Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pope Francis and his invitation to dialogue with Islam
Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, AsiaNews.it

Islam is at a crossroads: either religion is a way towards politics and towards a politically organized society, or religion is an inspiration to live and love more fully.

The 10 Worst Regulations of 2013
James Gattuso and Diane Katz, The Foundry

There are many things 2013 will be remembered for, not least the miles of red tape that were imposed on Americans

“The Struggle against Scarcity:” Arthur Lovejoy and Roepke
Ralph Ancil, The Imaginative Conservative

There is a double meaning to the conventional economist’s use of the phrase the “struggle against scarcity.”

Philanthropy’s Original Sin
William A. Schambra, The New Atlantis

Philanthropy has many wonderful qualities — and never tires of proclaiming them, for one quality it sorely lacks is humility.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, December 30, 2013

Americans turning to ancient music, practices to experience their faith
Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post

“It’s the recognition that Christianity didn’t start when someone got an electric guitar,” said Ed Stetzer who runs Lifeway Research

Conservatives and Poverty
Peter Wehner, Commentary

According to Myers, while those in ancient Rome did participate in alms giving, in Roman and Greek culture there wasn’t the compassion for the poor that was present in Jewish and Christian understanding because “there was nothing like Yahweh’s love for the oppressed in their moral imagination.”

What Francis can do on anti-Christian persecution
John L. Allen, Jr., National Catholic Reporter

Maybe Francis can be to the early 21st century what John Paul was to the late 20th, meaning a pope who genuinely changes history.

Westminster and Economic Justice
Steven Wedgeworth, The Calvinist International

The Westminster Larger Catechism has a comprehensive treatment of the moral law, and its treatment of the eighth commandment is particularly interesting. With certain small modifications, these statements are representative of the older universal Christian tradition.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, December 27, 2013

Sci-Fi Is Socialist, Like Most Art
Todd Seavey, The Federalist

Maybe there is room for more visionary science fiction?

The Aid Debate Is Over
William Easterly, Reason

The failure of Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Villages.

Wealth: Learning & Discovery
George Gilder, The Imaginative Conservative

We begin with the proposition that capitalism is not chiefly an incentive system but an information system.

How Then Should We Tackle Income Inequality?
Tyler O’Neil, Christian Post

While Bible scholars agreed that income inequality is not in itself wrong, they attacked the distribution of wealth in modern America as unfair and proposed solutions to it.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, December 26, 2013

Do you even want to win the culture war?
James Chastek, Just Thomism

Perhaps the church had its run of control over the world, but it’s better off now that its lines of evangelization are characterized by freedom, reason, and legitimate parental authority.

Why All Americans Should Support Hobby Lobby’s Case Against Obamacare
Evan Bernick, The Foundry

The plight of Hobby Lobby, the arts-and-crafts business whose owners are being forced to compromise their faith, instantly draws the sympathy of religious conservatives. But why should anyone else care?

Can a Church Refuse to Sell Property Because of a Buyer’s Religion?
Mark Movsesian, First Things

Is it legal for a church to refuse to sell church property solely because of the buyer’s religion? You’d think there would be an easy answer, but I haven’t been able to find one.

What are some of the biggest problems with a guaranteed annual income?
Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

Whether on grounds of justice, practicality, or just public choice considerations (“you can keep your current welfare payments if you like them”), we should not expect everyone to be paid the same under a guaranteed annual income.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, December 23, 2013

Don’t Be a Scrooge This Christmas
R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries

The high degree of commerce at Christmas is driven by one thing: the buying of gifts for others. To present our friends and families with gifts is not an ugly, ignoble vice.

Restorative Justice Programs – An Alternative to State-Centered Punishment
Derek Cohen, The Federalist

The underlying problem is viewing the government as the victim of crime, instead of the individual who was actually harmed. Restorative justice programs are a better alternative that return us to the original conception in western civilization of a crime as one person harming another.

Utter Chaos: White House Exempts Millions From Obamacare’s Insurance Mandate, ‘Unaffordable’ Exchanges
Avik Roy, Forbes

The administration will grant a “hardship exemption” from the law’s individual mandate, requiring the purchase of health insurance, to anyone who has had their prior coverage canceled and who “believes that Obamacare’s offerings are unaffordable.”

