Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
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Pope seeks meeting with Russian Orthodox leader, but says theological agreement impossible
Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

“I said I’ll go wherever you want — you call me and I’ll go. And he also has the same desire,” Francis said. “But with the problems of the war, the poor guy [Patriarch Kirill] has so many problems, so a meeting with the pope will have to wait. But we do want to meet. We want to go forward.”

Patriarch Kirill: ‘The Lack of Morals Is Incompatible with Happiness’
Pravmir

“Thus a question arises: are God’s Commandments, being so old-fashioned, guiding stars as well?,” Kirill asked. “The answer is simple: they are the only guiding stars.”

Our giant welfare state
Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post

Call it a massive case of national self-deception. Indeed, judged by how much of their national income countries devote to social spending, we have the world’s second-largest welfare state — just behind France.

Redeeming Gratitude, Wonder & Work
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Before the Fall, we were designed for and called to work. But after Adam sinned, our souls were severed from relationship with their Creator. The Fall affected creation, too. The ground does not respond the way it was intended to, and work now involves toil.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 1, 2014
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Francis rolls out ‘social gospel’ case for Catholic/Orthodox unity
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

Sometimes what a pope doesn’t say can be just as important as what he does, and such was the case in Turkey on Sunday as Pope Francis laid out his vision for unity between Catholics and Orthodox Christianity.

How Travis Crockett Leaned on God and Helping Hands to Lift Himself From Poverty and Mean Streets
Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

Violence, gangs and drugs were unavoidable. Travis’s father was largely absent from his life. His mother lacked the means to support him and his brother.

We Should Be Grateful for Our Problems
Ed Feulner, The Daily Signal

Frankly, we should be grateful for our problems as well. We rise in life to the degree to which we can solve problems. Time and again, from Valley Forge to Sept. 11, Americans have faced our problems squarely — and solved them.

Supreme Court considers extent of free speech over Internet
Sam Hananel, Associated Press

In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday was to consider whether Elonis’ Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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Is Russia Banning Islam?
Raymond Ibrahim, FrontPageMag

Russia appears to be taking serious moves to combat the “radicalization” of Muslims within its border.

What George Washington Teaches Us about Thanksgiving and God’s Providence
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Washington’s proclamation represents the first to be so designated by the new government of the United States of America. This “general thanksgiving” was a day appointed, “to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”

What’s Stopping Young Adults From Forming Stable Families?
David Lapp, Family Studies

If working-class young adults are so eager to get married and have stable families, what’s stopping them?

Marriage and the Black Family
Jacqueline C. Rivers, Public Discourse

Black children have suffered the most as a result of the decline of marriage in the black community. And today marriage faces new threats. Adapted from an address delivered at the Vatican during the Humanum Colloquium.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
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Catholic Social Thought and the Law: Usury
Steve Bainbridge, ProfessorBainbridge.com

In my seminar on Catholic Social Thought (CST) and the Law tonight’s discussion focuses on usury. Why does the Church oppose usury? What is the current teaching on usury? What is usury? Has the Church’s definition of usury and/or its position on usury changed over time? If so, what does that mean for other Church teachings?

Six new Catholic saints at a glance
Associated Press

Pope Francis on Sunday canonized six new saints, two Indians and four Italians, all of whom dedicated their lives to helping the poor.

Why the Crackdown? Christians Now Outnumber Communists in China
Steven W. Mosher, Aleteia

China’s Communist government has been on an anti-Christian rampage of late, tearing down churches in the coastal city of Wenzhou and elsewhere, arresting underground bishops and home church leaders, and illicitly ordaining pliant priests as Catholic “bishops.“ But underneath this escalating campaign of repression – in fact, the reason for it – is a rapidly growing population of Christians.

You’ve Never Heard of This Legislation. But If Passed, It Would Increase the Welfare State.
Robert Rector, The Daily Signal

The ABLE Act (H.R. 647) would effectively eliminate the asset test for many families that receive means-tested welfare assistance. Consequently, it would expand the welfare state.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 24, 2014
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Office Space: The Benefits Of Working With Your Hands
Dylan Pahman, Humane Pursuits

While most people cannot excuse themselves every day at noon to go dig a ditch out behind their office, we all can find ways to incorporate manual labor into our daily spiritual practice (something I continually need to remember myself).

Christian Inmate Suing Indiana To Recognize Religion
Daniel Silliman, Religion Dispatches

An Eastern Orthodox prison inmate won a small but important victory in his legal fight to have the Indiana Department of Corrections recognize his religion.

The Justice Department becomes a schoolyard bully in Wisconsin
George F. Will, Washington Post

Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Justice Department wants to destroy Wisconsin’s school choice program.

Churches and Obama’s Executive Amnesty
Mark Tooley, First Things

That U.S. immigration policy should be based on several Scripture passages simply urging kindness to strangers was a dubious claim but one that supposedly would mobilize millions of Evangelicals to compel the Republican House of Representatives to approve the Democratic Senate’s legislation for mass legalization.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, November 21, 2014
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Why has Pentecostalism grown so dramatically in Latin America?
David Masci, Pew Research Center

With nearly 300 million followers worldwide, including many in Africa and Latin America, Pentecostalism is now a global phenomenon. But present day Pentecostalism traces its origins to a religious revival movement that began in the early 20th century.

