Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, June 18, 2015

U.S. Confidence in Religious Institutions at All-Time Low

Confidence in every major U.S. institution, save for military and small businesses, polled below historic averages according to a new Gallup survey.

How The Left Uses Deceptive Minimum-Wage Data
James Sherk, The Federalist

The real value of the minimum wage has hardly changed for half a century. You wouldn’t know that from looking at charts from the Left.

We Need a Magna Carta for the Regulatory State

Sean Hackbarth, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The regulators must be better regulated. We need a Magna Carta for the Regulatory State.

Navigating the Complex Relationship between Creation, Dominion, and Whole-Life Stewardship
Andrew Spencer, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

There is value in the created order. Humans are part of that created order, but a special part. God gave a special responsibility to humans to be fruitful and to have dominion over the earth as his image bearers (Genesis 1:26-28).

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Freedom, Law and the Limits of Authority: Exploring the Theological Roots of the Magna Carta
Thomas Andrew, ABC Religion and Ethics

Given that institutionalised Christianity has, in one form or another, been a dominant force throughout much of Western history, it is hardly revolutionary to claim that the history of legal and political thought has been distinctly shaped by Christian ideals and beliefs.

Oklahoma AG supports Marine court-martialed for prayer
Associated Press

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is weighing in on the case of a US Marine in North Carolina who was court-martialed after posting Bible verses in her government work space and refusing orders to remove them.

A Spotlight on Government Waste and Corporate Welfare
Amber Athey, The Daily Signal

While it is no surprise to most Americans that government tends to operate less efficiently than the private sector, the amount of money that is lost or mishandled is often much higher than many people imagine

Would you rather make $50,000 in today’s world or $100,000 in 1980’s?
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

Adjusted for inflation, would you rather make $50,000 in today’s world or $100,000 in 1980’s? In other words, is an extra $50,000 enough to get you to give up the internet and TV and computer that you have now? The answer isn’t obvious. And if $100,000 isn’t enough, what would be? $200,000? More?

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

800 Years On, Why Magna Carta Still Matters
Brendan O’Neill, Spiked Online

The document that built a ‘brazen wall’ to guard the individual from the state.

Trying to Solve the Global Warming Problem Could Have Effects on the Hunger Problem
Monica Joshi, Big Think

A new study has found for the first time that efforts to keep global temperatures in check might likely lead to more people going hungry due to their effects on food production.

Do Conservative Christians Care About the Poor?
Bryan Ballas, Juicy Ecumenism

You can be as kind and loving to others as humanly possible, but it will do nothing to change the mind of someone who only wants to see the negative in you.

No, Conservatives Don’t Suddenly Hate Free Trade
Bryan Riley, The Daily Signal

The debate over the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill backed by President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has turned into a debate over just about anything except free trade.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, June 15, 2015

Conserving Religious Liberty For All
Sen. Mike Lee, Hillsdale College

Today I would like to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the vulnerability of one of those ideals in particular: America’s tradition of religious diversity, tolerance, and freedom.

Why Poor People Stay Poor
Steve Chapman,

Hazards hamper the ability of many to lift themselves out.

King v. Burwell Pits Rule Of Law Against Rule By Decree
John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist

How the Obama administration has handled Obamacare is at odds with fundamental American concepts like rule of law and separation of powers. The Supreme Court should see that in King v. Burwell.

How the Poor Make Better Financial Decisions Than the Wealthy
Anuj Shah, Slate

People often assume that the poor are less competent than the wealthy. Some even suggest that the poor have flawed values or ways of thinking. But my colleagues and I have recently found that the poor outperform the rich at some financial decisions. Under poverty, people develop a unique expertise.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, June 12, 2015

Minimum Wage Laws: Restrictions On Free Speech?
Adam Allouba, Atlas Network

The lower market wage for artists does not arise from someone’s arbitrary decision — or even someone’s informed decision — because no “decision” was involved. That wage instead results from an ongoing conversation between producers and consumers about how much art is for sale relative to how much art people will buy.

Vatican to share tax info with US in new transparency step
Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

The Vatican formally committed Wednesday to share the tax information of U.S. citizens with the United States in the latest move to improve the reputation of its scandal-marred bank and crack down on tax cheats.

Seattle ‘culturemaker’ Nathan Marion: We Need New Abbeys In America To Foster Community, Arts
Jesse James Deconto, Religion Dispatches

Out of Marion’s experience with the Abbey, grew Lonely Buildings, a consulting firm that helps congregations reimagine how to use their facilities to serve their neighbors and neighborhoods. From Seattle and Portland, Houston and Austin, to San Diego and Birmingham, Ala., Marion advises congregations about how their buildings can belong to the broader “parishes” that surround them.

