Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
By

Let’s Talk About How Islam Has Been Hijacked
Aly Salem, Wall Street Journal

I’m appalled by what is done in the name of my religion. Yet my American friends don’t want to hear it.

How Churches Should NOT Address Political Issues
John Lomperis, Juicy Ecumenism

What are good and bad ways for a church or denomination to officially address political issues?

Will The Real Government Crony Please Stand Up?
Ilya Shapiro, The Federalist

A North Carolina court case involving pushy dentists showcases how bad laws let some people employ government power to block entrepreneurs.

Judge Sides With IRS, Dismisses Lawsuits by Conservative Groups Over Targeting Scandal
Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., sided today with the Internal Revenue Service and dismissed lawsuits by tea party organizations seeking redress for improper delays and scrutiny of their applications for tax-exempt status.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 27, 2014
By

What’s the perfect minimum wage? $10 an hour? $20? $50?

Economist David Henderson explains why it should be “zero.” As Henderson explains, when the state mandates a minimum wage (or an increase), it makes harder for unemployed people to find work and forces business owners to cut the hours of lower-skilled employees.

AirportOver at The Federalist today, I ruminate on a conversation I overheard at an airport recently. I was an innocent auditor, I assure you. In the words of Sam Gamgee to Gandalf, “I ain’t been droppin’ no eaves sir, honest.”

The conversation had to do with the prices of goods and services on offer at airports. To simply blame (or credit) capitalism with the situation is misleading. As I conclude, “We should try to understand the words people are using, the way they are using them, and the assumptions underlying such uses.” After all, capitalism means different things to different people in different contexts.
(more…)

child south sudanChildren in poor and war-torn countries are often trafficking victims. They are lured from their homes with promises of making money in factories or at farms. Sometimes they are kidnapped. And sometimes, they are recruited for war.

Tom Burridge of BBC News reports on the war in South Sudan, and the prevalence of “recruiting” young boys to fight. On a normal school day, Burridge says that more than 100 boys are kidnapped from their classroom and told they must fight in their country’s civil war. (more…)

shadyBy giving us the ability to buy and sell, says Wayne Grudem, God has given us a wonderful mechanism through which we can do good for each other.

Buying and selling are activities unique to human beings out of all the creatures that God made. Rabbits and squirrels, dogs and cats, elephants and giraffes know nothing of this activity. Through buying and selling God has given us a wonderful means to bring glory to him.

We can imitate God’s attributes each time we buy and sell, if we practice honesty, faithfulness to our commitments, fairness, and freedom of choice. Moreover, commercial transactions provide many opportunities for personal interaction, as when I realize that I am buying not just from a store but from a person, to whom I should show kindness and God’s grace. In fact, every business transaction is an opportunity for us to be fair and truthful and thus to obey Jesus’ teaching: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12).

Read more . . .

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 27, 2014
By

Religious Sanctimony in Ferguson
Mark Tooley, The American Spectator

How nice of them to offer forgiveness to police they’ve already convicted.

Criminalizing the Hands That Feed the Homeless
Matt Schiavenza, The Atlantic

More cities are trying to stop residents and food pantries from helping people secure a hot meal.

Shock! Farm Bill Boondoggle Already Bigger than Politicians, Media Promised
Scott Lincicome, The Federalist

You’ll never believe it, you guys. The 2014 Farm Bill could – and I know, this is gonna sound crazy – impose more harm on US taxpayers and consumers than our political and media elite promised us just a few months ago.

Three Views: Do the Common Core Education Standards Endanger Religious Freedom?
Kevin Theriot, Karen Swallow Prior, Kristen Blair, Christianity Today

Why a nationwide standard for classrooms may cause concern.

HitchingPost2_tnWhat is the Idaho wedding chapel story all about?

Same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Idaho earlier this month after a federal court ruled in the case of Latta v. Otter that the state’s statutes and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. This ruling affected an anti-discrimination ordinance in the city of Coeur d’Alene, which was enacted last year to cover “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” (Since there is currently no similar state or federal non-discrimination laws, the requirement only applies in Coeur d’Alene or other Idaho cities with similar ordinances.)

Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained Pentecostal ministers who run the for-profit Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, asked the city for clarification on how the change in the law would affect their business. The city attorney told them they were now required to perform same-sex ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines.

How did the ministers respond?

Both ministers claim that performing perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples goes against their religious beliefs. So on behalf of the couple, attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order last Friday to stop city officials from forcing the ministers from being forced to violate their conscience or give up their business.

Is it true, as same outlets have claimed, that the Knapps were arrested for their views?
(more…)

Reading-nook-4-480x367It’s no secret that I, like all good perfectionists, love a good list. And this is a good one: Paul Handley at Church Times gives us the 100 best Christian books. Of course, like any good list, we can debate the merits of inclusion and exclusion (that’s part of the fun of a good list!) but certainly, for any serious Christian, this offers great food for thought.

Just to get whet your literary appetite, here are the top ten: (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 24, 2014
By

Russian monks set up mozzarella factory amid Putin’s Italian food ban
The Independent

Monks living in a remote monastery on an island in Russia have set up a mozzarella factory to supply the country with the cheese after Vladimir Putin’s government banned the import of Italian food.

USAID Shows Commitment to Democracy by Covering Up Failures
Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest

It’s long been clear that the U.S. Agency for International Development’s “pro-democracy” spending in many countries in the wider Middle East has been a boondoggle and a flop. Now it turns out that the agency’s acting Inspector General tried to cover that failure up.

It’s time for Americans to stop giving their junk to the poor
Kristen Welch, Quarz

Why do we give others—often those in service to the poor or the poor themselves—something we wouldn’t keep or give ourselves?

Five Factors Impacting Poverty Today
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Flourishing requires faithfulness. We’re designed to be in relationship with our Creator, and marriage mirrors this intimacy. On a more mundane level, marriage allows a couple to share the burdens of daily life and of raising children.

abortion-is-not-healthcareRemember the Hobby Lobby case when the Supreme Court ruled that an employer could not be required to provide employees with certain types of abortifacients if it was against their religious beliefs? Remember also how some people complained that such exemptions in health care plans should be allowed only for churches and religious ministries?

Apparently, the state government of California thinks that both of those claims are absurd. They think that every employer — including churches — should be required to pay for elective surgical abortions.

In August, California’s Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) began sending notices to health insurance companies notifying them that they were required to cover the cost of abortions. The only exception allowed was that a health plan is not required to pay for abortions of a “viable fetus,” i.e., if there is a “reasonable likelihood of the fetus’ sustained survival outside the uterus without the application of extraordinary medical measures.” There were no exemptions for organizations that might have a religious belief that forbids them from even indirectly paying for abortions. Even a pro-life group dedicated to opposing abortion would be required to cover abortions in the healthcare policies provided to their employees.
(more…)