Iraqi prelate raps Muslim silence on atrocities of Islamic State
Catholic World News

Iraq’s leading Catholic prelate has decried the silence of the world’s Islamic leaders in the face of the “barbaric” violence of the Islamic State.

Rabbi Sacks: Family Is Most Humanizing Institution in History
Zenit

Here is the address given Monday by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks at the colloquim underway in the Vatican on the complementarity of man and woman. The rabbi’s address was titled “The Family is the Single Most Humanising Institution in History.”

The poor want ‘dignity, not charity,’ pope says
Inés San Martín, Crux

Pope Francis called hunger and malnutrition a cause of scandal on Thursday, and declared that the poor of the world “ask for dignity, not charity.”

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, November 20, 2014
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What Tocqueville Can Teach Us About the Culture War
Richard Samuelson, Library of Law and Liberty

In America, civil associations are completely voluntary, and yet they have, or had, a very important civic role. Civil society was a space of liberty, with very few regulations. No one was required to cease drinking, and no one was required to monetarily support a temperance group, or a charity hospital, church, reading club, or fraternal or other charitable organization.

Is There a Link between Childhood Homelessness and Single Parenthood?
Leslie Ford, The Daily Signal

A new report from The National Center on Family Homelessness concludes that “the challenges of single parenting” is one of the serious causes of homelessness. This conclusion makes sense. Single-parenthood drastically increases the likelihood of poverty and the risks of negative outcomes for children.

In defense of sweatshops — they’re often the best and fastest way for the poor to escape poverty
Mark J. Perry, AEIdeas

Closing sweatshops and forcing Western labor and environmental standards down poor people’s throats in the third world does nothing to elevate them out of poverty.

Three Things a Tesla Teaches Us about Stewardship
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The Tesla is becoming an increasingly frequent sight in the area in which I live, as are many other kinds of electric vehicles. Commercially, this technology is relatively new, but despite the political undertones inevitable to any discussion involving environmental technology, it can teach us a lot about our call to stewardship.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
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Erdoğan: Disbelief in Muslim discovery of America lack of self-esteem
Today’s Zaman

“Islam had expanded to the American continent before Columbus arrived,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

Clerical Freedom and Academic Freedom
Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine

It’s odd to think that all those boys died at Normandy and Iwo Jima so that men of God could have their sermons confiscated by the government, lest they dare to preach against ambiguous bathrooms.

How the War on Poverty Has Hurt American Marriage Rates
Robert Rector, The Daily Signal

It is no accident that the collapse of marriage in America largely began with the War on Poverty and the proliferation of means-tested welfare programs that it fostered.

Why Christianity and the Middle Class Are Both in Decline
Dave Albertson, OnFaith

As the middle class goes, so goes the church.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
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Evangelicals Talking With Orthodox
Robert Arakaki, Orthodox-Reformed Bridge

Rev. Graham has been respectful of the Orthodox Church. His goal has been to bring people to faith in Christ, not establish rival Evangelical Churches as an alternative to the historic Russian Orthodox Church.

Two Clashing Orthodox Views of the Past and Future
Terry Mattingly, UExpress

The photo-op on Nov. 7 was symbolic and, for many, historic. The elder statesman was the Rev. Billy Graham, and rather than an evangelical superstar, the man who met with him at his North Carolina mountain home was Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev.

Why The American Founders Cared About Happiness
Robert Curry, The Federalist

‘The pursuit of happiness’ shouldn’t confuse people who study the American founders.

There is No Difference Between Fiscal and “Social” Issues
Mike D’Virgilio, The American Culture

Ever since I became politically and cultural aware some thirty odd years ago(!), there has been a tension among the politically engaged on the right between the more religious who tend to emphasize what are called “social issues,” and the less or irreligious who stress what are called fiscal issues.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 17, 2014
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Is Economic Liberty Necessary for Religious Liberty?
Napp Nazworth, Christian Post

Can churches have religious freedom in a nation without economic freedom? This issue was explored Monday at an Acton Institute conference hosted by the Catholic University of America.

South Florida religious leaders back school vouchers
Christina Veiga, Miami Herald

Black religious leaders took to the airwaves on Tuesday to call for an end to legal challenges against Florida’s largest school voucher program.

We’ll Never Know What Big Government Has Stolen From Our Lives
Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

You often never know what you’re missing, what government has prevented and killed. Like meat, drink, and the relationships they foster.

4 charts that show how an intact family affects kids’ economic futures
Natalie Scholl, AEIdeas

Today, Brad Wilcox and Robert Lerman have a must-read piece at NRO on “what’s happening to the American family and why it matters for the health of the American Dream.” Here are four charts from their article that show that young men and women “who grow up in an intact, two-parent family have a leg up in today’s competitive economy.”