Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 3, 2013
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How Should the Church Help the Poor?
Glenn Sunshine, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What are the responsibilities of the Church to the poor? Has the Church historically been a force for change?

The only thing you need to read about school choice today
Michael McShane, AEI Ideas

This afternoon, the Arizona State Court of Appeals ruled on a constitutional challenge to the state’s innovative K-12 Education Savings Account Program.

Obamacare vs. Samaritan Health-Care Ministry: A Case Study
Jim Epstein , Reason

The new law erodes the power of individuals to make health care cheaper & better.

Some Businesses Balk at Gay Weddings
Nathan Koppel and Ashby Jones, Wall Street Journal

Photographers, Bakers Face Legal Challenges After Rejecting Jobs on Religious Grounds

LittleSistersofthePoorThe Little Sisters of the Poor are an international congregation of Catholic women religious who serve the elderly poor in over 30 countries around the world. Because they provide health insurance for workers who help them in their cause, the Obama administration is forcing them to help provide their employees with free access to abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives. If they refuse, the government is threatening them with multi-million dollar fines. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has filed a lawsuit on their behalf asking that the nuns be given the right to continue with their ministry caring for the elderly poor and providing health benefits to their employees without having to violate their consciences.

Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online recently talked to Sister Constance Veit, L.S.P., communications director for the Little Sisters of the Poor, about the lawsuit and religious freedom:

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religious-freedomV2Challenges to religious freedom are not only becoming increasingly more common but are being based on a broader range of social, legal, and political arguments. The one unifying feature of these attacks, claims R.R. Reno, is the desire to limit the influence of religion over public life:

In the world envisioned by Obama administration lawyers, churches will have freedom as “houses of worship,” but unless they accept the secular consensus they can’t inspire their adherents to form institutions to educate and serve society in accordance with the principles of their faith. Under a legal regime influenced by the concept of public reason, religious people are free to speak—but when their voices contradict the secular consensus, they’re not allowed into our legislative chambers or courtrooms.

Thus our present clashes over religious liberty. The Constitution protects religious liberty in two ways. First, it prohibits laws establishing a religion. This prevents the dominant religion from using the political power of majority rule to privilege its own doctrines to the disadvantage of others. Second, it prohibits laws that limit the free exercise of religion. What we’re seeing today is a secular liberalism that wants to expand the prohibition of establishment to silence articulate religious voices and disenfranchise religiously motivated voters, and at the same time to narrow the scope of free exercise so that the new secular morality can reign over American society unimpeded.

Read more . . .

Catholic Vote interviewed Samuel Gregg, Director of Research at the Acton Institute and author of Tea Party Catholic: The Catholic Case for Limited Government, a Free Economy and Human Flourishing. The five question interview covers the historical Tea Party that the book discusses, Catholic social teaching, and virtuous citizenship, among other topics. Here is an excerpt: (more…)

pope-francis-featureKishore Jayabalan, Director of Istituto Acton in Rome, has issued his October letter. In it, he discusses the idea of Pope Francis as a “liberal,” especially in light of the pope’s recent interview in America magazine:

Much of the controversy over the Pope’s interview reminds me of several Gospel passages, where Jesus is criticized by the Pharisees for healing people on the Sabbath, dining with sinners, not condemning the adulteress, and so on, and especially of the parable of the prodigal son and the elder brother who’s upset that his father never threw a feast for him. In all these cases, Jesus emphasizes mercy over justice in order to draw us closer to Him instead of remaining attached to our prideful selves. God’s justice would rightly condemn us all, while His mercy offers us a chance at salvation if we’re humble enough to seek it. But in no way does Jesus say that justice is useless or unnecessary.

Read more here.

This is a guest post by Michael Hendrix, following up on his previous post on the economic challenges of millennials, and my own post on the deeper vocational questions that persist for Christians. Michael serves as the director for emerging issues and research at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of St. Andrews and a Texas native.

By Michael Hendrix

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Twenty years from now, we will see an America where merit and reward are intertwined more than ever before. As I’ve written recently, those who win the future will significantly outpace their peers, leaving the rest to fight over the scraps until organizational innovations and human capital catches up once again.

If true, such a reality must be reckoned with. So what about those left behind? What will their futures look like? With decreases in gainful employment and the increasing disconnect between vocational aspirations and actual occupations, what other risks persist — economic, social, spiritual, and otherwise? Assuming we are not comfortable with such a future, what should we do about it?
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Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
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The Cultural Revolution on the College Campus—Why it Matters to You
Albert Mohler

Since the cultural revolution culminating in the 1970s, the left has run nearly all of the nation’s most influential, prestigious universities.

Pope calls for less “Vatican-centric,” more socially conscious church
Francis X. Rocca, Catholic News Service

In his latest wide-ranging interview, Pope Francis said that he aimed to make the Catholic Church less “Vatican-centric” and closer to the “people of God,” as well as more socially conscious and open to modern culture.

When Bergoglio Defeated the Liberation Theologians
Sandro Magister, Chiesa Espress

A bishop who was a direct witness of the conflict recalls its unfolding and what was at stake. If Francis was later elected pope, he owes this in part to what happened in 2007 at Aparecida.

Broken Families, Broken Economy
Tyler Castle, Values & Capitalism

Massive changes in U.S. family structure over the last 50 years may be America’s biggest problem—and yet, no one is willing to talk about it.