Latest Posts

PowerLinks 09.12.13

Pope says empty convents and monasteries should house refugees Reuters Disused church buildings should be used to house refugees, who must be embraced rather than feared, Pope Francis told asylum seekers in Rome on Tuesday, underlining his papacy’s emphasis on the poor and the plight of immigrants. Continue Reading...

What You Need to Know About Wilhelm Röpke

Wilhelm Röpke is one of the most important 20th century economists that almost no Americans know anything about. To really learn about the man whose influence was considered largely responsible for enabling Germany’s post-World War II economic “miracle,” you should read Samuel Gregg’s Wilhelm Ropke’s Political Economy. Continue Reading...

Callings and the Childfree Life

Photo Credit: akatrya via Compfight cc I share Fr. Robert Barron’s concern about many of the attitudes on display in this Time magazine cover story on “the childfree life.” As Barron writes, much of the problem stems from the basic American attitude toward a life of “having it all.” Thus, Barron observes, “Whereas in one phase of the feminist movement, ‘having it all’ meant that a woman should be able to both pursue a career and raise a family, now it apparently means a relationship and a career without the crushing encumbrance of annoying, expensive, and demanding children.” Continue Reading...

Quebec Ponders Banning Public Employees From Wearing Overt Religious Symbols

Parti Québécois and Bernard Drainville, minister of the newly proposed charter, announced yesterday that a new plan would ban overt religious symbols to be worn by “judges, police, prosecutors, public daycare workers, teachers, school employees, hospital workers and municipal personnel.” These symbols would include large crosses or crucifixes, turbans, hijab, and kippas. Continue Reading...

The Camel’s Hump: Rudyard Kipling on Idleness and Hard Work

The other night, I sat down with my kids to read one of my favorite Rudyard Kipling poems, “The Camel’s Hump,” a remarkable 19th-century takedown of 21st-century couch-potato culture. With typical color and wit, Kipling takes aim at idleness, decrying “the hump we get from having too little to do” — “the hump that is black and blue.” Kipling proceeds to elevate labor, noting that hard work refreshes the soul and reinvigorates the spirit: “The cure for this ill is not to sit still / Or frowst with a book by the fire / But to take a large hoe and a shovel also / And dig till you gently perspire.” The illustrations in my 1949 version of the poem offer additional flair to Kipling’s contrast, aptly showing what can happen, physically and spiritually, if we do or don’t get our hands dirty. Continue Reading...