Archive for: February, 2009

In wake of Supreme Court decision, 'clear defense needed of church-state wall' (Des Moines Register)

Considering the U.S. Supreme Court's contentious struggles over free speech and religion, it was a surprise to say the least to see Wednesday's ruling unanimously endorsing a government installation of the Ten Commandments in a city park.

While this ruling will likely have limited impact, it raises troubling questions about how dedicated this court – particularly the younger justices, who will be shaping it for decades to come – will be to maintaining the proverbial wall separating church and state.

 
 

Soros sees no bottom for world financial "collapse" (Reuters)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Renowned investor George Soros said on Friday the world financial system has effectively disintegrated, adding that there is yet no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis. Soros said the turbulence is actually more severe than during the Great Depression, comparing the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union.

 
 

Reflection: The Trouble with the Future

In the context of the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, one journalist took the time to look back and see what the pundits said would happen next. No one, but no one, got it right. No one foresaw the rapid collapse of European communism and the demise of the Soviet Union. By 1991 The U.S.S.R. was no more, and no one saw this future with any degree of precision. Instead they got it wrong. The end of communism will be a long time coming. Wrong. If the Warsaw pact goes, so does NATO. Wrong. Germany will not be allowed to re-unite. Wrong. A united Germany will become a nuclear power before the end of the millennium. Wrong. Gorbachev will long continue. Wrong.

 
 

Economics, Faith, and Politics – European Churches call on EU Parliament to adopt 'work-free Sunday' declaration

The Protestant Church in Germany (EKD), COMECE (the Bishops Conference of the European Community), and the Church of England are calling upon the European Union Parliament to approve a Written Declaration on "on the protection of a work-free Sunday as an essential pillar of the European Social Model and as part of the European cultural heritage."

 
 

$65.5 TRILLION in U.S. Federal obligations exceed the gross domestic product of the entire world (WorldNetDaily)

The total U.S. obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits to be paid in the future, effectively have placed the U.S. government in bankruptcy, even before new continuing social welfare obligation embedded in the massive spending plan are taken into account.

 
 

The Link Between Religious Freedom and Economic Freedom

Religious liberty and economic freedom draw on and encourage similar traits. New data on economic liberty and religious freedom suggest that religiously free societies encourage entrepreneurs whose new enterprises benefit themselves, their companies, employees, shareholders, consumers, stakeholders and the entire community. In other words, religiously free societies usually display the highest concentration of companies that generate prosperity and broad development. Closed religious systems foul economic development and stunt growth. Closed economic systems are unkind or worse to religious sentiments and practice. Open systems in both areas are necessary to sustain human flourishing. Hence, if we desire more economic freedom and prosperity, then we should have a strategy of promoting religious liberty. If we want economic growth and development, we need to tolerate and permit religious groups and persons to follow their beliefs. Competition for religious activity creates healthy conditions for economic competition and activity.

 
 

VIDEO: Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought

A panel from the 2007 J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference featuring: Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law; W. Cole Durham, Gates University Professor of Law, Director, BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU; and Elizabeth Sewell, Associate Director, BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU.

 
 

Stimulus plan will restrict healthcare (Bloomberg.com)

One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor's decisions.

 
 

BREAKING NEWS: President Obama Creates New Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

By Derek H. Davis, J.D., Ph.D. Excerpt: "President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday, February 5, to create the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The office replaces the controversial Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives that George W. Bush created to provide government grants to churches and other faith-based organizations to administer welfare programs. "The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another–or even religious groups over secular groups," Obama stated when announcing the new office at the annual National Prayer Breakfast. The purpose, he said, “will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state."

 
 

BREAKING NEWS: President Obama Creates New Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

By Derek H. Davis, J.D., Ph.D. Excerpt: "President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday, February 5, to create the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The office replaces the controversial Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives that George W. Bush created to provide government grants to churches and other faith-based organizations to administer welfare programs. "The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another–or even religious groups over secular groups," Obama stated when announcing the new office at the annual National Prayer Breakfast. The purpose, he said, “will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state."