Photo courtesy of Flickr

Photo courtesy of Flickr

It’s a common misconception in public discourse that the global poor are trapped in poverty because of globalization.  We frequently hear things from our public leaders about how markets are crushing the poor.  “The reality is that the poor aren’t dominated by markets. They are excluded from them.” says Michael Matheson Miller in an article for The Stream.

Miller hits on four different problems and misconceptions of how international economic development is currently addressed.  He starts out by explaining how the current system benefits the wealthy and well-connected.

Many of the powerful and wealthy don’t have an economic incentive to build institutions of justice like clear title to land or broad access to the formal economy. They are doing well under the status quo and many of them are actually benefiting from the current situation through connections, access to special privileges, bribes and sweetheart deals on things like mineral rights.


animal-humanEarlier this month the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced it is planning to lift its ban on federal funding of some research that creates chimeras by injecting human stem cells into animal embryos. The policy change raises significant ethical concerns, both about the prudence of creating animal-human hybrids and legitimacy of using taxpayer funding for such controversial research.

Unfortunately, while many people are unfamiliar with the research, it is not a new development. Chinese scientists began in 2003 by fusing human cells with rabbit eggs to produce the first human-animal chimeras. And a few years later researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood in their veins and scientists at the University of Nevada created sheep whose livers and hearts are largely human.

Thankfully, some Christians have already helped lay the groundwork for how we should think about this research. Almost exactly a decade ago, Acton senior research fellow Jordan Ballor wrote a five part series presenting a biblical-theological case against the creation of certain kinds of human-animal chimeras: Part I, II, III, IV, V.

Christians can’t afford to ignore this issue for another decade, so take the time today to begin developing an informed opinion about this controversy.


Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Marriage Reduces Child Poverty, but Our Welfare System Penalizes Marriage
Paul Draper, The Daily Signal

According to a recently released study from the American Enterprise Institute, 82 percent of lower-middle-class families with young children face “marriage penalties” in the welfare system.

Water fee taps Detroit churches
Nicholas G. Hahn III,The Detroit News

More than 400 properties will see “a significant increase in billing of more than 200 percent per month,” says department director Gary Brown. And several of those properties, Brown said, are owned by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Reminder: Obamacare Is Still A Giant Cronyistic Disaster
David Harsanyi, The Federalist

The problem isn’t that Aetna is leaving the Obamacare exchanges. The problem is that Aetna was in the exchanges to begin with

Who’s Afraid of Religious Liberty?
Richard Samuelson, Mosaic

Seeking to prohibit every kind of “discrimination,” activists in and out of government threaten the free practice of, among other faiths, Judaism.

power-over-churchIn theaters this week is a new film about an FBI agent who goes undercover to find and stop white supremacists. While the movie looks like a standard thriller the title is unusual: Imperium.

Imperium isn’t a word we hear very often today. It comes from the Latin for “command” or “empire” and referred to the supreme executive power in the Roman state, involving both military and judicial authority. The word would later be adopted for the term imperator (emperor), a title for the supreme authority within a state.

Today, in Western nations, the state itself is often viewed as the imperium. As Jonathan Leeman points out, the state alone has the power over life and death—the power of the sword.

So if you want to start a business or a school, you need the state’s permission. The same is true for soccer clubs, trade unions, or charity organizations. They exist by permission of the state, and the state regulates them. They don’t regulate the state. They don’t have imperium.

While the state has ultimate power over soccer clubs and trade unions, does it have the same authority over churches? No, it doesn’t. As Leeman explains,

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

After a recent trip to Argentina, Samuel Gregg reflects on its current economic state in a piece for The Catholic World Report.  Gregg highlights the role that current Argentine politics play on economic policy and how Pope Francis affects the Catholic Church in his home country.

For the first time in 13 years, Argentina has elected a non-Perónist leader.  Mauricio Macri replaced Néstor Kirchner and his wife Cristina in November 2015. The Kirchners represented a wave of Latin American leftist-populists and brought economic disarray to Argentina.  Gregg talks about some of the good economic policies that Macri is already putting in place: (more…)

jonathanedwardsAsk most Americans what they know about Jonathan Edwards and they are most likely to mention reading “”Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” in high school. Being known for preaching the most famous sermon in U.S. history is no small accomplishment. But Edwards was one of our country’s foremost intellectuals and (arguably) our greatest Protestant theologian.

He was also, as Greg Forster notes in an article for TGC, a champion of economic justice. As Forster says, Edwards believed that economic justice and gospel proclamation should not be separated:

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, August 22, 2016

Venezuela’s Road to Literal Serfdom
Barry Brownstein, FEE

The new idea of freedom “gave the socialists another word in common with the liberals and they exploited it to the full.

Religious freedom advocates want US to put teeth into its rhetoric
Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency

Religious freedom advocates are praising the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom report, but also calling on the administration to put teeth into its rhetoric with steps such as targeted sanctions, visa denials, and other measures.

Why the Founding Fathers wanted to keep ministers from public office
John Fea, Religion News Service

There’s an old Baptist saying that goes something like this: “If you mix horse manure and ice cream it doesn’t do much to the manure, but it sure does ruin the ice cream.”

‘Called to Freedom’: New Book Explores the Compatibility of Christianity and Libertarianism
Greg Ayers, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Called to Freedom: Why You Can Be Christian and Libertarian, explores the tension between the Christian faith and libertarian political philosophy and explains why someone could be both