How Can Economic Law Help Us Fulfill the Cultural Mandate?
Shawn Ritenour, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

A proper understanding of economics is crucial for our obeying and fulfilling the cultural mandate given to us by God in the first two chapters of Genesis.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, December 20, 2013

Poor Catholic ‘Trash’
Stephen Herreid, Aleteia

The alliance of political and religious forces pushing back against the welfare state is overdue, and the challenge is enormous. It has also created a new and terrible temptation for the Church.

Vatican outsources more financial reform
Associated Press

The Vatican is enlisting more big-name consulting firms to advise it on structural and financial reforms, tapping McKinsey & Co. to help modernize its communications operations and KPMG to bring its accounting up to international standards.

Consuming Resources Isn’t Success: On Charity and Development Aid
Art Carden, EconLog

As William Easterly, Christopher Coyne, and others have pointed out, we tend to measure the “success” of a charitable endeavor or an aid project in terms of the resources consumed.

Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat
Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup

Now 72% say it is greater threat than big business or big labor.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Twelve Days of Christmas
Fr. Hans Jacobse, St. Peter Orthodox Church

The traditions only make sense when they have the Gospel as their reference.

Virtues lost: How it happened and why we can’t live without them
Deirdre McCloskey, ABC Religion and Ethics

The case can be made that a flourishing human life must show seven principal virtues.

Religious Liberty Triumphs Over OCare
Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary

This is just one of the 88 cases that have been brought against the government by those rightly citing the mandate as a violation of their constitutional rights. But this is the first time the plaintiffs have received a permanent injunction that prevents the government from either enforcing the provision or levying crippling fines against violators.

How Greedy Is Your State?
Elise Amyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Geographers from Kansas State University created a series of maps of the Seven Deadly Sins across America. The maps highlight the most sinful regions in red and the least sinful regions in blue.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Two Proven Ideas to Help the Poor
Richard Turnbull, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

In alleviating poverty, we often talk about the need for solutions on the local and individual level. But what does this look like in reality?

Common Core Sexualizes American School Children
Mary Jo Anderson, Crisis Magazine

Across the nation, in public and Catholic schools, parents and teachers have found sexually inappropriate materials in the exemplars recommended by Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

A few caveats for raising minimum wage
George F. Will, National Post

Liberals’ love of recycling extends to their ideas, one of which illustrates the miniaturization of Barack Obama’s presidency.

You Can Keep Your Republic … If You Like It
David Corbin and Matt Parks, The Federalist

What of the American republic of, by, and for the people today?

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Power Tends to Corrupt
Christopher Lazarski, Liberty Law Blog

In this podcast, Lazarski underscores Lord Acton’s historical quest to find the conditions of liberty, as well as his formal understanding of what constituted liberty.

Pope Francis’ Missionary Church
James V. Schall, S.J., Catholic World Report

The Pontiff’s focus (and impatience) is “this-worldly,” but it is not “utopian” or modernist.

Beyond Social Work: Reflections on Poverty Alleviation
Greg Lane, Patheos

How should Christians approach poverty alleviation? By following Scriptural commands for helping the poor, and by working with families, churches, businesses, and government to effect lasting change.

What Can George Bailey, Jerry Maguire, and Gordon Gekko Teach Us About Entrepreneurship and Evangelism?
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What follows is an entertaining history of entrepreneurship as seen through the eyes of movie and television writers, including everyone from Ralph Kramden of The Honeymooners to the creators of the current reality show Shark Tank.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, December 16, 2013

Pope: I’m not a Marxist
Daniel Burke, CNN

In a new interview, Pope Francis responded to critics who call his stance on capitalism “Marxist,” saying that the political and economic philosophy is flat “wrong.”

Charlie Brown, Pope Francis and Political Economy
Fr Gregory, Koinonia

Christian defenders of classical political and economic liberalism need to bear in mind I think that both the free market and democracy depend on a virtuous citizenry.

3 charts that show what’s really going on with economic mobility in the US
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

Conservatives would prefer to talk about economic mobility rather than income inequality, at least for now. As far as the former goes, Richard Reeves and Kerry Searle Grannis of Brookings put together a great blog post with some must-see charts on the topic.

Sex Trafficking in Your Backyard
Caitlin Bootsma, Crisis Magazine

News of mothers selling their pre-adolescent daughters into sex slavery cannot help but raise the ire of concerned people around the world. The stories out of Svay Pak, Cambodia are heartbreaking, with a large percentage of 8-12 year olds being farmed out to “sex tourists” and young virgins being rented out for the weekend to the highest rapist bidder.