Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
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The Mobility Crisis
Yuval Levin, Commentary

We Americans have always prided ourselves on the extraordinary degree of mobility this country has long made possible for its citizens—the idea that, with hard work and a little luck, an immigrant or a child of poor parents can start out with nothing and end up successful and rich.

Hope International Fights Poverty With Entrepreneurship
Danny Huizinga, Opportunity Lives

HOPE International isn’t just another nonprofit. Instead of handouts, the organization focuses on encouraging saving and entrepreneurship in countries around the world – helping people build their own success rather than simply trying to give it to them.

Being Charitable for the Right Reasons
Dusty Gates, Crisis Magazine

Despite the recent upward trend in charitable giving, history suggests giving over the next several months will be comparatively low. According to the Blackbaud Index, almost one-fifth of all charitable giving is done during the month of December.

How Sex Trafficking Became a Christian Cause Célèbre
Ruth Graham, Slate

Human trafficking—and sex trafficking in particular—has become something of a Christian cause célèbre. There are prayer weekends, movies, magazine covers, Sunday school curricula, and countless church-based ministries.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, March 9, 2015
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Should Catholics Oppose the Death Penalty?
John Zmirak, The Stream

Four major Catholic papers have called for an end to capital punishment, but church teaching is more complicated

Rick Warren: “Thank Baptists for Religious Liberty”
Mark Tooley, Juicy Ecumenism

Baptists have long been champions of religious freedom, recounted mega church pastor Rick Warren and Southern Baptist spokesman Russell Moore, in a panel moderated by Judge Ken Starr, president of Baptist affiliated Baylor University.

Jobs move people out of poverty
Angela Rachidi, AEI Ideas

Last week, Keith Hall was selected to be the new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director. A few high profile past CBO analyses – scoring the Affordable Care Act and a minimum wage hike – have drawn more attention to the appointment than usual. But his views on poverty – namely, that jobs help people escape poverty – also deserve a look.

The Right Figures Out How To Tell Stories
Nicole Russell, The Federalist

Finally someone on the Right is telling stories as good as the other guys–with real people, real problems, and conservative solutions.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, March 6, 2015
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The Role of Natural Law in the Constitution
Robert H. Bork, The Imaginative Conservative

Natural law seems an unlikely topic for extensive television coverage, nor would one expect United States senators to develop high anxiety over the subject. Yet the confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas brought both of those improbable events to pass.

Is “Free-Range Parenting” Bad?
Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

Have you ever let your kids play in the yard unsupervised, or walk alone to a nearby park? Such activities may in fact be “unsubstantiated child neglect,” according to the Montgomery County Child Protective Services

In U.S., Pope’s Popularity Continues to Grow
Pew Research

Nearly two years after becoming the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis continues to grow more popular among Americans.

Seattle’s smart take on how to help the poor: subsidize their transit
Emily Badger, Washington Post

Earlier this week, transit agencies in and around Seattle launched a new, two-tiered fare system: one rate for most riders in a region full of high-wage tech jobs, and another for those living on less than 200 percent of the poverty line.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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On financial reform, Pope Francis doesn’t blink
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

By now, one thing ought to be abundantly clear about Pope Francis: Faced with attempts to hobble his reform efforts through character assassination of his reformers, this pope just doesn’t blink.

Surveillance and Care
Alan Jacobs, Snakes and Ladders

Another day, another story about the legal trouble you can expect if you’re a free-range parent. This matters, a lot, and what’s at stake needs to be made clear.

Where Have All The Unions Gone?
Rachel Lu, The Federalist

Unions are losing members and public sympathy, and instead of polishing off our ballads, we should ask why that’s happening.

Biblical Orthodoxy And The Disqualification Of Christians From Public Service
Nana Dolce, RAAN

Given recent events, does holding a orthodox biblical view automatically disqualify Christians from public service?

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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Vatican security chief confirms ISIS is a threat to Pope Francis
Meghan DeMaria, The Week

Domenico Giani, commander of the Vatican’s security forces, told Italy’s Polizia Moderna that ISIS presents a significant threat to Pope Francis and the Vatican. Giana added, though, that there isn’t indication ISIS is planning an attack directed at the pope.

Iran’s Spiritual Challenge to American Christians
Mark Tooley, Juicy Ecumenism

Nine years ago liberal American religious activists like pacifist Jim Wallis of Sojourners created a “Words, Not War, With Iran” coalition to organize against decisive U.S. action against Iran’s nuclear program.

Bill to slash slavery gains quickly in Senate
Tom Strode, Baptist Press

A new effort to help end human trafficking and slavery worldwide has quickly gained momentum in Congress.

State Legislatures Pit Religious Freedom Against Civil Rights
Sarah Barringer Gordon and Nomi Stolzenberg, Religion & Politics

The debate over last summer’s Hobby Lobby decision has a new source for conflict: state legislatures. The Supreme Court decision, which expanded corporate religious liberty, rested on an interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a federal statute that Congress passed in 1993.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
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Pope To Christians Captured By ISIS: You Have Not Been Forgotten
Diane Montagna, Aleteia

At Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis sends message to Syrian and Iraqi Christians.

