Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

canonizationOn Sunday, Mother Teresa of Calcutta became St. Teresa (though Pope Francis said, “We will continue to call her Mother Teresa.”). Mother Teresa was the 29th saint canonized by Pope Francis during his three-year pontificate.

While 29 may sound like a lot, Francis’s per-year average (9.7) is just slightly more than Pope Benedict’s pace (6.4 a year) and much, much slower than Pope John Paul II, who averaged 18.2 a year. Still, the increase in the rate of saint-making means you have an increased chance of joining those ranks.

Assuming you meet the other qualifications (be a Catholic, meet the requisite miracles, etc.), what should you do to improve your probability of canonization? For starters, you may want to move to Italy: 46.7 percent of saints lived in that country at the time of their deaths.

That’s one of the many intriguing tidbits to be gleaned from Barro, McCleary, and McQuoid’s 2010 paper, The Economics of Sainthood (a preliminary investigation):

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Freedom Isn’t What You Think It Is
Douglas Williams, The Federalist

Freedom at its core is the ability to do what I ought, not simply what I want.

Can Capitalist Pigs be Pious Christians?
J.K. Wall, Gentle Reformation

The world of business has a bad name because most people—including those running businesses—don’t know why they exist.

5 Bad Starting Points for the Faith and Work Conversation
Jeff Haanen, TGC

We can renew aspects of culture, but transforming “the culture”? Like, the whole thing? Apart from Jesus returning, I have no idea what that means.

The case for animal welfare as a matter of faith
Charles C. Camosy, Crux

An official with the Faith Outreach Program at the Humane Society of the United States believes that, “When we do something to protect animals, it has significance beyond just helping that animal. It’s part of a larger restorative effort that mends our relationships with one another and God as well.”

Harvestor workingMany view Labor Day as a celebration of all forms of work. The origins of the holiday come from the labor union movement, which for some is not so laudable. This leads some free-market advocates to refer instead to “Capital Day.”

One might be tempted to respond as parents often do when kids ask why there is a separate Father’s or Mother’s Day but no “Kid’s Day.” The answer: Every day is Kid’s Day. Perhaps every day is Capital Day and it is worth singling out the particularly human element of a productive and free economy.

In his historic encyclical from thirty-five years ago, Pope John Paul II refused to allow the dynamic relationship between labor and capital to be a zero-sum, either/or binary. To do so, he thought, is to grant a basic (and flawed) argument of Marxism.

Thus John Paul II asserted the priority of the subjective value of labor, but connected that effort historically to bygone generations of laborers who came before and left behind a productive legacy. In this way, capital is really “the result of the historical heritage of human labour.”

He continues:

All the means of production, from the most primitive to the ultramodern ones-it is man that has gradually developed them: man’s experience and intellect. In this way there have appeared not only the simplest instruments for cultivating the earth but also, through adequate progress in science and technology, the more modern and complex ones: machines, factories, laboratories, and computers. Thus everything that is at the service of work, everything that in the present state of technology constitutes its ever more highly perfected “instrument”, is the result of work.

So do celebrate Labor Day, or Capital Day if you must, but don’t fall into the trap of pitting one against another as if either reality exists independently. And don’t forget the “man” in “manual labor.”

 Sold into slavery, Joseph is put in charge of Potiphar’s household. Potiphar “entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph” (Genesis 39:4-5 [NIV]).You may not recognize it, but this is one of the first mentions of both stewardship and economy in Scripture.

The word stewardship comes from the Greek word oikonomia, which refers to someone who manages a household and is the root of the English word “economy.” Joseph began by controlling a household and would eventually control the entire economy of Egypt. In all of history, there have been few stewards who gained the status and power of Joseph.

Stewardship is an important concept in the Bible, since we are stewards in God’s household, his economy of all things. Here are three things we should know about stewardship:

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, September 5, 2016

Pope calls global warming sin, says protecting creation is work of mercy
Inés San Martín, Crux

On a day marked by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople as a day of prayer for creation, Pope Francis on Thursday reaffirmed that he regards environmental damage such as global warming as a serious sin against creation and wants Christians to resist it.

The Ethics of Entrepreneurship and Profit
Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Mises Wire

In the most fundamental sense we are all, with each of our actions, always and invariably profit-seeking entrepreneurs.

Religious Freedom Doesn’t Protect Child Abuse
Emma Green, The Atlantic

An Indiana woman’s claim that she beat her son because of her faith is unlikely to succeed in court, but it could have implications for how Americans perceive these kinds of arguments in the future.

Socialism in Jesus’ Name?
R.C. Sproul Jr., Ligonier Ministries

“Jesus wants us to care for the poor. Socialism cares for the poor. Therefore Jesus wants socialism.” It’s a pretty simple syllogism. It is, nevertheless, a terribly flawed one.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, September 2, 2016

mother-teresa-biographyOn Sunday Pope Francis will declare Blessed Teresa of Kolkata — Mother Teresa — a saint at a canonization service to be held in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Here are five facts you should know about the nun who became renowned for serving the poor:

1. Mother Teresa was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910 in what is now part of modern Macedonia. At the age of 18 she left home to join the Sisters of Loreto, a group of nuns in Ireland. It was there she took the name Sister Mary Teresa after Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. A year later, in 1929, Mother Teresa moved to India and taught at a Catholic school for girls. In 1946 Mother Teresa received what she would later describe as a “call within a call.” She said Jesus spoke to her and told her to abandon teaching to work in the slums of Calcutta aiding the city’s poorest and sickest people. In 1950 she received Vatican approval for Missionaries of Charity, a group of religious sisters who took vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, and to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.” By the late 1970s, the Missionaries of the Charity had offshoots in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States.

2. Mother Teresa and her religious order gained international attention in 1967 when the famed journalist Malcolm Muggeridge interviewed her for a BBC TV program. Because of the popularity of the interview, Muggeridge traveled to Calcutta a year later to make a documentary, Something Beautiful for God, about Theresa’s “House of the Dying” (Muggeridge would also write a book by the same name in 1971).

unemployment-formSeries Note: Jobs are one of the most important aspects of a morally functioning economy. They help us serve the needs of our neighbors and lead to human flourishing both for the individual and for communities. Conversely, not having a job can adversely affect spiritual and psychological well-being of individuals and families. Because unemployment is a spiritual problem, Christians in America need to understand and be aware of the monthly data on employment. Each month highlight the latest numbers we need to know (see also: What Christians Should Know About Unemployment).

Positive news is marked with the plus sign (+) while negative employment data is marked with a minus sign (-). No significant change is marked by (NC).

Overview: While most of the metrics were positive, few jobs were added and a large number of Americans dropped out of the labor for, making this one of the worst jobs report in years.