Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
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The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) recently relaunched their flagship publication, Intercollegiate Review, and added a brand new daily website, IntercollegiateReview.com. As a companion site to the decades-old magazine, the online daily will mainly serve undergraduate readers interested in learning more about the principles of conservatism. Here are some of the featured stories you should check out:
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Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
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What We’ve Forgotten About Vocation
Jeff Haanen

Even though the concept of a divine calling is so pervasive in Scripture, today we have largely lost some of its key tenets. I think we’ve lost at least three things.

The Importance of Stan Musial’s Funeral Mass
Donald DeMarco, Crisis

Since we all spend most of our existence in eternity, the funeral Mass is of critical importance as a ritual whose purpose is to usher us into a blessed and eternal union with God. Musial’s funeral is a salutary event for everyone especially at a time when, in our increasingly secularized society, the importance of the afterlife is commonly de-emphasized.

Simple Justice: Kids Deserve School Choice
Richard W. Garnett, Public Discourse

Rather than cave to self-interested protests against school choice from teachers unions, we should do what we can to make Catholic schools a viable school option for low-income children.

A Christian baker refuses to make cake for same-sex wedding and now faces charges
Denny Burk

The Oregon Department of Justice is investigating a complaint against a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding.

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Recently Samuel Gregg talked with Jack Riccardi from KTSA 550 San Antonio about Gregg’s new book Becoming Europe.

Listen to the entire interview here:

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Theodore Dalrymple also recently reviewed Becoming Europe on the Library of Law and Liberty’s Liberty Law Blog. He said:

In this well-written book, Samuel Gregg explains what can only be called the dialectical relationship between the interests of the European political class and the economic beliefs and wishes of the population as a whole. The population is essentially fearful; it wants to be protected from the future rather than adapt to its inevitable changes, while at the same time maintaining prosperity.

You can purchase a copy of Becoming Europe here.

“The Constitution protects your right to believe and worship, not force your beliefs on others.” That’s a response Acton received via Twitter regarding a blog post on the HHS Mandate. This type of statement is a typical one in our society: you can believe whatever you want, but don’t force your beliefs on anyone else. Religious belief and worship should be a wholly private affair; bringing your beliefs into the public square constitutes “forcing” them onto others.

In the latest issue of Faith and Justice from Alliance Defending Freedom, twelve women talk about what happened when this very scenario happened to them. As nurses working at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey elective surgery unit, these women were told by their employer that they must assist in elective abortions. Despite an employment clause that said nurses were exempt from this except in emergency situations if they believed abortions were immoral, the hospital stood its ground, and the nurses were told they would lose their jobs. Their union declined to help. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the nurses. (more…)

On Monday, Jan. 28, The Aquinas Institute for Catholic Thought in Boulder, Colo., hosted its Sixth Annual Great Debate which addressed the question, “Can the free market adequately care for the poor?”  Acton President and co-founder Rev. Robert A. Sirico argued for the side of the free market, debating Michael Sean Winters, a writer for National Catholic Reporter.

Watch the entire debate here:

Can the Free Market Adequately Care for the Poor? from Aquinas Institute on Vimeo.

 

db_file_img_930_160xautoThe Acton Institute recently partnered with the Christian History Institute to produce the latest issue of Christian History magazine. The issue (which you can download as a free PDF) examines the impact of automation on Europe and America and the varying responses of the church to the problems that developed. Topics examined are mission work, the rise of the Social Gospel, the impact of papal pronouncements, the Methodist phenomenon, Christian capitalists, attempts at communal living and much more.

Check out these feature articles:
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On Friday the Obama administration proposed a rule that it says will appease the concerns religious organizations have about the controversial abortion/contraceptive mandate issued last year by the Department of Health and Human Services. Here’s what you should know about the mandate and the proposed changes.

the-pillWhat is this contraception mandate everyone keeps talking about?

As part of the universal health insurance reform passed in 2010 (often referred to as “Obamacare”), all group health plans must now provide—at no cost to the recipient—certain “preventive services.” The list of services includes sterilization, contraceptives, and abortifacient drugs.

If this mandate is from 2010, why are we just now talking about it?

On January 20, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that that it would not expand the exemption for this mandate to include religious schools, colleges, hospitals, and charitable service organizations. Instead, the Administration merely extended the deadline for religious groups who did not already fall within the existing narrow exemption so that they will have one more year to comply or drop health care insurance coverage for their employees altogether and incur a hefty fine. For example, Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned company that is opposing the mandate, is facing fines up to $1.3 million per day.