A Thin Line of Defense Against Honor Killings
Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times

Women’s shelters are one of the most provocative legacies of the Western presence in Afghanistan.

What Is Meaningful Work?
Courtney Reissig, The Gospel Coalition

While we would agree that all work matters, we tend to more highly praise others for doing great things on their own outside the home. I’ve even seen it in my own life when, in some circles, I define myself first as a writer in order to prove that I do something meaningful with my life during the day.

Seattle to charge public-transit riders based on income
BBC

Seattle’s transport system has introduced a ticketing system that charges riders based on their income.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, March 2, 2015
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What Happens in Vegas Is Filmed in Vegas
Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View

So I left Vegas with a question: Is the friendly police state the price of the freedom to drink and gamble with abandon?Whatever your position on vice industries, they are heavily associated with crime, even where they are legal.

Lawmakers Want Investigation Of San Francisco Catholic High Schools Over Teacher Morality Clauses
CBS

Two Bay Area lawmakers are seeking an investigation of working conditions at high schools administrated by the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, over the archbishop’s proposed morality clauses for teachers.

Islamic State seizure of Syria Christians: What we know
BBC

Dozens of Assyrian Christians have been abducted by jihadist militants from Islamic State (IS) in the north-eastern Syrian province of Hassakeh, activists and community leaders say.

Chinese Crackdown Spells Danger for Christians
The American Interest

Xi watchers take note: the NYT reports on the increasingly strict controls the Chinese government is placing on “independent, civil society groups”.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, February 27, 2015
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More Assyrian Christians Captured as ISIS Attacks Villages in Syria
Anne Barnard, New York Times

Continuing its assaults on a string of Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, the Islamic State militant group has seized scores more residents over the past two days, bringing the number of captives to as many as several hundred, Assyrian organizations inside and outside Syria said on Thursday.

The Personnel Is Political: The Left’s Distorted Outlook on the Minimum Wage
Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

A priceless little gem of leftist thinking appeared yesterday at Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC blog, in which Steve Benen declares a triumph for the campaign to increase the federal minimum wage—in the form of private employers voluntarily raising their wages in response to market forces. Say what?

School Choice Metamorphoses From Vouchers to Savings Accounts
Rachel Alexander, The Stream

Teachers unions’ monolithic grip on education will inevitably disappear, Clint Bolick predicts, as technology makes them obsolete.

Christian Education Should Teach Students the Dignity of Work and the Doctrine of Vocation
David Leonard , Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

After ten years of teaching in higher education and interacting with students from a wide range of backgrounds, I’ve come to realize that most young people lack the resources for thinking clearly about their vocations. Unfortunately, this is also true at Christian universities and colleges.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, February 26, 2015
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Army of Assyrian Christians aims to fight Islamic State
Therese Apel, Crux

Assyrian Christians in the Nineveh Plain in Iraq, with the help of a group of Americans, are building a fighting machine to stand toe-to-toe with the Islamic State group to preserve their homeland, their history and their heritage.

Seven Reasons Conservatives Are Leading Criminal Justice Reform
Rachel Lu, The Federalist

One percent of the U.S. population is behind bars. We can do better than our current criminal justice system. And the Right is leading the way.

Minimum Wage for New York City’s Tipped Workers Will Increase to $7.50
Patrick McGeehan , New York Times

Continuing to push for higher wages for the state’s lowest-paid workers, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Tuesday that all of the waiters, waitresses and others who work for tips in New York City will soon get a raise of their minimum wage to $7.50 an hour.

Godly Radicalism
Greg Forster, First Things

At Anamnesis, Glenn Moots reviews and responds to an important new work in this debate, Godly Republicanism by Michael Winship. Drawing on Winship, Moots argues that historians have overlooked the religious roots of an important strain of Anglo-American republicanism because it arose in a place and manner that we wouldn’t expect.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
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Islamic State ‘abducts dozens of Christians in Syria’
BBC

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 90 men, women and children were seized in a series of dawn raids near the town of Tal Tamr.

Getting a gun legally in Europe may be hard, but terrorists have little trouble
Griff Witte and Karla Adam, Washington Post

Europe, a continent long known for the rarity of gun violence, is confronting twin challenges that give the issue sudden urgency: a growing population of radicalized young men determined to strike targets close to home, and a black market awash in high-powered weapons.

How unemployment warps your personality over time
Danielle Paquette, Washington Post

Long periods of unemployment drain our bank accounts and weaken the economy. New research suggests extended joblessness could also dampen our personalities. And that can make it harder to find more work.

Supreme Court to hear religious freedom case
Ariane de Vogue, CNN

Samantha Elauf was apprehensive to interview for a sales job at retailer Abercrombie & Fitch in 2008 because the 17 year old wore a headscarf in accordance with her Muslim faith. But a friend of hers, who worked at the store, said he didn’t think it would be a problem as long as the headscarf wasn’t black because the store doesn’t sell black clothes.