the Vatican will be able to shower under the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, and, if they do so on Mondays, they also may emerge sporting a new haircut and trimmed beard.

How Can Conservatives Best Fight Poverty?
Genevieve Wood, The Daily Signal

Conservatives have great recipes for addressing poverty. But for those living in impoverished communities to become believers in those recipes we need more chefs – people and organizations in such neighborhoods living out the principles that work.

How Conservatives Are Getting Right On Crime
Rachel Lu, The Federalist

Today’s conservative crime reformers are aiming for less guards, bars, and prison beds.

Perpetuating Ineffective Anti-Poverty Programs
Stephen M. Krason, Crisis Magazine

The Obama presidency has been distinguished for unprecedented levels of federal social welfare spending. In his second term, President Obama is pursuing new and expanded federal anti-poverty initiatives.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
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Religious and secular advocates urge IRS to clarify rules on political endorsements from the pulpit
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

Religious and secular advocacy groups jointly called Thursday (Jan. 29) for greater clarity by the Internal Revenue Service regarding nonprofits and political activity.

How to Convince Men to Help the Poor
Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard

New research finds the key to a successful fund-raising campaign is convincing them that their self-interest is aligned with your cause.

10 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking
Heather Davis Nelson, OnFaith

If you’re not sure where to begin engaging with human trafficking, start here.

Cliches of Progressivism #42 – “Jesus Christ Was a Progressive Because He Advocated Income Redistribution to Help the Poor”
Lawrence W. Reed, The Freeman

You don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate the deceit in this canard. You can be a person of any faith or no faith at all. You just have to appreciate facts.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 2, 2015
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Challenging Unjust Laws Takes Prudence, Courage, and Common Sense
Russell Nieli, Public Discourse

In the real world, human goods are often in conflict with one another. This reality forces us to make difficult choices and trade-offs that cannot be eliminated or adjudicated by following simple rules.

Congress Seeks to Improve Global Anti-Trafficking Efforts
Olivia Enos, The Daily Signal

As National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month comes to a close, Congress is turning its attention to combatting human trafficking. New estimates suggest that as many as 35.8 million people are victims of human trafficking. Renewed attention on this international crisis is necessary if the U.S. is to continue to lead global anti-trafficking efforts.

We’re hardly doing anything about the single biggest killer on the planet
Gwynn Guilford, Quartz

What hardly anyone’s spending on is pollution—even though it’s the most lethal force on the planet, killing nearly 8.9 million people in 2012, the last year for which there was data.

These are the religious beliefs of Europe’s leaders—including the atheists
Kabir Chibber and Jason Karaian, Quarz

Despite the ceremony being officiated by an archbishop, Alexis Tsipras this week became the first Greek prime minister to be sworn in without taking a religious oath (pictured above). You see, Tsipras is an avowed atheist.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 30, 2015
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Cake baking and journalistic story baking
Marvin Olasky, World

Bill Jack goes on the offensive today in the Colorado cake-baking story that’s received enormous media attention over the past week.

Anti-Slavery Activists Imprisoned in Mauritania
Charlotte Florance, The Daily Signal

Three prominent anti-slavery activists and opposition politicians in Mauritania were sentenced to two years in prison earlier this month.

The Image of God in Each of Us Could Change How Christians View Prison Reform
EliseAmyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The United States is home to more incarcerated citizens than any other nation in the entire world. With 25 percent of the world’s prison population behind bars in the U.S., prison reform is an issue of rising bipartisan support in Washington. It’s also a huge concern among Christian social justice advocates, especially since there is a strong link between incarceration rates and poverty rates and reform may greatly improve overall human well-being.

After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion
Jeffrey Gottfried and Michael Barthel , Pew Research

Majority Says Publishing Cartoons Was ‘Okay,’ But About Half of Non-Whites Say ‘Not Okay’

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 29, 2015
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Morality in the Marketplace: A Catechism for Business
Joseph Pearce, The Imaginative Conservative

There are many books on my shelves that haunt me with a sense of guilt every time they catch my eye. They are my sins of omission, those worthy tomes that deserve my attention and which I should have read but which I have thus far neglected. “Read it?”

