Blog author: bwalker
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
By

Climate change has become the one thing all religions are preaching against
Nayantara Narayanan, Scroll.in

When Pope Francis chose to champion the battle against climate change via papal encyclical in June this year, the act was lauded as the one that could galvanise the world community far more than 30 years of pleading by climate scientists. Now Muslim leaders across the world have echoed the moral call against climate change with their Islamic Climate Declaration issued last week calling for a fossil-fuel phase-out.

The Pope and air conditioning?
Rev. Mark H. Creech, RenewAmerica

I can only imagine how Catholics in the various hotter climates of the world are going to react when they finally get the news their Pope thinks air conditioning is something they ought to forgo in life. Ahhhhh, I don’t think so. As someone once said, “It’s so hot in some parts of the world the inhabitants there have to live somewhere else.” As a college buddy of mine studying missions in tropical countries used to say, “Its hotter there than an ant’s butt on a radiator.”

The Pope as illegal immigrant?
Gene Veith, Patheos

The Pope decided not to because if he visited Mexico, he would have to visit the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and he didn’t time this visit. But Catholic opponents of illegal immigration, including the Catholic Republican presidential contenders (Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, and George Pataki) can expect to feel pressure from the pontiff, as they will also on climate change.

(more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
By

Meeting God as an American
David Paul Deavel, Library of Law and Liberty

“When I meet God,” wrote Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009), “I expect to meet him as an American. Not most importantly as an American, to be sure, but as someone who tried to take seriously, and tried to get others to take seriously, the story of America within the story of the world.”

Should Military Chaplains Be Forced to Conduct Same-Sex Weddings?
Greg Davis, The Daily Signal

Last month, the United States Army celebrated the 240th anniversary of the Army Chaplain Corps. Amidst the celebrations there was also concern: there seems to be a growing threat to religious liberty for military chaplains.

More troubling signs of minimum wage damage on the West Coast, Part II
Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas

As predicted by economic theory and supported by much of the empirical evidence, minimum wage increases this year in Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco are having their expected effect: fewer jobs for hotel workers in Los Angeles and fewer jobs for restaurant workers in Seattle and San Francisco.

The Good City and the Good Citizen
Berny Belvedere, Front Porch Republic

The well-ordered soul is like the well-ordered city — apart from this organizational excellence, human flourishing, whether individually or communally, is just not possible.

Bee coloniesThe so-called bee controversy is gaining traction, claiming another company that has promised shareholders it will stop selling neonicotinoid pesticides (pesticides also known as neonics, which they incorrectly blame for colony collapse disorder). Green America announced last weekend it has secured a promise from Lowe’s Companies, Inc., to “phase out neonics and plants pre-treated with them by the spring of 2019 (or sooner, if possible). It is also working with suppliers to minimize pesticide use overall and move to safer alternatives.”

Why is Lowe’s capitulating to an agenda that has no credible scientific basis? (more…)

What is the difference between paying a tax and donating to a charity? Is it moral to force others to give to the cause of your choice? Is it moral for the government to force others to give to the cause of your choice?

Rob Gressis, a professor of philosophy, went on campus at California State University – Northridge, to ask students those questions.

You can see an extended version of the video here.

Blog author: bwalker
Monday, August 24, 2015
By

A new poll on climate change
National Center for Science Education

A new poll on public attitudes toward Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change included questions on the occurrence of climate change itself. Asked “Do you think that global warming is happening, or do you think global warming is not happening?” 69% of respondents said yes, 16% said no, 15% said that they were not sure, and 1% skipped or refused to answer the question.

Faith Digest, Aug. 22, 2015: Forum to focus on Pope’s Encyclical
Santa Cruz Sentinel

The free event, hosted by the Progressive Christian Forum of Santa Cruz in association with Resurrection Church, is slated for the week after Pope Francis’ address to a Joint Session of Congress, will give the larger Santa Cruz community an opportunity to reflect on the message of the pope’s recent Encyclical about environmental issues as well as his visit to the United States.

Tennessee Catholic high school teachers eager to dive into the papal encyclical
Theresa Laurence, Crux

Father Ryan High School theology teacher Brent Fernandez grows a garden at home, raises chickens, and rides his bicycle to school when he can…. On the June morning when Pope Francis released his encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” Fernandez “was like a teenager on the day their favorite band drops a new album.” He pored over it, immediately connecting with so much of what Pope Francis wrote about, formulating how he would incorporate the encyclical into his junior-level Catholic social teaching class at Father Ryan.

(more…)

missionary1Over the past 500 years, some countries have proven to be more receptive to democracy than others. What accounts for the disparity? What causes some countries to be more likely to embrace democratic forms of governance?

