Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Truth About the ‘One Percent’
James Piereson, Wall Street Journal

The typical ‘rich’ person works for a salary. Only 18% are in the financial industry.

Alexander Hamilton: An Unorthodox Conservative Mind
Mark DeForrest, The Imaginative Conservative

The dispute over Hamilton’s place within the conservative tribe is a reflection of the unorthodox nature of Hamilton’s approach to politics and law. Yet, Hamilton’s work was essentially conservative in its nature, even if many within current conservative circles are profoundly uncomfortable with much of Hamilton’s legacy.

Bake Us a Cake, or Else!
Ryan T. Anderson & Leslie Ford, National Review

Marriage laws should not treat religious believers as bigots to be purged from the public square.

What Is Stewardship – Really?
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Many Christians in the church today view stewardship only as giving money to the church. Even those who understand stewardship as the godly management of their time, talent, and treasure are still missing something. We have lost the idea of “whole-life stewardship” taught in the Scriptures.

Harvard students a century or so ago joked that Professor Irving Babbitt’s distaste for Jean-Jacques Rousseau was so fervent that he checked under his bed each evening to make sure the 18th century French philosopher wasn’t hiding there. In this humorous vein, one could apply the same fear held by progressive activists for the dreaded brothers Koch – Charles and David. Not only do activists check under their respective beds, but as well their closets, attics, basements, cookie jars and cupboards for signs the billionaire libertarians are funding candidates and causes with which liberals disagree.

The Koch brothers have endured their fair share of progressive brickbats, including from such religious shareholder groups as the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment. However, the facts run counter to ICCR and TSCRI handwringing, according to as reported by Mark Tapscott in The Washington Examiner: tallied the top donors in federal elections between 1989 and 2014. Koch Industries — privately owned by the Evil Koch Bros — is on the list, to be sure, but doesn’t appear until the 59th slot, with $18 million in donations, 90 percent of which went to Republicans….

So who occupies the 58 spots ahead of the Evil Koch Bros? Six of the top 10 are … wait for it … unions. They gave more than $278 million, with most of it going to Democrats. (more…)

homeless-feet (1)Does the city of Pensacola, Florida care more about the comfort of cats than the dignity and safety of human beings? That certainly seems to be the case. Last week, a local news warning suggested that residents bring pets inside to protect them from cold temperatures. But the city prohibited its homeless population from covering themselves to keep out the cold.

The Pensacola ordinance said a person may not be “adjacent to or inside a tent or sleeping bag, or atop and/or covered by materials such as a bedroll, cardboard, newspapers, or inside some form of temporary shelter.”

Jeremy Bosso, who writes about local politics in the area, was sickened by the inhumane treatment. “I think we should extend that courtesy to our fellow humans,” he said of the effort to lift the prohibition of blankets in public. “I mean, we do it for the animals, and I think we should respect life at all stages.”

Panel moderator Elise Amyx, blogger Jacqueline Otto Isaacs, panelist Taylor Barkley

Panel moderator Elise Amyx, blogger Jacqueline Otto Isaacs, panelist Taylor Barkley

While acknowledging that the Bible is not a book of political theory, a recent panel hosted by The Institute for Faith, Work and  Economics asked whether or not Christianity and libertarianism were compatible. The panel, moderated by former Acton Institute intern Elise Amyx, was made up of young evangelicals eager to tackle the question. They came up with 5 reasons that Christianity and libertarianism were indeed compatible.

1. Christianity Celebrates Voluntary Action, Value Creation

Jacqueline Otto Isaacs, a blogger at Values & Capitalism, explained that the Christian worldview also supports libertarianism. ‘The message of the Gospel, the good news, is that salvation from our sins is offered through Christ — this salvation is voluntary and individual, and this is the core message of Christianity, Isaacs declared.


Rev. Robert A. Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, joins Drew Mariani on Relevant Radio’s Drew Mariani Show to discuss the problem of Global Poverty and the seemingly counterintuitive solutions that have been lifting people out of poverty over the last few decades, as well as how more conventional “solutions” like government-to-government aid often have disastrous effects for those who are the intended recipients of the aid. You can listen to the interview via the audio player below.

Blog author: jsunde
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Flourishing Churches and Communities, SelfIn the latest issue of The Living Pulpit, Presbyterian pastor Neal Presa reviews Flourishing Churches and Communities, Charlie Self’s Pentecostal primer on faith, work, and economics.

Presa heartily recommends the book, emphasizing that Self provides a theological framework that not only challenges the church, but points it directly to the broader global economy:

Flourishing Churches and Communities is a welcome addition to recent books in my own Reformed tradition on an integrated and holistic theology of work, from the likes of Tim Keller (Every Good Endeavor) and Mark Labberton (Dangerous Act of Worship). Self beautifully brings together evangelism and justice, where, far too often in the church, persons or groups are labeled as emphasizing or specializing in one or the other; the Great Commission and Great Commandment call for evangelism and justice to work as glove and hand.

But Self goes a step further. He challenges pastors and local churches to equip and encourage believers to see their entire lives, everything that is done under the sun, as arenas fur God’s work, canvasses in which God is painting a wonderful tapestry. Caring for the wideness of human relationships means not merely writing a check and putting it in the offering plate or supporting a philanthropic cause; Self exhorts us to see that everything that we do necessarily has impact on other persons, and therefore, we need to do our work with excellence, integrity, and compassion. His theological framework brings the work and the conversation to the broader space of our global economy, the sacred responsibilities of Christ’s followers to live, move, and have our being within and from the life and heart of God. This is putting people over profit. It is being prophets in the workplace, in our communities, in our homes. It’s the Gospel over goods; it’s the Savior over services. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blessing of weapons and Orthodox Christians
Fr. Ernesto Obregon, Ortho Cuban

It is in the context of a forced means of action, in the context of war being an evil, in the context of defending one’s neighbors or restoring justice that has been violated that the prayers over weapons and soldiers takes place.

What Is the US Doing About Religious Persecution Worldwide?
John Burger, Catholic World Report

While President Obama calls religious freedom a “key objective of US foreign policy,” experts question how high a priority combating persecution really is.

When Policy Choices Become Moral Mandates
Stephen M. Krason, Crisis Magazine

Two recent newspaper articles—one in the Catholic and the other in the secular press—illustrate the need to be skeptical about claims that particular public policy approaches are morally necessary.

Why Private Property Rights Help the Poor
Art Lindsley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

In order to be made alive and active, in order to become capital, the land under the feet of the poor—much of which lacks formal ownership—needs to be formalized through property laws that allow these assets to be used for credit like allowing mortgages, loans, etc.