Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 3, 2013

Fruitfulness Outweighs Productivity
Wilmer Villacorta, Fieldnotes Magazine

Fruitfulness outweighs productivity because it reflects our capacity to steward God’s creation.

The Case Against Cronies: Libertarians Must Stand Up to Corporate Greed
Timothy P. Carney, The Atlantic

It’s time for a free-market corporate social responsibility. Conservatives who rail against government hand-outs should also blast companies who seek shelter from Washington.

The World’s Worst Places To Be A Christian (Or Another Religious Minority)
Melissa Steffan, Christianity Today

USCIRF’s new list of religious freedom violators has familiar names, but contrasts with other lists.

Prices, Income, and Education
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

Why aren’t teachers paid more if training our children is such an important job to society?

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s Annual Report has been published. The commission places countries in three “tiers”, with tier one being nations that are designated “countries of particular concern” in terms of religious freedom. In this year’s report, these nations include China, North Korea and Saudi Arabia, among twelve others.saudi-arabia2

In China for instance, the report notes the following:

The Chinese government continues to perpetrate particularly severe violations of the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief. Religious groups and individuals considered to threaten national security or social harmony, or whose practices are deemed beyond the vague legal definition of “normal religious activities,” are illegal and face severe restrictions, harassment, detention, imprisonment, and other abuses. Religious freedom conditions for Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims remain particularly acute, as the government broadened its efforts to discredit and imprison religious leaders, control the selection of clergy, ban certain religious gatherings, and control the distribution of religious literature by members of these groups. The government also detained over a thousand unregistered Protestants in the past year, closed “illegal” meeting points, and prohibited public worship activities. Unregistered Catholic clergy remain in detention or disappeared.


U.S. troops who proselytize are guilty of sedition and treason and should be punished to stave off a “tidal wave of fundamentalists.” That’s what Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, told Fox News. Weinstein and his group met privately with Pentagon officials on April 23 to try to convince them to punish military officers who engage in such devious evangelistic tactics as having a Christian bumper sticker on their car or a Bible on their desk. Weinstein says such activities can can amount to “pushing this fundamentalist version of Christianity on helpless subordinates.”

military“If a member of the military is proselytizing in a manner that violates the law, well then of course they can be prosecuted,” he said. “We would love to see hundreds of prosecutions to stop this outrage of fundamentalist religious persecution.”

“[Proselytizing] is a version of being spiritually raped and you are being spiritually raped by fundamentalist Christian religious predators,” Weinstein told Fox News.

The Pentagon confirmed to Fox News that Christian proselytization is against regulations. “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense, LCDR Nate Christensen said in a written statement.

As Michael Novak observes in The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, “A successful corporation is frequently based upon the principle of subsidiarity. According to this principle, concrete decisions must be made on the level closest to the concrete reality. Managers and workers need to trust the skills of their colleagues. A corporate strategy which overlooks this principle–and many do–falls prey to all the vices of a command economy, in which all orders come from above.”

According to a study by Melba J. Duncan in the Harvard Business Review, such delegation makes economic sense: “Generally speaking, work should be delegated to the lowest-cost employee who can do it well.”

A recent BusinessWeek article updates the case for executive assistants. Anyone who has had significant contact with corporate settings knows that the EAs are the ones who really get things done. But for such delegation to be effective and efficient, it must be empowering. As Duncan writes, “The most effective executives think deeply about the pieces of their workload that can be taken on—or restructured to be partially taken on—by the assistant.”

Even the “lowest-cost employee” has a stewardship responsibility.

Of course, delegation can go too far, too.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, May 2, 2013

Business professionals gaining vision for international outreach
Tess Rivers, Baptist Press

In many countries around the world, she notes, “It is difficult for IMB personnel to build relationships with business professionals. We don’t make sense to business people. They don’t have the time or the desire to mess with us.”

Supreme Court Says States Are Allowed to Favor Their Own Citizens
Garret Epps, The Atlantic

A unanimous decision on FOIA rules suggests the justices are in a rather modest mood.

Is Productivity Moral?
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

Increasing the production of goods and services is not morally evil – and it’s not morally neutral – rather, it’s fundamentally good and pleasing to God.

Reflections on Religious Liberty: Healthcare Mandates just the Beginning?
Andrew Seeley, The Imaginative Conservative

As I looked around the standing-room only board room filled with serious, somewhat anxious fellow faculty members, I could not help the surreal feeling that we were actors at the beginning of a movie about a persecution.

“Vanish the Night,” a new single by UK band, Ooberfuse begins with Shin Dong-hyuk, the survivor of a North Korean death camp, saying, “Don’t forget us.” The band released the song to coincide with North Korea Freedom Week (April 28-May 4)  and to draw attention to the atrocities happening in North Korea. You can watch the video below:

Cherrie Anderson, the lead singer of Ooberfuse, says this about the song:

We have joined forces with Shin Dong-hyuk…His account of the routine violence and brutality inside Camp 14 ignited our desire to respond somehow. Vanish the Night calls for the lights to be turned on in what has been described as one of the darkest places on earth. Our song is a message of hope for the ordinary people of North Korea whose suffering often goes unnoticed and whose cries are largely unheard.

Shin Dong-hyuk was born in a North Korean death camp and is the only known escapee. When he was just 13 years old he overheard his mother and brother planning to break out so he told the guards and then he was forced to watch as they were executed.  Several years later, he met a man named Park, a political prisoner. Park spoke of the the world outside the camp and outside North Korea; he gave Dong-hyuk a desire to live outside the horrors of his country.  The pair decided to attempt an escape. Park died trying to climb the electric fence, but Dong-hyuk got out, posed as a North Korean soldier, and made his way out of the country. You can read his full story here Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) also describes the horrors happening in Dong-hyuk’s former home: (more…)

From the American Enterprise Institute: “It’s what makes America, America.”