Africa creates TFTA – Cape to Cairo free-trade zone

African leaders have agreed to create the continent’s largest free-trade zone, covering 26 countries in an area from Cape Town to Cairo.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, June 11, 2015

Africa wasn’t always about poverty–so why do so many believe that’s the case?
Johan Fourie, Quartz

For too long, Henry Morton Stanley’s reference to Africa as the Dark Continent held sway. Not only was the African interior terra incognito, but so too was its past.

What the West Needs to Know About the Persecution of Christians in the Middle East
Zoe Romanowsky, Aleteia

An interview with author George J. Marlin of Aid to the Church in Need.

What’s Dignity for the Goose Is Dignity for the Gander
Richard Reinsch, Library of Law and Liberty

If state marriage laws are primarily about bestowing dignity on adults, as opposed to the more limited social purpose of connecting fathers and mothers to each other and to their children, then it’s curtains for those defending marriage as an institution grounded in heterosexual complementarity. But we already knew that.

How the Sabbath Keeps Work from Being the Meaning of Our Lives
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Man was created by God for work (Genesis 2:15). For the Christian, life without work is meaningless; but work must never become the meaning of one’s life.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How Should Christians View World History?
R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries

The grand difference between the ancient view of history and that found in Scripture is the difference between what is called “cyclical” and “linear-progressive.”

Invisible Cliffs and Chesteron’s Fence
Adam Gurri, Sweet Talk

What I like about Chesterton’s fence is that, unlike a lot of formulations of traditionalism, it isn’t a categorical ban on crossing a given line. It’s simply stacking the burden of evidence on those arguing against tradition in a given case.

The Last Gasp of the Cradle Christians?
Chris Seiple, Christianity Today

The American church has a key role in rescuing, restoring, and returning Christians and other religious minorities who have fled ISIS.

Introduction to the Bill of Rights
James Madison, The Imaginative Conservative

I will state my reasons why I think it proper to propose amendments, and state the amendments themselves, so far as I think they ought to be proposed. If I thought I could fulfill the duty which I owe to myself and my constituents, to let the subject pass over in silence, I most certainly should not trespass upon the indulgence of this House.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Supreme Court unleashes its inner libertarian
Jeffrey Toobin, CNN

Freedom of speech, religion differences between U.S., Europe illustrated by Supreme Court rulings.

The underground Christian network smuggling refugees out of North Korea
Maureen Callahan, New York Post

When Kim was nearly 4 years old, his father, a respected member of the Workers’ Party of Korea, was so successful that he was able to build a house for his young family. It was 1994.

4 Ways Bad Economics Journalism Happens
Salim Furth, The Federalist

Economics reporters recently insisted a new study discourages reducing government debt. It does no such thing.

America’s Largest Mental Hospital Is a Jail
Matt Ford, The Atlantic

At Cook County, where a third of those incarcerated suffer from psychological disorders, officials are looking for ways to treat inmates less like prisoners and more like patients.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, June 8, 2015

Michigan Bill Would Add to Regulations on Homeschooling
Kate Scanlon, The Daily Signal

The legislation follows the deaths of two Detroit children whose mother explained their absence from a traditional school by claiming they were being homeschooled.

Where Should Poor People Live?
Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

Studies say that lower-income people do better when they live in affluent neighborhoods, but rich people don’t want them there. A few states are seeking ways around that resistance.

The ‘Mass Incarceration’ Myth Suffers a Heavy Blow
John P. Walters, The Weekly Standard

“The quality of mercy is not straine’d,” implored Shakespeare’s Portia, meaning it should not be difficult or forced. But President Obama’s Clemency Project, an effort to free “a whole bunch of good citizens who committed one little mistake” and ended up with more than 10 years in prison, is starting to look a little, well, “strain’d,” indeed.

Campus Censorship is The Feds’ Fault
Robby Soave, The Daily Beast

How obscure federal bureaucrats are squashing free expression on college campuses.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, June 5, 2015

How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti and Built Six Homes
Justin Elliott, ProPublica, and Laura Sullivan, NPR

Even as the group has publicly celebrated its work, insider accounts detail a string of failures.

Eyeing Supreme Court Gay Marriage Case, Mike Lee Unveils Bill Protecting Religious Schools
Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s impending decision on the gay marriage case, Sen. Mike Lee is attempting to protect religious non-profits by passing legislation that would prohibit the federal government from “discriminating” against faith-based institutions.

How to improve economic mobility for low-income children
Angela Rachidi, AEI Ideas

The main finding is that the better the neighborhood environment in which a child grows up, the better the child’s income relative to his or her parents. And that these “better mobility” neighborhoods share some common characteristics: better schools, more two-parent families, more social capital (community cohesiveness, social networks), and less segregation (racial and economic).

Can Christians in Business Transform Our Culture?
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

A friend of mine recently lamented to me, “If we could just convert 20 percent of the population in the United States to Christianity, we could have a positive influence on things like the business world!” I don’t think the percentage needs to be nearly that high for Christians to transform the business world or our culture at large.