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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Corbyn as Labour Party Leader in Britain: Are Increased Deficits Implied or Avoidable?

The notion that a political party oriented to redressing the widening economic inequality during the years following the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent debt-crisis in the E.U. necessarily must increase government deficits to do so is, I submit, faulty. That is to say, being especially oriented to the plight of the poor, with the goal being the elimination of extreme poverty, can be consistent with fiscal responsibility. The election of a socialist as leader of Britain’s Labour party presents us with an interesting case of assumed fiscal irresponsibility.

The complete essay is at "Anti-Poverty and Budget Deficits."

Jeremy Corbyn upon being elected as leader of the British Labour Party (Jeff Mitchell/Getty)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Moral Grounds Found Sufficient to Deny Employees Contraception Coverage: Is Morality Distinct from Religion?

In addition to religious organizations and their respective affiliates being excluded from having to include contraceptives in employee health-insurance, non-religious groups with a salient moral stance against the use of the devices are also exempt—this according to a federal judge in the United State. The moral stance need not be associated with any religion. By implication, moral principles are distinct from religious doctrines. Even though religions incorporate moral principles, the latter are based in another domain. I contend that the interlarding of the non-native fauna can dilute and even compromise a given religion, thus undercutting its viability.

The complete essay is at “Moral Principles and Religion.” 

The Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas capitol. Do the Ten Commandments serve only a religious purpose? Were they intended to serve only a religious purpose? 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fewer Blue-Collar Lawmakers in Maine’s Legislature: Public Financing Cut by the U.S. Supreme Court on Free Speech Grounds

In 1996, Maine became the first American state to enact a public financing system for statewide elections. Voters passed a referendum by which the government provides money to candidates who meet a threshold of fundraising in $5 increments from voters in their districts. Before 2011, candidates got matching funds from the government if an opponent was funding his or her campaign with their own money, or if an outside group was spending money on the race over a certain amount.[i] The reason for the discontinuance of the matching funds and the subsequent impact on the number of blue-collar people running for office and being in the legislature demonstrate that the public financing of political campaigns can have a huge impact on both political campaigns and representation in a legislative chamber.

The complete essay is at "Blue-Collar Lawmakers in Maine."

1. Paul Blumenthal, “Maine Voters Hope to Restore Their Revolutionary Election System,” The Huffington Post, September 4, 2015.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pope Francis On Taking In Refugees In Europe: A Basis For An Alternative Approach To Christianity

As tens of thousands of refugees from the Middle East were seeking refuge in the E.U., Pope Francis “called on every parish, religious community, monastery and sanctuary in Europe to shelter refugees.”[1] It was not enough, he said, to tell them, “have courage, hang in there.”[2] Providing the Christian basis, he said that “the Gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned.”[3] Jesus went to those who had been abandoned by the hegemonic Temple-centric Judaism of his day, and healed them. In the Gospel of Mark, it is the strangers rather than the disciples who understand his message. I submit that this approach to Christianity could serve as an alternative to the dominant one that applies Christianity to every issue.

Pope Francis making the appeal. (Riccardo De Luca/AP)

The complete essay is at "Pope Francis on the Refugees."

1. Alison Smale, “Pope Calls on All of Europe’s Catholics to Shelter Refugees,” The New York Times, September 6, 2015.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.