Theocracy Paranoia

I’ve commented previously on Randall Balmer’s new book. The online article this month from First Things is Ross Douthat’s excellent review of a raft of books (including Balmer’s) that take up similar themes. Continue Reading...

The ‘Moral’ Minimum Wage Increase Hurts Teens and Minorities

Religious activists are stumping for a minimum wage increase as a way to help the disadvantaged. But do they understand the economics? Anthony Bradley observes that government-mandated pay hikes “actually hurt teens and low-skilled minorities in the long run because minimum wage jobs are usually entry-level positions filled by employees with limited work experience and few job skills.” Read the full commentary here. Continue Reading...

Religious Freedom in China

Do economic, political, and religious freedom go together? Rodney Stark, writing in his recent book The Victory of Reason, says that “It seems doubtful than an effective modern economy can be created without adopting capitalism, as was demonstrated by the failure of the command economies of the Soviet Union and China.” He also writes, There are many reasons people embrace Christianity, including its capacity to sustain a deeply emotional and existentially satisfying faith. Continue Reading...

The New Suburbanism

How many of you would like to live here? Tom Monaghan has received a lot of attention for his plans to create a community in Florida in conjunction with the founding of a new Roman Catholic university: “The accompanying town will provide single- and multi-family housing in a wide range of styles and prices, along with commercial and office facilities to accommodate the businesses and organizations needed to support this major academic institution.” Here’s what Katie Couric had to say in an interview with Monaghan about the town (MP3 audio here, RealMedia here, WindowsMedia here): Some of the values, depending on your perspective… may be deemed wholesome, but in other ways, I think, people will see this community as eschewing diversity and promoting intolerance….Do you think the tenets of the community might result in de facto segregation as a result of some of the beliefs that are being espoused by the majority of the residents there?…You can understand how people would hear some of these things and be like, wow, this is really infringing on civil liberties and freedom of speech and right to privacy and all sorts of basic tenets that this country was founded on. Continue Reading...