Mere Links 08.01.14
Friday, August 1, 2014, 10:00 AM

Weary of Culture-Warring
Eric Teetsel, First Things

These skeptics are mostly well-intentioned. Yet by elevating a stripped-down version of the Gospel, wary of anything that might obstruct access to Jesus but ready to embrace anything that might increase his appeal, they offer an idol. The Church can do better.

In Church Attics, Clues to the Private Life of Early America
Michael Paulson, New York Times

The historians are racing against inexorable church closings, occasional fires, and a more mundane but not uncommon peril: the actual loss of documents, which most often occurs when a church elder dies and no one can remember the whereabouts of historical papers.

Gordon College and Pluralism in Higher Education
Adam J. MacLeod, Public Discourse

Requiring all colleges and universities to adopt the same practices and policies would destroy their institutional identities and prevent them from achieving their diverse missions.

Sex can’t explain the culture war
Edward Morrissey , The Week

The traditionalist view is that sex cannot be separated from its consequences for civilization, and that the effects of attempting to do so over the last several decades demonstrate the damage it does to try.



Mere Links 07.31.14
Thursday, July 31, 2014, 10:00 AM

France offers Iraq Christians asylum after Mosul threat
BBC

The French government says it is ready to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians forced to flee by Islamist militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The Next “Hobby Lobby”: Mandating IVF Coverage
John M. Grondelski, Crisis Magazine

[H]as the New York Times given us a glimpse of Hobby Lobby II? The July 26 issue carries a story whose gist is that government and private insurance does not adequately cover in vitro fertilization (IVF).

State Department Releases Report on International Religious Freedom
Joe Carter, Acton Institute

“In 2013, the world witnessed the largest displacement of religious communities in recent memory,” is the depressing introduction to the report. “In almost every corner of the globe, millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and others representing a range of faiths were forced from their homes on account of their religious beliefs.”

Francis and the Evangelicals
Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Aleteia

The pope’s planned reform is larger and more deep rooted than one imagines.



Mere Links 07.30.14
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:00 AM

Middle Eastern Christians Face Calamity
Richard L. Russell, Crisis Magazine

The Middle East is embroiled in chaos and what little remains of the ancient Christian communities there are being destroyed with the latest tragic turn of events in Iraq.

Obama Taps First Non-Christian to Serve as U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom
Lauren Markoe and Brian Pellot, Religion News Service

Rabbi David Saperstein, named the most influential rabbi in America in 2009, will head the Office of International Religious Freedom.

Dodging Bullets Over Religious Freedom
Jim Tonkowich, Juicy Ecumenism

We are dodging bullets, bullets that would be fatal to our way of life because they are aimed at our religious freedom.

Immigration: A Principled Catholic Approach Avoids Emotionalism
Samuel Gregg, National Catholic Register

Church teaching on immigration articulates a framework for thinking — rather than merely emoting — through the immigration issue in a manner consistent with Catholic concerns for liberty, justice, human flourishing and the common good.



Mere Links 07.29.14
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 10:00 AM

Higher Calling, Lower Wages: The Vanishing of the Middle-Class Clergy
David R. Wheeler, The Atlantic

As full-time pastors become a thing of the past, more and more seminary grads are taking on secular jobs to supplement their incomes.

Religious Leader Looks to West For Help for Iraqi Christians
Natalie Johnson, The Daily Signal

The Chaldean Catholic Patriarch is appealing to the international community for action against ISIS’ expulsion of Christians in Mosul, deeming the situation as “21st century genocide.”

Shivering in Tolkien’s shadow
Josephine Livingstone, The Economist

Middle Earth has swallowed up our understanding of the Middle Ages.

Court Rejects Atheists’ Attempt To Remove Ground Zero Cross from Museum
The Becket Fund

Recognizing the important role that religion plays in society, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order on Monday rejecting the effort by American Atheists, Inc. to force the National 9/11 Museum to remove the Ground Zero Cross from its display or to include a plaque honoring atheists alongside the Cross.



Mere Links 07.28.14
Monday, July 28, 2014, 10:00 AM

N is for Narzareth
Russell Moore, Moore to the Point

Christians around the world are changing their social media avatars to the arabic letter “n.” In so doing, these Christians are reminding others around them to pray, and to stand in solidarity with believers in Iraq who are being driven from their homes, and from their country, by Islamic militants.

When They Set Fire to Our Monasteries
Philip Jenkins, Aleteia

Day by day, we hear new horrors about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Now, believers living under ISIS control in northern Iraq must choose between conversion to Islam, payment of protection money, or death. Ancient churches and shrines are already in flames.

Conservatives Write an Assertive New Script to Fight Abortion
Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times

While Democrats hope the decision will help them draw Republicans back into an uncomfortable debate over women’s rights, many conservatives relish the fight and welcome putting abortion at the center of the midterm elections.

Moving In and Moving On: Cohabitation Is Less Likely Than Ever to Lead to Marriage
Scott Stanley, Family Studies

Cohabitation seems to be moving toward being a form of dating with no implications about a couple’s odds of marrying.



