Mere Links 09.09.14
Monday, September 8, 2014, 10:00 AM

Rape and Rotherham
Ross Douthat, New York Times

So instead of looking for ideological vindication in these stories, it’s better to draw a general lesson. Show me what a culture values, prizes, puts on a pedestal, and I’ll tell you who is likely to get away with rape.

Prince Charles Offers Prayerful and Financial Support to Iraqi Christians
Greg Daly, Aleteia

Ecumenical leaders gather at Lambeth Palace to voice concern for the persecuted.

How to Avoid Death Panels
Wesley J. Smith, First Things

So, why is it controversial to pay doctors for these conversations? Blame a toxic soup of money combined with advocacy in bioethics, among assisted-suicide proponents, and in a media in favor of a “quality of life” ethic.

Protestant Prelates Oppose Force Against ISIS
Mark Tooley, Juicy Ecumenism

Why do oldline Protestant spokespersons and officials continue to ignore historic Christian teachings about Just War and pretend that our fallen world is other than what it is?



Mere Links 09.05.14
Friday, September 5, 2014, 10:00 AM

Why so many Christians won’t back down on gay marriage
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week

A traditional view of marriage is about much more than today’s politics. It’s deeply woven into the 2,000-year-old ethic at the heart of our faith.

Why Do Many Pro-Life Catholics Vote Democrat?
Napp Nazworth, Christian Post

Forty-three percent of [pro-welfare/pro-life] Catholics believed a pro-choice Democratic candidate was pro-life, which was much higher than the rate of misperception among other Catholics. Hussey described the misperception as a psychological coping strategy to deal with the cognitive dissonance that results from being PW/PL. “Pro-life, pro-welfare Catholics generally seem to deal with this dissonance by projecting their church’s [views on abortion], which also happens to be their own view … onto their candidate of choice,” Hussey said during her panel presentation.

U.S. evangelicals headed for showdown over gender roles
Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post

In recent decades, parts of American religion have been transformed by feminism, from women serving as rabbis to Catholic girls becoming altar servers. Now the heart of U.S. evangelicalism may be heading for a gender showdown.

Pope Francis ranked among Washington’s political elite
Michael O’Loughlin, Crux

While he prefers to associate with the poor and marginalized, Pope Francis has shown up on a list of the powerful and elite. Politico Magazine ranked the Argentine-born Catholic leader No. 6 on its “The Politico 50” list, dubbing him “Washington’s Favorite Populist.”



Mere Links 09.04.14
Thursday, September 4, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Abortion Industry’s ‘War’ on Rural Women
Mailee Smith, National Review Online

Women without access to a doctor face real dangers when they take RU-486.

We Cannot Afford To View Children As Commodities
Allison Kieselowsky, The Federalist

Here’s how to think about the new figure claiming children cost their parents a quarter-million to raise.

ISIS terror threat gives impetus to ‘just war,’ strategists say
David Roach, Baptist Press

With ISIS beheading a second American journalist and controlling a large section of Iraq and Syria, analysts say military action against the terrorist group aligns with traditional just war principles.

Federal Judge, Bucking Trend, Affirms Ban on Same-Sex Marriages in Louisiana
Campell Robertson, New York Times

A federal judge here upheld the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, going against what had been a unanimous trend of federal court decisions striking down such bans since the Supreme Court ruled on the matter last year.



Mere Links 09.03.14
Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Five Stages of Religious Persecution
Msgr. Charles Pope, Archdiocese of Washington

The usual transformation from respect to vilification progresses in stages that grow in intensity. And thus the Catholic Church, once a respected aspect of American life (along with the Protestant denominations), has become increasingly marginalized and even hated by many.

The Myth of Catholic Social Teaching
John Zmirak, The Catholic Thing

Self-styled Catholic critics of the free market and “Americanism” have adopted the term “social Magisterium” to suggest that there is a coherent and morally binding body of papal teaching on politics and economics, from which we can derive specific policy initiatives and firmly condemn alternatives as “un-Catholic” or even (that dreaded word) “dissenting.”

Beards in Prison Hold Next Religion Test for Supreme Court
Adam Liptak, New York Times

The new case, to be argued on Oct. 7, the second day of the next term, concerns whether prison officials may prohibit Muslim inmates from growing the beards required by their faiths.

The Osteens’ Donald Sterling Moment
Hans Fiene, The Federalist

The flap over Victoria Osteen’s recent comments is anticlimactic, given the Osteens have said a thousand even more theologically indefensible things.



Mere Links 09.02.14
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 10:00 AM

Demons Believe and Tremble before the Real Presence
Msgr. Charles Pope, Aleteia

A reflection on the theft of the eucharist by satanists.

Many religions heavily concentrated in one or two countries
Conrad Hackett and Joseph Naylor, Pew Research Center

While Christians and Muslims are more widely distributed around the world, the other groups have a majority of their populations in just one or two nations, according to 2010 estimates from our Global Religious Landscape report.

Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev: No Winners in a World War
Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, Breitbart

A century ago, the First World War began. On 28 July 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, then on 1 August, Germany declared war on Russia, and over the course of a few short days, several more world powers joined the conflict either on their own initiative or by needs.

