Mere Links 08.18.14
Monday, August 18, 2014, 10:00 AM

Vatican Calls on Muslim Leaders to Condemn Crimes Against Iraq Minorities.
Jesus Colina, Aleteia

Using unprecedented language, the Vatican takes a qualitative leap in relations with Islam.

Is the Navy Removing Bibles from Hotel Rooms?
Leslie Ford, The Daily Signal

A new directive from the Navy has raised concerns about the potential removal of Bibles from Navy lodge rooms and guest quarters, according to Fox News. These lodges are hotels located on naval bases for members of the Navy, usually used when they receive new permanent change of station orders.

6 facts about South Korea’s growing Christian population
Phillip Connor, Pew Research Center

Pope Francis will travel to South Korea this week for Asian Youth Day, making his third international trip as pontiff. He’ll be visiting a country that has experienced considerable religious change in recent decades. Here are six facts about Christianity in South Korea.

Who Is Speaking For The Persecuted Christians In Iraq?
Rob Schwarzwalder, The Federalist

All persecution is evil, whether it is of Uighur Muslims in northwestern China or of Yazidi on a barren hilltop in Kurdistan. Yet the U.S. mainstream media seems to be downplaying, if not ignoring, the intense persecution of Christian Iraqis by the self-proclaimed “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS), the pretentious self-appellation of a group of Islamist murderers.

Mere Links 08.14.14
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 10:00 AM

Masculinity Is About Dominance, And That’s A Good Thing
George Fields, The Federalist

Those who are most beautiful to our minds and praised for their masculine virtues are those who serve. Thus, masculinity requires conquering oneself.

Judge Upholds State’s Authority to Define Marriage as Union of Man and Woman
Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

Last week a judge in Tennessee upheld that state’s Constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Though the decision was made a week ago, it has only now been made available electronically.

Growing Babies in Artificial Wombs: Inevitable? Desirable? Moral?
Susan E. Wills, Aleteia

The logical next step in the techno-quest to do reproduction better than God.

More middle-aged U.S. women having babies outside marriage
David Beasley, Reuters

More single U.S. women over the age of 35 are having children, even as the overall birth rates for unmarried women in the United States have dropped, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

Mere Links 08.13.14
Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 10:00 AM

Christian Group Demands to See Secret IRS Deal With Atheists
Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

The Faith and Freedom Coalition today demanded release of a secret legal agreement between the IRS and an atheist group about censoring the content of sermons and other messages heard in houses of worship by challenging their tax-exempt status.

Yes, People Believe Abortion Is Murder
Rachel Lu, The Federalist

This much Drum has right: conservatives have issues with our sexually libertine culture. Abortion isn’t the only problem with it, just the worst one. The killing of hundreds of thousands of babies annually is a pretty massive “con” to sexual liberation.

Five ways South Korea might be the church of the future
Candida Moss, CNN

Even if it is rarely discussed in the media, Korean Catholicism is among the most vibrant in the world. Here are five reasons South Korea might be the future of Catholic Church.

Portland Child Evangelism Fellowship Under Fire for Preaching to Kids About Sin
Heather Clark, Christian News Network

A chapter of a nationally-recognized Christian group that seeks to reach children with the gospel of Jesus Christ is under fire for teaching kids the biblical doctrine of sin and eternal judgment, in addition to sharing about the love and mercy of God.

Mere Links 08.12.14
Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Centurions’ Intercessors
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

Among those sections that the gospels of Matthew and Luke-independent of Mark-have in common, almost all are directly didactic. That is to say, those sections almost invariably consist of the explicit teachings of Jesus, with no attention to events in his life.

Ginsburg Wants to Make Abortion “Right” Equal to Second Amendment
Wesley J. Smith, LifeNews

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsburg believes adamantly that women are denied “equal citizen stature” by boundaries placed around access to abortion. Not only that, but in an angry dissent to the 2007 Supreme Court ruling upholding the federal ban on partial birth abortion, she (joined by Justice Breyer among the current justices) railed against the majority allowing “moral concerns” to “override fundamental rights.”