Resist or Accommodate Evil: There is No “Third Way”
Jeffery J. Ventrella, Public Discourse

When conscience flirts with the idea of accommodating an unjust law, it must politely, yet firmly, reject the sirens of seduction

How Hurricane Katrina Made Radical School Choice Possible in New Orleans
Katherine Mangu-Ward & Todd Krainin, Reason.com

“Katrina literally and figuratively washed away many of the institutional barriers that had prevented us from even imagining that we could make systemic changes to this school system,” says Patrick Dobard, superintendent of Louisiana’s Recovery School District.

A new study argues cutting unemployment benefits created 1.8 million jobs
Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

Economists will debate what happened, but one of the more controversial theories is that Congress’s decision not to extend federal unemployment benefits at the end of 2013 encouraged those out of work to settle for more poorly paid jobs, giving firms a better reason to expand and hire new workers.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
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Connecticut’s Homeschool Hokum
Matthew Hennessey, City Journal

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission continues to tread on parents’ rights.​

‘Free’ Community College Will Just Make High School Six Years Long
Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

When personal investments are converted to universal entitlements, quality declines for everyone while the tax increases are a burden we will pay forever.

Princeton professor and others offer to take 1,000 lashes for Saudi blogger Raif Badawi
FoxNews.com

A Princeton University professor and a prominent Muslim American figure, as well as five other religious freedom advocates, are offering to take 100 lashes each for imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced by Saudi Arabia to 1,000 lashes for insulting his country’s clerics.

State high court’s vote affecting Scout affiliation stirs debate anew
Thomas Curwen, LA Times

High court voted to bar judges from belonging to nonprofit youth organizations that practice discrimination.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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An Approach to Ending Poverty That Works
Susan Davis, Harvard Business Review

If we’re to end poverty, we can’t ignore them. All of us — researchers, policymakers, governments, social entrepreneurs, nonprofit development groups, microfinance institutions, corporations, and philanthropists — have a role to play in bringing them into the widening zone of prosperity. And we may have found a way to do this.

Pope Francis Is Fair Game For Criticism, From Left Or Right
D.C. McAllister, The Federalist

When Pope Francis damages the cause of liberty across the globe, it’s only right that its defenders should speak up.

A Biblical Mandate for Servant Leadership
Austin Burkhart, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Jesus knew that some day his tiny band of followers would have authority over large groups of people. While he was with them, he taught them many lessons to use after he left.

Are Modi’s pro-business plans a path out of poverty for India’s poor?
PBS Newshour

Modi has amassed supporters throughout the country who praise his economic vision by creating jobs and improving the country’s infrastructure. But critics argue many states, whose residents live below the country’s poverty line, are still lacking in education and health care. Fred de Sam Lazaro reports.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 26, 2015
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No Worship Services in Public Schools, New York Mayor Tells Supreme Court
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

Bill de Blasio campaigned on the promise of letting churches rent school space. Now he’s asking the Supreme Court to prohibit it.

What Would Kuyper Do?
David T. Koyzis, First Things

During his political career, Kuyper worked, not to turn the Netherlands into a godly commonwealth, but more modestly to secure a place in the public square for his Reformed Christian (Gereformeerd) supporters in the face of the secularizing ideologies spawned by the French Revolution.

Religious Freedom Reigns Over Beards And Obamacare
Matt Bowman, The Federalist

The Supreme Court upheld similar applications of religious freedom in cases with very different vote margins. Why?

3 Leadership Lessons From Winston Churchill
Gavin Ortlund, The Gospel Coalition

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. We might draw many lessons from Churchill’s life, and not all of them salutary (his views on religion, women, and alcohol come to mind). Nevertheless, Churchill was an inspiring and effective leader in a time of crisis, and it is appropriate to consider what he might teach us today about leadership.