Is there a religious exemption from the mandate? If so, who qualifies for the exemption?
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Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 4, 2013
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My Valuable, Cheap College Degree
Arthur C. Brooks, New York Times

I possess a 10K-B.A., which I got way back in 1994. And it was the most important intellectual and career move I ever made.

Will the United States Fight Religious Persecution?
Jillian Kay Melchior, Doublethink Online

Religious freedom continues to decline around the world, and persecution is on the rise. In September, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life reported that three-fourths of the global population—more than 5 billion people—live in countries with “high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion.”

Christians in Syria Fleeing Country as Crisis Reaches ‘Unprecedented Levels of Horror’
Stoyan Zaimov, OCP Media Network

As the civil war in Syria has reached “unprecedented levels of horror,” according to the U.N., Christians are being forced to flee their homes as avoiding the violent conflict has become less of an option.

Grace for Monotonous Work
Andre Yee, Desiring God

Somehow it seems easier to view our work as reflecting God’s glory as Creator in our creativity. Creativity is a reflection of our Creator. But how do we glorify God when engaged in the repetitive work that seems to be completely devoid of creativity?

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 4, 2013
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Last night millions of young Super Bowl viewers were introduced to one of the most influential conservatives in modern America. And it was done with this commercial.

Rush Limbaugh is often credited with the dubious honor of bringing conservative talk radio to the masses. And it is certainly true that Rush paved the way for Hannity, O’Reilly, and other pundits by perfecting the three-hour babblefest. But the true pioneer and undisputed king of conservative radio is Paul Harvey, a man who never required three hours and 36 commercial breaks to get his message across.

Harvey-PaulFrom 1951, when he joined ABC News, until his death in 2009, the “largest one-man network in the world” dominated radio. His show was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations around the world, and his column appeared in 300 newspapers nationwide. (His broadcasts and newspaper columns have been reprinted in the Congressional Record more than those of any other commentator.) Despite his dominance, Harvey is often overlooked as a influence on American politics and culture even though he had millions more listeners than any other conservative on the radio (including Rush). His “Paul Harvey News and Comment” aired for 5 minutes in the morning and for 15 minutes before noon. Yet Harvey managed to say more in those 20 minutes than other hosts say in 180.

While most other conservative pundits preach to the choir, Harvey was an evangelist for the conservative perspective. His disarming folksy charm made his conservative views appear to be nothing more than good old common sense. Because of his approachable style, Harvey has probably done more to promote non-ideological conservatism than any other figure in modern America. Growing up listening to him in the 1970s and 1980s is the reason I became a conservative. I suspect many other Generation-X conservatives would say the same.

Those of us who believe in the dignity of the person, the importance of social institutions, the need for economic freedom and limited government owe an invaluable debt of gratitude to the great broadcaster. We should thank God he made Paul Harvey. And pray that the Lord soon sends us another communicator as winsome and gifted in explaining the value of virtue of freedom.

If there is one day where young and old, Republican and Democrat, black and white, the 99% and the 1%, put down their weapons and disputes, it is on Superbowl Sunday. The game, the ads, the food, and so on, turned Superbowl Sunday into a major spectacle. The spectacle has not gone unnoticed among religious leaders. In fact, as Superbowl viewership has increased to over 100 million in recent years so has the discomfort about the game and the spectacle.

Tony Wood, Pastor of Preaching & Vision at Moment Church in Tustin, CA, posted on Facebook that “Sunday will be an interesting day as millions of Americans wake, look in the mirror, and choose which God they worship more – Football or Christ.” Nashville area pastor Ray Ortlund, over at The Gospel Coalition said that 2008 was his last Superbowl because, “It has become an intensified concentration of vulgarity and ego, with enough athletics in the game and cleverness in the commercials to trick me into watching. It’s simply not what I’m living for.” A fringe group of lay-preachers calling themselves “Citizens Against Super Bowl Idolatry” is planning to protest outside the game in order to warn the American public about the “deeper implications of Super Bowl idolatry in American life … ,” according to Birmingham lawyer, James Leonard Elsman.

Perhaps these religious leaders can take a little comfort in the fact that Superbowl viewership is actually expected to drop slightly this year, according to Brad Adgate, senior VP-research for Horizon Media.
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