Christians Feel Abandoned in Spite of Obama’s Action in Iraq
John Burger, Aleteia

Patriarch Sako “disappointed” by limited response from US.

Why missionaries put their lives on the line
Daniel Burke and Ashley Fantz, CNN

Christians have long debated the effectiveness of missions, with some arguing that they can, at times, cause more harm than good – both to missionaries and the people they are trying to help.

Mere Links 08.11.14
Monday, August 11, 2014, 10:00 AM

You can’t have a Culture of Life if you have no culture at all
Anthony Esolen, LifeSite

It should be obvious to anyone who thinks about it for a moment that it is always far easier to destroy than to create. One bomb or wrecking ball can shatter in an instant the cathedral that it took human hands and minds fifty years to build. What is true of buildings is true of culture generally.

What Kind of Support Should We Expect for Persecuted Christians?
David Curry, Christian Post

At what point will the intentional targeting and cleansing of Christians, especially in the troubled Middle East, be not just a story, but the story, in the media and elite circles of government? This one is easy; it won’t happen. Persecution of Christians will not become a major humanitarian crisis for a couple of key reasons.

Stop Calling Sex Safe
Chad Bird, The Federalist

As long as we continue to describe intercourse as safe or unsafe, we perpetuate the very problems we seek to avoid.

Coercive Sterilization: An On-Going Crime Against Humanity
Arina O. Grossu, Aleteia

For eugenic goals and population control, governments continue to coerce the disadvantaged into undergoing temporary and permanent sterilization.

Mere Links 08.08.14
Friday, August 8, 2014, 10:00 AM

When the Baby Carriage Comes Before the Marriage
Laurie DeRose, Family Studies

Couples who didn’t marry before having a child opted out for a reason—so their relationships face tough odds.

The Evangelical Academy
Richard Mouw, First Things

The Jesuits, in setting up their colleges and universities, have typically not required their non-Jesuit colleagues to share their vows. But there is nothing about their sense of academic propriety as such that would prohibit that kind of boundary-setting.

Law and Morality in Public Discourse: How Christians Can Rebuild Our Culture
Charles J. Chaput, Public Discourse

It’s in seeking Jesus Christ with all our hearts that culture is built and society is renewed. It’s in prayer, the sacraments, changing diapers, balancing budgets, preaching homilies, loving a spouse, forgiving and seeking forgiveness—all in the spirit of charity—that, brick by brick, we bring about the kingdom of God.

Assemblies of God Turns 100 and Looks to a Multiethnic Future
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

The U.S. denomination has some 3.1 million faithful — with a membership that is 41 percent nonwhite, up from 31 percent a decade ago.

Mere Links 08.07.14
Thursday, August 7, 2014, 10:00 AM

Gay, Christian and … celibate: The changing face of the homosexuality debate
Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Religion News Service

For years, those who were gay or struggled with homosexuality felt like they had few good options: leave their faith, ignore their sexuality or try to change. But as groups like Exodus have become increasingly unpopular, Rodgers is among those who embrace a different model: celibate gay Christians, who seek to be true to both their sexuality and their faith.

ISIS Is on the Verge of Expelling Northern Iraq’s Religious Minorities
Nina Shea, The Corner

While much attention is being given to the destruction of Nineveh’s ancient monuments, the suffering of the province’s religious minorities at the hands of the jihadists is being given short shrift by both the media and our political leaders. Individual lives and entire civilizations are being destroyed, not in conflict – there hasn’t been much — but through the deliberate convert-or-die policies of the Islamist extremists.

How Government Threatens Religious Charity: Lessons of New York’s ‘Met Council’ Scandal
Howard Husock, Forbes

In other words, the Council—and non-profits all across the country—have great incentive to curry favor with elected officials but no legal means to do so. Thus, we should not be surprised that when an illegal means of doing so comes to light.