As empirical evidence shows, one strong predictor is the presence of Protestant missionaries.

“Protestant missionaries played an integral role in spreading democracy throughout the world,” says Greg Scandlen. “We could preserve our own if we learn from their ways.”
(more…)

Last week, the Washington Post featured an interview with Donald Trump, entrepreneur-turned-presidential candidate. Trump is clearly no fan of the pope’s comments on capitalism and free markets, and his approach to dealing with the pope on this topic is rather unique: Trump wants to scare Pope Francis.
trump cnn

It’s common for some to criticize Pope Francis’s wariness about capitalism, but Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump just took that to a new level, saying he’d try to “scare” the pope by telling him: “ISIS wants to get you.

I’d say ISIS wants to get you,” Trump said. “You know that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican? You have heard that. You know, that’s a dream of theirs, to go into Italy.

I’m gonna have to scare the Pope because it’s the only thing, Trump said. The Pope, I hope, can only be scared by God. But the truth is — you know, if you look at what’s going on — they better hope that capitalism works, because it’s the only thing we have right now. And it’s a great thing when it works properly.”

The Rev. Robert Sirico, who has voiced his own concerns regarding the pope’s economic views, clearly was not impressed with Trump’s views on how to deal with the views of “the people’s pope.” (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, August 24, 2015
By

Opposition to Capitalism, Even From a Pope, Hurts the Poor
Michael Rubin, Commentary

While Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States will be seized upon as an opportunity to critique capitalism, it would be far better if it were used to show how opposition to economic freedom does the poor great harm.

What’s Driving the Rapid Growth of Welfare Spending
Paul Winfree, The Daily Signal

The fastest growing category in many state budgets? It’s not education. It’s not infrastructure. It’s welfare spending.

New Study Shows How Free Markets is Breaking India’s Caste System
Opportunity Lives

Free markets have lifted millions of people out of poverty all over the world. Now the power of economic freedom is breaking down the oppressive caste system in India, the world’s most populous democracy.

The Role of Philanthropy in Fostering Work
David Bass, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

When we think of charity, helping someone get a job doesn’t immediately come to mind. We’re more likely to hand $20 to a homeless man, provide a holiday meal for a single mom, or donate to a local food pantry. Important as these charitable acts might be, they are geared toward meeting short-term needs. What about the long-term welfare of men and women who are struggling?

Pope Francis has started an important global discussion on the environment with the release of his encyclical Laudeto Si’, which the Acton Institute has been engaging in with vigor since it’s release, and has been ably covered as well here on the PowerBlog by the likes of Bruce Edward Walker and Joe Carter. But this isn’t the first time that Acton has waded into the debate over protecting the environment; Acton Founder Rev. Robert A. Sirico was debating Matthew Fox, proponent of deep ecology and a so-called “creation spirituality” back in 2000, and we’ve talked extensively about environmental stewardship as part of our Effective Stewardship curriculum and other publications as well.

Another recent example of Acton’s engagement with issues of environmental protection came as part of the 2014 Acton Lecture Series, as The Very Reverend Michael Butler and Andrew Morriss, Dean of the Texas A&M Law School, collaborated on a presentation at the Mark Murray Auditorium in the wake of the release of their monograph, titled Creation and the Heart of Man: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Environmentalism. As the debate over Laudeto Si’ continues, we’re pleased to present this valuable contribution from the Orthodox Christian perspective.

Back in June, Fr. Michael Butler responded to Laudeto Si’ at Acton University. After the jump, you can hear his thoughts upon the release of the encyclical. (more…)

Blog author: bwalker
Friday, August 21, 2015
By

AP survey finds only 4 in 10 US Catholics know of Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change
Associated Press

Forty percent of American Catholics and 31 percent of all adults said they were aware of the encyclical, according to the poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Yale University. Among Catholics who knew about the document, just 23 percent said they heard about it at Mass.

The Islamic Climate Change Declaration Could Be More Effective Than Pope Francis’s Encyclical
Emma Foehringer Merchant, The New Republic

Pope Francis may have soaked up headlines earlier this summer when he published a whopping 192-page encyclical on climate change, but this week Muslims issued a declaration that could influence an even larger population than the Catholic decree. The declaration, announced Tuesday as part of the two-day International Islamic Climate Change Symposium in Istanbul, further exemplifies the trend of faith-based climate activism ahead of the U.N. climate change summit in December.

Ex-minister submits proposal for climate change initiative
Alison Noone, Associated Press

Soderberg said he was emboldened by Pope Francis’ sweeping manifesto on climate change that was released in June. In the encyclical, the pope said people of all faiths and no faith are called “to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.”

(more…)