Mere Links 07.25.14
Friday, July 25, 2014, 10:00 AM

Professor Wins Lawsuit Protecting His Religious Freedom
The Keating Center

After seven years, Mike Adams won his lawsuit against University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). Professor Mike Adams, a criminology professor, sued UNCW in 2007 after he was discriminated against because of his conservative, Christian views.

Sudan Christian Woman Spared Death Sentence Meets Pope in Rome
Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times

Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian woman whose death sentence in Sudan for refusing to renounce her faith set off an international protest, arrived in Rome on Thursday morning to a hero’s welcome and a private audience with Pope Francis.

10 Great Summer Reads for Catholics
Kevin D. Sullivan, OnFaith

From Thomas Merton to Shūsaku Endō, these enduring books encapsulate some of the best in religious writing.

Europe’s High Court Defends Marriage
John Paul Shimek, Aleteia

Talking heads on MSNBC and other networks contrasted the state of American liberalism with the perceived success of European progressivism, lamenting the American failure to move in Europe’s direction. Then, about one month later, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) lowered the boom on European progressives. And, the wind was taken out of the sails of American liberalism.



Mere Links 07.24.14
Thursday, July 24, 2014, 12:01 AM

Five Rules for Consoling the Dying
Russell E. Saltzman, First Things

There are some things that should never be said to the dying. I’ve never bothered developing a comprehensive “no-no” list but years of parish ministry have attuned me to the particularly egregious.

The Problem With Britain’s Latest Suicide Bill
Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff, Aleteia

Suicide and killing people are two things that the Church has always declared to be wrong. It has therefore been of considerable interest in the UK this last week that a proposed law was put forward for debate which would authorize assistance with both.

Islam’s Religious Exemption From Criticism
William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine

udging from their behavior, most policymakers seem heavily invested in Islam’s survival. Their reasoning goes roughly as follows: Islam is a religion; religion is a stabilizing force in society; therefore, the flourishing of Islam is vital to the stability of the Muslim world. Hence, the consensus view is (and has been for a long time) that it is desirable to prop up Islam and provide bailouts when needed.

What We Talk About When We Talk About ‘Birth Control’
Karen Swallow Prior, Christianity Today

Meaningful debate requires us to define the terms of discussion.



Mere Links 07.23.14
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 10:00 AM

Raise Your Voice for Religious Liberty
Jennifer A. Marshall, The Gospel Coalition

The backlash against simply participating in civil discourse about an important topic of public concern is alarming.

A Line Crossed in the Middle East
Mark Movsesian, First Things

What the end of Christianity in Mosul means for Christians everywhere.

Hobby Lobby and Employment Discrimination
USCCB, Crisis Magazine

To dismiss concerns about religious freedom in a misguided attempt to address unjust discrimination in the workplace is not to advance justice and tolerance. Instead, it stands as an affront to basic human rights and the importance of religion in society.

George Whitefield at 300
Credo Magazine

We live in a day when those in the church want to have their ears tickled. We do not want a sermon, but a “talk.” “Don’t get preachy, preacher!” is the mantra of many church goers today.



Mere Links 07.22.14
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 10:00 AM

ISIS to Christians in Mosul: convert, pay or die
CNN

Just days after the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria said they killed hundreds of Syrians, dozens of Iraqi Christian families are now fleeing the ISIS-controlled city of Mosul, hoping to avoid a similar fate.

Europe Moves to Outlaw Organ Trafficking Worldwide
Matthew Robertson, Epoch Times

An official European representative body has promulgated a new convention outlawing the trafficking in human organs, calling on all countries to become signatories to it and criminalize the practice and punish offenders.

Uncle Sam Eavesdropping Outside the Confessional
Aaron Taylor, First Things

The state of Louisiana may be about to go where even rabidly anti-Catholic England in the seventeenth century dared not.

The Parent Trap
Ross Douthat, New York Times

The pattern — a “criminalization of parenthood,” in the words of The Washington Post’s Radley Balko — still looks slightly nightmarish, and there are forces at work here that we should recognize, name and resist.



Mere Links 07.18.14
Friday, July 18, 2014, 9:25 AM

Why I’m Against United Methodist Schism
Mark Tooley, Juicy Ecumenism

Some evangelical United Methodist friends have suggested our denomination possibly enact a formal division between conservatives and liberals.

Sexual Assault: What Does the Hook-Up Culture Have To Do with It?
Adelaide Mena and Caitlin Seery La Ruffa, Public Discourse

The sexual assault epidemic on college campuses is created, in part, by the effects of the hook-up culture.

Hearings on S. 1696: The Planned Parenthood Protection Act
Susan E. Wills, Aleteia

Undermining 40 years of abortion regulation in one easy bill.

Help Your Kids Say ‘No’ to Porn
Jen Wilkin, The Gospel Coalition

We may stall on the sex talk, but the world will not.


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