Money & Business
The Hobby Lobby Backlash Hits Whole Foods
A movement is underway to tell the grocer to drop Eden Foods, which seeks to quit covering all birth control and preventative services for its employees. (The Daily Beast)
Opinion: Ayn Rand Wouldn’t Approve of Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan and his fellow conservatives embrace only the economic aspects of Ayn Rand's philosophy, forgetting the parts that don't fit with their ideology. (Jennifer Burns, The New York Times)
Opinion: Contraception, Cheap Sex, and the Nonmarital Birth Rate
I haven’t come down too hard on contraception, but it boggles my mind to think that the logical answer to slowing the skyrocketing nonmarital fertility rate is to pump more (and free) birth control into the relationship system (Mark Regnerus, Black, White, and Gray)
Cardinal Timothy Dolan cuts ties with anti-abortion crusader Frank Pavone
“My requests of Father Pavone were clear and simple: one, that Priests for Life undergo a forensic audit; two, that a new, independent board be established to provide oversight and accountability,” Dolan wrote. "Although Father Pavone initially assured me of his support, he did not cooperate. Frequent requests that he do so went unheeded. I finally asked him to comply by October 1st. He did not."
Religion and spending: Prudent but not puritan | The Economist
Households "with a strong commitment to faith"— demonstrated by higher spending on religious activities—are less likely to be weighed down by excessive mortgage outgoings or loan payments for cars. Compared with other households, they are more likely to be home owners but their property tax burden tends to be less—suggesting that "some moderation in [the] selection of home in terms of extravagance or location...."
Pope Francis overhauls Vatican finances
"Pope Francis on Monday revolutionized the Vatican's scandal-plagued finances, inviting outside experts into a world often seen as murky and secretive and saying the church must use its wealth to help the poor." (Al Jazeera America)
Gay Marriage Decision Is Right Time to End Religious Tax Exemptions
First, the religious exemption has forced the IRS to decide what’s a religion, and thus has entangled church and state in the worst way. Since the world’s great religion scholars can’t agree on what a religion is, it’s absurd to ask a bunch of accountants, no matter how well-meaning.
Watchdog: Tax breaks for churches: Favoring believers over nonbelievers? - The Orange County Register
"Most people have no idea how the religious exemptions work, or what they’re worth. No one had really tried to calculate it.Just putting it on the radar is worth doing, even if it’s not going to change policies in the short run. In the long run, I think it will.” said Ryan T. Cragun, principal author of “How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States.” Why? Because fewer and fewer people align themselves with organized religions, and they may be less and less willing to give believers tax breaks.