Why the Abortion Rate Is Declining
Chuck Donovan, The Daily Signal

Over the most recent decade for which data are available (2001–2011), the overall U.S. abortion rate, calculated as the annual number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (15 to 44), has dropped, continuing a trend that first appeared in 1980.



Mere Links 08.29.14
Friday, August 29, 2014, 10:00 AM

India Christians Still Await Justice Six Years After Radical Hindu Attack
Anto Akkara , Aleteia

But Hindus and Muslim join Christians in solidarity march to mark anniversary.

Dostoevsky’s The Eternal Husband: Adultery, Butchery, and Prophecy
Sean Fitzpatrick, Crisis Magazine

Pulsing through The Eternal Husband like a pounding heartbeat is an almost unbearable discomfort caused by implicit fear and hatred. Though it is truly almost unbearable, it is worth bearing, even barely, for the sheer vicarious experience of it all.

Thuggery wins, free speech rights lose
Eugene Volokh, Washington Post

Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated. People who are willing to use violence to suppress speech will learn that such behavior is effective, at least when the police don’t come down particularly hard on the thuggery.

Utah Polygamy Law Partially Struck Down By Federal Judge Following ‘Sister Wives’ Lawsuit
Mark Hanrahan, International Business Times

A federal judge has struck down part of Utah’s anti-polygamy law, following a lawsuit brought by the family featured in the reality TV show “Sister Wives.”



Mere Links 08.28.14
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 10:00 AM

How Natural Family Planning Shaped My View of Sex
Liuan Huska, Christianity Today

A more intensive method of birth control reminded me that it’s God who’s in control.

Modern Bondage: Slavery is Very Much Alive Today
Mark Gordon, Aleteia

From Nigerian schoolgirls to sex trafficking in the US, the total number would fill California.

Classical Education, Freedom, and the Ordered Soul
James V. Schall, S.J., Catholic World Report

Understanding is a spiritual thing, though rooted in really existing things, even ultimately in divine things.

The Wrong Kind of Christian
Tish Harrison Warren, Christianity Today

I thought a winsome faith would win Christians a place at Vanderbilt’s table. I was wrong.



Mere Links 08.27.14
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 10:00 AM

How Tennessee incentivizes abortions
Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, The Week

We need legislation that protects pregnancy and mothers, not just unborn infants.

Thomas More: Virtuous Statesman
John M. Vella, The Imaginative Conservative

In Thomas More on Statesmanship, Wegemer, who teaches English literature at the University of Dallas, portrays a man who successfully synthesized the Christian humanism of his time with a deep appreciation of the broader legal and political traditions of England.

Hemmed in by Glory
http://preachersinstitute.com/2014/08/24/hemmed-in-by-glory/, Preachers Institute

I wonder how many of us have considered what is implied by the juxtaposition of two biblical verses that are, I concede, juxtaposed but rarely.

Abortion Advocacy Gets Ugly
Susan E. Wills, Aleteia

As the appeal of “choice” wanes, abortion promoters seek new ways to keep abortion legal.



Mere Links 08.26.14
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 10:00 AM

Heroic Sisters
Tom Hoopes, Aleteia

Some very gutsy religious who are, by the way, faithful to Church teaching.

Moses, Calvin, and the Puritans Would’ve Listened to NPR If They Were Around Today
Paul Seaton, Library of Law and Liberty

In literary terms, Marilynne Robinson is a national treasure. In political terms, not so much. “When she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid,” as the nursery rhyme has it. Robinson might not even mind my saying that, by the way. As an essayist she deliberately tries to make countercultural moves, intellectually and spiritually.

What Makes A War Just?
Holly Scheer, The Federalist

With so many evils, persecutions, and abuses in the world, it’s hard to know which provide a moral pretext for declaring war.

Global religious hot spots get their own U.S. envoy
Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service

As the Islamic State tears across Iraq and Syria this summer, sending religious minorities fleeing for their lives, Congress created a new job at the State Department — one the president needs to fill immediately, say those who pushed for the position.



Mere Links 08.25.14
Monday, August 25, 2014, 10:00 AM

Making It A Fair Fight for the Devil
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

According to Athanasius of Alexandria, man’s repentance from sin would not have been sufficient to restore him to friendship with God. To imagine otherwise is to suppose an inadequate and unbiblical view of sin.

Why It’s Wrong for Christians to Mistreat Creation
Justin Holcomb, Chrisitanity.com

One reason Christians have been particularly weak in dealing with ecological issues and the deterioration of the natural environment is a misunderstanding of what it means to “have dominion” over creation.

Seeking Death: ‘Suicide Tourism’ to Switzerland Doubles
NBC News

More than 600 people traveled to Switzerland to die between 2008 and 2012, and the numbers doubled over those years, researchers reported Tuesday.

New HHS Rules Still Problematic for Religious Liberty
Barrett Duke and Andrew T. Walker, ERLC

When a law is revised eight times, it’s worth asking whether or not it should ever have been enacted in the first place.


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