There is tremendous confusion over the authority of religion. Gay marriage is now legal in the United States after a long and bitter culture battle. ISIS is a serious threat, making religion seem uniquely accommodating to extremism and hence an unfortunate institution altogether. Scripture is constantly under scrutiny by those looking to either smear it … Continue reading 3 End of Year Observations
What is religion? I have to deal with this question because my dissertation is about the desire for immortality in the liberal tradition. Basically, when you're talking about a desire to live on after the unavoidable death of your body (immortality), you're getting into religion. There is not physical proof that anyone lives on after … Continue reading Religion and the Desire for Immortality
In modern liberal democracies we are free to worship as we choose. A big reason for this freedom is that the right way to worship cannot be scientifically proven. The one, true religion, the one, true path to salvation, is unknowable to the human mind. Since there is no outer-objective knowledge for science to extract … Continue reading Truth, Freedom, and Salvation
Graham is the senior senator from South Carolina, < 1% in national polls, and I'm finishing a Ph.D. in political science applying for academic jobs. So why am I doing this?
The United States has just discovered in its Constitution the right to gay marriage. So, this raises the question: what does it mean to discover a right? This immense national event having many dimensions, I'm going to dance around several things here, beginning with the concerns over constitutional democracy. My confession is that I'm basically now stuck … Continue reading “Discovering” the Right to Gay Marriage
About a month ago I posted 5 Reasons to Get Political. I've been really pleased with the response to that post. It turns out a suspicion of mine was correct -- that many people want to get political, but feel like it isn't their thing -- that they wouldn't be good at it, or might embarrass themselves. … Continue reading Should We Be Citizens or Radicals?
This year there seems to be a stronger public emphasis on distinguishing what Memorial Day is about (remembering the sacrifice of Americans fallen in war) from Veterans Day, and to appreciate Memorial Day's seriousness and gravity. I'm inspired by everyone out there collectively doing this. As we remember the fallen, it also seems like an important time to reflect on our … Continue reading Memorial Day and Our Politics
Plenty of conservatives are strongly critical of George W. Bush and the Iraq war, and today they are going after Jeb Bush for supporting his brother and the war he started.
There are many summer months in Baghdad, Iraq when you look up into the sky and all you see is a solid light blue. From one side of the horizon to the other, whether you turn your head all the way left or all the way right: light blue all around. There is not a single cloud of … Continue reading A Vivid Memory, Iraq 2003
Joining a fraternity in college can be a great opportunity, but an opportunity for what? Opinions vary wildly about this, and for good reason. Just think about what a fraternity essentially is: a self-confident group of recent high school graduates, united by their youth, humor, and let's say common appetites. The risks are obvious, and even thought of their … Continue reading Is Friendship Good? The Problem Facing College Fraternities