Hobby Lobby’s Liberty, and Ours
Robert Sirico, RealClearReligion

Religious liberty has long been considered our “first freedom” in America. So why are we spending so much time defending this freedom in court now?

Mere Links 08.06.14
Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 10:00 AM

Cultural Engagement
Russell Moore, Ligonier Ministries

All I knew how to do, though, was preach the gospel. Yes, I knew what was happening on MTV, and I’d often contrast biblical reality with that, but I fit nobody’s definition of cool—including my own.

Haggling with the Almighty
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

As types of Christ our Intercessor with the Father, the Old Testament speaks of several men who were efficacious in intercession. Three of these are Abraham, Moses, and Job.

The Down Syndrome Community’s Death Debate
Matthew Hennessey, First Things

No college or university would tell potential students not to enroll. No lung cancer organization would tell people smoking is a fine thing to do. And no group that purports to represent the interests of people living with Down syndrome should present abortion of unborn babies with Down syndrome as a perfectly legitimate option. It just doesn’t make sense.

Nuns on the Bus vs. ISIS?
Mark Tooley, Juicy Ecumenism

The liberal Catholic activist group Network, headed by Sister Simone Campbell, famous for “Nuns on the Bus,” is asking supporters to urge President Obama to exercise strong “diplomacy” against the “violence” in northern Iraq.

Mere Links 08.05.14
Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 10:00 AM

Aborting in the Name of Jesus
Russell Moore , Moore to the Point

It is one of the most disturbing articles I’ve ever read. The current issue of Esquire magazine profiles the “abortion ministry” of Willie Parker, a doctor who flies in and out of my home state of Mississippi to perform abortions at the state’s only abortion clinic. The word “ministry” isn’t incidental. Dr. Parker says he aborts unborn children because Jesus wants him to.

IRS Strikes Deal With Atheists To Monitor Churches
Investor’s Business Daily

Government’s assault on religious liberty has hit a new low as the IRS settles with atheists by promising to monitor sermons for mentions of the right to life and traditional marriage.

The Repeating of Christian History
Shannon Holzer, The Imaginative Conservative

Though Christianity is currently legal in the United States, its enemies still use the same tactics as their ancient predecessors did when it was legally banned.

Why Doesn’t Living Together Before Marrying Decrease the Risk of Divorce?
Scott Stanley, Family Studies

Why isn’t cohabitation before marriage associated with a lower divorce risk? Two big factors: selection and inertia.

Mere Links 08.04.14
Monday, August 4, 2014, 10:00 AM

There is nothing modern about euthanasia
Helen Andrews, Centre for Independent Studies

The first time that a legislator in an English-speaking country introduced a bill to legalise physician-assisted suicide was in 1906, when a member of the Ohio state legislature in the US tabled such a bill on behalf of a woman whose mother died from cancer. The British Parliament saw its first euthanasia bill introduced in 1936. The Euthanasia Society of America was founded in 1938.

Jesus, Elvis & Bishop Spong
Mark Tooley, Juicy Ecumenism

Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong used to be a big deal. In the 1980s he appeared on talk shows and wrote provocative books suggesting the Virgin Mary was impregnated by a Roman soldier, or Jesus’ body was torn apart by wild dogs instead of resurrecting.

Russell Moore answers all you wanted to know about sex (but were afraid to ask)
Adelle M. Banks , Religion News Service

Though he often grapples with contentious political issues — the Hobby Lobby case, religious persecution and, most recently, the immigrant border crisis — Moore has spent much of his first year at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission writing blog posts on Christian sexual ethics.

Mega-Churches and Worshipping Incognito
R.C. Sproul Jr., Ligonier Ministries

Though it may be counterintuitive, it is nevertheless true—we have more privacy in the big city than we do in the country. There is actually a converse ratio between people per square mile and anonymity levels.

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